Contributed by Mike McDermott
Avril Kincaid is a SHIELD agent who was assigned to the controversial Pleasant Hill super-prison, as part of the plainclothes surveillance team. The prison was designed to appear like an American small town, Pleasant Hill, with mind-wiped super villains reprogrammed to think they are ordinary citizens. Avril and other SHIELD agents were undercover in the town as various townspeople; Avril posed as a teacher in the school to supervise the child Kobik, who was the sentient manifestation of a reality-warping Cosmic Cube. It was Kobik’s power that rewrote the lives and memories of the Pleasant Hill inmates.
When the villains regained their true memories and staged a prison break, Avril was one of the few agents to avoid being taken hostage and she assisted in the fight to recapture the prisoners. She made her way to a secret weapons storage and acquired the powerful quantum bands, becoming the new Quasar! As Quasar she helped turn the tide in the jailbreak.
Avril began training in how to use her new powers under the guidance of the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn, who had been forced to give up the bands as he had begun to lose control over their power.
When Hydra took over the United States and activated a planetary defense shield around Earth, Quasar was among a group of Earth’s most powerful superheroes who were trapped outside the shield to prevent them from interfering with Hydra. Quasar and the others were stuck fighting off a Chitauri invasion fleet without any back up, and Avril was injured in the battle and left in a coma.
When she eventually woke from her coma Avril was the one who managed to bring down the shield, drawing on all of the extensive power of the quantum bands! She succeeded in bringing down the shield, turning the tide in the battle against Hydra, but she apparently died in the effort. Whether her body was recovered and what became of the quantum bands is unrevealed at this time.
As a SHIELD agent Avril was skilled in both armed and unarmed combat. As Quasar she possessed the power to fly, through both air and outer space. She could project very powerful blasts or create solid objects out of quantum energy. She also possessed Cosmic Awareness, a psychic sense of the universe itself. Avril had very limited control of this ability and it tended to come to her in the form of flashes warning her of some impending danger to Earth.
Avril is the second lesbian Quasar to bear the quantum bands, and the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn, has had his sexual orientation questioned in-story, suggesting he might possibly be bisexual or closeted gay. Given that the quantum bands have been known to disintegrate improper users before, it is interesting to note that all of the long-term successful users are known or suspected LGBT characters.
Avril Kincaid first appeared in Captain America: Sam Wilson #7 (2016) by Nick Spencer, Angel Unzeta & Matt Yackey. She became Quasar in Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill – Omega (2016) by Nick Spencer, Daniel Acuna & Angel Unzeta. She was outed in Captain America: Steve Rogers #11 (2017) by Nick Spencer & Jesus Saiz
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