Imperial Guard (Marvel)

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Smasher and the Imperial Guard in Avengers v5 #5.

The Imperial Guard are a team that feature in Marvel Comics.



The Imperial Guard was an elite unit of superpowered beings that served the Emperor of the Shi'ar Empire. Centuries ago, a decree was made that allowed for the formation of the Imperial Guard during the reign of Majestor T'Korr. (War of Kings: Warriors v1 #1) It was first formed by the Shi'ar to stop the renegade Rook'Shir who had the power of the Phoenix Force and prevent him from destroying the empire. (Uncanny X-Men v1 #479)

One of their achievements was the razing of the Anti-Heaven of Adun. (New X-Men v1 #124)

D'Ken dispatched the Imperial Guard to apprehend his sister Lilandra who was deemed a traitor to the empire. (X-Men v1 #107)

When Lilandra Neramani fell under the control of Cassandra Nova, she had the Imperial Guard dispatched to Earth to eliminate the world after first targeting the Xavier Institute to attack the X-Men under the belief that they were eliminating a mind-plague. (New X-Men v1 #124)

The Imperial Guard received a distress call from the Eru 7 colony with Gladiator leading a team to investigate the world. Upon arriving, they discovered that all 64,000 inhabitants were killed by the sentient Cosmic Cube called the Maker. The being had fallen into madness as a result of the influence of the Beyonder that resided within her and fell unconscious with the telepathic probing of Oracle. The Maker was then found guilty under Shi’ar law and sentenced to imprisonment at the Kyln prison creche. Gladiator was unaware of the Beyonders madness spreading where this drove Oracle insane and left her unconscious. (Thanos v1 #10)

In an effort to end the war, the Guardians of the Galaxy sought to meet with the Kree and Shi'ar to bring about a stop to hostilities. Adam Warlock attempted to meet with Emperor Vulcan only for the pair to battle one another with the Imperial Guard moving to stop the intruder. As Warlock was a quantum magician, they called in Magique to use magic against the attacker. (Guardians of the Galaxy v2 #14) With the witch-mark on their quarry, they pursued him to Knowhere where they came into conflict with the Inhuman Elite who had similarly arrived for their own motivations. The Inhumans later fled after achieving their target with the Imperial Guard decided to pursue their original objective of hunting Adam Warlock with Mentor deciding to claim Knowhere for the Imperium. Before they could fortify it, the remaining Guardians of the Galaxy returned forcing the Shi'ar to retreat back to their territory. (Guardians of the Galaxy v2 #15)

During the Builder Crisis, the Imperial Guard including its Subguardian units were deployed to fight the foe. (Wolverine and the X-Men Annual v1 #1) After the conflict, Gladiator vowed to expand the Imperial Guard in order for it to rise up and fill the vacuum of fallen warriors and heroes. (Infinity v1 #6)

They were later deployed to a research facility to subdue Thanos where they managed to capture him due to the Mad Titan dying. (Thanos v2 #3)

Afterwards, Chandilar came under attack from Nebula who wielded the Naglfar Beacon allowing her to command fleets of undead gods including past incarnations of Asgardians that were sent to battle the Imperial Guard to test her new power. (Asgardians of the Galaxy v1 #2)


It was deemed as a company of elites with each race sending to the Shi'ar empire only their finest warriors. (War of Kings: Warriors v1 #1)

A trained Superguardian was capable of sterilising an entire city. The greatest of their number were known as the Superguardian Elite. (New X-Men v1 #124) Among the Subguardians, there was a numerical classification system with there being Class 6 and above. (Wolverine and the X-Men Annual v1 #1) In times of extreme danger, the Imperial Subguardian’s could be placed on active status thereby allowing for replacement for fallen Guardsmen. This was only done so in times when there was expected heavy losses. (Infinity v1 #1) Leadership of the Guard was headed by an individual that assumed the rank of Praetor. (X-Men v1 #107)

The Imperial Guard Training Academy was the Shi'ar school for the training of Superguardians and was situated on the throneworld of Chandilar. Within the academy, there were students from thousands of different worlds who were trained to become the Imperial Guard of the future. There were dozens of Guardsmen that fit into set roles such as Smashers, Starbolts, Mantas and Plutonias. (Wolverine and the X-Men Annual v1 #1)

An item provided to Guardsmen were Imperial Flight Patch's that allowed the user to fly. Another piece of equipment available to them was Mind-Armor that made their wearers immune to telekinesis. (New X-Men v1 #124)


  • Gladiator :
  • Mentor :
  • Hussar :
  • Smasher :
  • Titan :
  • Magique :
  • Hobgoblin :
  • Oracle :
  • Firebolt :
  • Electron :
  • Flashfire :
  • Nightside :
  • Warstar :
  • Commando : a Kree conscript who served in the guard in the wake of the Kree/Shi'ar War. (Imperial Guard v1 #1)


  • The Imperial Guard were created by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum where they made their first appearance in X-Men v1 #107 (October, 1977).

Alternate Versions

In other media


  • In X-Men, the Shi'ar Imperial Guard made an appearance in the 1990s animated series where they first appeared in the episodes "Phoenix Saga". They were shown as the praetorian guard of Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken with them being led by Gladiator. The Imperial Guard accompanied him when his flagship came to Earth's solar system as he sought the M'Kraan Crystal and were later deployed to eliminate Corsair. They later battled the X-Men whilst D'Ken acquired the Crystal only for his mad scheme to destroy all of creation leading to the Imperial Guard siding with Lilandra. Inside the Crystal, they worked alongside the X-Men to battle D'Ken but were ineffective against his god-like power but the Phoenix managed to trap him inside after she took the Imperial Guard and X-Men to safety.

Video games

  • In Marvel Ultimate Alliance, the Imperial Guard featured as characters in the video game with some being antagonists to the player.



  • X-Men v1: #107 (1977)
  • Uncanny X-Men v1:
  • X-Men v2:
  • Imperial Guard v1:
  • New X-Men v1:
  • Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard v1:
  • Wolverine and the X-Men v1:
  • Infinity v1:
  • Thanos:
  • Asgardians of the Galaxy v1:

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