Last week, Marvel released a teaser image promising a "long awaited return" tied to Avengers: Standoff!. It has since been revealed that the returning hero is none other than Quasar, wielder of the cosmic-powered Quantum Bands.
And while the most memorable Quasar, Wendell Vaughan, returns in Standoff! to pass on the mantle, the new Quasar is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Avril Kincaid. Kincaid retrieves the Quantum Bands in this week's Avengers: Standoff! Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega and assumes the Quasar name.
"Avril Kincaid is a high-level S.H.I.E.L.D. agent stationed in Pleasant Hill when Baron Zemo stages his revolt. Seeing the crisis around her, she seeks out the most powerful weapon hidden in the town: the Quantum Bands," writer Nick Spencer explained. " When she arrives to retrieve them, though, she’s greeted by a surprise—the owner of the bands and the original Quasar, Wendell Vaughn. He gives them to her, and from there, she uses them to help turn the tide of the battle in Standoff!. It’s a real 'step up and be a hero' moment for Avril, and sets her on the path to becoming the new Quasar."
Angel Unzeata is credited as the designer of the new Quasar's costume.
"Avril definitely provides a fresh point of view within the Marvel Universe," the writer added. "That’s a big part of what has me excited about the character—she has unique perspective and her own life and background is something I hope we’ll be exploring in-depth very soon. She has quite the story."
Kincaid would be the fifth Marvel character to possess the 'Quasar' name, after Vaughn, Phyla-Vell, Richard Rider, and the original -- but unaffiliated to the Quantum Bands -- Imperial Guardsman now known as Neutron.
According to Spencer, the new Quasar will play a role in several upcoming titles, including his two ongoing Captain America series, but hints at an appearance outside those books in the near future as well.
"We have big plans ahead for Avril; she’ll be a major player in some very important upcoming stories," said Spencer. "You can definitely keep a lookout for her in the Captain America books, but I suspect she’ll be showing up elsewhere as well..."
The introduction of the new Quasar is seemingly another step in Marvel's ongoing efforts to introduce and elevate female heroes in its line. Avril Kincaid is the second woman to bear the mantle of Quasar.