From: Marvel Comics' shared universe (Universe 616)
First Appearance: New Mutants (volume I) #99 (1991)
Formerly Appearing: X-Force
Currently Appearing: X-Factor
Created by: Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza
Character History: Created by genetic engineering on the other-dimensional Mojoworld, Shatterstar, designated Gaveedra Seven, was born to be a warrior. Mojoworld, ruled by the despot Mojo, a spineless creature with spider-like robotic legs, is a place of television-run brutal, violent entertainment, which the gladiators like Shatterstar provided.
Shatterstar, one of the best attractions of Mojo's world, was designed to have no emotions, and he carried out his role as warrior without complaint, armed with his dual-bladed swords. But when he was approached by the resistance, hoping to free Mojoworld from the violence and tyrannical rule, Shatterstar agreed to help and showed the first signs of an independent spirit.
Traveling backwards in time and through space to Earth, Shatterstar was supposed to find the X-Men but instead found Cable and the New Mutants, Professor X's former students. Cable, a soldier from the future, drafted Shatterstar into their ranks and changed the team's name to X-Force. The group then actively pursued evil mutants (mutants being humans born with superpowers) who were planning on using their powers to harm regular humans.
Shatterstar's emotionless personality started to fade as he grew closer to his teammates. He wondered about his own origins, after learning about Longshot, a former X-Man from Mojoworld who had identical DNA to Shatterstar. But he also met a young mutant named Benjamin Russell, who looked identical to Shatterstar. The young man was comatose, and Shatterstar and Benjamin's bodies were merged into one. These events and Shatterstar'strue origin and relationship to Longshot have gone unexplained.
Shatterstar eventually left X-Force to help Rictor take down his family's crime syndicate. Shatterstar had developed a close bond to Rictor, and when Rictor and he parted ways again, Shatterstar took ever more dangerous and violent assignments, frequently assisting his old teammate, the assassin Domino.
Shatterstar was eventually found by a madman named Cortex and used as a pawn against X-Factor Investigations, among whom Rictorwas now a member. Freed from Cortex by Rictor, the two shared a passionate kiss, revealing to their teammates' their long hidden love affair. Shatterstar, now fully owning his sexuality (as a warrior devoid of emotion, he was supposed to be asexual), wanted to explore all types of sex while Rictor wanted a monogamous relationship. Shatterstarhas remained with X-Factor Investigations, while trying to work his relationship with Rictor. Longshot, hinted at being Shatterstar's father with the X-Man Dazzler as his mother, is also among the team's members.
Personality: Shatterstar, in his earliest appearances, lacked personality beyond a desire to fight. He had a very strong sense of right and wrong, but it wasn't always the same morals that his teammates had. He gradually developed a more defined personality, often greeting the world with a child-like wonder, like a person who had been half-asleep suddenly now awakening. With his reappearance and with the confirmation of his relationship with Rictor, Shatterstar has become much more vocal about his likes and dislikes but maintains his wonder at the world and ultra-violent ways, still always ready for a fight.
Archetypes: Shatterstar was the Warrior Born, someone who is fierce and violent and born to do damage and fight. He also has the Childlike Wonder, as it was only after he came to Earth and started to really see how humans interact that he developed his own personality and ability to see the world again with new eyes, instead of just seeing targets. He is also a Surprise Gay, a character's whose sexuality seemingly comes out of nowhere. He could also be considered part of the Unknown Father category, as his past has never been explained and could be linked to another longtime character.
Other Versions: Unlike most X-Men characters, Shatterstar has only appeared in other forms a few times, mostly in cameos and never in other media. In X-Men: The End, Shatterstar was still a part of X-Force and died alongside most of his teammates. In the Amalgam Universe (made by merging the Marvel and DC characters), Shatterstar was combined with Teen Titan Starfire to become Shatterstarfire. In the Shattershot crossover, Shatterstar was not recruited by the rebels but instead overthrew Mojo himself and became a tyrant. Future versions of his former X-Force teammates overthrew him.
Analysis: Shatterstar, during his first appearances and whenever his creator, Rob Liefeld (the man who is probably most aligned with - and maligned by - the 90's comic's excess of huge muscles, breasts, and guns) got a hold of him, is an emotionless killing machine. But as any good writer will tell you, those characters don't really have anything else to do but keep one-dimensionally killing or evolve. In other words, if Shatterstar is to become a real character, then he's got to find some emotions. Otherwise, he's just plain dull.
After Liefeld left, several writers in a row followed a rather strange plan: Shatterstar became best friends with Rictor. They were close, as Shatterstar slowly started to develop an interest in the world around him and started to figure out how and why people acted the way they did. It was interesting, but it seemed like the writers were holding back. Apparently, they were holding back that 'Star and Rictor were getting it on, despite the multitude of dropped hints.
When X-Factor, a title already well-known for taking minor X-Men characters and given them new spins by writer Peter David, had Shatterstar appear, nobody expected the series of panels above. In fact, Marvel didn't trumpet the acknowledgement of Rictor and 'Star's relationship or even respond very much to interviews. And when they did, both David and Marvel simply said: hey, everybody already thought this anyway - why not make it official? In other words, gay equalled no big deal.
This was a stunning move to make by an industry frequently thought of as being for children. And while not everyone was happy (Liefeld was practically beside himself, essentially saying that he would de-gay Shatterstar if he ever got to write him again), most people agree it made sense in the context of what came before (the wonderful continuity thing) and for the character to make some changes. Also, it gave David room to make Shatterstar a rather hilarious running gag - with his newly found sexuality, he hits on everything that moves, including the thunder god Thor, his former teammate Boomer, and the pregnant Wolfsbane.
This childlike wonder approach to sex is new and different, and something you don't get to see very often. In general, most people pass the "childlike wonder" of sex when they hit their adult years, and most writers aren't comfortable writing sexual forward teenagers (without the negative stereotyping or consequences). Therefore, childlike wonder goes out the window for most artistic takes on sexuality. For me, it's this aspect of Shatterstar's character that I actually find much more engaging than his bisexuality.
Similar Characters: Character Analysis of other X-Men: Emma Frost.
Other Liefeld Creations that were Utterly Changed by Later Creators: Cable (a military soldier turned long lost telepathic son of Cyclops) in Cable - Volume 1: Messiah War and Deadpool (an assassin who eventually discovered the ability to break the fourth wall in quite humorous ways) in Deadpool Classic, Vol. 1.
Bisexual Male Comic Book Heroes: Daken, son of Wolverine, in Daken: Dark Wolverine, Vol. 1 - Empire, Magician John Constantine in Hellblazer: Original Sins, and the alien Starman (Mikaal Tomas) in Justice League of America: The Dark Things.