- I am a hero of earth...a traitor to my race. And a warrior no more. From this day on, this is my one shape. And, to my everlasting shame...I leave this field of battle unscarred.
- -- Crusader src
Z'Reg, a Skrull operative, was sent to spy on the Avengers after his training. However, he arrived on Earth shortly after the Avengers disbanded. Falling in love with the planet's customs and superheroes and realizing how wrong the Skrulls were about humanity, under the civilian identity of Aubrey Thompson, Z'Reg decided to become a superhero himself. He called himself the Crusader, a name he chose specifically because it gave no clue as to his abilities.
He soon became the mentor of Freedom Ring, revealing himself to the young hero and explained that he had renounced his race. However, he guided Ring with a softer hand than he was trained for, which led to his protege's downfall, as he was killed by Iron Maniac. Crusader took the boy's reality-altering ring for himself as a way to honor his fallen comrade. Rather than using the ring to continue his superhero career, Crusader seemed to retired to a life of leisure, using it to create fake Skrull women.
However, when Titannus attacked the USA, Crusader helped the other superheroes to defeat the monster, though mainly he was doing this because Titannus was being used by humans.
After the Civil War, he was listed as a potential recruit for the Initiative, and went Camp Hammond along with Ant-Man (Eric O'Grady), Melee, Geldoff, Dragon Lord, Geiger, Red Nine, and Diamondback.
The clone of MVP known as "KIA" attacked Crusader and the other new trainees, and severed Crusader's hand in the battle. His hand was surgically reattached by the Camp's doctor, Physique. Fearing a medical examination would reveal his true form, Crusader used the fragments of the Cosmic Cube in his ring to make himself appear human to the doctor's medical tests (in fact, an overly average human, so much so that the doctor commented on how generic his readings were).
During the Skrull Invasion Crusader discovered that camp director Yellowjacket was actually a Skrull impostor. He almost told the camp's counselor Trauma but changed his mind. When 3-D Man arrived in Camp Hammond to announce to everyone assembled that the Initiative had been infiltrated by Skrulls, Crusader feared that he would be exposed as a Skrull despite his good intentions. Crusader used the Freedom Ring to reverse the goggles' power so that they caused 3-D Man to see Crusader as human and all humans as Skrulls. Realizing the ramifications of this act, Crusader managed to get Delroy to move out of the Ring's range, nullifying the effect. Crusader joined the rest of the Initiative in combating the Skrull invasion of New York. Crusader killed his old friend K'rtem who had given him a scar down his face during Skrull training, which Crusader has worn as a proud reminder. After killing K'rtem, Crusader removed the scar from his form. Crusader witnessed Initiative cadet Proton (Geldoff) being executed by the Skrulls, and after some doubt to which side he should fight for, Crusader decided to fight for Earth.
After the battle, Crusader noticed Criti Noll (the Skrull impersonating Pym) running off and chased after him. Crusader fought and defeated the impostor, but 3-D Man then realized that Crusader was a Skrull and shot him through the head. As Crusader lay injured, he wished aloud that things could have ended differently, and then disappeared.
|Power Grid |
|* Heightened ratings represent potential utilizing Freedom Ring|
- Cosmic Ring: Later, he takes Curtis Doyle's ring as an honor for the dead. The ring was crafted from a fragment of a destroyed Cosmic Cube which allows the wearer to alter reality within a radius of roughly 15 feet (4.6m) around him, giving him a 30-foot sphere of reality he can alter
- Appeared as an African-American, black-haired human.
- Appearances of Z'Reg (Earth-616)
- Media Z'Reg (Earth-616) was Mentioned in
- Images featuring Z'Reg (Earth-616)
- Quotations by or about Z'Reg (Earth-616)
- Character Gallery: Z'Reg (Earth-616)
- Characters killed by Crusader
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- ↑ Civil War Battle Damage Report #1
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #8
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #12
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #14
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #16
- ↑ Avengers: The Initiative #19
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z #3
- ↑ Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z hardcover Vol. 3
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