The Imperial Guard is a team of fictional super-powered alien warriors in the Marvel Comics universe.
The Imperial Guard, an army of powerful beings that enforce Shi'ar Imperial law on all planets within the Shi'ar Galaxy, serves the rulers of the Shi'ar Empire (currently Vulcan and Deathbird). The original incarnation of the Imperial Guard were created by writer Chris Claremont and artist Dave Cockrum. The team first appeared in X-Men volume 1 #107 and its most notable appearance was at the conclusion of the Dark Phoenix Saga, where they defeated the X-Men in the Phoenix's trial by combat, but the team lost to Phoenix from one attack.
Gladiator was, until recently, the Praetor (leader) of this elite corps of the Shi'ar Imperial Guard. The elite corps also protects and carries out the personal directives of the majestor or majestrix (emperor or empress) of the Shi’ar Empire.
The first known encounter of the Imperial Guard when the Imperial Guard battles the X-Men at the command of then-Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken. Gladiator and several members of the Guard fight the X-Men once more when new Shi'ar Empress Lilandra Neramani and Professor Charles Xavier arrange a trial by combat to decide the fate of the out of control Dark Phoenix.
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