Vance Astro, born Vance Astrovik and going by the nickname Major Victory, is a fictional character, a Marvel Comics superhero from the Earth-691 timeline of the Marvel Universe.
Vance Astrovik was born in Saugerties, New York, the only son of a small-town butcher Arnold Astrovik and his wife Norma. Going into the U.S. Air Force at the age of 18, Astrovik (who changed his name to Astro when he was 21) became the youngest man to be accepted into the astronaut training program several years later. In 1988, Astro volunteered for the first manned interstellar mission ever conducted by the United States, Project: Starjump.
His ship, Odysseus I, was not equipped for faster-than-light speed; hence the journey to Earth's nearest interstellar neighbor, a planet in the Alpha Centauri system, would take about 10 centuries. To protect him from aging, Astro was covered with a skin-preserving copper alloy (which was upgraded with adamantium in the Guardians of the Galaxy series) body-suit, and his blood was transfused with a kind of preservative fluid. Astro was launched into space from the Houston Airport in the fall of 1988.
While on his way to Alpha Centauri, the ship automatically awoke him from his suspended animation in order for him to perform routine course adjustments. During the periods he was awake, sometimes for a year in duration, Astro eventually went insane from loneliness on several occasions, returning to a semblance of normality only after the ship automatically put him back in suspended animation again. During his long periods of sustained dream-state activities, Astro's latent psionic powers emerged. By the time he arrived on Centauri IV almost a thousand years later, he had full control over his psychokinetic abilities.
Upon arrival, Astro learned that Earth had beaten him to Centauri IV by two hundred years, having developed a faster-than-light drive since the time he left. Although Earth was unable to intercept his flight, the Centaurian people afforded him a hero's welcome. Disturbed by his reputation, Astro was determined to carry out the mission to categorize the plant life he was assigned a millennium ago, even though it would now be superfluous. While engaged in a geophysical survey, he encountered Yondu, one of the humanoid natives of the planet, who attacked him, but he stopped it. He kept this secret, as it was illegal for this species to attack a colonist. When the alien Badoonlaunched an attack on Centauri IV, annihilating the human colony and methodically eradicating the natives, Astro and Yondu attempted to escape in Astro's ship. They were overtaken and transported to Earth, where the Badoon Leader used a device to look through Astro's mind and see his origin. There they escaped in the year 3007 A.D. and joined with two other survivors of Badoon's massacre, the last Jovian Charlie-27 and the last PlutonianMartinex to form the Guardians of the Galaxy, with himself as the leader. After liberating Earth, the Guardians set out on a random course across the galaxy, in the hopes of safeguarding freedom everywhere, and fight the Badoon conquest of Earth's solar system. It is later revealed Starhawk manipulated events to bring them together.
Eight years later, Astro and the Guardians of the Galaxy time-traveled to the 20th Century, and met the Defenders. The Guardians returned to 3015 A.D. with Starhawk and the Defenders to defeat a new Badoon invasion force.
Later, Astro and the Guardians teamed with the time-traveling Thor. They battled Korvac and his Minions of Menace. Astro then traveled to the present alongside his fellow Guardians, and assisted the Avengers in battle against Korvac.
Years later, on a trip to the present-day Marvel Universe, Astro encountered his younger self and convinced him not to join the USAF. He also accidentally awoke the younger Vance's telekinetic powers, ensuring the divergence. The younger Vance Astrovik would later join the New Warriors, first as Marvel Boy, then as Justice, and eventually became a member of the Avengers for a short time. (Because all of the Guardians of the Galaxy are honorary Avengers, Vance holds the distinction of being the only Avenger to appear twice in the roster—as himself, and as Justice.)
After returning to his own time, Astro became involved with his teammate Aleta after she was freed from her physical merger with her ex-husband Starhawk. Astro went on a quest to find the lost shield of Captain America. He battled Taserface and the Stark during the quest, and defeated the Stark. Then, after retrieving Captain America's shield, he was critically injured in a battle with a gang that based themselves on the Punisher. Vance was healed by Krugarr, Doctor Strange's former apprentice and the current Sorcerer Supreme, and was freed from his containment suit. He then adopted a costume similar to that of Captain America to go with the shield and took the name Major Victory.
Shortly thereafter, Krugarr's enchantment was removed, and Vance began to age rapidly. He was saved by a symbiotic costume, seemingly of the same species as Venom. However, it was later determined that it was not actually a life form, but engineered to respond to the wearer's biological state.
Vance is discovered encased in ice on the asteroid Hydronis by the new Guardians of the Galaxy team leader Star-Lord. Astro confirms his identity to the band of aliens and later converses with Mantis at the Guardians' home base, Knowhere. Mantis confirms to Star-Lord that Astro has been temporally displaced. The Guardians are then attacked by the Cardinals of the Universal Church of Truth.Vance later joins this incarnation of the Guardians of the Galaxy and helps to rescue Peter Quill from Blastaar. He later joins Rocket Raccoon's team on their mission to stop the War of Kings. After Adam Warlock loses control and becomes Magus, Vance is killed when his shield is thrown back at him by Magus, opening his suit up and causing him to age rapidly. However, he is later seen to be alive, but in suspended animation and a prisoner of the Magus, along with Mantis, Phyla-Vell, Cosmo and Gamora. He later breaks free with the other Guardians (excluding Phyla-Vell - apparently slain by the revived Thanos), reuniting with the other half of the team. After Thanos is incapacitated by Star-Lord, Major Victory and all the other Guardians reunite in Knowhere. It's also revealed, during a council of the Guardians of All Galaxies - that reunites the Guardians of the whole Multiverse - that the Major Victory currently in Earth 616 is a time displaced one from an alternate, unidentified dimension. During this council three other versions of Major Victory appear: one identical to Earth-616 one with the original uniform, another with the symbiotic outfit of 1994-1995 and finally another with the pre-symbiotic costume appearance and the Captain America-themed uniform.