Title character of comic book series published by Marvel Comics and later picked up and published by First Comics. The character was created, written, and drawn by Jim Starlin.

Vanth Dreadstar was born on an ice planet in the Milky Way galaxy. When his parents were killed by the largest natural predator on the planet, the huge white ice bears, young Vanth fled for his life. Becoming lost, Vanth stumbled across a glowing sword. The sword was actually an intelligent entity of immense power, whose physical manifestation was the sword. The sword bonded with Vanth, allowing him the ability to shoot bolts of energy from it, rapid healing, to create energy barriers, and the ability to learn languages instantly. When Dreadstar was not using the sword, it disappeared to be summoned when Vanth wanted it.

Dreadstar took his anger over his family's death at the hands of the ice bears out on all the remaining bears, killing the entire species over time. This made him very unpopular with the people on his planet, as the bears were their primary food source. Dreadstar fled the planet and became embroiled in an interstellar war. The war was ended with his help, when he and his companions found and were tricked into blowing a mystic horn which effectively blew up the Milky Way galaxy.

Vanth and the wizard that had tricked him survived, being frozen in a force sphere for centuries as they traveled between the defunct Milky Way galaxy and the Emperical Galaxy. There Vanth killed the wizard and settled down to live among a race of gentle cat people. He met and fell in love with a woman and planned to live out his days as a farmer, until his planet was invaded by the Empire that ruled the galaxy. The Empire was in a struggle with the Church of the Instrumentality for control of the galaxy. As the planet was controlled by the church and used as a farming planet, the Empire killed all of the cat people except one, a gentle cat-man named Oedi. They also killed Dreadstar's wife. Dreadstar, Oedi, a former priest of the Church, Syzygy, and a blind telepath named Willow began a campaign to defeat these two powers.

The comic was originally part of the Epic line of comics. Epic was Marvel Comics first attempt at more adult fare. The whole line ended poorly, and Dreadstar was shifted to a more mainstream comic for a time, publishing reprints of the original run in Epic. Later, Dreadstar was resurrected by First Comics and had another run. Peter David even wrote some on the series for a time.