When I was just starting in comics, I usually picked them up at random from the second-hand and 50 cent bins in comic and used book stores. Without knowing anything about the various comic universes, I picked on the most logical basis possible - a really cool cover. That's how I picked up this fine Al Milgrom cover.
I admit, I was intrigued, having never heard of the character. There not being an internet or much in the way of resources to learn about lower tier characters, I had to struggle to find out more about him through more of those back issues until I came upon an issue of the "Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe."
And finding out what happened to him? Bit of a bummer for a kid.
Over the years, I've developed an appreciation for the character - both for his original conception (an alien military commander who turns against his own people because he sees potential in mankind) and for the rather metaphysical take Jim Starlin took him on (which, as it would turn out, is kind of a regular thing for Starlin).
To me, the appeal of the character is the range of his vision - someone who had the imagination and the foresight to look above petty interests and to make some pretty big leaps of faith. He was a soldier who needed a purpose beyond patriotism to fight, and a commander who never lead except through example.
Also, the cosmic awareness thing? Always kinda cool, if forever vague.