Who the Clix? is a series of articles featuring information on comic book characters that have been made into figures for the popular tabletop game Heroclix. These articles are meant to help Heroclix players learn more about the characters behind their favorite pieces.
Today we look at that infamous legacy hero: Starman
Appearances in Heroclix: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Cosmic Justice
First Appearance: Zero Hour #1
Team Affiliations: Justice Society of America
Powers/Abilities: Competent martial artist
Via cosmic staff: Rapid flight, Telekinesis, Energy manipulation, Stellar energy absorption, Gravity manipulation
Created By: James Robinson and Tony Harris
Jack Knight is the third member of the Knight family to carry the mantle of Starman. His father, Ted, was a Golden Age Superhero. Though young Jack loved his father’s heroics, as he grew older he grew rebellious and resentful of his father’s four color past. Jack’s older brother David takes over as Starman when their father retires and Jack is often insulting towards superheroes. Jack is schooled in fine art but loves collectibles and becomes the owner/operator of an antique and collectibles store.
Until one day, David is killed by the son of the Mist, an old foe of his father. The new Mist then comes after Jack who manages to escape by using one of his father’s old gravity rods. This attempt on his life and the murder of his brother pushes Jack to track down the Mist to protect his father. Jack murders the son of the Mist and then captures both the Mist and the Mist’s daughter, Nash.
It is after this encounter that Jack makes a deal with his father to become the new Starman. Jack’s father will devote all the scientific knowledge he attained over the years as Starman to the betterment of mankind and Jack will go on as a hero, in his own way. Jack wears street clothes instead of a costume, supplementing them with his cosmic rod, a pair of welder’s goggles, a small toy sheriff’s star and a leather jacket with a star on the back.
Nash returns as a new Mist and attacks Jack, drugging and raping him. She does so in order to become pregnant and succeeds, later giving birth to a boy she names Kyle Theo Knight. She plans on raising the young boy to hate his father and everything he stands for. Nash continues to harass Jack, claiming they are two sides of the same coin. Jack becomes determined to prove her wrong and goes on several selfless missions, including traveling to Hell itself to save two strangers, trying to save a friendly Solomon Grundy, and proving Bulletman’s innocence when he is accused of having been a Nazi secret agent during World War II.
Jack lives and operates out of Opal City, gaining a number of strange allies. Among them are a family of Opal City police, the O’Dares. He receives advice from a fortune teller named Charity as well as aid from an alien named Mikaal Tomas, who operated as Starman during the 70s. One of Jack’s strongest allies is the Shade, an immortal Golden Age villain who helps Jack because he decided to live in Opal City and wants it to remain quiet and intact. Jack comes to suspect that there is more nobility in the Shade’s help, however.
Like his father before him, Jack joins the Justice Society of America. With the JSA, Jack helps to battle the wizard Mordru, the terrorist group Kobra and the time traveler Extant.
Jack falls in love with a woman named Sadie, the sister of Will Payton, another hero that called himself Starman. When Jack learns of this, he vows to find her brother in space. He asks for help from Captain Marvel and the JLA, but they do not know Will’s location. Once Jack has a duplicate of his father’s consciousness in a Mother Box, he takes Mikaal Tomas on an intergalactic journey. A twist of fate leaves Jack lost in time and space where he meets the Legion of Super-Heroes, counsels Jor-El and then is able to help Adam Strange fight an invading empire.
Jack is taken prisoner by the empire and manages to raise a revolution. Among the prisoners are Green Lanterns, members of the Omega Men and the New Gods as well as Jack’s prize: Will Payton. Unfortunately, Will’s body is merged with the mind of another Starman, Prince Gavyn. Together, the Starmen and other prisoners free themselves and save the empire from evil influences. Jack leaves the hybrid Starman to run the empire and returns home to tell Sadie her brother’s fate.
When he returns, Jack is faced with almost all of his foes in a massive battle. Opal City is almost destroyed until Ted Knight sacrifices himself to save the city and his son. After his father’s death, Jack solves the mystery of the last recorded Starman, the Starman of 1951. Feeling that all his business is done, Jack retires from adventuring and the JSA. He retires to San Francisco with Sadie and his recovered son.