THE JSA FACT FILE
Theodore "Ted" Knight
Residence: New York
Occupation: Familial wealth, amateur astronomer and astrophysicist.
First Appearance (Golden Age): Adventure Comics #61
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): Justice League of America #29
Ted Knight was born to wealth
and privilege in the late 1910s, the son of industrialist Daniel Knight.
Little is known of his early life, save that he came from a distinguished
family and that his father's brother, Henry Knight, was a United States
Senator. As a young man, Knight attended college but mainly worked the social set, affecting the air of an idle playboy. In the days before
World War II, Ted Knight was a well-known New York socialite who was dating
Doris Lee, niece of a famous government agent named Woodley Allen.
Like other members of his socioeconomic class, Knight had a vague sense
of dissatisfaction with his life, coupled with boredom. Knight had developed a
passing fancy in the emerging mystery-men like t the Sandman and Green Lantern.
This interest was intensified in 1941 when he Doris Lee attended a social function in Gotham in which the band members were actually disguised criminal and attempted to rob the attending wealthy patrons. Included in this patrons were Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, who quickly transformed into their idenities as Batman and Robin and foiled the crime. He also had a natural
talent for science, particularly astronomy, though the extent of his formal
training in the science is unknown.
During a visit to Washington, DC, to
see his cousin Sandra, Ted Knight was introduced to technology invented
by Professor Abraham Davis. One of these devices was a Gravity Rod, a device
designed to perform a variety of energy-based feats, but which lacked a
power source. Knight procured the rod from his cousin and took it back
to his home for study. With the wealth and resources at his command, Knight
had constructed elaborate observatories with telescopes of his own design.
While using these instruments, Knight had discovered a cosmic radiation
of unknown nature, and during a mishap in his laboratory, Knight "charged"
the Gravity Rod with this energy. He subsequently learned that the newly-charged
rod enabled the user to fly, and could project bursts of energy as heat
Knight was seized with a sense of purpose and a desire to join the ranks of the new breed of heroes arising in the pre-World War II United States (All-Star Squadron #41). Shortly thereafter, he designed a uniform for himself and took the code-name "Starman." He then dropped a brief note to Woodley Allen, along with a code that would allow Allen to contact Knight via the Gravity Rod. In his first case, Allen contacted Starman to seek his assistance against the Brotherhood of the Electron. The Brotherhood was a criminal organization headed by Doctor Doog, an elderly scientist who had captured Abraham Davis for the purpose of subverting his technology. His first act was to use an Ultradynamo to siphon electrical power from a number of major cities. Starman attacked the Brotherhood in the group's subterranean hideout, rescuing Davis and disrupting Doog's operations (Adventure Comics #61).
After his first case, Starman was readily accepted by the authorities and dealt with such threats as the Light (Adventure Comics #62, 65, 71) and Cuthbert Cain (Adventure Comics #66). In the autumn of 1941, Starman met his most persistent adversary: the Mist. The Mist, whose true name has never been revealed, was a scientist just before World War II who invented a solution that rendered invisible anything that was washed with it. He offered this to the US government for an unknown price, but the government spurned his offer. Furious at this rejection, the Mist turned to crime, a practice that ultimately resorted to his taking several hostages in a cave near Kentucky. One of these hostages was Doris Lee, thus attracting the attention of Starman. The Mist was ultimately thwarted (Adventure Comics #67) but returned the next year to battle Starman again (Adventure Comics #77).
In late 1941, Starman encountered Doctor Doog again. Though initially believed dead, Doog returned in collaboration with Ian Karkull. Starman and Hourman captured Doog and turned him over to the authorities. As Hourman raced back tojoin his JSA comrades, Starman tagged along. In the final confrontation with Karkull, the assembled heroes were bathed in chronal energy released from the destruction of Karkull's shadow-form. The Spectre informed them that this energy would prolong their lives and their youth. As the group broke up, Hourman reported that the Miraclo that provided his powers was also adversely affecting his health, and he requested a leave of absence from JSA membership. On his recommendation, the JSA accepted Starman as the newest member of their ranks (All-Star Squadron Annual #3). Starman then joined the JSA in the pursuit of Professor Elba, a scientist who had invented a serum which drove men insane (All-Star Comics #8). In the same time frame, Starman also served as a member of the All-Star Squadron and assisted them on several cases. In total, Starman spent three years as a regular member of the Justice Society, with his last recorded cases with the team occuring in late 1944 (All-Star Comics #23). Whether he was involved in additional activities on Earth-2 has not been recorded.
The activities of Starman after his recorded history with the JSA is limited. It is know that In the mid-1940s, Starman became increasingly concerned about the potential abuse of emerging technology. He undertook efforts in his own field to prevent wealthy investors from commercializing astronomy and exploiting young investors for their own benefit (Adventure Comics #93, 99). His activities over the twenty years between 1944 and his next recorded appearance in 1964 remain unknown. His family, if any, have not been revealed.
The next documented case in which the Starman of Earth-Two was involved occured in the summer of 1964 when the JSA was notified by the Justice League of Earth-One that a new earth, Earth-Three, had been discovered, one in which roles of good and evil were reversed, The Crime Syndicate of Earth-Three had targeted Earth-Two and with the Justice League's warning, the JSA was able to fend off the invading villains (Justice League of America #29).
Also in the 1960's, Starman encountered old enemies like the Mist (Brave and
the Bold #61), notably with partner Black Canary. Starman operated partly out of Federal City in this time, though whether this was his primary residence or a secondary home is not clear. The duo also partnered with Wildcat to take on Mr. and Mrs. Menace, the recently wed Sportsmaster and Wildcat's foe, the Huntress (Brave and the Bold #62).
Starman continued to be active with the JSA throughout the late 60's and early 70's, including a notable case in which the combined JLA and JSA rescued the Seven Soldiers of Victory, lost in time (Justice League of America #100-102). This united Starman with the Star-Spangled Kid, who ultimately became his protege. In the mid-1970's, Knight broke his leg under undisclosed circumstances and allowed the Star-Spangled Kid to use the Cosmic Rod while Knight recovered (All-Star Comics #58). Working together, Starman and the Star-Spangled Kid created a belt called the Cosmic Convertor, which the Kid used later in his career as a member of the Justice Society (All-Star Comics #64).
Entering the 80's, Starman remained periodically active with the JSA and independent patrols. During one such patrol, he was attacked and his cosmic rod stolen by Hugo Strange, an adversary of Batman thought long-dead. Strange's body was mangled from his last case with Batman 40 years prior and ultimately, he used the rod to commit suicide rather than live in his current deranged stated (Brave and the Bold #182).
During the Crisis on Infinite Earths,
Earth-Two was sealed from multiversal contact and the history and activities of the
Golden Age Starman are largely unknown. A JSA member wearing the traditional
costume of Starman appeared with the JSA when Power Girl of Earth-0 made an
incursion to that world following the events of Infinite Crisis, but the
identity of that individual, whether Ted Knight or an inheritor is unknown. The complete story of the Starman of Earth-Two remains to be told.
Power and Abilities
Starman possesses no inherent powers. He used the Cosmic Rod, a device of his own development based on initial designs of Abraham Davis. The Rod focuses cosmic radiation to a variety of ends. The Cosmic Rod commonly focused energy both to defy gravity, allowing Starman to fly, and to emit concussive bursts of force, serving as an offensive weapon. As Ted Knight, he commanded considerable resources as the scion of Knight Industries that supported his additional development of Cosmic Rod/Belt technology. He also possessed skills developed from his social class (Such as equestrianism with his thoroughbred Fleetwing) and he served a brief stint as a pilot when the JSA temporarily abandoned their costumed identities to enlist in the war effort.
Weakness and Limitations
Starman's limitation, like many of his fellow JSAers, is that he is completely dependent on his weaponry to be effective. Without it, he is merely mortal and could be slain like any other human of his age and condition.