Dawnstar

Created by Mike Grell and Paul Levitz

NAME + ALIASES:
Dawnstar of Starhaven

KNOWN RELATIVES:
? (father), ? (mother), Greybird (brother)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #226 (April 1977)

History

Dawnstar takes flight.
From Superboy & the Legion #240 (1978).
Art by Jim Sherman.

Original art reprinted in
Amazing Heroes #15 (1982), by Keith Giffen.

Starhaven is a planet near the center of the galaxy founded by Native Americans looking for a more spiritually pure homeland than 27th-century America and Earth. Over the years, inbreeding produced many mutations, some of which became part of the core population — superior tracking and navigation skills, and, in a few, wings and the ability to survive unprotected in space. Dawnstar was born with all of these to a much higher degree than the others. She started work as a bounty hunter and navigator at a very young age. When she did a job for R. J. Brande, he saw a place for her talents in the Legion of Super Heroes, and convinced her to enroll in the Legion Academy. (Superboy & the Legion #240)

It was there that Wildfire, the Legionnaire in charge of the membership committee first spotted her and fell in love with her. As soon as he was the Legion's leader (and could use the pretext of the Legion's inability to find the Resource Raiders) he brought her in to help. (#226) Other than Wildfire, she had few close friends in the Legion, a result of her natural aloofness. She got along reasonably well with members of the Legion Academy, with whom she continued to train after becoming a Legionnaire. (#240)

She remained standoffish towards Wildfire as well, though he was ever persistent. When Dawnstar turned eighteen and went on her people's traditional grand tour of the galaxy during to find her soul mate. (Legion v.2 #304) She resisted the quest, hoping to retain her friendship, however platonic, with Wildfire. She went, but Wildfire followed her, and caught up with her just as the image of her future mate was about to appear. She took this as a sign that Wildfire was indeed her intended and reported this to her parents, who were upset, but did not challenge it. (#311)

But doubts soon entered. One occurred when she and Brainiac 5 got stuck on a previously-unknown planet called Kol, where the local priests, believing her a demon, tried to kill her, and one, Jhodan, stopped them. (Tales of the Legion #321) Dawnstar found herself attracted to Jhodan, but the Legionnaires were forced to leave Exile after realizing their extraterrestrial germs were causing an epidemic. Dawnstar bid a sad farewell to Jhodan, promising to one day return. (#323)

Notes

Tom & Mary Bierbaum on Dawnstar: She came across mostly as Marvel pretension with not much real personality, but we tried to deal with her as a hero who was, at once, aloof and troubled, cocky and vulnerable. —Interlac (2000)

Paul Levitz on Dawnstar: Writer Paul Levitz says that Dawnstar was mostly Mike Grell’s creation. Levitz says he simply asked Grell what kind of character he’d like to draw. Legion of Substitute Podcasters (episode #70)

Legion 1.5 (v.4)

In the history that unfolded after the first Crisis (no longer valid), Dawnstar spent some time in disguise, as Bounty…

Upon her return from meeting Jhodan, Dawnstar resumed her relationship with Wildfire, but the couple found intimacy a problem due to the issue of his containment suit. Their fellow Legionnaire, Quislet, who is also an energy being, helped Wildfire train to control his form without the containment suit. (Legion v.3 #36) Despite these efforts, the pair's relationship remains unfulfilled.

Another occurred when Wildfire learned how to create a physical body for himself so that he could love her physically. Suddenly she was unsure if she was willing to make that sort of commitment to him. When, after much thinking, she finally decided to, the act covered her with radiation burns–a fact that bothered him more than it did her. He broke off the relationship, which was just as well, since he soon lost the ability to hold a physical form anyway.

But she still loved him, and stuck with the Legion mostly for his sake, even when Earthgov started persecuting Legionnaires. When he disappeared during Black Dawn, the heartbroken Dawnstar left the Legion to return to her old life of bounty hunting. It was during this period of her life that the entity known only as Bounty entered her body, taking it over and using it as much as possible to receive the physical exertion it craved. After getting itself into much trouble using Dawnstar's identity, including one incident which necessitated the amputaion of her wings, it renamed itself Bounty, and hooked up with Celeste Rockfish's detective agency. The two of them were hired by Earthgov to track down Roxxas the Butcher, and during this adventure they came in contact with the re-forming Legion of Super-Heroes, who took them on as members.

They suspected some connection between Bounty and Dawnstar, but Bounty acted so radically different from the Dawnstar they knew, they refused to believe that the two were the same. Bounty was one of the Legionnaires who was sent to Earth to assist in the liberation effort, but when the war ended, Bounty's need for constant stimulation went unfulfilled. Bounty went to inform the Legionnaires of her departure when she ran into Monica Sade, and decided to take her in for the billion-credit bounty on her head. Sade, though, won that fight, and gravely damaged Dawnstar's body. Bounty then abandoned it, leaving behind a Dawnstar who's traumatized from the loss of her wings and the injuries suffered in the fight with Sade, and many, many unanswered questions. The injured Dawnstar stayed in the Legion's infirmary for a while, and for a while did not respond verbally to any stimulus. She has improved and been returned to Starhaven for further assistance. She has since confronted her traumas and fears, and has met the active Legionnaires on Weber's World, including Wildfire, whose return she's uncertain how to deal with...and the feeling is mutual. In the end this was moot, as she became one of the first disappearance victims of Zero Hour.

Other Versions

Dawnstar has no counterparts in any known parallel universes. She has a 21st century predecessor, Wildstar, a woman who also hails from Starhaven, with the same powers, who was a member of the L.E.G.I.O.N.

Shikari, a member of the Legion of Earth-247 has insectoid wings and pathfinding abilities, but the similarities end there.

Dawnstar was also a member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.

+ Powers

Dawnstar can instinctually track people and objects across space. This ability extends across light years.

She has wings which enable flight, and also unaided space flight.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

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