Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Who's Who: Sun-Eater

by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Not applicable
Super-Power(s): FTL flight; absorbing energy and mass on incredible scale, i.e. eating stars; instinctively focusing the absorbed energy

Planet of Origin: Controllers' World
Relationship to Legion: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Legion Log
The Sun-Eater  is an artificial life form that can be created and directed by the semi-omniscient race known as The Controllers. They use it as a weapon to destroy worlds that they believe have become too war-like. The Sun-Eater literally "eats" suns, absorbing the solar energies of specific suns and leaving their solar systems dead and barren.

The Legion first came across a Sun-Eater when a rogue Controller sent a Sun-Eater on a mission to consume Earth's sun. Most of the Legion was away on a mission, so the five remaining members had no choice but to team up with the Fatal Five. Working together they were able to understand how to stop it. Tharok, the criminal genius, then created a nucleonic bomb that Ferro Lad delivered to the "heart" of the Sun-Eater. Although he managed to destroy the threat, he was killed in the blast.

A few days later, the Controller who had created this Sun-Eater attacked the Legion directly, explaining that he had released the Sun-Eater as the first part of his plan for universal domination. With possible supernatural assistance from the ghost of Ferro Lad, the Legion was able to stop his plans.

The intergalactic warlord Mongul once sent a Sun-Eater, taken from a Controller he murdered, to destroy Earth. The Legion intervened in order to preserve their timeline and Wildfire used his anti-energy to destroy the weapon utterly. Something similar happened post-Crisis when Superman was lost in time and helped the Levitz-era Legion fight a Sun-Eater bound for Earth. The explosion was used to boost Superman back into the time stream.

Several years later, another group of Legionnaires came across a factory planet where a Controller was building another Sun-Eater. They destroyed the entire facility, causing the Sun-Eater to implode.

Previous to the world-devouring Sun-Eater, there was another space creature roaming the galaxy that had been called "Sun-Eater." This is an actual living creature that resembled a gargantuan energy gorilla. After being confronted by Mon-El, it never came anywhere near the United Planets' space again. When the more famous Sun-Eater made its way into public consciousness, this rarely sighted energy creature was thereafter referenced as either "Solar Berserker" or "Spinrad Ape."

After the Reboot, the Sun-Eater was a myth, invented by the President of the United Planets to unite the member worlds against an external threat, thereby increasing her power base. This plan was exposed by the Legion. It was then mentioned in passing that Sun-Eaters had last been seen in the late 20th Century. And indeed, in the contemporary stories chronicled at the time, a rogue Sun-Eater destroyed several planets, eventually reaching the Solar System and snuffing out the Sun. The heroes of Earth were powerless to stop it, until Parallax sacrificed his powers and life to destroy it and reignite the Sun. As in the original story, Ferro (a 20th-Century hero in this continuity) went on that mission, but this time was saved by Hal Jordan's actions.

In the early 21st Century, the Outsiders and Titans discovered that a planet called Minosyss hosted a Sun-Eater factory hidden deep inside. One of them was used to kill Hyperion and Thia, two of the Titans of Myth. At the end of the Infinite Crisis, a junior red Sun-Eater from that planet was provided by Donna Troy, to be used by the Green Lantern Corps to imprison Superboy-Prime. Later on, Lobo, Starfire, Adam Strange, and the Green Lantern Ekron defeated Lady Styx by pushing her into a group of Sun-Eaters. Animal Man was later able to tap the powers of the Sun Eaters, acquiring "migration maps," the ability to survive in space, and other traits. Jonathan Kent once told the story of his son flying to another planet in a Sunstone vessel; while there, Superman picked up a distress call from a neighboring star system with regards to a Sun-Eater and immediately left to help an alien craft armed with an entropy bomb. And during a battle with the Justice League, Starbreaker claimed that Sun-Eaters were the larval form of his species.

In the reality chronicled in All-Star Superman, Superman kept a baby Sun-Eater in the Fortress of Solitude's alien zoo. He used it to destroy the tyrant star known as Solaris; it failed and was killed instead.

A Sun-Eater has appeared on the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series, in the episode "Sundown". It is a living metal sphere capable of generating a massive energy cloud that can drain stars of their energy and was created during an interstellar war called the "Great Crisis". As in previous versions of the story, the Legion teams with the Fatal Five to create a weapon that can destroy it. When it fails to detonate due to a faulty connection, Ferro Lad sacrifices himself to act as a conductor.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Adventure Comics (v1) #353
It takes the combined powers of the Legion, the Fatal Five, 
and the sacrifice of Ferro Lad to destroy the Sun-Eater

Important Sun-Eater Stories:

Adventure Comics (v1) #305
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 1
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 1)
The Legion shows Mon-El a very different looking Sun-Eater

Adventure Comics (v1) #352-353
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 6, 
The Life and Death of Ferro Lad TPB, 
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
 The Sun-Eater is on its way to devour our sun 

Adventure Comics (v1) #357
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 8
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 3)
The Controller who released the Sun-Eater explains why he did it

DC Comics Presents #43
 (reprinted in Showcase Presents DC Comics Presents Vol. 2
and Superman vs. Mongul TPB)
Mongul uses a murdered Controller's Sun-Eater to attack Earth in the 20th Century

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #7-8
Another Controller is creating another Sun-Eater until the Legion destroys his factory

Adventures of Superman #477
Superman is bounced back into the time stream by an exploding Sun-Eater

The Final Night #1-4
A Sun-Eater blots out the sun until Parallax gives his life to destroy it

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #86
New hero Ferro had figured he would sacrifice HIS life to do so

The Return of Donna Troy #4
A Sun-Eater factory is discovered; its product is responsible for the death of two Titans of Myth

Infinite Crisis #7
Donna Troy provides a Sun-Eater to fight Superboy-Prime

52 #36
Lady Styx is pushed into a Sun-Eater by Lobo and friends

52 #43
Animal Man can tap into the powers of Sun-Eaters, which means they must be part of the animal order

Action Comics #847
Superman helps an alien race destroy a Sun-Eater

Justice League of America (v2) #34
Starbreaker claims to be the ultimate result of "larval" Sun-Eaters

All-Star Superman #11
All-Star Superman uses a baby Sun-Eater to fight Solaris

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
The Sun-Eater that cost Ferro Lad his life on the cartoon


  1. I think this may be my favourite entry so far: my only complaint is that it should have appeared in the Random Sexiness category under "Hot!"

    I only recently discovered the blog and am enjoying it immensely: it's even got me to change my attitude on the Reboot Legion and I'll be buying the new Legionnaires collection as a result of your reviews.

    Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Carey, and welcome to the party!

  2. Nice compliments, I'll make sure Shotgun gets it :)