Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Who's Who: Pulsar Stargrave

Pulsar Stargrave
by Russell & Siskoid

Real Name: Uncertain
Super-Power(s): Energy control, heat and light projection, indestructibility, super-strength
Planet of Origin: Unknown
Relationship to Legion: Villain

Legion Log
Pulsar Stargrave appeared in the late 30th Century apparently looking for allies to help him in a battle against Mordru. Originally he monitored the Time Trapper (even at the latter's headquarters, set outside of time). However, when the Legion defeated the Time Trapper Pulsar decided to ally himself with them instead. He tried to convince them that Mordru was the greater threat, and even told Brainiac 5 that he, Pulsar, was his father.

The origin Pulsar Stargrave told the Legion at this time was that he was a Coluan scientist who had been caught in an accident with a neutron star. He showed the ability to project heat, light, and energy, including red sun radiation. He also was able to withstand Superboy's strongest punch.

When Brainiac 5 went to Xerox to steal a magical jewel for Pulsar, the jewel revealed to him that Pulsar was actually the original Brainiac, somehow time-slipped from the 20th Century after his final battle with Superman. The Legion then met Pulsar again on the planet Colu and knocked him into Colu's sun.

At this time Pulsar was surrounded by two sycophants, a beautiful woman named Quicksand and a troll-like man named Holdur. Their origins, like his, were never revealed in a Legion story. She had the ability to transform solids to liquids and vice versa; he had a death-like grip.

Although the Legion believed Pulsar to be destroyed, he was not. He secretly went to Rimbor and, in a complex plot to drive Brainiac 5 insane, murdered one of Ultra Boy's old girl-friends. Pulsar framed the murder first on Ultra Boy, then on Brainiac 5. Eventually Brainiac 5 realized the true culprit, and destroyed Pulsar Stargrave using his force-field belt.

Later, another version of Pulsar Stargrave coalesced on the planet Bismoll. He used an army of Computo robots to try to enslave that planet, but was destroyed by Matter-Eater Lad and the Legion of Substitute Heroes.

After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pulsar Stargrave is reivented as a 20th-Century antagonist of the L.E.G.I.O.N. After Vril Dox II liberated Colu from the Computer Tyrants, the Tyrants uploaded their consciousness to an orbital satellite, and created an android called Mr Starr, who looked identical to the pre-Crisis Stargrave. He attempted to conquer Talok VIII by posing as a hero. As Talok VIII's planetary champion, Lyrissa Mallor, was absent working with L.E.G.I.O.N., the inhabitants welcomed him. But he then sought revenge on Dox's team by accelerating the age of Mallor's daughter and sending her out to assassinate the L.E.G.I.O.N. She killed her mother before she was caught and deprogrammed. The L.E.G.I.O.N. then tracked her back to Talok VIII, where Starr was believed to have been destroyed. In a possible future, however, Vril Dox and Lady Quark travel back in time to Talok VIII, where Mr. Starr had actually survived his encounter with L.E.G.I.O.N. There, he takes control of both Vril Dox and Lady Quark, and soon very nearly takes over the entire galaxy.

After Infinite Crisis, Pulsar Stargrave's original history has presumably been more or less restored. His status as a future incarnation of the original Brainiac seems to have been confirmed during the Convergence event. In the 21st Century, he has resurfaced as a sentient Solaris Class Macroprocessor created when Lyrl Lox (AKA Brainiac 3) imploded a neutron star. The L.E.G.I.O.N. defeated this creation.

After Flashpoint, Pulsar Stargrave is an apparently Coluan archivist/scribe kidnapped by Larfleeze to chronicle his deeds. He tries his best to do so despite his master's madness and the thanklessness of his task. He was last seen weighing other options.

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #224
Pulsar Stargrave knocks Superboy for a loop

Important Pulsar Stargrave Stories:

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #223
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 12
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
The debut of Pulsar, manipulating events behind the scenes
as the Legion battles the Time Trapper

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #224
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
Pulsar Stargrave faces the Legion and walks away

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #226
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
Brainiac 5 learns that Pulsar is actually the original Brainiac

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #227
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 13)
The Legion finally brings in Pulsar Stargrave

Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #239

Pulsar Stargrave commits murder and frames Ultra turns out

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #273
The final confrontation between Pulsar Stargrave and Brainiac 5

Legion of Substitute Heroes Special #1
Pulsar Stargrave attempts to take over Bismoll

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #3
The Computer Tyrants of Colu upload themselves into an android called Mr. Starr,
apparently the 20th-Century origin of Pulsar Stargrave

L.E.G.I.O.N. '89 #6-9
Mr. Starr finds his way to Talok VII where he poses as a hero

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #11
Mr. Starr as the hero/tyrant of Talok VII

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #13-15
Mr. Starr ages Lyrissa Mallor's daughter and turns her into an assassin

L.E.G.I.O.N. '90 #22
Mr. Starr is apparently destroyed after a battle with Lady Quark inside a star

L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 Annual #2
In one possible future seen by Waverider, Mr. Starr becomes the rule of the universe

R.E.B.E.L.S. (v2) #17
Warworld make use of hard light holograms of the Fat
After Infinite Crisis, Pulsar Stargrave is a weapon of mass destruction created by Brainiac 3

R.E.B.E.L.S. (v2) #18-20
Pulsar Stargrave fights the L.E.G.I.O.N.

Threshold #1-5
After Flashpoint, Pulsar Stargrave is reintroduced as Larfleeze's unwilling biographer

Larfleeze #1-12
Stargrave would stay with Larfleeze for the entirety of the Orange Lantern's series

Larfeeze #12
We are promised a Pulsar Stargrave comic (sort of)

Convergence #0
Seeming confirmation that Pulsar Stargrave is a version of Brainiac


  1. That original version sure rocks the disco look, who knew it would be back in fashion in the 30th Century?

  2. ...and then there was the time he got beaten like a punk by the Substitute Heroes at their least effectual.

    1. Yes, that was in Legion of Subs Special #1, mentioned above.
      Stone Boy and Polar Boy took him out, if I remember the story correctly.

  3. Wait!!!
    The Canon now is that Pulsar Stargrave killed Ultra Boy's girlfriend (I forget her name, the slut)???
    And Brainiac 5 did not??!!?? And Brainiac 5 was NOT INSANE, but was only FRAMED to be insane?

    -----I am so confused-----

    1. Uh....yes.
      More details in a Conway LSH story coming up for review soon.