Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Who's Who: Starfinger

by Russell & Siskoid
Two villains named Starfinger received an entry in Who's Who. More are included in this article.

Starfinger I
Real Name: Dr. Lars Hanscom
Super-Power(s): Five star tipped fingers, each of which can project different energy rays - a neutralizing ray, super-lightning, a super-thrust ray, any kind of super-radiation, a freezing ray
Planet of Origin: Earth
Relationship to Legion: Villain
Starfinger II
Real Name: Char Burrane
Super-Power(s): Ring that generates star-shaped energy blasts
Planet of Origin: Mars colony
Relationship to Legion: Villain
Legion Log
Starfinger first appeared trying to steal an ultra-rare mineral named Rejuvium, which had the power to rejuvenate old animals and make them young again. When it was brought to Earth he and his gang tried to take it from the Legion guard, but was unable to acquire it. He then threatened to destroy the Seven Wonders of the Modern World if the Rejuvium was not turned over to him. The Legion fought him on all of his attempts. Eventually they used shields made of Inertron to protect themselves from his fingers' rays. When they captured him, they realized that he was really Lightning Lad, hypnotized by Dr. Lars Hanscom to rob for him. Superboy then confronted Hanscom and captured him.

Many years later Starfinger returned to ruin Duo Damsel and Bouncing Boy's wedding. He kidnapped Duo Damsel in an attempt to learn how she could duplicate/triplicate herself. The Legion rescued her, but Starfinger was able to escape via his teleporting pet Roc.

Dr. Hanscom changed his appearance and name and began working at the medical center where the Legionnaires went to get treated. He hoped to once again hypnotize Lightning Lad and re-create his original Starfinger powers. However, all Legionnaires had been given stronger anti-mind control training, so that when Starfinger tried to control Lightning Lad, he failed. Starfinger was returned to Takron-Galtos.

Some years later, the Legion heard rumblings and rumors of a new Starfinger after Hanscom's dead body was discovered with a star burnt onto his face. Soon after, this second Starfinger's protection racket in such places as Mars and Tharr got the attention of the Legion. After they shut down Starfinger's operations there, Starfinger struck directly at their headquarters. When they in-turn tracked him down to his hide-out, he blew it up rather than face imprisonment. The Legion thought him destroyed.

In truth, Starfinger had escaped into the world inside his ring. After the coast was clear he returned to normal and rebuilt his criminal organization. When the Legion again heard rumors of his activities, Chameleon Boy went deep undercover to infiltrate his organization. Starfinger hoped to acquire a Legion flight ring and through it, find some way to kill all the Legionnaires. When Chameleon Boy was unable to acquire a flight ring, he was assigned to Starfinger's medical staff as a "lab rat." However, it turned out that the chief doctor on Starfinger's staff was actually Colossal Boy in disguise. When Starfinger realized their true identities, he blasted both of them.

Dawnstar and the Legion Espionage Squad tracked down their missing friends and were able to rescue them. At this time Starfinger admitted to being a common crook who, when faced with incarceration on Mars, tried to escape into its desert. There he found the Starfinger ring that gave him his fantastic powers. Using it, and the "genies" Starlight and Starbright who lived inside it, he had been able to build up his criminal organization.

When the Legion and Science Police once again raided his hide-out, Starfinger escaped back into his ring. This time, however, Shrinking Violet saw the escape. The ring, with Starfinger and several of his minions inside it, were placed under heavy guard on the prison planet Labyrinth.

After the so-called Five-Year Gap, Molock Hanscom (formerly the leader of the Cosmic Spy League and brother of Lars) took on the Starfinger role by arranging the assassination of Burrane. He sent killers (including the Persuader) after Char Burrane to capture his predecessor's ring, and ultimately becomes successful in acquiring the artifact. Burrane's two acolytes, Starlight and Starbright, eventually went to work for him. This third Starfinger was killed by the Khund Legionnaires.

On an Elseworlds based on Frank Baum's Oz stories, accessed as a fairy tale told to a de-aged Ayla Ranzz, two versions of Starfinger (one male and one female) played the parts of the wicked witches.

After the Reboot, Starfinger was an identity used by a brainwashed Alchemist, sent to fight the Legion by Phantom Girl's mother, Winema Wazzo, who blamed the Legionnaires for her daughter's death. He was defeated and freed of the Starfinger suit, which looked and functioned much as Starfinger I's did.

No Starfinger made an appearance in the Threeboot, however.

After Infinite Crisis, the first two Starfingers' original histories have presumably been more or less restored.

After Flashpoint, private investigators Sugar & Spike visit the Metahuman Museum of Oddities when, paradoxically, several iterations of the Legion show up in their time machines, as does the original Starfinger, all looking for the same artifact.

Starfinger II appeared in the Legion of Super-Heroes animated series episode "The Substitutes", voiced by Taylor Negron. Portrayed as arrogant and narcissistic, he has a thick, and comically near-incomprehensible, Spanish accent, and a pair of mechanical gloves that have a different power in each finger. One finger has the ability to create small furry creatures which (unknown even to him) grow into monsters that eat the Earth's ionosphere. With the Legion busy trying to save the ionosphere, the Legion of Substitute Heroes are left to fight Starfinger. In this episode, Brainiac 5 characterizes Starfinger as a "third-rate nuisance".

Defining Villainous Moment: 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #29
The new Starfinger makes his debut 
as a cruel, narcissistic crime boss

Important Starfinger Stories:

Adventure Comics (v1) #335-336
 (reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 4, 
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 2)
Starfinger attacks the Legion! 
Saturn Girl "feels" that behind his mask he is really a Legionnaire! 

 Superboy/Legion of Super-Heroes #200
(reprinted in Legion of Super-Heroes Archives Vol. 10
and Showcase Presents The Legion Vol. 5)
Starfinger returns, looking to re-create Duo Damsel's ability to duplicate

Legion of Super-Heroes (v2) #299
Hanscom secretly works at the medical center where the Legionnaires are treated

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v1) #3 (1984)
Hanscom prepares to hypnotize Lightning Lad again!

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #29
The new Starfinger makes his debut by having the original Starfinger murdered

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #39
We learn some of the mysterious background of Starfinger II in a flashback tale starring Colossal Boy 

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #40-41
Starfinger II 's protection racket comes in conflict with the Legion

Legion of Super-Heroes (v3) #47-49
Chameleon Boy & Colossal Boy infiltrate Starfinger's organization to bring it down

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual (v2) #4 (1988)
The Legion Espionage Squad succeeds in destroying Starfinger's organization

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #13
Starfinger III sends the Persuader to assassinate Starfinger II

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #37
Starfinger III fixes a ball game

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #57
Starfinger III is killed by the Khunds who are soon to become Legionnaires

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) Annual #5
In an Elseworlds, two Starfingers play the roles of wicked witches in Oz

Legion of Super-Heroes (v4) #76, Legionnaires #33-34
After the Reboot, Alchemist is brainwashed and turned into an assassin called Starfinger

Legion of Super-Heroes animated series
Starfinger, as voiced by Taylor Negron

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century #8
In the animated continuity, Starfinger almost ruins a date between Bouncing Boy and Triplicate Girl

Legends of Tomorrow #6
Starfinger I stumbles on several Legions in the Metahuman Museum of Oddities


  1. And, of course, there was the issue of LSH31C in animated continuity where Eurotrash Starfinger got his clock cleaned by Arm-Fall-Off Boy.

  2. The Reboot Starfinger was brainwashed, yes -- but not by Winema Wazzo! A few months later they revealed it was actually President Chu (in what I can only assume was a complicated attempt at a Xanatos Gambit) who framed Wazzo because the readers would believe it (or maybe because the Legion would believe it, given her outspoken criticism of the Legion in general).