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You may be looking for The Ted Knight, Narrator for much of the Superfriends TV Show.
Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Starman
Adventure Comics 61 (April 1941)
Information
Real name: Theodore ‘Ted’ Knight
Species: Human
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-2A
Relatives: Daniel Knight (father)
Henry Knight (uncle)
Sandra Knight (cousin)[1]
Occupation: Wealthy Playboy
Astronomer
Adventurer
Physicist
Base: Opal City, Maryland
New York City, New York
Affiliations: Justice Society of America
Super Squad
Mystery-Men

Justice Society Team Member

Ted Knight Adventure Comics 61 (April 1941)

Ted Knight in his first appearance. Image from Adventure Comics, #61 (April 1941).

Ted Knight (All-Star Squadron 41 (January 1985)

Ted Knight in a retconned 'first appearance' Image from All-Star Squadron, #41 (January 1985).

Doris Lee (All-Star Squadron 41 (January 1985)

Ted's girl, Doris Lee. Image from All-Star Squadron, #41 (January 1985).

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 Harvard and worked the social set, and at times attended to business errands for his father. Just before World War II, Ted Knight was a well-known Opal City socialite who was dating Doris Lee, niece of a famous government agent named Woodley Allen.


Background Information

In the parallel universe of Earth-Two (Earth-2A in the SuperFriends Universe), it is the spring of 1941 in Gotham City, wealthy socialite, Ted Knight, had taken his girl, Doris Lee, to dinner at the Casablanca Club. He tell’s Doris that he recently read the headlines in the newspaper about the latest exploits of the famed Green Lantern and he longed to join the ranks of the new breed of heroes, the mystery men arising in the pre-World War II United States. Doris found the notion ridiculous as it came from her lay-about playboy boyfriend. When armed thieves attempt to rob the Casablanca Club, Batman and Robin stormed the Casablanca Club. Knight, sneakily aided the Batman in subduing the thieves. The next day, in Washington, D.C., Knight met with his cousin, Sandra at her home. She shows him a workshop, and reveals a prototype Black Light Projector and a prototype Gravity Rod, designed by Professor Abraham Davis. The professor was a friend of her fathers’ who has since gone missing. She tells him that the Professor Davis abandoned his work on the Black Light Projector, and the Gravity Rod, in favor of completing his Ultra-Dynamo. Sandra asked Knight to finish the work on the Black Light Projector, but Knight callously said helping wasn’t for him. We find out later that Knight had slipped the Gravity Rod into his pocket and gone home to his observatory, to unlock its mysteries. Sometime ago, Knight had discovered cosmic rays emanating from the stars. He wants to try and use that energy to fuel the Gravity Rod. As soon as he turned on his machine, the rod was imbued with energy – energy that practically knocked him off his feet. He latched onto the rod, released it from its harness and it flew into the air while riding a bucking Bronco. After a bit of trial and error, Knight learned to master the Gravity Rod. The next morning, Sandra phoned Knight, to speak of a kidnapping attempt on her father, Senator Knight. Sandra drove off the would-be abductors, with a tightly rolled up newspaper. And she knew how to use it. She tells him that after she incapacitated the would be kidnappers, she told them that she was the Phantom Lady and that she resolved then and there that would be a Phantom Lady. She then angrily hung up on him, mainly because he had walked out on him when she asked for help with the prototypes. Sandra’s resolve only served to strengthen his own. He decides to fashion an outfit and a name and set out as a shadowy mystery man. In the weeks that followed, he read about the famed Justice Society and how they broke up an Axis Spy ring here in the States.[2] He vowed one day to become a member of that Society. He even wrote to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, telling then that he was a new mystery man and that they should contact him, if the need should arise. That opportunity would soon come. One evening, while Knight was out on the town with Lee, he got his call – his Gravity Rod began vibrate![3]

A series of electrical crises was the reason the Federal Bureau of Investigation to contact the Starman. At that moment, a blackout occurred at the Flamingo Club in Gotham City while he was there with Doris Lee. Knowing this must be connected to the call, he leapt into action, angering his date. His letter to the F.B.I. had not only provided the means to contact him, but also a secret meeting place. There he met with agent Woodley Allen, who explained that a group calling themselves the Brotherhood Of The Electron were draining electricity from the city. The Starman tracked the Brotherhood to a mountain stronghold, where he stormed their secret lair. They of course immediately attacked. Starman used his Gravity Rod as a weapon, shooting blasts of gravity to incapacitate his attackers. After a brief battle, Starman triumphed. He soon learned that Professor Davis was there, having been kidnapped along with his Ultra-Dynamo gadget – the source of the city’s power loss!! As he is freeing the professor, he meets Doctor Doog, the master-mind behind the terrible scheme. The Doctor is no match for Starman and flees, only to fall into one of his own 'deathtraps'. He destroys the Ultra-Dynamo and takes the professor to safety. Thus, a new hero was born.[4]

After his first case, Starman was readily accepted by the authorities and dealt with such threats as the Light[5] and Cuthbert Cain.[6] 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. He 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[7] but returned the next year to battle Starman again.[8]

In late 1941, after a mission had been completed, 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,[9] Starman then joined the JSA in the pursuit of Professor Elba, a scientist who had invented a serum which drove men insane.[10] After two years with the Justice Society, Starman ended his regular membership in late 1944.[11]

Starman remained active in his hometown of Opal until the JSA broke up in the wake of HUAC hearings. In light of the general negative public sentiment for it's costumed protectors, Starman also retired. Knight assumed the role of Starman periodically, but he tended to act locally in Opal City, where he had broad support among the city's law enforcement officials.

In the 1960's, Starman rejoined the JSA and encountered old enemies like the Mist,[12] notably with partner Black Canary.

In the mid-1970's, Knight broke his leg under undisclosed circumstances and allowed the Star-Spangled Kid, who had recently returned to the 20th century, to use the Cosmic Rod while Knight recovered.[13] 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.

By the late-1970's, Knight is content to spend his days in the world’s only private observatory. As an astronomer, he watches the star he knows so well, contemplating their remaining mysteries.[14]


Powers and Abilities

Abilities

  • Genius Level Intellect: Ted possesses a brilliant intellect, mastery of several sciences, and a gift for invention. In addition to the gravity and cosmic rods, Ted created the cosmic staff used by his son Jack and the Cosmic Converter Belt worn by his JSA teammate the Star-Spangled Kid.
    • Astronomy: Ted Knight's contributions to science (especially physics and astrophysics) are not fully recognized in his lifetime. However, in his final years he meets the Legion of Super-Heroes' 30th century hero Star Boy,[15] who tells Knight that his contributions were ultimately acknowledged hundreds of years after his death. His theories and writings were so revolutionary that, once fully understood, he is considered a peer of Isaac Newton and Galileo.
  • Equestrianism: Ted has bred and raced horses.[16]


Weakness

Gravity Rod, Adventure Comics 61 (April 1941)

The Gravity Rod. Image from Adventure Comics, #61 (April 1941).

Gravity Rod 2, Adventure Comics 61 (April 1941)

The Gravity Rod. Image from Adventure Comics, #61 (April 1941).

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.


Equipment

  • Gravity Rod: The Gravity Rod is a small hand held device that can harness the power of the stars and convert it into energy. In so doing, it enables the wielder to defy the laws of gravity. It can also discharge a blast of concentrated solar radiation. The Gravity Rod was first designed in the 1940s by scientist Sandra Knight, and later fine-tuned by her cousin, Ted Knight. Ted took the weapon as his own, using it as the costumed, mystery man Starman. It became his weapon of choice for many years.
  • Cosmic Rod: The 'Cosmic Rod' (sometimes called the 'Cosmic Staff'), is a powerful weapon/device that absorbed stellar energy and used it to create a wide range of abilities which its wielders used to fight crime. This device was invented by Ted Knight, and based on the earlier Gravity Rod. The Cosmic Rod offered the wielder powers including rapid flight, levitation of objects, manipulation of energy, creation of defensive force fields, and offensive energy blasts of incredible power. Both powers could be used at once, to protect the wielder from atmospheric damage in high velocity flight. Another power of the rod was that it was capable of receiving mental commands from a distance. This became possible when the rod attuned itself to the user over time.


Justice Society Team Members

Members of the Justice Society of America

Superman (Kal-L)Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) • Power Girl (Kara Zor-L) • Hawkman (Carter Hall) • Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott) • Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) • Wildcat (Theodore 'Ted' Grant) • Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton)
Robin (Richard Grayson) • Hourman (Rex Tyler) • Batman (Bruce Wayne) • Huntress (Helena Wayne)
Starman (Astronomer Ted Knight) • Johnny Thunder and his ThunderboltAtom (Al Pratt)
Doctor Mid-Nite (Dr. Charles McNider) • Spectre (Jim Corrigan) • Sandman (Wesley Dodds)



Appearances

SuperFriends Comic Book:


Notes

  • Staman’s first appearance was in Adventure Comics, #61 (April 1941).
  • He was created by Jack Burnley and Gardner Fox


External Links


References

  1. Ted Knight being the cousin of Sandra Knight (aka Phantom Lady) is an early 80's retcon before the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
  2. NEED CITATION
  3. As revealed in All-Star Squadron, #41 (January 1985).
  4. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #61 (April 1941) and All-Star Squadron, #41 (January 1985).
  5. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #62 (May 1941); #65 (August 1941) and #71 (February 1942).
  6. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #66 (September 1941).
  7. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #67 (October 1941).
  8. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #77 (August 1942).
  9. As revealed in All-Star Squadron Annual, #3 (1984).
  10. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #8 (December 1941-January 1942).
  11. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #23 (winter 1944).
  12. As revealed in Brave and the Bold, #61 (August-September 1965).
  13. As revealed in All-Star Comics, #58 (January/February 1976).
  14. As revealed in All-Star Comics, Vol. 13 #69 (November 1977).
  15. As revealed in the Post-crisis story, Infinite Crisis, #6 (May 2006).
  16. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #73 (April 1942).
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