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Starhawk of the Guardians of the Galaxy (Marvel Comics)

Starhawk

(Stakar Vaughn)


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Starhawk is one of the original Guardians of the Galaxy, the ones who appeared in Marvel Comics in 1975. We occasionally call them the “Guardians of the Galaxy of the XXXIst century” to help distinguish them from the much more famous version of the 2000s, who chiefly operate in the XXIst century.

He’s the most convoluted, cosmic and confusing of the lot, but if we focus I’m sure we can all manage. But a prerequisite to do so is that you read the Guardians of the Galaxy (31st century) team profile first.


Background

  • Real Name: Stakar Vaughn.
  • Other Aliases: The One Who Knows.
  • Marital Status: Divorced.
  • Known Relatives: Wendell Elvis Vaughn (Quasar, father, deceased), Kismet (Her, Mother), Aleta (adoptive sister and ex-wife), Tara, Sita and John (children, deceased), Gilbert Vaughn (Grandfather, deceased), Lisa Vaughn (Grandmother, deceased), Gail Vaughn (Aunt, deceased), Ogord (adoptive father, deceased), Salaan (adoptive mother).
  • Group Affiliation: Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Base Of Operations: Mobile.
  • Height: 6’4” Weight: 450 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown (White as Starhawk). Hair: Brown


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Powers & Abilities

Starhawk has the ability to generate luminous energy for various purposes. He can radiate blinding lights or project beams at different frequencies, to produce intense heat, or coherent beams of light which strike targets with concussive force. He may also generate a light which heals others.

Surrounding himself with intermingled photons and anti-gravitons, Starhawk can fly at great speeds, even exceeding the speed of light (although he never does so within a planetary atmosphere).

He can fly at even greater speeds with his solar sails, a set of retractable glider wings which are part of his suit. Harnessing light waves and photonic particles from solar winds to augment his powers, they make his flights easier and faster.

Other powers

He has superhuman levels of strength and durability, which he can raise even further by supercharging his body with light energy, putting him on par with some of the strongest known mortals. He can survive unaided in a vacuum, and has no need for any form of sustenance.

He can invisible or immaterial, fly into a star, absorb energy attacks directed at him, and even travel through time under his own power. He also has extremely accurate vision, and is very long-lived.

Starhawk has an extrasensory sensitivity to energy patters and fluctuations, and can track distinctive or exotic energies over vast distances.


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Cyclical self-reincarnation

Starhawk was stuck in a cycle of lifetimes for most of his career. He would live through his life as Starhawk, until his mind was re-merged with his infant body at the time of his birth. His memories would be reawakened once he became Starhawk in this cycle.

This allowed him a knowledge of events that would happen in his life, although there were slight deviations each time he lived through it.

This was ended when his consciousness was returned to his infant self.


History

(See the Guardians of the Galaxy (31st century) team profile for a complete history of the team.)

Groundhog Life

The being known as Starhawk has lived his life an unknown number of times. The end of each cycle sees his consciousness sent back to his infant form, to relive his life again. The knowledge of his previous lives guides him through each life, despite minor differences occurring with each cycle.

Starhawk flying and blasting, over a white background

When Earth-691 parallel reality  was invaded by the Martians, the superhero Quasar defended the planet until he learned his partner, Kismet, was pregnant. Having lost the rest of his family, Quasar took Kismet away from Earth to the safety of the planet Vesper.

He left her there, returning to Earth, but never making it back. Stakar was born on Vesper.

Savage mutants of Arcturus IV

However, the baby was kidnapped immediately after his birth by Era (who was impersonating his mother, Eon) and deposited on the planet Arcturus IV.

There, the baby was found by mutants who took it in. Stakar would come to believe they were his parents, but later learned the truth that they only took him in to fatten him up as a future meal. Stakar was seized by the more human-looking Reavers, who were surprised to find a human-looking baby among the mutants.

He was adopted by Ogord, and grew up with his adoptive sister, Aleta.


Continuity note

There’s a slight problem with his history. His consciousness is supposedly downloaded, by Aleta, into his infant self during a visit to the 20th Century. But he’s later “revealed” to be the child of Quasar and Kismet, whose birth must have occurred after this period.

Since this occurred in the Earth-616  reality after it diverges from the Guardians reality, I’m assuming that Aleta used the Starhawk time travel powers to move forward in time, and back into their reality, to perform the action.

Divinity of predation

Stakar grew up isolated due to his pacifistic nature within a militaristic society. His academic interest in science and archaeology further marked him out as different from the aggressive and physical Arcturans.

His unremembered memories of past lives directed his path to explore the ruins of the Forbidden City, where Aleta insisted on accompanying him to protect him. There, they discovered the giant statue of the Hawk God.

The Hawk God was a powerful cosmic being, embodying the predatory nature of existence. When his destructive actions drew the concern of the other cosmic beings, Eternity brought charges against the Hawk God for the near-extinction of the Watchers. Brought before the Living Tribual in a Supreme Cosmic Council, he was prosecuted by the last remaining Watcher, Ulig, and defended by Galactus.

Considered a likely instigator of the prophesised War of Cosmic Beings, he was declared dangerous. The Hawk God was sent back in time, ending up imprisoned in a 30‘ robotic likeness of his true form, created by his worshippers on Arcturus.

Servants of the Hawk God

After a week of exploring, Stakar reassembled an ancient brainwave helmet. When Aleta threw away in a rage, it activated and converted her body into energy, which merged with and animated the statue. The statue, which Aleta couldn’t control, rampaged. It was soon attacked by Reavers, to no avail, until Stakar used the helmet to join his consciousness with Aleta’s.

Starhawk and Aleta, immaterial to each other

The pair were empowered and transformed. They were merged into a dual entity, so only one of them could exist at a time, while the other was in a limbo. This transformation also opened Stakar up to the memories of the previous cycles of his life.

When they refused to help Ogord in the Reavers’ conquests, he vowed revenge as they left the planet.

Starhawk travelled space for centuries, aiding many worlds. Since Stakar had control of the change, Aleta spent most of the time in Limbo, where she grew more passive, and eventually fell in love with Stakar. The Hawk God allowed the two to separate for a time, during which they had three children, Tara, Sita and John.

The pair were soon remerged, however, and when the children were old enough, Starhawk would leave them on their secure asteroid home.

Guardians of the Galaxy

When the Badoon invaded the Earth and its colonies in the 31st Century, Starhawk worked behind the scenes to ensure the survival of the beings who became the original Guardians of the Galaxy

When the Guardians returned from a mission to the past accompanied by the Defenders, Starhawk revealed himself to them. He then helped the two teams finally rout the Badoon Empire. The Defenders returned home, and Starhawk joined the Guardians.

Starhawk flying and shooting beams of energy

When Aleta’s father sought revenge on the pair, he kidnapped his grandchildren and had them turned into psychic vampires. The children critically weakened Stakar, but expended too much energy in doing so. They died of accelerated old age, Starhawk too weak to save them. Aleta blamed him for their deaths, beginning the breakdown of their relationship.

While visiting the 20th Century, Starhawk enlisted the Thing to help investigate “an immense disruption in the fabric of space”. They discovered this disruption to be Her. Her would later call herself Kismet, although neither knew their relationship at this point.

They travelled with Her, Alicia Masters, the High Evolutionary and Moondragon to Counter-Earth. There, Her tried to resurrect Adam Warlock. Counter-Earth, however, was being towed away by a race known as the Beyonders. Her failed in the attempt, and left for the stars. The others returned to Earth, and Starhawk to his own time.

Separation Anxieties

During the Guardians’ battle with the Stark, a blast of energy forced Aleta and Stakar apart. That occured earlier than Stakar had expected. The early separation saw Starhawk weaken progressively, to the point where their meeting with the Spirit of Vengeance left him badly wounded.

Unable to survive much longer alone, Starhawk forcibly reabsorbed Aleta. He then sped off to heal in private, with both the Guardians and Protégé searching for him.

The remerging process didn’t go as planned, as Aleta fought against his control. They eventually reach an understanding, and Aleta was able to view events through his eyes, even as Starhawk adopted a darker look.

Aleta’s on top

Starhawk returned to confront the Guardians on Earth, where they were confronting Rancor’s mutants. Briefly coming under Mindscan’s sway, Starhawk battled the Guardians. That lasted until Aleta spoke through him, convincing the Guardians to let him work with them.

Returning to the 20th Century of Earth-616 to implement Charlie-27’s plan to stop the Badoon ever invading Earth, Starhawk took off from the others when Aleta began to get out of control.

Taking shelter on an asteroid, they battled for control, with Aleta gaining supremacy. She travelled forward in time, returning Stakar’s essence to his infant form, continuing the cycle of his existence, and rejoined the team as the new Starhawk.

Second Life

Stakar somehow survived this event, eventually returning to the Guardians’ future. Travelling to Centauri IV, which had been altered by the Guardians actions in the past, he met with Yondu. Stakar knew that Aleta would soon lead the Guardians to seek the Centauri’s help, and revealed to him how the Guardians were responsible for the damage to his planet.

The Guardians arrived as he’d predicted, and Aleta instantly attacked him. The battle continued until the Hawk God intervened, angered at their continuing conflict. He merged their bodies at the hand, forcing them to work together. They travelled to the past, where they fixed the alterations to the time-stream.

Starhawk in energy form stands over Martinex

Returning to their own time, they discovered the Guardians missing. Searching for them, they entered the scar of Eternity, and found themselves in a trial. It was held by the cosmic beings, Eternity, the Living Tribunal, the Hawk God, and the Celestial, Scathan the Approver, to judge the actions of the Beyonder and Protégé.

Angered at their embarrassing him in front of his peers, the Hawk God removed their powers, holding them in stasis. The Guardians soon appeared, having been battling Mephisto and Malevolence in the Beyonder’s realm.

Feeling merciful, the Hawk God separated them, offering to allow one to remain as Starhawk. Aleta declined. After making their peace, they went their separate ways. His full power restored, the Hawk God also admitted to Starhawk that the mutants he’d always believed his parents weren’t. He refused to say more, so Starhawk decided to seek the answers himself.

Extreme Genealogy, part 1

Seeking help from the Keeper, he found him badly injured, having been attacked by Galactus. He managed to heal him, although not enough to recover consciousness. Considering using the Quantum Bands to help his search for knowledge, he was attacked by Eon.

Surviving Eon’s attack on his sense of self, Starhawk faced him. He was judged worthy of the Bands, which Eon told him was fitting since his father, Quasar, had previously used them. Obsessed with finding out all he could, Starhawk tried to keep the Quantum Bands, but the Keeper took them off him.

Now knowing who his father was, Starhawk travelled to his resting place, near the Abrogate. The Abrogate turned out to be a being, which attacked and absorbed Starhawk. He found himself in The White Room, where the spirits of former Protectors of the Universe, including his father, reside.

Extreme Genealogy, part 2

Learning his mother had given birth to him on the planet Vesper, Starhawk travelled there to learn of her. He found her still there, having joined the convent where he was born. He took her to his father’s grave, where they were confronted by Eon, who revealed himself to actually be Eon’s son, Era.

Era had murdered Eon and taken her place prior to Quasar’s death, manipulating events ever since. This included arranging Quasar’s death, and convincing the Silver Surfer to leave Earth during the Martian invasion.

When they gained the upper hand in combat, Era fled. The Hawk God soon appears to them, providing hints to help them find Era. The God admitted he’d suspected Era’s actions, many of which had been blamed on him, of being a danger to the universe. He had incited Stakar’s genealogical research in hopes he would discover the truth

With the Hawk God’s blessing, Starhawk and Kismet set off on their hunt for revenge against Era.


Personality

Aloof and distant, Starhawk doesn’t interact much with the other Guardians. He often comes and goes without explanation, resulting in their increasing suspicion and mistrust of him. Part of this seems to be the nature of the powers, as Aleta seemed colder and more unfeeling when she fully possessed them.

His separations from Aleta left him incomplete, and dying. During these periods his survival instincts took control of him. Thus, he would do whatever he needed to remerge with her, further alienating his team mates, and making him act brutal and heartless.

During this period (his Dark Starhawk phase) he seemed to more heavily show the influence of the Hawk God, being destructive and temperamental.

Aleta

While they did grow to love one another during the beginning of their time as Starhawk, the death of their children turned Aleta away from Stakar. However, he never lost his feeling for her. She became gradually colder and more hostile towards him, until he forcibly remerged her, at which point the hostility became more open. Only a roughly enforced truce allowed them to work together.

Their final parting was on more amicable terms. Aleta seemed to have come to terms with Stakar not being to blame for their children’s deaths.

After this point, Stakar seems to return to his earlier calmer self. However his relations with the Hawk God are more strained when he learns he’s been lied to. He becomes devoted to finding out about his parents, finding his mother, and then gaining revenge on Era.


Quotes

“I shall be her healer — I who am the light ! For the light mends all wounds of the spirit and of the flesh and I am the giver of light.”

“I am one who knows.”

(Dark Starhawk) “You are addressing Starhawk now, Major. And, as always, your observations are dismissible at best !”

“Moons of Arcturus !”


DC Universe History

Stakar and Aleta are the reincarnations of Prince Khufu and Shiera, their relationship was poisoned by the heavy influence of the Hawk God. Arcturus was a Thanagarian colony, where they dumped unwanted undersiders, the mutants who were of no further use even as slaves.

A violently expansionist faction, the Reavers used it as a base when their actions saw them expelled from Thanagar. The statue of the Hawk God actually preceded the Thanagarian settling of the planet, and they took its resemblance to their similar statues to imply that the planet had previously belonged to them.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Starhawk

Dex: 06 Str: 08 Bod: 08 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 06 Wil: 08 Min: 07 Occupation: Guardian of the Galaxy
Inf: 06 Aur: 06 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 018 HP: 100

Powers:
Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent: 12, Awareness: 10, Damage Transference: 12, Density Increase: 01, Dispersal: 08, Energy Absorption: 12, Energy Blast: 12, Flame Immunity: 12, Flash: 08, Flight: 30, Invisibility: 08, Laser Beam: 12, Power Reserve (Flight): 05, Power Reserve (Str, Bod): 16, Systemic Antidote: 10, Telescopic Vision: 20, Time Travel: 34

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Analytic Smell/Tracking Scent allows him to track energies, not individuals (-0).
  • Damage Transference has the User Does Not Suffer any Risk of Injury Bonus (+3).
  • Density Increase is Always On and is already factored in (-1).
  • Flight is Winged when using Power Reserve (-0).
  • Power Reserve (Str, Bod) is Minor Marginal (-1).
  • Time Travel is Serious Marginal (-2).

Skills:
Charisma (Persuasion): 08, Thief (Stealth): 05

Bonuses and Limitations:
Charisma (Persuasion) cannot be used against long-time acquaintances (-1), and is not affected by his Socially Inept Drawback (+1).

Advantages:
Life Support (Full), Slowed Aging.

Connections:
Guardians of the Galaxy (Low), Avengers (Low), Hawk God (Low), Kismet (High).

Drawbacks:
Socially Inept.


Previous Stats

For periods Stakar shared bodies with Aleta, which usually worked as an Alter Ego, with their individual personalities both able to view the world through the active partner’s senses and communicate with each other, but with the active members personality retaining control over the body. This did change temporarily when Aleta achieved dominance.

During one period (as Dark Starhawk), he had access to Aleta’s solid light constructs, but as dark light constructs (Force Manipulation: 12), and Aleta could see through his eyes and talk through him while he was in control.

Before he was broken out of the cycle of rebirth, Starhawk had memories of the previous cycles he had experienced, and so knew what would happen to him (with some variations each time), giving him Precognition at 15 APs.

By Gareth Lewis.

Source of Character: Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel Comics.

Helper(s): Chris Cottingham, Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, Sébastien Andrivet, All-New Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A-Z Update.

Writeup completed on the 27th of August, 2012.

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