Starman (Will Payton) (DC Comics) early costume


(Will Payton)

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


There’s a dozen plus of DC Comics characters who have gone by “Starman”.

*This* one appeared in 1988, and was part of the wave of new or revitalised characters that came shortly after Crisis on Infinite Earths. It was a nice but classic super-hero story.

This profile is a mostly emergent history one, primarily based on the first 25 issues of the 1988 Starman run.


  • Real Name: William David Payton.
  • Other Aliases: Bill Beard, “Mr. Beard”.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Raymond Deming (father, deceased), Marie Payton (mother), Jayne (sister).
  • Base Of Operations: Phoenix, Arizona / Mobile throughout the American Southwest.
  • Group Affiliation: None.
  • Height: 6’1” Weight: 300 lbs Age: Mid-20’s.
  • Eyes: Blank Hair: Brown


Powers & Abilities

Starman is a living fusion reactor.

He is super-dense and therefore superhumanly heavy and resistant to damage. He can endure superhuman blows and gunfire, though the latter still can cause him pain.

He can fly at supersonic speeds.

Starman generate intense heat and light as well as general “solar radiation”. He proved able to recharge Superman’s solar “battery”.

The Power of a Star in Human Form

Starman initially relies on jets of fire as his main attack power (and has some difficulty controlling it, as noted in the game stats). But as he goes on, he actually seems to develop a more focussed energy projection power. It was never revealed precisely what that energy was.

However, the Power Elite, who supposedly had all of Starman’s powers, displayed various energy projection powers. These included superheated plasma bolts, heat, gravitic pulses, and light energy focussed as a laser beam.

It is likely that Starman could have developed all these abilities over time. But at this point in his all too short career, his energy projection power should be considered “stellar energy”.

During a scientific test, Starman used his powers to project intense heat only in an attempt to melt an experimental heat shield material. He did this on only one occasion, so in DC Heroes terms it was likely he was attempting a Trick Power use. It would be possible for Staman to use Trick Powers to simulate the other forms of Energy Projection.

If, for example, a player wishes to use Laser Beam specifically, he should do so as a Trick Power or actually purchase the Power. Starman should be able to Trick Power virtually any form of EM energy that can be rationalized as “stellar energy”.



While hiking in the Rockies, Will Payton was struck by a bolt of energy from space. He thus was given the power of a human-shaped star, powered by an internal fusion reaction.

Starman operated primarily in the American Southwest. Still, he managed to encounter with many of DC’s heavy hitters, including Green Lantern, Superman, Batman, Firestorm, the Atom, and Power Girl.

Mostly, though, he kept to his own area and fought his own villains.

Starman (Will Payton) (DC Comics) with the yellow and violet costume, flying on a white background

Starman eventually tracked down the source of his power, a highly conservative think-tank of scientists. Their goal was to create powered individuals to take the place of the “liberal” Justice-Leaguers and others who did not have their political views.

Their second-string group, the Power Elite, attempted to kill Starman and recover his power for themselves. Starman defeated them on several occasions, The last time wiping out their base and depriving them of their support network.

Later on

Dr. Melrose, head of the Power Elite, hired the assassin Deadline to go after Starman. This culminated in a climactic battle where Deadline tore open Starman’s nearly impervious body and released the fusion energy within. That was pretty much the end of issue #25.

Starman seemingly died fighting the supervillain Eclipso. The 1990s Starman series revealed that his fate was different from previously believed. The source of Will’s powers was revealed to be the essence of the previous Starman, Prince Gavyn of Throneworld, infusing Will’s body with cosmic energy.

The two are now fused together, with Gavyn operating in Will’s body and with his memories. It is unclear if the real Will even survived past his own origin.

However, it is possible that, given Gavyn’s enormous cosmic powers, Will Payton could become a separate individual someday.


Will Payton sports longish brown hair and light blue eyes that seem to change shades dependent on his mood.

He is handsome in a slightly rugged way, and has the deep tan of an experienced and dedicated outdoors person. He has occasionally sported a beard and moustache.

When being “outdoorsy” he tends to look and dress like the Marlboro Man.

As Starman, Will looks taller and heavier than his “normal” persona. He also has a squarer chin and broader cheekbones, darker brown hair and glowing amber eyes with no pupils. His skin has a golden tone, and he has heavier, more defined musculature.

The semi-metamorphic  Will actually *chooses* to look as he does, and it’s likely that his Starman persona is a reflection of what Will thinks a superhero should look like.

His original costume was a hideous purple and yellow affair (that oddly enough, worked anyway) with a large white star over the chest. His second outfit, provided by Kitty Faulkner and STAR Labs Phoenix, was black and red with the same white star. The purple and yellow was better.


Will Payton is dedicated and idealistic. However, he is also prone to be plagued with self-doubt and insecurities. He’s a complete everyman, with family and job problems in addition to his superheroic ones.

He worries over the fact he may no longer be anything even vaguely resembling human, but he’s also still human enough to kick back and have a brew with a friend. He’s compassionate, and works hard to bring his vision of justice to his small corner of the world.


(His first opponent empties an Uzi into his face)
“OW. That HURT !”

(Having just helped Green Lantern and Atom repair the Sydney Opera House)
Starman: “See you later, Lantern !… Omigosh… I just called him ‘Lantern’. Was that okay ?”
Atom: “Better than calling him ‘Green’.”

“Just tell my folks I’m Staman, you said. They’ll UNDERSTAND, you said. Well, my mother just found out and she kicked me out of the house !!”

(About to destroy Eclipso) “I don’t know if you can hear me, Eclipso, but there is something I know, YOU WILL NEVER FORGET ME !”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


An 840 Point Character

Dex: 06 Str: 10 Bod: 08 Motivation: Responsibility of Good
Int: 05 Wil: 07 Min: 05 Occupation: Freelance Editor
Inf: 05 Aur: 05 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 005
Init: 016 HP: 045

Chameleon: 09, Density Increase: 01, Flight: 10, Energy Blast: 09, Flame Project: 09, Flash: 09, Invulnerability*: 08, Bomb: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Density Increase: Power Always On (-1), Already figured Into Stats (+1).
  • Energy Blast, Flame Project, and Flash are Elementally Linked to each other.
  • Flame Project: When he chooses, Starman can use Flame Project as Area Effect (+1). In early issues, FP was mainly AE, unless he really concentrated on the effect. Basically, not only would he use his Combat Action to attack, but also an Automatic action to simulate Concentration.
  • Bomb: Uncontrollable (-1), Only Activates when Starman’s Outer skin is breached, releasing the Fusion energy within. Note that creating such a breach is a Major Feat. the villain Deadline did so by Phasing a special blade deep into his chest and letting go. He had to have scored in excess of 8 RAPs according to the Results Chart, so probably at least BODY RAPs must be scored in a penetrating type attack (At the GM’s discretion) in order to create such a breach. Starman then leaks some form of energy until the breach heals. This energy may or may not be Damaging to others. It was not demonstrated to be, but GMs may decide otherwise.

Artist (Writer): 04, Charisma (Persuasion): 04

Life Support: No Need to Breathe, No Vital Areas, Stabilization, Attractive, Area Knowledge (American Southwest), Local Hero (American Southwest).

Kitty Faulkner/Rampage (High), Power Girl (High), Glenn Wharton the Arizona State Policeman, (High) Superman (Low), Batman (Low).

Altered Anatomy, Attack Vulnerability (Blunt Force Attacks, -1 CS), Dependents (Marie and Jayne Payton), Secret Identity, Enemies: Dr. Polaris, Deadline, The Power Elite/Dr. Melrose.


  • Original Costume [BODY 08]. Starman’s original, purple and yellow costume was originally constructed of ordinary materials by his sister Jayne. It became more-or-less indestructible after Firestorm made repairs to it during the Invasion. The original was destroyed in the explosion resulting from Deadline breaching his skin described above.
  • STAR Labs Costume [BODy 06, Miniaturization: 06]. After his original costume was destroyed in the fight with Deadline, Kitty Faulkner provided him a new one designed by STAR Labs. Though not nearly as tough as his old one, it had the benefit of being able to be folded into a packet the size of a standard envelope and fit into a pocket. It was ugly, though.

By Pufnstuff.

Helper(s): Dr. Peter S. Piispanen, Frank Murdock, capita_senyera, Roger, Eric Langendorff, Shadowknight’s DCU Site. v1 for this entry is considered to be the one in DCH 2nd ed Roster Book.

Source of Character: DC Comics (Primarily Starman 1-25).

Writeup completed on the 1st of September, 2014.