#2011: Starman



Starman created the Cosmic Rod which collects stellar energy and allows him to fly and manipulate gravity on Earth and beyond.”

So, yeah, you know the guy mentioned in that bio?  It’s not the guy shown here.  The bio is very definitely talking about original Earth-bound Starman Ted Knight (not to be confused with the actor), who operated as a member of the JSA in the ’40s.  This here would be Starman #4, Prince Gavyn of the planet Kranaltine.  He was introduced in the ’80s, just before Crisis and is yet another only vaguely related character in the Starman mythos.  Also, for reasons that never quite made sense, he was the version of the character chosen to appear on Justice League Unlimited.  Hey, I’m certainly not complaining.  Though he never spoke once on the show, he somehow managed to get a whopping two figures in the toy line, the second of which I’m looking at today.


This version of Starman was released at the tail end of the Justice League Unlimited line, after the line had left retail and moved to Matty Collector.  He was sold in a three-pack with Animal Man and Adam Strange.  His placement in this particular set is rather baffling, since I don’t believe he’s ever had much interaction with either of those characters, and he’d already gotten a figure, meaning he was hardly at the top of anyone’s list at the end of the line when character slots were all the more precious.  Further more, he’s not even based on his show appearance, but is instead based on the character’s second, all-blue get-up from the comics.  An odd choice to say the least.  The figure stands 4 1/2 inches tall and he has 5 points of articulation.  He’s the exact same sculpt as his previous figure, which is fairly sensible, since the costumes where really just palette swaps, and he *is* the same guy.  One small tweak, though, was that by this point in the line, the molding error on the base body’s leg had been repaired, meaning that he no longer leans to one side.  His head sculpt also remains one of my favorite in the line, and looks just as nice here as it did the first time around.  His paintwork is, of course, the main breaking point.  Rather than the red of the original figure, this one’s molded in blue, and drops the yellow and black detailing on the legs, resulting in an even more streamlined appearance.  It’s sufficiently distinct from the prior figure, and is still nice and striking.


As I noted when I reviewed Animal Man, by the time of this set’s release, I’d pretty much abandoned collecting JLU, so I didn’t get it new.  I picked him up alongside Animal Man two summers ago when I made a stop at Factory Antique Mall while on a road trip.  He’s not much different from the first figure, but I loved that one, and I quite like this one too.  Now I guess I need to track down an Adam Strange to finish out the set…


#0709: Starman




Growing up, I was much more a DC fan than a Marvel fan*. This was due in no small part to my primary exposure to the DC Universe being at the hands of the various animated series, courtesy of Bruce Timm and company. For many (though not necessarily for me), the high point of the DCAU was Justice League Unlimited, which offered tales staring characters from every corner of the DC Universe, barring the more mature Vertigo stuff. Tons of characters appeared on the show in its two seasons, with some taking on actual roles in the story, but most ending up as little more than scenery. Today’s focus, Starman, was part of that second group. Also, he has absolutely nothing to do with the Jeff Bridges film, just to be clear.


StarmanJLU2Starman was actually one of the earliest figures in Mattel’s JLU line, being part of the first assortment of figures. He was available two ways: on his own with a cosmic staff accessory or packed with Superman and Amazo, in a set based around the episode “The Return.” My figure comes from the set with Amazo and Superman. Starman doesn’t figure into the plot of “The Return” in any prominent way, but he is one of the many characters who gets a brief focus during the initial fight with Amazo. There have been many versions of Starman over the years, and this one’s based on the Prince Gavin version of the character, who starred in Adventure Comics during the 70s. The figure stands roughly 4 ½ inches tall and has 5 points of articulation. Starting with the first series of JLU, Mattel implemented one of their signature buck systems, in order to make producing the multitudes of characters appearing on screen just a little bit easier. Starman is built on the medium-sized body, which was a retooled version of the Justice League line’s Green Lantern body. It’s a good translation of the body style from the show, and it’s a good fit for Starman. One small drawback of this particular body is that one of the legs is shorter than the other, meaning he stands with a slight tilt. It’s a minor issue, but it’s one that affected every figure that used this body. Starman gets his own unique head sculpt, which is probably one of my favorites from the line. It replicates his wacky hair pretty well and features a lot of really sharp line work on the facial features. It’s a great translation of the animation model for the character. The paint takes up the bulk of the work in conveying his costume, which it does pretty nicely. The colors are nice and bold, and the line work is all pretty clean. The multi-pack version of Starman didn’t have accessories, unless you want to count Superman and Amazo.


The three-pack that contained Starman was my second item from the JLU line. The line was still pretty hard to find, so I ended up trading the Doombot from Marvel Legends of all things to get it. Perhaps not the greatest trade in the long run, but I already had a Doombot, so I didn’t mind. Starman remains one of my favorite figures from the line. I’ve always liked Gavin’s design, and it’s not like he’s got an excess of figures. This one captures the design quite nicely, which is awesome!

*Okay, that’s not entirely true. I was a pretty big Marvel fan during the back half of the 90s. It was the early 00s that turned me away from the company, before the Marvel Studios movies brought me back.