Saturday, December 26, 2009

Who Is... Starhawk?

Back in the 60's Marvel used Marvel Super-Heroes (formerly Fantasy Masterpieces) as a Showcase-style tryout book. New characters like Phantom Eagle and The Guardians of the Galaxy debuted in those pages, and others like Ka-Zar and Medusa were given solo stories to test the waters. But it all ended abruptly with a new Doc Doom story in issue #20, but not before a one page ad heralded the coming of a new hero by the name of "Starhawk". This was a new sci-fi hero by Roy Thomas and Dan Adkins. The ad showed promise but the title turned to reprints of The Avengers and The X-Men and Starhawk alas never appeared.

Until several years later when the cover art graced the issue #3 of Marvelmania Magazine.

Later the pages already produced by Thomas and Adkins were published in Marvelmania Magazine #6 under an unrelated Neal Adams cover.

The story is incomplete, literally a cliffhanger, but I for one was exceedingly happy after nearly forty years to at long last get a closer look at the hero who ignited my imagination so long before. Here are those pages.

Here are some other Starhawk images from The Comic Buyer's Guide where some Adkins art was adapted and a new image of Starhawk was produced by a fan artist named Bob Conway.

These are fun images.

The "Mandroid" name was dusted off and used again in an issue of Captain Marvel, ironically enough an issue written by Roy Thomas and inked by Dan Adkins.

And believe it or not, the "Mandroid" name gets used yet again by Roy in an issue of The Avengers during the famous Kree-Skrull War. This time the Mandroids are SHIELD agents in armor. I've lost track of such things, but it's possible these "Mandroids" are still extant in the Marvel Universe.

The name "Starhawk" of course was revived and given to a totally new character who hooked up with The Guardians of the Galaxy (who as noted debuted in Marvel Super-Heroes) and is still around as far as I know.

So alas the original Starhawk is lost to ages, but some remember.

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  1. This is great! I'm Jeff Christiansen, the head writer of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, and I also run the Unofficial Appendix to the OhotMU, where we've got a profile on this Starhawk...but none of us knew about this. Would you be OK if I scan copy/download your images and post a few select panels to my profile?
    I'll credit you, of course, and provide a link to your blog for anyone who wants to read the story.

    1. That would be great! Sorry I took so long to reply.

      Rip Off

  2. As much as I enjoyed the great reprints of avengers 3 and x men 2,that seen print inside marvel super heroes 21,I was greatly disipointed, that the advertised starhawk strip, wasn't in the book,nor in the next issue. Marvel as well, in the bullpin pages, never gave up a reason why the book went reprint, and what happened to the feature.It was around the same time, that they also canceled the spectaculer spidy mag,and not brand echh, also with no explanation given.

  3. I never got the impression that Not Brand Echh had ever been all that popular or successful...especially when they changed the size and so many of them became reprints. I mean, what's the point of buying it, if you already had seen the gags before when you bought it the first time.

    I am SO glad that Marvel Super-Heroes #20 saw print, because of the rich legacy of backstory that it gave our good Dr. Doom!

    I doubted that the audience had ever found Spectacular Spidey mag.
    Do you blame the bullpen for not speaking up and saying that the publisher had killed the book less than a year after launching it in the new direction?

  4. Starhawk... yes, I was one of those kids who really waited for that issue of MSH, for merely the most mind bending character yet. With a promise like that for the character, who wouldn't be eager to see Starhawk?