From Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #17
Art by Greg LaRocque
|First appearance||Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #226 (April 1977)|
|Created by||Paul Levitz (writer)
Mike Grell (artist)
|Species||Genetically altered human|
|Place of origin||Starhaven|
|Team affiliations||Legion of Super-Heroes|
|Abilities||Flight (superluminal), long-range tracking|
Fictional character biography
Dawnstar is her real name (she has no Legion code name), and she is from Starhaven, a planet colonized by Native Americans abducted from Earth by an unknown alien race in the 13th Century. Her name is derived from the appearance on Earth of the planet Venus, the "morning star," which is why she wears an eight-pointed star ornament on her forehead.
Dawnstar and her people are of Anasazi Indian heritage. Starhavenites have pairs of large white-feathered wings that grow out of their upper backs, the result of genetic engineering by the unknown alien race that resettled them and triggered their metagenes.
Dawnstar's parents are Mistrider and Moonwalker, and her younger brothers are Greybird and Greatfire. During her late childhood and early teens, her parents built a thriving business on their daughter's ability to guide spaceships through hazardous areas of space. She also worked as a guide to hunters of animals.
Dawnstar received an invitation from Legion financier R.J. Brande to attend the Legion Academy, and reluctantly accepted the opportunity. She was first introduced to the Legionnaires at age 16 as a recent graduate of the Academy. Her tracking and navigation talents earned her full membership on her first mission. Her Legion stipend went to pay for enhancing her home world's defenses.
She served in many missions with the Legionnaires, contributing her often underrated talents at tracking and high-speed travel to perform many rescues of her colleagues, as well as investigations of personal disappearances and similar mysteries. She also brought these talents into many Legion adventures in other times, especially the 20th Century. Notable here is her early role in the Crisis on Infinite Earths.
Dawnstar had a lengthy, tragic romance with fellow Legionnaire Wildfire. They each respected the other's defiant, outspoken personality, although they each counseled each other on working with their talents as part of a team instead of acting as individuals. Wildfire had been turned into an anti-energy being in a containment suit, and thus had no physical body. When he briefly was able to partially reverse this, they attempted a physical relationship, but were unsuccessful.
After the Legion's timeline was "reset" by the Legion's battle with Mordru, Dawnstar was shown as having been possessed by an evil entity called Bounty, who amputated her wings and forced her to use her tracking powers as an assassin. Dawnstar was later freed from the Bounty entity's control. She was spiritually healed, but her destiny was never resolved, as she vanished shortly before the Legion's timeline was erased by the events depicted in Zero Hour and by the ensuing reboot.
Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 5) #15 (February 2006) featured a Barry Kitson cover which depicted Dawnstar alongside classic Legion members Blok and Tyroc. The solicitation for this issue hinted that the Legion would become the "greatest heroes of the Multiverse." Dawnstar appeared only briefly with other Legionnaires from previous iterations of the team, as a character in a "campfire story" showing the Legion's influence and the legends and myths that had sprung up around it. This cameo appearance does not appear to have been meant to take place in the series' continuity, nor was it included in the trade paperback (although it was included in a later collection).
In a JSA-JLA crossover story, "The Lightning Saga," Dawnstar (along with many other Pre-Crisis Legionnaires) was seen as a statue in Superman's Fortress of Solitude. Several members of the JSA and JLA tracked Dawnstar's flight ring to Thanagar, but she had left it as a promise to return to a woman strongly implied to be her lover.
Dawnstar, with her wings and original appearance, then united with other Legionnaires in the 21st Century in an effort to save someone's life (they hold rods that resemble those used for a similar action, to save Lightning Lad, in the original Silver Age Legion stories). Although it was predicted that at least one was risking his or her own life, no one died, and the Legion contingent returned to the 31st Century.
The Legion shown in this story also took part in the "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" story, set in its own time and involving Superman, in Action Comics #858-863. Dawnstar's outfit was extensively redesigned.
Dawnstar is shown with this Pre-Crisis Legion in the limited series Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds. In this series, she finally admits her true feelings to Wildfire (after he nearly died trying to defend her from Superboy-Prime) and begins a positive relationship with him.
Powers and abilities
Dawnstar's unique powers include the ability to track life forms and objects across light years of distance and through interstellar space. She can survive in deep space for long periods of time without a spacesuit or viable atmosphere, by generating a self-sustaining environmental forcefield. In deep space, she can travel at faster-than-light speeds. In an Earth-normal atmosphere or in a sizable gravity, her speed is diminished.
- Dawnstar did not appear in the post-Zero-Hour ("reboot") Legion stories, except for a crossover of multiple timelines and Legions made by the Time Trapper. Several versions of her, including a demon with leather wings and ram horns, were shown at once.
- Beginning in the reboot's limited series "Legion Lost," a character was depicted called Shikari from a non-human species, the Kwai. Shikari had insectoid wings, an armored exoskeleton she could activate for space travel, and pathfinding (rather than tracking) powers of similar scope. There was some speculation that this was a revised version of Dawnstar.
- Dawnstar did not appear in the recently concluded "threeboot" Legion stories, but she has become a regular character in the new Legion Lost, which has her and several of her Legion companions from the (yet again) rebooted continuity stranded in the twenty-first century.
In other media
- Dawnstar appears in the second and final (2007-2008) season of the recent animated Legion TV series. In the concluding two-part episode "Dark Victory," she is visible on three occasions standing or flying in the midst of a large group of Legionnaires.
- She also appears, but with dialogue and extensive action, in issue 19 (December 2008) of the printed comic book based on the TV series.
- Dawnstar appears as a main character in the animated movie JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time, voiced by Laura Bailey. In the film she and Karate Kid are still rejected as members of the Legion.
- As shown in a recent retcon in R.E.B.E.L.S. (vol. 2) #3 (June 2009); no earlier reference had been made to any specific tribe
- Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (April 1988)
- Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #240 (June 1978)
- Superboy [and the Legion of Super-Heroes] #226 (April 1977)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 3) #58 (March 1989)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #5
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #36
- Legionnaires #17 (August 1994)
- This ultimately was shown to be Kid Flash, in Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds #3
- Who's Who in the DC Universe #6 (August 1985), Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #240 (June 1978), Who's Who in the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (April 1988)
- Legion of Super-Heroes (vol. 4) #105