|First appearance||Showcase #15 (July 1958)|
|Created by||Edmond Hamilton (writer)
Gardner Fox (writer)
Bob Brown (artist)
|Alter ego||Rick Starr|
|Place of origin||Earth|
|Abilities||Expert pilot, marksman, scientist and detective armed with vast variety of futuristic weapons and gadgets. Sidekick is extraterrestrial shapeshifter.|
Space Ranger is a science fiction hero who was published by DC Comics in several of their 1950s and 1960s anthology titles. He first appeared in Showcase #15 (July 1958) and was created by writers Edmond Hamilton and Gardner Fox and artist Bob Brown. The character has notable similarities to a preceding character named David Starr, the Space Ranger, created by novelist Isaac Asimov in his 1952 novel David Starr, Space Ranger. After appearing in Showcase #15 and 16, the Space Ranger was given a cover-starring series in Tales of the Unexpected, starting with issue #40 and lasting until #82 (1959–64). Afterwards, he moved to Mystery in Space for issues #92–99, 101, 103 (1964–65).
In 1957, DC Comics editorial director Irwin Donenfeld held a meeting with editors Jack Schiff and Julius Schwartz in his office, asking them each to create a new science fiction hero: one from the present, and one from the future. Given first choice, Schiff chose to create one from the future.
Fictional character biography
Set in the 22nd century, Space Ranger was really Rick Starr, a seemingly shiftless executive at his gruff, cigar-chomping father Thaddeus Starr's Allied Solar Enterprises who secretly took on the role of superheroic interplanetary troubleshooter to battle space pirates, alien invaders, evil scientists and other futuristic threats both cosmic and criminal, hiding his true identity beneath a transparent blue helmet and operating out of a hidden asteroid base via his sleek super-swift scarlet spaceship the Solar King.
Possessing no powers other than his highly developed brain and brawn, the crew cut-haired, yellow and red spacesuit-clad "Guardian of the Solar System" (later "Guardian of the Universe") armed himself with a vast variety of super-scientific gadgets like the handy all-purpose multi-ray pistol he wore on his weapon belt.
Space Ranger was assisted by the only two people who knew his secret, his loyal and highly efficient beautiful blond secretary/girlfriend Myra Mason and his plucky and clever cute little pink alien sidekick Cryll, a big-eyed, trunk-snouted shapeshifter with the ability to transform into sundry super-powered extraterrestrial lifeforms who he had found frozen in suspended animation beyond the orbit of Pluto.
Space Ranger and Cryll have visited the 20th century on occasion, working with contemporary heroes such as Green Lantern Hal Jordan and the Justice League of America, and in their own time have had adventures with a red-headed 22nd century descendant of Adam Strange.
Space Ranger made an appearance in Starman #55 (July 1999), in which Space Ranger and Ultra the Multi-Alien are riding in Space Cabbie's cab to find Starman IV's cosmic staff for the Space Museum. Each regales the other with different interpretations of Jack and Mikaal rescuing Starfire from a space pirate. Space Ranger also appeared in the background on Hardcore Station in Mystery in Space vol. 2 #6 (April 2007).
Space Ranger has made regular appearances in Trinity, the weekly series published by DC from 2008–2009. In an alternate reality created by the absence of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, Space Ranger was a member of the League—a group of vigilantes, hunted by Earth's registered superhumans. When the League went public during a crisis, the Space Ranger revealed himself to be J'Onn J'Onzz, the Martian Manhunter, in disguise.
A version of Space Ranger appeared in the 1990 mini-series Twilight.
In the "Without you I'm nothing" short story written by Evan Dorkin and drawn by Steven Weissman, Cryll is one of a large number of ex-sidekicks living on Skid Row and eating in soup kitchens. They include Cryll, Zook, Bathound, Proty, Doiby Dickles and many others, regardless of actual location of activity, time-period, or whether they are deceased, retconned, etc. Cryll organizes them as a superhero team (Sidekickers ?), but they tackle Evil Star and his Starlings on their first mission, and are roundly defeated (Cryll loses an ear and nobody appears to have used their powers).
They then reorganize as an AA-type organization to help ex-sidekicks. During a meeting of such, Space Ranger enters and appeals to Cryll to rejoin him. Cryll, however, feels he was abandoned and chases Space Ranger out. Space Ranger leaves in tears. During the night, Cryll has second thoughts about what he had done, and leaves before dawn to rejoin Space Ranger, to the consternation of the others. The oddities in this and several other offbeat stories is "explained" by crediting them to the pen of Bizarro.
In other media
- Space Ranger appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Siege of Starro" Pt. 1. He is seen helping the Green Lantern Corps fight the Starro-controlled superheroes and ends up falling under Starro's control.
- Irvine, Alex; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1950s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 91. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Space Ranger...debuted in Showcase #15 in stories by writer Edmond Hamilton and artist Bob Brown."
- Markstein, Don (2008). "Space Ranger". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2012. "Editor Jack Schiff took charge of the character, and handed him over to writers Edmond Hamilton and Gardner Fox for development. Bob Brown illustrated their script."
- Amash, Jim (2004). "Foreward". The Adam Strange Archives Volume 1. DC Comics. pp. 5–8. ISBN 978-1401201487.
- Wolfman, Marv (w), Staton, Joe (p), Staton, Joe (i). "The Space Ranger Strikes Back!" Green Lantern v2, 136 (January 1981)
- Wolfman, Marv (w), Staton, Joe (p), Staton, Joe (i). "Time Times Two Equals Death" Green Lantern v2, 137 (February 1981)
- Wood, Dave (w), Kelsey, Phil (p), Kelsey, Phil (i). "The Riddle of Two Solar Systems" Mystery in Space 94 (September 1964)
- Wood, Dave (w), Purcell, Howard (p), Purcell, Howard (i). "The Return of Yarrok of Zulkan" Mystery in Space 98 (March 1965)
- Robinson, James; Goyer, David S. (w), Snejbjerg, Peter (p), Champagne, Keith (i). "Taxicab Confessions" Starman v2, 55 (July 1999)
- Starlin, Jim (w), Lim, Ron (p), Hunter, Rob (i). "Bugs!" Mystery in Space v2, 6 (April 2007)
- Busiek, Kurt; Nicieza, Fabian (w), Norton, Mike (p), Wong, Walden (i). "The Last Stand" Trinity 38 (April 2009)
- Dorkin, Evan (w), Weissman, Steven (p), Weissman, Steven (i). "Without You, I'm Nothing" Bizarro Comics 1 (June 2001)