Captain Comet

Created by John Broome & Carmine Infantino

+ History

With excerpts from Who's Who #8 (April 1991) ©DC Comics, Inc.

In the year 1931, under the light of a bright new comet that passed over the northern hemisphere, Adam Blake was born to a young farming couple from the American midwest. That night, Adam's father watched the comet streak across the sky and predicted that it was a prophecy of some sort, a sign that Adam was destined for greater things.

Even in his wildest fantasies, John Blake could not have foreseen the feats of which his son would soon be capable. At age four, Adam began to show sings of clairvoyance. By age eight, he had read, comprehended and memorized every fact in the encyclopedia. As a college student, Adam found himself able to picks up any musical instrument and play it flawlessly., pass any course effortlessly, and break any Olympic record on the books. The boy had everything — everything but companionship, for his advanced condition ostracized him from his peers, and Adam was forced to keep his unusual abilities a secret.

Lonely and confused about his abilities, Adam revealed his powers to the renowned physicist Emery Zackro in the hope that Zackro might be able to tell him why he was so different from others. The professor put Adam through every mental and physical test he could think of. Adam, Zackro, announced, was a mutant — an accidental specimen of the future man born with the physical and mental powers of men 100,000 years from now. Zackro convinced Adam to work with him in secret to develop his awesome powers, but Adam was eventually forced to make a public debut in 1951 when aliens invaded Earth and tried to turn the planet into an airless wasteland. To disguise his identity, Adam donned an experimental space suit and helmet and adopted the name Captain Comet. He repelled the invading forces single-handedly and Captain Comet immediately became a household word. (Strange Adventures #9-10, Secret Origins Annual #1)

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, Captain Comet continued to fight evil on Earth and beyond, exploring the galaxy in the Cometeer., a faster-than-light rocket ship. In his civilian identity, Adam Black took a position as an information clerk at a major metropolitan library, over the years gleaning every scrap of information stored in its volumes. Eventually, Blake tired of the limitations off Earth's collective knowledge and of the feelings of solitude that continued to plague him, feelings accentuated by Adam's slow aging (another effect of his mutant powers). One day, Captain Comet departed for space to explore new life, and Earth would not seem him for decades.

Over the next two decades, Captain Comet traveled the galaxy in search of his destiny, gathering information about countless extraterrestrial races and battling injustice on a host of alien worlds. At some point, Adam stumbled across Dagon-Ra, a slave trader and interstellar criminal from the planet Trom. Comet held Dagon-Ra's men at bay with his powers of telekinesis, super-strength and invulnerability, but was no match for Dagon-Ra himself, who could transmute elements at will. Dagon-Ra subjugated Comet, imprisoned him, and tortured him for amusement.

To make matters worse, during this time he was chosen to be the host of an organic alien parasite. While the parasite lived within him for over three years, it did not adversely affect him. That would come later. Comet was finally freed from Dagon-Ra when the L.E.G.I.O.N.'s Vril Dox sent Lobo undercover to Ra's pirate ring. With the help of another of Dagon-Ra's unwilling minions, the Telepath, the villain was defeated then died accidentally. (LEGION #14-18)

Following this, Adam accompanied the L.E.G.I.O.N. back to Cairn where Lyrissa Mallor offered him membership. (#19) But Dox rescinded her offer and it wasn't until later that he was made an official member by Mallor's successor, Phase. (#29)

In the L.E.G.I.O.N., he also met a very special woman, Marij'n Bek. The attraction between the two was immediate but their love was hindered by the fact the Marij'n was still married to a fellow officer, Garryn Bek. (#24) Stranger still, Garryn eventually gave his "blessing" for Adam to pursue a relationship with Marij'n. (#40) Regardless, he and Marij'n worked well together and even convinced the stubborn Dox to back down on his plan to brainwash Lyrissa's daughter, Lydea. (#25)

When the alien parasite inside Captain Comet returned, it was actually a blessing — for a moment. The parasite caused Adam to manifest explosive new powers that helped him save the team from an attack. (#35) Soon the parasite revealed itself fully and revealed its plan. It had waited inside Comet for the chance to to "procreate" with its true target: the powerful Lady Quark. (#44-45) The L.E.G.I.O.N. managed to shunt the parasite instead into a capsule of biological matter encoded with Lady Quark's DNA. Though they stopped it from taking her, its new form possessed the powers of both Comet and Quark; it fled. (#46-47)

After discovering that the parasite had lived within him, Adam was unsure of himself and his actions. He broke off his relationship with Marij'n and adopted his first new uniform in decades (#49) Soon, though, he was ready to explore the relationship again and planned a romantic getaway with Marij'n. Garryn Bek stowed away on on this vacation and they three were stranded on the planet Ith'kaa.

The L.E.G.I.O.N. sent Lady Quark to rescue them, but Quark was attacked once more by the Parasite, which had hidden in wait. It assumed her form, left her for dead, and proceeded to Ith'kaa. There it incited a battle with Captain Comet and while Garryn and Marij'n watched, it buried Comet and left him for dead as well. (#62-63)

When the Beks returned to L.E.G.I.O.N. headquarters on Cairn, Marij'n accused Quark of the murder, but the parasite told Dox that Comet had died in an earthquake. They had no evidence to the contrary, so Dox and Marij'n took a covert route to uncover the truth. (#64) An unwanted mental probe eventually drove the parasite berserk (#69) and Marij'n unleashed her a weapon that "unraveled" Lady Quark's genetic code. She fired and the Parasite was reduced to dead matter. (#70)

Comet escaped his tomb soon after the parasite had left, but there was no way for him off Ith'kaa. In order to get home, Comet became leader of the primitive Ith'kaans and in the span of six months, led them to a space age culture! While he was gone, Dox's son Lyrl brainwashed the L.E.G.I.O.N. and the core members became fugitives. When Comet finally arrived back on Cairn, he did not realize what was going on. His first clue laid within Marij'n. When he was reunited with her, he discovered Lyrl's mind blocks and disabled them. (REBELS #10-11)

They began freeing civilians and recruiting them to overthrow Lyrl. Meanwhile, Dox attacked from the other side and Lyrl was ultimately deposed. It was Captain Comet who reformed the L.E.G.I.O.N.. He canceled all previous contracts in order to allow clients to rejoin at their own will. Vril Dox retired, choosing to look after Lyrl and take up botany. (#16-17)

Comet did also return to Ith'kaa to survey the society he had fathered. After combating a chemical creature, he left them to decide their own destiny. (Showcase '96 #10)

He was seen behind the scenes a few other times, sending Dox on a mission to apprehend his father, Brainiac. (Showcase '96 #11) and sending Phase to Earth to find her missing touchstone. (Legion v.4 #94)

Comet remained with the L.E.G.I.O.N. but at some point, ceded its leadership again to Vril Dox and the organization moved is headquarters to Maltus.

He was next seen accompanying Dox to the client world of Ancar, which had been invaded by Khunds. They met Green Lantern Kyle Rayner there as well and Comet decided to help Rayner further. He mentioned to Rayner that though Dox pays for his skills and experience, he owed Dox no allegiance. (Rann/Thanagar War #2)

Recently, Thanagar had been destroyed when Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime moved the planet's orbit. Comet accompanied Rayner to Thanagar, where they discovered that hundreds of Thanagarians had survived in suspended animation beneath the planet's surface. Together, they built a dome and altered the soil to create a livable space for the survivors. They then fixed the planet's orbit.

Comet then went to Rann where he joined Adam Strange and Hawkman's group to defend Rann in its war against the Thanagarians. In the midst of this, a rift opened in space, and sent massive shockwaves across the galaxy. (#3-6)

 

From Blake's assertions during his time with L.E.G.I.O.N, it seems as though he never returned to Earth after leaving. (He originally departed for outer space in Strange Adventures #49 [1954].) If he left before the "Silver Age," this would negate many of his appearances on Earth in the 1970s and 80s, most significantly, his run in Secret Society of Super-Villains.

Virtually the only non-L.E.G.I.O.N. appearances that Captain Comet has made post-Crisis have been his origin retelling in Secret Origins Annual #1 and a one-panel representative shot in Legends of the DCU #1. Cap could have been on Earth during the days of the original Justice League of America. He supposedly left Earth "twenty years ago" (Who's Who '91 #8). In the pages of L.E.G.I.O.N. itself, Captain Comet only said he'd been gone "many years" — and even that comment was made while he was under the influence of a space-parasite (revealed in L.E.G.I.O.N. #44-47).

Cap never visited Earth during any of his L.E.G.I.O.N. appearances and the only Silver Age Earth hero that he ran into was Hal Jordan. It's impossible to tell from that story whether they'd known each other previously or not. — Thanks to John Wells

 

+ Powers

Adam Blake is a metahuman born with super-strength, speed, special vision, clairvoyance and telekinesis. The telekinesis also allows him to fly.

He also possesses two extra senses: the "sense of strength" allows him to evaluate an opponent's strength and a "vibro-sense" with allows him to read the emotions of others.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • All-Star Squadron #53
  • Crisis On Infinite Earths #5, 10-12
  • Darkstars #11-12
  • DC Comics Presents #22, 91
  • DC Challenge #5-7, 9
  • DC Special #27
  • DC Special Series #6
  • DC Universe: Trinity #1-2
  • Gog #1
  • Green Lantern v.2 #44-45
  • Justice League of America #157
  • Legends of the DC Universe #1
  • Legends of the DCU: Crisis On Infinite Earths #1
  •  Legion of Super-Heroes v.4 #94, 119
  • Secret Origins Annual #1
  • Showcase '96 #10-11
  • Super-Team Family #13

Elseworlds:

» SERIES:

  • Strange Adventures #9-44, 46, 49 (1951-54)
  • Secret Society of Super-Villains, 15 issues (1976-78)
  • L.E.G.I.O.N., 70 issues (1989-94)
  • R.E.B.E.L.S., 17 issues (1994-96)
  • Rann-Thanagar War, 5-issue limited series (2005)
  • Mystery in Space v.2, 8 issue limited series (2007)
  • Rann-Thanagar: Holy War, 5-issue limited series (2008)

 

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