Ted Knight created by Gardner Fox and unknown & Jack Burnley
Jack Knight created by James Robinson & Tony Harris

Special thanks to Tom Morrow


Starman I

Theodore "Ted" Knight

Adele Doris Drew (wife, deceased), David (Starman VI, deceased), Jack (Starman VII, son), Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady, cousin)

Justice Society of America

Adventure Comics #61 (April 1941)

Starman VII

Jack Knight

Ted Knight (Starman I, father, deceased), Adele (mother, deceased), David Knight (Starman VI, deceased), Kyle Theo (son), Jayne Payton aka Sadie Falk (wife)

Justice Society of America

Zero Hour #1 (Sept. 1994)

Theodore Knight was a brilliant scientist who discovered a source of near-limitless cosmic energy in the stars. It took him some time to refine the ability to harness this energy. He first applyied for a government grant to perfect the alloy needed to collect his newly discovered cosmic energy. During this, he met his future colleague, Wes Dodds (the Sandman). The Sandman had recently encountered a saboteur who called himself "Jonathan Smythe." Ted helped Wesley defeat Smythe, whose body was turned into gas by his own invention. (Sandman Mystery Theatre #38-40) Later, Smythe would reappear as Ted's greatest enemy, the Mist.

1939 was a pivotal year for Ted. He went on to serve President Roosevelt's as the United States anticipated the coming of war. He contributed to early research efforts alongside Albert Einstein, which ultimately led to the creation of nuclear weapons. (Starman Secret Files #1) Then later in the year, he sought help from his cousin Sandra's colleague, Professor Davis, to harness cosmic energy with his new "gravity rod." (All-Star Squadron #41, Starman Secret Files #1) Davis' assistance allowed Ted to perfect his technology, and he soon found himself using the gravity rod to fight crime as Starman. (Adventure #61)

He became an early member of the Justice Society of America (All-Star #8) and served with them throughout the war, but took himself off full-time duty afterwards. (#24) Regardless, he frequently assisted the JSA in various cases. And he eventually upgraded his gravity rod to the newer "cosmic rod."

But even the brightest minds and bravest souls sometimes fall prey to life's horrors. In 1951, Ted was dealt a double blow. It began with the murder of his girlfriend, Doris Lee. The resulting depression was compounded by the guilt that Ted felt over his involvement in the creation of the atomic bomb. He suffered a breakdown and was institutionalized. In his absence, Charles McNider (Dr. Mid-Nite) — with the help of Robotman and the Red Torpedo — used Ted's technology to create a new champion for Opal City, Starman II. McNider gave up the role and trained David Knight, Ted's son from the future, when he mysteriously appeared in Opal. (Starman vol. 2 #77)

Truly, Ted was saved by his own legacy. While in treatment, he received a visit from Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl), another hero from the future. Courtney convinced him to resume his role as Starman in order to help defeat Per Degaton. (JSA #69-72) David Knight was returned to the future by Ted's other son, Jack. Before leaving that era, the brothers (along with Hourman, Charles McNider and Wesley Dodds) stopped the Mist from terrorizing Opal City with LSD. (Starman #78-79)

The Silver Age

A team-up later leads to the release of ... tension. From The Brave & the Bold #62 (1965); art by Murphy Anderson.

Ted conquered his demons and met another woman, Adele Doris Drew. The two married shortly thereafter. (Starman Secret Files #1) They were happily married, but in the heat of battle, Ted also had an affair with his colleague, the Black Canary. They ended their liaison after after a criminal nearly exposed the affair. After this, Adele became pregnant with their first child and Ted became a faithful father and husband. (Starman Annual #2)

Quite early on, Ted guessed that his first son, David, would make a fine Starman someday. In the meantime, another hero benefitted from Ted's technology: Sylvester Pemberton, the Star-Spangled Kid. Sylvester converted the rod into a belt and joined the Justice Society. (All-Star #58) Ted also himself continued to take part in adventures from time to time, including the Justice Society/Justice League team-ups.

Darkness followed this hero of the light. Flash's foe, the Rag Doll, had founded a cult and slayed the family of a famous actor. Starman, Flash, Green Lantern, Wildcat and Dr. Mid-Nite hunted him down and the villain was slain with Starman's cosmic rod. The next day, the three JSAers removed his body from the morgue so that the cause of his death will not be publicly revealed. (In truth, Rag Doll's followers rescued his body and nursed him to health.) (Starman #9, 11, 67-68)

Following the so-called "Crisis," the entire Justice Society voluntarily left to fight an endless battle in another dimension called Limbo. In Ted's absence, David Knight began experimenting with using the cosmic rod. In his first adventure, the Mist (calling himself Nimbus), manipulated David into clashing with the other Starman of the day, Will Payton (Starman V). (Starman vol. 1 #26-27) The JSA eventually returned from Limbo and Ted shared several adventures with them — until their most tragic hour. The villain called Extant murdered three JSAers and Ted officially retired, passing the mantle on to David (Starman VI). (Zero Hour #1)

David Knight was killed in battle after only a week in action by the Mist's son, Kyle. But thanks to the magic of Kent Nelson (Dr. Fate), David was transported from the moment of his death back to 1951, where he served as Starman while his father was institutionalized. (Starman #76) Fate's magic also kept David's spirit around to guide his younger brother, Jack. After David's death, Jack took revenge on the family of the Mist and reluctantly became Starman VII. But the Mist's daughter, Nash, was also bent on revenge against the Knights for her brother's death. She used her father's technology to became the second Mist. (#0)

Jack's journey led him to discover Mikaal Tomas, the alien Starman (III), who was being held prisoner by a corrupt circus owner. (#7) Tomas became one of Jack's best friends. In continuing to track down the Mist; he sought out Wesley Dodds and his partner, Dian Belmont. (#20-24) He also received advice from dead JSAers, thanks to David's lingering spirit. (#37)

Sylvester Pemberton and Jack Knight leave one another with the seeds of inspiration. From Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 (1999); art by Chris Weston and John Stokes.
Schematic for the Cosmic Rod. From Starman Secret Files #1 (Apr. 1998); art by Tony Harris and Wade von Grawbadger.

The Mist's destiny was officially tied to the Knights' when Nash kidnapped Jack and impregnated herself with his semen. She used their son, Kyle Theo, as another taunt against Jack. Everything culminated in a grand scheme where the Mist amassed an army of villains to terrorize Opal City. Jack and Ted gained the upper hand, but Ted was forced to sacrifice his own life (and that of the elder Mist) to remove a nuclear bomb to explode in space.

Just before this, the Mist killed Nash, which finally left Jack in custody of his infant son. (#72) After Ted's funeral, Jack learned that his girlfriend, Sadie Falk, was pregnant with his child. Their relationship had been strained by the revelation that she had misled Jack about her identity (she was Will Payton's sister, and wanted Jack to help her find him). But afterwards, Jack realized that Sadie was the girl for him and proposed marriage. He retired as Starman, bequeathed his staff to Courtney Whitmore, the second Star-Spangled Kid. (#73)

Jack was also a founding member of the newly reformed Justice Society, but his tenure was short.

As for the other Starmen, Mikaal Tomas learned that he was destined to return to the stars. Will Payton was killed by Eclipso, but his spirit merged with another outer space Starman: Prince Gavyn of the Throneworld. Jack discovered this when Sadie (who was actually Jayne Payton, Will's sister) approached him for help finding Will.

Ted Knight's legacy is said to reacy far into the future. He was once paid a visit from Farris Knight, the Starman of the 853rd Century. Farris told Ted of his millennia-long legacy and confessed that he had betrayed the Justice Legion to their enemy Solaris. After talking to Ted, Farris decided to do the right thing and sacrificed his own life in the battle. (Starman One Million)

In Jack's absence, an eighth Starman has mysteriously appeared. This hero exhibits heroic tendencies, but schitzoid tendencies. This was later revealed to be Thom Kallor, aka Star Boy from the 30th century Legion of Super-Heroes, as Kallor himself told Jack Knight. (Starman vol. 2 #50, 80)


In Dark Horse comics, creator Jeff Lemire created Doctor Star, whose alter ego is James Robinson. From Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #1 (2018); art by Max Fiumara.

The Super DC Calendar 1976 gave Ted Knight's birthday as December 18.

Ted Knight's personal history was altered by the reorganization of history that resulted from Zero Hour. In pre-Zero Hour continuity, Ted married his girlfriend Doris Lee in the late forties. They had no children and Doris died sometime before Ted returned to the Justice Society as Starman.

Ted's pre-Crisis origin was never told before All-Star Squadron #41. The post-Crisis revision arose from Sandman Mystery Theatre #38 and Starman Secret Files #1. Originally, Ted Knight was little more than a playboy and his friend Professor Davis discovered the cosmic energy, not Ted himself. He also decided to become Starman because he was inspired by an encounter with Batman and Robin.

The Starman of 1951 (Starman II) may be inspired by a pre-Crisis Batman story. In Detective #247 (1957), "The Man Who Ended Batman's Career," mad scientist Professor Milo causes Batman to develop a phobia against bats. Unable to continue as Batman, he adopts the identity of "Starman," armed with an array of star-gizmos, including a star-shaped aircraft.


Starman was a brilliant physicist and a good fighter. He used a cosmic rod, which allowed him to fly, shoot bolts of cosmic energy, and repel attacks. Earlier in his career he used a less powerful version of the cosmic rod, called a gravity rod.

Each person who weilds the cosmic energy does so to slightly different effect. The energy is partially controlled by the mind, using the technology in the cosmic rod/belt/staff.

Appearances + References


  • All-Star Comics #8–23
  • Brave & Bold #182
  • Flash vol. 2 #134


  • Adventure Comics #61–102 (April 1941–Feb./Mar. 1946)
  • Starman vol. 2, 80 issues (1994–2001)


The Starman Dynasty


Theodore "Ted" Henry Knight. Husband, and later widower, of Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Father of David Knight (Starman) and Jack Knight (Starman). Grandfather of Kyle Knight. Cousin of Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady). Member of the Justice Society. First app. Adventure Comics #61. Active 1941 to 2000 AD. Died battling the Mist in Starman vol. 2 #72.

Starman of 1942

Doris Lee. Girlfriend of Ted Knight (Starman). Active for one adventure in late 1942, as shown in All Star Comics #15, and as retold in Starman v2 #69.

Starman of January-November 1951 (post-Crisis)

Dr. Charles McNider a.k.a. Dr. Mid-Nite. Replaced Ted Knight, who had suffered a mental breakdown, as Starman from January 1951 to early December 1951. Trained the time-traveling David Knight as his replacement. First mentioned in Starman vol. 2 #2, cameo in Starman Secret Files #1, first full appearance in Starman 80-Page Giant #1 and Starman vol. 2 #77.

Starman of December 1951 (post-Crisis)

David Knight of the late 20th century. Snatched from the moment just prior to his death and transported through time to early December 1951, so that he might spend a month as Starman before he died. Replaced Charles McNider as Starman from December 1951 to January 2, 1952, believed by the general public to be the same Starman that was active since January 1951. First mentioned in Starman vol. 2 #2, cameo in Starman Secret Files #1, first full app. in Starman vol. 2 #76. See entry under 'late 20th century' for more.

Starman of 1957 (pre-Crisis)

Bruce Wayne (a.k.a. Batman). When a criminal named Professor Milo induced in Batman an artificial phobia against all things related to bats, Batman secretly donned the identity of Starman to defeat him, as shown in Detective Comics #247.

The Star-Man of 1960 (pre-Crisis)

Real identity unrevealed. Ruthless criminal determined to gain great power through use of a fabulous Tibetan belt. Defeated by Batman, Robin, and Batwoman, as shown in Detective Comics #286.

Starman of the mid 1970s.

Mikaal Tomas of Talok III, alias Michael Thomas. Active in the mid 1970s. First app. in 1st Issue Special #12.


Prince Gavyn of Kranaltine a.k.a. Throneworld. First app. in Adventure Comics #467. Believed killed approximately four years ago in a wave of anti-matter, later revealed that his soul merged with the body of William Payton when Payton became the next Starman.


William Payton. Actually the reincarnation of Prince Gavyn (Starman). First app. in Starman v1 #1. Believed killed in battle with Eclipso, later revealed to have survived. Currently active on Throneworld, exists as an amalgamation of Gavyn and Payton, with the Gavyn persona being the dominant one.


David Knight. Son of Ted Knight (Starman) and Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Older brother of Jack Knight (Starman). First app. Starman vol. 1 #26. David was Starman for just under a week when he was killed by Kyle, the son of the Mist, in Starman vol. 2 #0. As explained in Starman vol. 2 #77, David was snatched from the moment just prior to his death and transported through time to early December 1951, so that he might spend a month as Starman before he died. Returned from January 2, 1952 to the moment of his death.


Jack Knight. Son of Ted Knight (Starman) and Adele Doris (last name unrevealed). Younger brother of David Knight (Starman). Father of Kyle Knight with Nash, the daughter of the Mist. Father of an unborn daughter with Jayne Payton a.k.a. Sadie Falk. Member of the Justice Society. Cameo in Zero Hour #1, first full app. Starman vol. 2 #0. Retired as Starman in Starman vol. 2 #80, passed on his cosmic rod to Courtney Whitmore a.k.a. the second Star-Spangled Kid.

Starman of early 21st century (post-Zero Hour)

Thom Kallor of 30th century Xanthu, alias Danny Blaine. Thom Kallor, formerly Star Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes, time traveled at around age 30 from the early 31st century to the early 21st century, taking up the mantle of Starman. First pre-Zero Hour app. as Star Boy in Adventure Comics #282, first post-Zero Hour app. as Star Boy in Legionnaires #0, first app. as Starman in Kingdom Come #2. Also mentioned in Starman vol. 2 #50 and #1,000,000.

Starman of mid-21st? century (century assumed, must be between 21st and 30th century)

Patricia Dugan. Possibly the daughter of Pat Dugan a.k.a. Stripesy a.k.a. S.T.R.I.P.E.. First mentioned in Starman vol. 2 #50.

Starman of mid 21st century

Unnamed great-grandson of Ted Knight (Starman). When this Knight took up the mantle of Starman, he became a villain. First mentioned in Starman vol. 2 #1,000,000.

Starman of early 22nd century

Unnamed descendant of Ted Knight (Starman). Stated to have existed a few generations after the great-grandson of Ted Knight. When this Knight took up the mantle of Starman, he too became a villain. First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of 22nd? century (century assumed, must be between 22nd and 822nd century)

Tommy Tomorrow II. The descendant of Tommy Tomorrow of the Planeteers, who was active in the late 21st century. First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of? century (century unknown, must be between 21st and 822nd century)

Lis Roo. This notable hero carried on the tradition of Starman. First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of ? century (century unknown, must be between 505th and 700th century)

Unnamed member of the Pancosmic Justice Jihad. First depicted in Superman: Man Of Tomorrow #1,000,000.

Starwoman of 801st century

Unnamed descendant of Ted Knight (Starman). Died exiling Solaris from the galaxy for a thousand years. First mentioned in DC One Million #3.

Starman of 852nd? century (century assumed)

Unnamed father of Cale Knight (Starman), great-grandfather of Farris Knight (Starman). Discovered the quarvat (cosmic rod) on a remote asteroid. Became the first Starman in over 3000 years. First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd? century (century assumed)

Cale Knight. Grandfather of Farris Knight (Starman). First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd? century (century assumed)

Unnamed daughter of Cale Knight (Starman), mother of Farris Knight (Starman). First mentioned in Starman #1,000,000.

Starman of 853rd century (years leading up to 85,271 AD)

Farris Knight. Grandson of Cale Knight (Starman). Member of Justice Legion A. First app. in JLA #23. Hero turned villain, who formed an alliance with the evil Solaris in 85,271 AD. Redeemed himself in DC One Million #3 by sacrificing his life during the birth of Solaris in the late 20th century, driving the entity out of the galaxy before it could destroy Earth.