Dawnstar

Created by Mike Grell and Paul Levitz
 

NAME + ALIASES:
Dawnstar of Starhaven, alias Bounty II

KNOWN RELATIVES:
Unnamed parents, Greybird (brother)

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion Academy, Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #226 (Apr. 1977)
Retroboot: Justice League of America v.2 #9 (July 2007)

Dawnstar bears a strong resemblance to a character called Miramanee, from the original Star Trek series. She was from a planet called Amerind, and was portrayed in a racially insensitive manner. No connection has ever been mentioned by Dawnstar's creators, but the similarities are pronounced. She appeared in "The Paradise Syndrome," season 3 episode 3, 4 Oct. 1968.

The story from Tales of the Legion #321–323 (Mar.–May 1985) seems to have been partially inspired by that episode, as well as an earlier Star Trek episode, "The Apple."

Original Dawnstar

Dawnstar takes flight. From Superboy & the Legion #240 (1978); art by James Sherman and Bob McLeod.
Dawnstar is admitted as a member to the Legion. From Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #226 (1977), by James Sherman and Jack Abel.
Dawnstar in action! From Superboy & the Legion #240 (1978); art by James Sherman and Bob McLeod.
Original art reprinted in Amazing Heroes #15 (1982), by Keith Giffen.

Starhaven is a planet near the center of the galaxy founded by Native Americans looking for a more spiritually pure homeland than 27th-century America and Earth. Over the years, inbreeding produced many mutations, some of which became part of the core population — superior tracking and navigation skills, and, in a few, wings and the ability to survive unprotected in space. Dawnstar was born with all of these to a much higher degree than the others. She started work as a bounty hunter and navigator at a very young age. When she did a job for R. J. Brande, he saw a place for her talents in the Legion of Super Heroes, and convinced her to enroll in the Legion Academy. (Superboy & the Legion #240)

It was there that Wildfire, the Legionnaire in charge of the membership committee first spotted her and fell in love with her. As soon as he was the Legion's leader (and could use the pretext of the Legion's inability to find the Resource Raiders) he brought her in to help. (#226) Other than Wildfire, she had few close friends in the Legion, a result of her natural aloofness. She got along reasonably well with members of the Legion Academy, with whom she continued to train after becoming a Legionnaire. (#240)

She remained standoffish towards Wildfire as well, though he was ever persistent. When Dawnstar turned eighteen and went on her people's traditional grand tour of the galaxy during to find her soul mate. (Legion v.2 #304) She resisted the quest, hoping to retain her friendship, however platonic, with Wildfire. She went, but Wildfire followed her, and caught up with her just as the image of her future mate was about to appear. She took this as a sign that Wildfire was indeed her intended and reported this to her parents, who were upset, but did not challenge it. (#311)

But doubts soon entered. One occurred when she and Brainiac 5 got stuck on a previously-unknown planet called Kol, where the local priests, believing her a demon, tried to kill her, and one, Jhodan, stopped them. (Tales of the Legion #321) Dawnstar found herself attracted to Jhodan, but the Legionnaires were forced to leave Exile after realizing their extraterrestrial germs were causing an epidemic. Dawnstar bid a sad farewell to Jhodan, promising to one day return. (#323)

Upon her return from meeting Jhodan, Dawnstar resumed her relationship with Wildfire, but the couple found intimacy a problem due to the issue of his containment suit. Their fellow Legionnaire, Quislet, who is also an energy being, helped Wildfire train to control his form without the containment suit. (Legion v.3 #36) Despite these efforts, the pair's relationship remains unfulfilled.

Another occurred when Wildfire learned how to create a physical body for himself so that he could love her physically. Suddenly she was unsure if she was willing to make that sort of commitment to him. When, after much thinking, she finally decided to, the act covered her with radiation burns–a fact that bothered him more than it did her. He broke off the relationship, which was just as well, since he soon lost the ability to hold a physical form anyway.

Bounty: Glorith Reality (Legion v.4)

Dawnstar remained with the Legion even when Earthgov started persecuting Legionnaires. When Wildfire was blasted to nothingness during the "Black Dawn" event, Dawnstar was heartbroken and left the Legion. She returned to her old life of bounty hunting.

Sometime after this, she was possessed by an ephermeral entity known only as Bounty . She was injured so badly that her wings had to be amputated. She became unrecognizable as Dawnstar, even to her old friends, and as "Bounty," she eventually threw in with Celeste Rockfish, who owned a detective agency on Earth.

They were hired by Earthgov to track down Roxxas the Butcher, and during this adventure they came in contact with the re-forming Legion of Super-Heroes, who took them on as members.

Brainaic 5 suspected some connection between Bounty and Dawnstar, but Bounty acted so radically different from the Dawnstar that he did not pursue the matter. Bounty was one of the Legionnaires who was sent to Earth to assist in the liberation effort, but when the war ended intended to go solo again. Just then she ran across Monica Sade, and decided to take her in for the billion-credit bounty on her head. Sade, though, won that fight, and gravely injured Bounty's body. The trauma drove Bounty from Dawnstar's body, who had to heal, both physically and mentally — from the the loss of her wings.

She remained in the Legion infirmary for awhile and ultimately returned to home to Starhaven. There she confronted her fears then rejoined the Legionnaires on Weber's World. She was shocked to see that Wildfire had also returned.

In the end this was moot, as she became one of the first disappearance victims of Zero Hour.

Notes

Paul Levitz on Dawnstar: "Writer Paul Levitz says that Dawnstar was mostly Mike Grell’s creation. Levitz says he simply asked Grell what kind of character he’d like to draw." Legion of Substitute Podcasters (episode #70)

Tom and Mary Bierbaum on Dawnstar: "She came across mostly as Marvel pretension with not much real personality, but we tried to deal with her as a hero who was, at once, aloof and troubled, cocky and vulnerable." —Interlac (2000)

The Retroboot Legion

New costume sketch of Dawnstar by Gary Frank, circa 2005.

...

Powers

Dawnstar can instinctually track people and objects across space. This ability extends across light years.

She has wings which enable flight, and also unaided space flight.

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • All-New Collectors' Edition #C-55
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #1-5, 8, 10
  • DC Comics Presents #13
  • Legionnaires #17
  • Secrets of the Legion of Super-Heroes #1
  • Superboy #226, 229
  • Superboy & the Legion of Super-Heroes #237, 239, 240, 240–245, 247, 250, 251

Retroboot

  • Action Comics #858–863
  • Adventure Comics v.3 #2 [505], 4 [507], 8 [511], 9 [512], 11 [514], 521–522
  • Justice League of America v.2 #9, 10
  • Justice Society of America v.3 #6

» SERIES:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.2, #259–313 (1980–84); becomes …
    • Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes, #314–354 (1984–87)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.3, 63 issues (1984–94)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.4, #1–61 (1989–1994)
  • Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds, 5-issue limited series (2008-09)
  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.6, 16 issues (2010–11)
  • Legion: Lost v.2, 17 issues (2011–13)

Dawnstar II

NAME + ALIASES:
Dawnstar Gr'ell

KNOWN RELATIVES:
None

GROUP AFFILIATIONS:
Legion of Super-Heroes

FIRST APPEARANCE:
Superman v.5 #14 (Oct. 2019)

Rebirth: Dawnstar II

Dawnstar Gr'ell hails from Starhaven, which has connections to 13th century Earth. Her name was inspired by the planet Venus, known to Native American peoples as the morning star. She wears an homage to it on her uniform. (Legion v.8 #3)

Dawnstar is a popular Legionnaire among young people across the United Planets.

Powers

....

Appearances + References

» FEATURED APPEARANCES:  

  • Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2
  • Supergirl v.7 #33
  • Superman v.5 #14-15

» SERIES:

  • Legion of Super-Heroes v.8, current (2019–)

» SEE ALSO:

Other Versions

Dawnstar has no counterparts in any known parallel universes. She has a 21st century predecessor, Wildstar, a woman who also hails from Starhaven, with the same powers, who was a member of the L.E.G.I.O.N.

Shikari was a member of the Reboot Legion who had insectoid wings and pathfinding abilities, but the similarities end there.

Dawnstar was also a minor member in TV's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon.