Wednesday, July 26, 2017

My Collections, Part 2.1: Starman (Ted Knight) - The Comics

This is going to be the first image-heavy post. Rather than clutter up the actual post with a bunch of images that I can't rearrange all that well, I've decided to upload them to an Imgur album. Easy peasy. The link will be at the bottom of the post.

I don't really have much of a connection with Theodore "Ted" Knight, the original Starman. My love of Starman comes from Ted's son, Jack, and the series that follows his exploits. But because I love Jack, I love Starman, and because I love Starman, I love ALL the characters who have taken up the mantle and used the name, and that includes Ted.

This is going to be the most difficult character in which to collect. It's not that he has a ton of appearances, it's just that most of them, at the least his main appearances and not just when he appears in the background as a member of the JSA, are in the Golden Age. I'm looking at about 40 issues of Adventure Comics and about 15 issues of All-Star Comics. Even rough copies of these comics are going to cost me some serious scratch. These will probably be the last issues I'll end up acquiring, if I ever do.

Like I said, Ted isn't my go-to Starman, There is, however, one story that he's a part of that is amazing, and it's no coincidence that it's written by Jack's guiding hand, James Robertson. The Golden Age predates Robinson's Starman series, both in publication and setting. The series takes place following WWII, and the heroes of the time are adjusting to life after the war...The War? Do we capitalize it? Or is that only when we call it The Great War?

Anyways, the story is an Elseworlds series. If you're not familiar, that's the banner DC used to give their alternate reality stories: Batman: Red Rain and Gotham by Gaslight, Superman: Red Son, etc. They even devoted an entire year's annual to Elseworld stories. I REALLY want to talk about the story and what it's about, but even though the story is 24 years old, I don't want to spoil it. I CAN say, though, Ted's character (and he really is more Ted than Starman here) has some great characterization that Robinson actually brings over to his Starman series.

If you're a fan of the story, I just found this old webpage that has annotations on the series. I'm going to be diving into that sometime this week.

Besides The Golden Age, there are a few personal highlights of my Ted Knight collection. I've acquired some of the Silver Age Justice League issues, including the first appearance of the Silver Age Red Tornado. I was lucky enough to snag it for a good price right before it was announced he was going to be on the Supergirl TV show. I've also got the hard-to-find Golden Age and Starman uncorrected preview editions.

I can remember only three times when reading a comic book made me cry. The second time was Ultimate Peter Parker's funeral in Ultimate Fallout #1, when the little girl asked Aunt May if she was the one who made Peter breakfast. Oof, I'm almost tearing up just thinking about it. The third was issue #134 of Fables where Bigby Wolf is reunited with his child (I won't say which one or why they're being reunited...GO READ FABLES). It was beautiful and sad and happy and probably my favorite part of the series, and that is saying A LOT.

The first time I cried when reading a comic book, though, was the memorial service for Ted. The memories were spectacular, and somewhat simplistic art by Peter Snejberg perfectly captured the mood. With the Ultimate Fallout issue, I read it thinking about me surviving the death of one of my kids, and with Fables I read it thinking about having a reunion with one of them. With Starman issue #73, though, I imagined what kind of stories I'd be hearing about my own father if this were his memorial service. It's one thing for a writer to write...that's their job. But those who can put you in the scene and make you feel so many emotions...for an imaginary character...that's talent.

The Jack Knight I grew to love could not have happened without Ted. I don't say that in a snarky way to suggest that without his dad he wouldn't have been born, because duh. Robinson's Starman series was about family and legacy. There were eight different Starman beginning with Ted. There was a Starboy as a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes. There was a Stargirl. Without Ted, there wouldn't be this rich heritage. Don't believe me? Look at DC's rebooted line. There was no Golden Age of Heroes once DC introduced the New 52 universe in 2011. There was no Ted Knight/Starman (there MAY have been a Ted Knight, who knows, but there was no Golden Age Starman), so there was no Jack Knight/Starman. There was/is a Stargirl, but she had nothing to do with the Knight family and the Starman legacy, at least that we've been told. She still found her step-dad's cosmic belt and a cosmic rod, but as far as I know their creator has not been named. Maybe it was Ted?

I'm hoping that Ted is one of the characters brought back when the Justice Society eventually returns. C'mon, it's going to happen. I would have even been happy with a new Starman in the Earth 2 series, but that never happened. So we'll just have to keep looking to the future and see what DC has in store.

If I've done my research, and I believe I have, here are my two lists for Starman (Ted Knight), my Have List and my Want List:

Have List

  • 52 #7, 27, 38
  • Action Comics Vol. 1 #663
  • Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #61 (Millennium Edition), 466
  • Adventure Comics Vol. 2 #1
  • All-American Comics Vol. 2 #1
  • All-Star Comics Vol. 1 #69-70, 74
  • All-Star Comics Vol. 2 #1-2
  • All-Star Comics Illustrated Index #1
  • All-Star Squadron #1-5, 7, 10, 15, 17-19, 24, 27, 30-31, 34, 38, 41-43, 47, 50-51, 53, 57-60, 64, Annual #2-3
  • America vs. the Justice Society #1-4, Trade Paperback
  • Armageddon: Inferno #3-4
  • Batman/Hellboy/Starman #1-2
  • Birds of Prey #4, 4 (White Lantern Variant)
  • Blackest Night: JSA #3, 3 (Variant)
  • Brave and the Bold Vol. 1 #61-62, 182
  • Countdown #20, 43, 46-47
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #4, 9, 10, 12
  • Damage #12, 15
  • DC 2000 #1
  • DC Comics One Million #1
  • DC Comics Presents: Superman - Sole Survivor #1 (Signed by cover artist Kevin Nowlan)
  • DC Sampler #2
  • DC Universe Holiday Bash #2
  • DC Universe: Legacies #5
  • DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar #2
  • DCU Heroes Secret Files and Origins #1
  • Final Crisis Secret Files and Origins #1 (Border Cover), 1 (Full Cover)
  • Final Night #2-3
  • Flash Vol. 2 Annual #3
  • Golden Age #1-4, Deluxe Hardcover, Preview, Trade Paperback
  • Golden Age Secret Files and Origins #1
  • Green Lantern Corps Quarterly #1 (Signed by Mark Bright), 3 (Signed by Mark Bright), 6
  • Green Lantern Secret Files #1 (Signed by Kevin Nowlan, Darryl Banks)
  • Green Lantern: Brightest Day, Blackest Night
  • Green Lantern: Fear Itself
  • Green Lantern/Sentinel: Heart of Darkness #1
  • Hellboy: Masks and Monsters Trade Paperback
  • History of the DC Universe #1-2, Trade Paperback, Hardcover
  • Infinite Crisis #2 (Jim Lee), 2 (George Perez)
  • Infinity Inc. #1-2, 8-9, 12, 20-21, 25, 27, 34, 48, Annual #1, 2
  • JLA: Incarnations #4
  • JLA: Year One #2, 4, 11, 12
  • JSA #1, 18, 56, 69 (Signed by Keith Champagne), 70-72
  • JSA: All-Stars Vol. 1 #4, 8
  • JSA Classified #20
  • JSA Secret Files and Origins #1 (Signed by Darryl Banks, Kevin Nowlan)
  • JSA: Strange Adventures #1-6, Trade Paperback
  • Justice League: Another Nail #3
  • Justice League of America Vol. 1 #30, 64, 73, 82-83, 101, 193, 207-208, 219-220, 231-232
  • Justice League: The Nail #1
  • Justice Society of America Vol. 1 #1-3, 5, 7
  • Justice Society of America Vol. 2 #1
  • Justice Society of America Vol. 3 #8, 8 (Variant), 25, 25 (Variant), 50, 50 (Variant)
  • Last Days of the Justice Society of America Special #1
  • Legends of the DC Universe #1
  • Manhunter Vol. 4 #13, 23
  • Martian Manhunter Vol. 2 #20
  • Red Tornado #1, 3
  • Sandman Mystery Theatre #38-40
  • Secret Origins Vol. 3 #7, 27, 50
  • Smash Comics Vol. 2 #1
  • Spectre Vol. 3 #20
  • Starman Vol. 1 #26-27
  • Starman Vol. 2 #0-4 (all signed by Tony Harris), 7, 9-13, 15-18, 20-22, 24-25, 27, 29-30, 32-35, 37, 39-53, 55-56, 61-72, 76-79, 1,000,000, Annual #1-2, Sins of the Father Trade Paperback
  • Starman 80-Page Giant #1 (Signed by John Lucas and Drew Geraci)
  • Starman Secret Files and Origins #1
  • Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0, 2, 4, 8-9
  • Superman Vol. 2 #226
  • Superman/Batman #41
  • Superman: Our Worlds at War Secret Files and Origins #1
  • Tales of the Batman: Alan Brennert Hardcover
  • Thrilling Comics Vol. 2 #1
  • Vault of Michael Allred #4
  • Wanted, the World's Most Dangerous Villains #6
  • War of the Gods #2, 2 (Collector's Edition), Trade Paperback
  • Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #12, 22
  • Who's Who Update '87 #1
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 1 #231-232
  • World's Finest Comics #265
  • Young All-Stars #1, 3, 9, 20, 27
  • Zero Hour #1-3, Trade Paperback
Want List
  • Adventure Comics Vol. 1 #61-102, 462
  • All-Star Comics Vol. 1 #8-23
  • All-Star Comics Vol. 2 #1 (RRP Variant)
  • All-Star Comics 80-Page Giant #1
  • All-Star Squadron #20-22, 25, 28, 32-33, 35, 44-45, 50, 53, 60, Annual #3
  • Batman: Secret of the Batcave Trade Paperback
  • Blackest Night: Black Lantern Corps Vol. 2 Hardcover and Trade Paperback
  • Convergence #8
  • Crisis on Multiple Earths Vol. 1, 2, 3, 6 Trade Paperbacks
  • Crisis on Multiple Earths: The Team-Ups Vol. 1, 2 Trade Paperbacks
  • DC 100-Page Super-Spectacular #DC-20
  • DC 2000 #2
  • DC Comics/Dark Horse Comics: Justice League Vol. 1 Trade Paperback
  • DC Comics One Million Trade Paperback, Omnibus Hardcover
  • DC Sneak Preview #1
  • DC Universe: Legacies #5 (Variant), Trade Paperback, Hardcover
  • DC Universe: Origins Trade Paperback
  • DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar Trade Paperback
  • Fate #22
  • Final Crisis Companion
  • Final Night Trade Paperback
  • Golden Age Starman Archives Vol. 1-2 Hardcovers
  • JSA Presents: Green Lantern
  • Justice League of America Vol. 1 #29, 74, 100, 102, 209
  • Justice Society of America Vol. 1 #8
  • Justice Society of America Vol. 2 #9-10
  • Legionnaires Annual #3
  • Manhunter Vol. 4 Trial by Fire Trade Paperback, Origins Trade Paperback
  • Power of Shazam #35-36
  • Spectre Vol. 3 #62
  • Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #159
  • Wonder Woman 1972 Trade Paperback
  • Young All-Stars #14
Here's a link to pics of all of my Ted Knight/Starman comics.

No comments: