Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and thirty-sixth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Takion was originally going a pitch for a Starman reboot.
My pal Martin Gray suggested this to me on Twitter (as always, people can suggest stuff to me wherever they feel like doing it, but if you do it on Facebook or Twitter, there's a good chance I'm going to forget it - this was over a month ago and I was just so sure it was from someone that I knew that I managed to find it. If it wasn't Martin, I doubt I would have found it).
Paul Kupperberg is a longtime comic book writer and editor. He has worked on a number of notable series over the years, but is perhaps best known for rebooting the Doom Patrol in the late 1970s (and then later again in the 1980s, in the volume that was later revamped by Grant Morrison. Kupperberg nicely set things up for Morrison's run by sort of clearing the deck of various subplots and characters).
Okay, so late 1991, Kupperberg became the editor on Starman, the new character that Roger Stern and Tom Lyle launched in the late 1980s.
The last story arc on the series involved Eclipso...
This led to the crossover event, Eclipso: The Darkness Within. In the end of that series, Starman sacrificed his life to help save the other superheroes who were being attacked by Eclipso...
(Kupperberg then edited the Eclipso ongoing series that spun out of the crossover).
Anyhow, Kupperberg decided to do a pitch on a series that would resurrect Starman, playing up the whole "being made out of energy" angle on the character...
Kupperberg shared the full pitch here. Here's a snippet:
Time passes, with the Starman-consciousness drifting aimlessly through space, aware of its surroundings, learning what makes the cosmos tick, and how he, as a being of pure energy, fits into the cosmic scheme of things. Eventually, an event occurs which enables Starman to coalesce back into a solid — if not entirely human — form: his scattered atoms are sucked into a wormhole, condensed, and spit out the other end, in a galaxy far, far away.
As a being of pure energy, he doesn’t need to take human form — he doesn’t really need to take any solid form. But out of habit and because it’s familiar, he takes on a form resembling his human identity, Will Payton. Starman is far from Earth. He could find his way back, of course—as an energy being, we will learn that he possesses the ability to tap into the universal energy flow—but he chooses not to. Instead, he decides to leave Earth and the teeming humanity of which he used to be a part, behind. It’s not because he’s entirely lost his humanity, rather it’s because he’s experienced so much in his time as pure energy. Having had almost three decades being one, he knows all he needs to know about being a human, and now that he’s moved to a new stage in his existence, he wants to learn all he can about the universe he inhabits and that has so much to offer one with his power.
Thus begins Starman’s “rebirth” as a star-spanning cosmic adventurer and hero.
Great idea for a pitch, but the problem was that at the same time that he was pitching this, Archie Goodwin and James Robinson were pitching...well...you know...
Luckily, Kupperberg was able to take his Starman pitch and tweak it and work in a New Gods connection and, along with artist Aaron Lopresti, Kupperberg debuted Takion in 1995...
The series did not last long...
But Takion actually ended up playing a major role in the DC Universe as one of the first major new additions to the New Gods Universe for years. Takion stuck around until the Death of the New Gods, which is a remarkable run for a minor character!
Thanks to Paul for sharing the fascinating story and thanks to Martin for suggesting that I write about it!
Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Was the TV series 24 originally going to be about the 24 hours leading up to a wedding?
That's it for this "week" (quotes because I'm a full week behind even AFTER this! Catch-up time!).