Friday, January 19, 2018

When The (Star) Man Comes Around

Doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Kindly couple.
Except that the planet of Daxam (or Dakkam in some dialects) wasn’t doomed, and the desperate scientist was wrong. He and his wife launched his last hope anyway, their son, just before government agents killed then. The tiny ship would carry this lost son of Daxam to earth where it crashed in the everglades. No kindly couple rescued the child, but he was safe there in the ship’s technological womb as he grew to physical adulthood over the next almost 20 years. When he emerged, he still had the mind of a child.

An encounter with the Man-Thing sent this strange visitor from another planet fleeing from the swamp. As fate would have it, he first encountered Superboy, Kal Kent, son of the original Superman. The alien clearly had abilities at a near Kryptonian level (in fact, the Daxamites maybe an offshoot of the Kryptonians), and Superboy assumed the newcomer was a refugee from that world. Remembering stories of his father’s encounter with the amnestic Halk Kar, Superboy called the alien “Mon-El” as his father had the last near-Kryptonian arrival.

Superboy lost track of “Mon-El” who eventually ended up in New York, just in time to encounter Ben Grimm leaving a showing of Five Fingers of Death. Grimm saved him from an attempted assassination by Daxamite agents. Ultimately, Grimm got the alien to Reed Richards who determined that Mon-El was sound of mind (though it was undeveloped) and that exposure to cosmic rays had altered his physiology in unforeseen ways, making him an energy dampener. He also noted lead levels building up within the alien’s system.

At Project PEGASUS (a military/industry partnership with the involvement of STAR Labs) for further testing, Mon-El encountered the Cosmic Cube, which sent him into a coma. When he emerged, he was no longer child-like. He was aware of who he was and his true name, Lar Gand. What’s more, he was spiritually transformed. He took the name Aquarian. He set out to wander the earth, bringing peace and enlightenment to the world. He gained something of a following, and more than one “spiritual program” arose in his name.

His ministry was cut short when lead poisoning began to kill him. Rather than some other form of suspended animation, he voluntarily chose exile in the Phantom Zone, hoping to bring some measure of peace to the criminals imprisoned there. He is said to have emerged again, after a millennium, a changed man, ready to embark on a new stage of his existence.


Michael Gibbons said...

P.s. That's some tight inking on Ben.

Paul Vermeren said...

Yeah. What are those, Sinnott inks?

Joe Kilmartin said...

Paul Vermeren​ Michael Gibbons​ Gene Day inks.