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Quote1 You're the bravest kid I've ever known. Who was taught every day of her life to kill, but instead spent every day protecting her brother... You're the best of us, Otho. My fearless little Starchild. Quote2
Superman (Clark Kent) src

Otho-Ra, also known as Starchild, is a young Phaelosian from Warworld and the adopted daughter of Superman and Lois Lane. She is one half of the Super-Twins with her brother Osul-Ra. Otho-Ra is more aggressive than her brother and often tries to protect him.

Origins

Otho-Ra and her brother Osul-Ra are descendants of the House of Ra, a Kryptonian House who joined the Phaelosians in the distant past. The original Phaelosians were driven from Krypton and eventually resettled on a new planet known as New Phaelosia. Their homeworld was attacked by Warworld when the twins were very young; their parents and older brother were killed and they grew up in the cells under the arena. Because they never knew another life, they assimilated to Warzoon culture, idolising Mongul and looking forward to being old enough to fight in the arena and build a chain.[2][3]

Revolution

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Otho and her brother Osul

Some Phaelosians held out hope that the Superman would save them. A girl named Thao-La was forced to go to Earth to lure Superman to Warworld.[4] When he arrived, Mongul defeated Superman and his allies and threw him in the cells with the Phaelosians. Superman was powerless on Warworld, which was saturated with red solar energy, so Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra saw him as nothing but a "grub". That night, Superman's ally Midnighter snuck into the arena to free Superman but he refused to leave the Phaelosians, saying that by fighting in the arena he could speak to the people of Warworld and inspire them to rebel against Mongul. Midnighter asked Superman if the Phaelosian's lives mean more to him that the Authority and Superman responded that they were equal to him. Otho-Ra overheared him while pretending to sleep.[5]

Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra had been culturally brainwashed to believe that cruelty is strength and kindness is weakness, but began to doubt what they had been taught when Mongul ordered them to fight each other to the death and tried to execute them when they refused. Superman fought Mongul to save them and told them that protecting others was strength, not weakness.[6] That night, Mongul's berserkers came to the cells to slaughter the Phaelosians, but they fought them off and Superman led them in a breakout.[7] The gladiators escaped to the Necropolis below the surface of Warworld and became rebels against Mongul.[8]

Fire of Olgrun

Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra accompanied Superman and a veteran gladiator named Kryl-Ux on their quest into the heart of the Necropolis to claim that Fire of Olgrun, and asked Superman to take them back to Earth with him when the fight against Mongul was over.[9] They reached the centre of the Necropolis where the Fire was hidden, but Kryl-Ux was severely wounded fighting the guardian of the Necropolis. Superman went on alone and told the children to stay and patch up Kryl-Ux's wounds. However while Superman was gone, Mongul tracked them down in the Necropolis and took them prisoner, revealing that Kryl-Ux was working for him.[10]

When Superman returned with the Fire of Olgrun, Mongul and Kryl-Ux demanded he hand it over. Otho-Ra told him not to and tried to attack Mongul, but he easily held her at bay and murdered Osul-Ra to punish her. Superman attacked Mongul and Kryl-Ux in a rage and managed to briefly drive them both back. He used the Fire to restore Osul-Ra to life, sacrificing the powers of a god to save one life.

Superman proved to be more than a match for Mongul even with his powers at a minimum, so Mongul tried to destroy him with a blast of energy from his jewel. However, at that moment Natasha Irons managed to alter the Star Forges to restore Superman to full strength and grant superpowers to all the Phaelosians on Warworld. Superman survived the blast unscathed, and Kryl-Ux suddenly killed Mongul with his new super-strength. He told them that he had manipulated Mongul and Superman from the beginning to get revenge on the people who had destroyed their homeworld and killed his family. With Mongul dead, the Phaelosians were freed.[11]

Superman took Warworld and all its inhabitants, including the Phaelosians, into Earth's Solar System, while he tried to return them to their homeworlds or find new homes for them to resettle. During this period Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra stayed in the Kent's home, where Superman and his wife Lois Lane gave them their son Jon's old bedroom, toys and clothes. The twins asked to remain on Earth permanently, as they didn't remember their homeworld and wanted to stay with Superman.[12][13]

Otho-Ra Prime Earth 002

Otho on Earth

The New Gods came to Earth looking for the Fire of Olgrun, believing that whoever carried it would be corrupted and destroy the Multiverse. They attempted to take Osul-Ra but Superman protected him.[14] While Superman and the New Gods were fighting, Osul-Ra and Otho-Ra used their super-strength to help rescue civilians trapped under rubble. Desaad snuck up on them and trapped Osul-Ra in energy chains, but the Fire of Olgrun inside him manifested as a construct of Olgrun who easily overpowered and almost killed Desaad. The New Gods withdrew when they realised they couldn't take Osul-Ra by force, but warned that they would return when they found a way to take the Fire from him.[15]

Superman Family

The rest of the Phaelosians returned to New Phaelosia, but Osul-Ra and Oth-Ra remained on Earth. They were adopted by Lois and Clark, who welcomed them into the House of El; and were quickly dubbed the "Super-Twins" by Earth's media.[16] Otho-Ra found it harder to adjust to Earth than her brother, and struggled to deal with the fact that she had killed people on Warworld to protect Osul. Every night before going to sleep she tied old clothes around her wrists like the chain she had started to build in the arena.[17][1]

She became fixated on an anti-alien hate group called Blue Earth and, while watching one of their rallies on the news, realised that one of them was a "Necro-Drone"; a cyborg created by Superman's enemy Metallo. She flew over and attacked it, hoping to stop it before it could hurt anyone. However, to onlookers it looked like she had killed an innocent person.[13]

Jon and Osul-Ra flew to the rally and Jon dove down to help the man she attacked before she could tell him what was really going on. The Necro-Drone blasted him and revealed that everyone at the rally was a Necro-Drone. The three of them fought the Drones but Metallo punched out Jon and kidnapped the twins, teleporting them back to his hideout just as Clark arrived to help. They were weakened by Metallo's Kryptonite power source and unable to break free. Fortunately, Clark was able to track their heartbeats and arrived to save them. Metallo tried to kill Clark with his Kryptonite "heart", but Clark revealed that his body also included Genesis, which Clark absorbed to resist the Kryptonite and overpower Metallo. To the twins' surprise, he then helped Metallo up and told him that they would help him rescue his sister Tracy, who had been kidnapped by another villain to force him to attack the Superman Family.[18]

Superman quickly deduced that his old enemy the Cyborg Superman was behind Tracy's disappearance. He activated the Eradicator, a Kryptonian artificial intelligence, to find the Cyborg Superman. Superman and Metallo took the Eradicator out to search for the Cyborg Superman; and brought Steel, Superboy and the twins along with them as backup. Otho was understandably hostile to Metallo after what he had done to them, but Superman chided her, reminding her that they were trying to save his sister, and told her that adversaries could fight together for a common purpose or even become friends. However, Otho said that Metallo would never be a friend of hers after trying to kill her brother.

The Eradicator tracked the Cyborg Superman to an underground chamber at the bottom of a pit. They dove down into the pit and found a tunnel lined with robotic tentacles. One of the tentacles grabbed Osul-Ra by the ankle and Metallo cut it. Otho yelled at him to get away from her brother but Metallo told her they had nothing to fear from him. He told the twins that they reminded him of him and Tracy when they were younger; and told them that he had killed their father to protect Tracy from his rage.[19]

They confronted the Cyborg Superman, who attacked them with multiple drone bodies and the tentacles. Henshaw tried to kill the twins to punish Superman, who he blamed for the death of his wife, but they were able to break free of the tentacles when he grabbed them. Metallo destroyed Henshaw's prime body and Superboy was able to disrupt his control over the others, but Tracy was severaly injured. The twins watched Metallo weeping over his sister as Superman tried to save her life. Superman was able to repair the damage and Tracy survived.[20]

Knight Terrors

Otho-Ra was not affected by their fight against the Cyborg Superman but Osul-Ra was terrified and remained frightened that he could return, despite Otho assuring him that Henshaw was trapped in the Phantom Zone and could not escape. While babysitting the twins, Superboy allowed them to watch a horror movie; although Otho enjoyed it and tried to avoid Natasha Irons' attempts to cover her eyes, the movie triggered Osul-Ra's fear of Henshaw.

That night, the nightmare-warping villain known as Insomnia trapped most of the world's heroes and villains in nightmares born from their worst fears; and used Osul-Ra's fear of the Cyborg Superman to create a common nightmare for the twins, Superboy, Natasha and Kong Kenan. In the nightmare, Henshaw returned and transformed Conner into a cyborg under his control, and then started to absorb Krypto, Natasha and Kong into his body.[21]

They managed to break free but Henshaw picked the others off one by one, leaving the twins alone. The world around them changed from Metropolis to Warworld and he told them that Superman failed and they died on Warworld where their bodies were eaten by the Great Worms, and their new life on Earth had been the dream. Henshaw showed them their greatest fears, in Otho's case, that she would never be free of Warworld and Mongul, chaining her to Mongul's walking corpse. However, just when it seemed like Henshaw had won, his dead wife appeared in the dreamscape and the twins realised that Henshaw wasn't in control and was trapped like them. Otho broke free and the twins fought back against Henshaw until he was dragged under the ground by his wife. The twins awoke in reality and the others told them that they had beaten Henshaw and saved them all.[22]

Life on Earth

The twins started school at the Steelworks Institute. On their first day another student made fun of Osul-Ra and Otho got into a fight with them. Lois scolded Otho for this and told her that, unlike on Warworld, she could not resort to violence to solve her problems. That evening, Supergirl read the twins the story of their ancestors the House of Ra, and their two great heroes, the twins Red Son and Starchild.[3]

The next day, members of Blue Earth who had been given powers provoked a fight with Superman and the Super-Family responded to help. Otho eagerly rushed into the fight, when she was suddenly surrounded by green smoke filled with images of her family. She heard a voice in her head tell her that she wasn't like the others and had "iron" in her. A woman appeared out of the smoke, who Otho recognised as Norah Stone, the leader of Blue Earth. Norah told Otho that Blue Earth was only a small part of her plans and that what she really wanted was her, much to Otho's shock. Norah told her that she wasn't where she belonged, and revealed that she knew Otho-Ra had killed people before, and claimed that she missed the chain she had been building on Warworld. Shaken and angry, Otho-Ra tried to blast Norah, but her eye beams passed harmlessly through her. Norah tossed her necklace to Otho and told her that they would see each other again soon.

Otho-Ra suddenly came to in the battlefield with Osul begging her to wake up. He told her that she had frozen up through the entire fight. Supergirl noticed the necklace in her hand and asked what it was, but Otho lied and claimed it was just something she found. Superboy and Supergirl took the twins to the Fortress of Solitude while their parents went to Steelworks to talk with John Henry and Natasha Irons. Otho stared intently at the necklace until suddenly tendrils of green energy erupted from it and bound her. Superman heard her screams for help and flew at top speed from Metropolis, but just as he arrived she was teleported away to Earth al Ghul in the Dark Multiverse.[1]

Norah revealed herself as Janan al Ghul, aka Sister Shadow, the ruler of the Empire of Shadows. Otho tried to fight Sister Shadow and her soldiers, but they were able to easily resist her energy blasts. When she tried to escape, Sister Shadow chased after her and once again entered her mind, showing Oth-Ra a version of herself who never left Warworld and grew up to be Valkyrie General of the Warworld Engines and Soulbearer of Olgrun. She told Otho that that was who she was meant to be, and she had brought her to the Dark Multiverse to giver her back her "iron".[23]

Starchild

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Otho trapped in Sister Shadow's illusion

Sister Shadow tried to brainwash Otho-Ra so she could abandon her own dying body to possess Otho and gain her powers. She put Otho-Ra in a telepathic illusion of fighting in the arena on Warworld, forging a long chain and becoming the Warzoon she dreamed of being. Otho-Ra briefly broke out of the illusion when she "killed" a crowd of enemies, saying that El's don't kill and tearfully asking where her brother was; but Sister Shadow forcibly put her back under, saying that Osul and Superman were weak, and she was meant to be a conqueror. Under Sister Shadow's control, Otho unlocked the power to create constructs from her energy blasts.

Superman followed Otho-Ra to the Dark Multiverse to save her, along with Bloodwynd and Etrigan, who Janan had enslaved to steal their magic. Etrigan went in to Janan's citadel to save Otho, but she was fully under Janan's control and stabbed him in the back. Superman flew in and told her to stop, but Janan created an illusion that he was Mongul and ordered Otho to destroy him. Superman held her off and tried to get through to her. He told that she wasn't an al Ghul or a Warzoon, and she isn't him or Supergirl either. She's a girl who was taught to be a killer but chose to protect her brother; like Starchild of the House of Ra, who fought to her last breath to protect her people, and in death her soul became a shield to protect Red Son in death so h could complete their mission alone. She broke free of Sister Shadow's control and Superman told her that she was the best of them, the fearless Starchild.

Enraged, Sister Shadow blasted them, screaming that Otho should have been hers. She once again took control of Bloodwynd and Etrigan, and used their power to create a giant construct of a demon around the three of them. She opened a portal to Earth 0 and lead an invasion fleet through.

Otho-Ra and Superman chased them through the portal, and found Osul-Ra battling Sister Shadow alone. Janan grabbed Osul-Ra but Otho blasted her away and the twins happily reunited. Otho-Ra told Osul she was afraid she'd never see him again, but he told her that nothing could keep Red Son and Starchild apart. The three of them battled Sister Shadow until Superman was able to pull her out of the construct. Freed from Janan's control, Bloodwyn and Etrigan closed the portal to Earth al Ghul, causing the invasion force to disappear. Etrigan dragged Janan's soul into Hell for trying to steal their power.[24]

Powers

  • Phaelosian Physiology: Phaelosians are an evolutionary offshoot of Kryptonians. As such they possess superpowers under the light of a "yellow" sun such as Earth's.
    • Solar Radiation Absorption: Under optimal conditions, this is the main source of Otho-Ra's super powers as they are contingent upon exposure to solar radiation from a yellow sun star system. Her biological make up includes a number of organs which lack analogues in humans and whose functions are unknown. It is believed that between one or more of these and her bio-cellular matrix, "yellow" solar energy is stored for later use. This allows for the use of these powers to fade when yellow solar radiation is not available instead of immediate failure.[15]
    • Genesis Energy Absorption: Otho-Ra can absorb and process energy from a mysterious material known as "Genesis" as a substitute for yellow sunlight to fuel her powers. This alternative energy source can also empower Kryptonians.[11]
    • Energy Manipulation: Otho-Ra can generate flamelike, blue-coloured energy from her body and manipulate it to a variety of effects.[15][24]
      • Optic Blast: Otho-Ra can, as a conscious act, fire powerful energy blasts from any part of her body. She most typically does this as concentrated beams from her eyes similar to Kryptonian heat vision,[4] or alternatively as concussive blasts from her hands.[23]
      • Energy Construct Creation: Otho-Ra can use her energy to create simple constructs such as a sword or an axe. She is the only Phaelosian seen so far with this ability.[24]
      • Force Field: Otho-Ra can use her energy to create energy shields and block powerful attacks. She is the only Phaelosian seen so far with this ability.[24]
    • Heat Vision: Otho-Ra can, as a conscious act, fire beams of intense heat at a target by looking at it. She can vary the heat and area affected.[25][26]
    • Superhuman Strength: Otho-Ra develops enhanced physical strength after absorbing a sufficient amount of yellow solar radiation. This radiation interacts with the greater than human density, resilience and biological efficiency of her musculature to trigger superhuman levels. While the exact magnitude of her strength is unknown, it is generally accepted that it is sufficient to lift 100,000 tons or more. The specific range is unknown as her strength, like the other powers, may fluctuate over time. Her strength is more an act of conscious will on energy fields than actual physical strength. In terms of strength, Phaelosians are seemingly as strong as Kryptonians and Daxamites.[15]
    • Superhuman Speed: Otho-Ra is able to move at incredible speeds by sheer force of will. She can match most other speedsters in super-fast movements, reactions, and processes. She can use this power to disarm opponents without heightened reflexes, catch bullets or shrapnel or cross vast distances in seconds.[13]
    • Invulnerability: Due to the interaction of her dense molecular structure and supercharged bio-electric aura, Otho-Ra is nigh-invulnerable to extreme energy forces. In addition, her immune system protects her from toxins and diseases.[24]
    • Flight: Otho-Ra is able to manipulate graviton particles to defy the forces of gravity and achieve flight. This ranges from hovering to moving in any posture, in any direction.[16]
    • Super-Breath: Otho-Ra is able to create hurricane force winds by exhaling air from her lungs. She can chill the air as it leaves her lungs to freeze targets. She can also reverse the process to pull large volumes of air or vapor into her lungs.[27]
    • X-Ray Vision: This is the ability to see through any volume of matter except lead. Otho-Ra can see things behind a solid, opaque object as if it were not there. She can focus this ability to "peel back" layers of an object, allowing hidden image or inner workings to be observed. The exact type of energy perceived—such as x-rays, cosmic rays, or some other energy invisible to normal humans—is unclear. This ability perceives an ambient energy source though, it does not involve the eye projecting a concentrated, possibly toxic, beam to be reflected back from objects.[3]

Abilities

Weaknesses

  • Solar Energy Dependency: Like Kryptonians and Daxamites, Phaelosians rely on solar radiation from the yellow sun as a source of their powers. Their abilities will eventually weaken without replenishing their energy reserves with normal (yellow) sun radiation.[4]
  • Vulnerability to Kryptonite: Unlike Daxamites, Phaelosians are vulnerable to Kryptonite despite centuries of genetic drift from baseline Kryptonians.[18]


  • In early appearances, Otho-Ra was drawn with black hair and blue-grey eyes. She had pink eyes in her first appearance. She has subsequently been depicted with brown hair and eyes.
  • In early appearances, Otho-Ra was taller than Osul-Ra and appeared to be older than him. They were eventually confirmed to be twins and have since been drawn as the same height.

Related

Footnotes


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Superman Family member
This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Superman, and a member of the Superman Family. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Superman Family members" category.

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