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Quote1.png Ha ha ha... You are so confident in your power, Wildfire! Your very stance is threatening-- But you are no threat to me! I have come to tell you that the girl's death was but the first move in a game... A game of universal proportions! The rules are mine... And yours are the roles of pawns... And now the game will really begin! You will face the ultimate evil... And fall before it. And when you have all fallen, the universe ends. A simple game, is it not? Quote2.png
Pulsar Stargrave src

Pulsar Stargrave was a Coluan enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes who claimed a connection to Brainiac.

Pulsar Stargrave's origin allegedly begins with the 20th Century Coluan space-marauder Brainiac. Traveling 1000 years into his own future by use of a Timeship, Brainiac supposedly entered into a state of suspended animation and was discovered by a crew of space-explorers belonging to an ophidian race, who mistook him for dead. Per the alien spacemen's traditional custom, Brainiac's body was shuttled into the core of the nearest star. When the star went supernova shortly afterwards, Brainiac was reconstituted into a new form with superior power: Pulsar Stargrave.[1] However, there is reason to doubt the authenticity of these events, leaving Stargrave's true origins something of an enigma.[2]

Stargrave perceived himself to exist in a contest with the Dark Lord Mordru for domination of the known universe. In the search for allies, Stargrave liberated the Time Trapper from the planet where he was stranded years before by the Legion of Super-Heroes and observed the Trapper's rematch with Legionnaires Superboy, Saturn Girl, Karate Kid, Chameleon Boy, and Sun Boy to determine the Trapper's worthiness as an ally. The Trapper's defeat convinced Stargrave to make the Legion themselves into his allies, so he tore open a rift in space to the Antimatter Universe to cause a Legion task force to be dispatched to close it. Once the Legion arrived, Stargrave sealed the rift with a gesture and introduced himself. Accompanied by henchmen Holdur and Quicksand, Stargrave made his ambition to conquer all of creation known to the Legionnaires, yet proposed a strategic alliance with the team against Mordru. The Legion rebuffed Stargrave and were stricken down with only minimal exertion by the villain, with the exception of Brainiac 5. Stargrave left Brainiac 5 conscious in order to deceive Brainy into thinking that he was Brainy's presumed deceased father Brainiac 4. The Legion convened amongst themselves after the battle and reluctantly decided that they would help Stargrave to overcome Mordru if it came to a decision between the two, but they affirmed that all the same they would never let Stargrave have the universe. At the end of the meeting, Brainiac 5 left his teammates to converse with an astral projection of Stargrave and confirmed that he would stand by Stargrave's side when it would become time for the final conflict with the Legion.[3][4]

Stargrave dispatched Brainiac 5 on a secret mission to Zerox to steal Mordru's mystic Soulstone. However, upon touching the enchanted bauble, Brainy telepathically received information from the sentient will of the Soulstone, revealing to him that Stargrave was actually the original Brainiac and was merely using Brainiac 5 for his purposes. Driven into a rage at Stargrave's treachery, Brainy commandeered a Legion Cruiser and set off into deep space with it to kill Stargrave in revenge. It was hours before the other Legionnaires discovered a recorded message from Brainy explaining his intentions.[1] Stargrave deduced Brainiac 5's designs as well, however, and intercepted his vessel, having him bound in the hold of his own ship and replaced with an android duplicate. When the Legion discovered "Brainy," they were immediately ambushed by more of Stargrave's androids, although the Legion pieced together that even the "ambush" was only a mere simulation, intended to mock the Legion and play with their minds. Meanwhile, Stargrave suddenly elected to change priorities, causing havoc on the planet of Colu with Quicksand, Holdur, and robot legions at his side. The Legion responded to Stargrave's simultaneous assaults on Colu's all-important Gravitron and Airfilter facilities, only for both teams to separately discover that the attacks were being led by inferior android duplicates of the true Stargrave. Brainiac 5, Saturn Girl, and Lightning Lad realized that Stargrave's true target was the Science Museum, which contained the wrecked hulks of the long-destroyed Computer Tyrants. Stargrave's immediate goal was now to revive the Computer Tyrants to life with his powers, in order to repay the debt of "his" creation as Brainiac and punish the people of Colu for overthrowing them by reducing them to perpetual slavery. Ultimately, Stargrave was defeated within mere seconds of accomplishing his goal by Superboy and Wildfire, who rushed Stargrave and knocked him into Colu's sun with a mighty double-uppercut punch.[5]

This was not to be the true demise of Pulsar Stargrave. Now primarily driven by the desire to destroy Brainiac 5 for his "betrayal," Stargrave infected Brainy with a disease that exacerbated pre-existing insecurities and instabilities within the Legionnaire's mind, gradually driving Brainy insane.[6] At the same time, Stargrave hired An Ryd to lure her ex-boyfriend Ultra Boy to Rimbor under false circumstances. However, Stargrave then murdered An Ryd and framed Ultra Boy for the foul deed, causing the Legion to launch a manhunt for their accused member. Fortunately, Chameleon Boy initiated his own investigation of the crime and eventually gathered enough evidence to exonerate Ultra Boy and prove that he had been set up, albeit not enough to determine the identity of the true perpetrator.[7] After reviewing the facts in his case file once more, Chameleon Boy was on the cusp of deducing Stargrave's identity. However, Stargrave infiltrated Legion HQ and blasted Cham into a coma before he could tell anyone. The psychotic Brainiac 5 then used the Miracle Machine to incarnate the collective hate and malice of all sentient beings into an invulnerable monster called Omega, who would travel from the edge of space to Earth in order to seize the Miracle Machine and will the end of creation. While the Legion was investigating the attack on Chameleon Boy, Wildfire made an independent review of Cham's case file notes and concluded that the culprit for these evil actions was Brainiac 5, who in his unbalanced state accepted the blame for all charges. As the Legionnaires mounted a futile resistance against Omega's advance, Brainiac 5 taunted his former comrades with the fact that only his intellect held the solution to stop Omega and save the universe. In return for his cooperation, all the Legion had to do was "pronounce" him the universe's ruler. Running quickly out of options, the Legion decided to humor Brainy's mad delusions and took his advice to summon ex-Legionnaire Tenzil Kem for the task of eating the Miracle Machine. Although this act caused Omega to cease to exist, Tenzil went insane due to his inability to digest the energies circulating within the Miracle Machine, and both he and Brainy were remanded for a time to the St. Croix Medi-Center for psychiatric treatment. In addition, the battle with Omega virtually destroyed Legion HQ.[8][9] These events caused the Legion much material and symbolic damage, which it took the Legion months to recover from. Brainiac 5 was only restored to sanity when Superboy, Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl, and Cosmic Boy illegally took control of a hologram room in an amusement park and programmed it to broadcast specific simulations to help Brainy work through his self-esteem issues.[10]

After the next change in United Planets administrations saw the replacement of the disgraced Kandro Boltax with Colossal Boy's mother Marte Allon, the new Earthgov President demonstrated her commitment to the responsibilities of her office over familial ties by challenging the Legion Charter on the basis that the Legion permitted a known murderer to remain within its roster, disregarding that Brainiac 5 was mentally unwell when he allegedly killed An Ryd. This event prompted Chameleon Boy to reopen his case file on An Ryd's murder in order to re-evaluate the evidence, as he knew that his initial investigation indicated Stargrave before Brainy confessed to the crime. Returning to the murder site on Rimbor, Cham and Star Boy were ambushed by Stargrave. When Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl returned to Rimbor to make their own investigation using the records of the Rimborian Immigration Service, they too were waylaid and defeated by Stargrave, with Ultra Boy in particular being presumed dead. Even without his friends' deductions, Brainiac 5 discovered the truth about An Ryd's murder through his own analysis of the facts and confronted Stargrave on Rimbor's moon, where he used a force-field to trap himself with Stargrave, claiming that he would endure a lifetime of total isolation to keep Stargrave trapped for an eternity. In a last, desperate effort, Stargrave expended his maximum energy-output against the force-field, hoping to destroy Brainiac 5 along with himself. However, Brainy anticipated this volatile move from Stargrave and was secretly protected by his Force Field Belt within the larger force-field. As a result, only Stargrave was engulfed by his own power.[6]

When the planet Bismoll went to an all-computer world system, it attracted the attention of Stargrave. The only heroes Senator Tenzil Kem (formally Matter-Eater Lad) could call upon was the Legion of Substitute Heroes. Stargrave is eventually destroyed when Stone Boy is dropped on the android's head, splitting him in two.

Stargrave's ignominious defeat.


Powers

Weaknesses

Equipment

  • Robot armies
  • Android duplicates of Brainiac 5 and himself


  • His true identity is unknown. He claimed to be Brainiac 5's father, as well as the original Brainiac (Superman's foe).
  • The character Mr. Starr, the embodiment of the Computer Tyrants' minds into a physical soul, was believed by many L.E.G.I.O.N. readers to be Pulsar Stargrave.

Related

Footnotes


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Legion of Super-Heroes Villain(s)
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This character or group of characters is or was primarily an enemy of the Legion of Super-Heroes from the 31st Century, and may have existed in any of the various Legion continuities, including but not limited to the Original Legion, Reboot Legion, and the Prime Legion. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Legion of Super-Heroes villains" category.

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