DC Database

Starlight, real name Stella Maxwell, is a member of the Shadow Cabinet and later the Heroes. She is a human pulsar, able to generate electromagnetic radiation.


Stella Maxwell's life always seemed destined for the stars. When she was born, her father named her Stella because of his love of stargazing. Stella developed this same interest at an early age so she and her dad would spend hours at night looking at the heavens. Eventually, she grew up and decided to pursue her major in mathematics at Medina University. Stella still kept her love of the stars and would go to the university's observatory to stargaze when she was sad or stressed.[1]

Then came the night that would change Stella's life forever. Entering the observatory for some stargazing, she witnessed the horrible sight of a strange device firing an energy beam at a man screaming in agony while several other men looked on. Without thinking of her own safety, Stella shoved passed the onlookers and tried to knock the screaming man out of the beam's path. Unfortunately, Stella wound up being trapped in the beam along with the man and now shared his unimaginable pain. Among the onlookers present was inventor Curtis Metcalf, who ducked out of the observatory to assume his superhero alter ego of Hardware. Thanks to his protective armor, Hardware freed Stella and the man from the energy beam without being trapped himself. But Hardware then detected Stella was emitting dangerous levels of electromagnetic radiation and promptly took her to his lab, where she donned a lead suit. After a few days of analysis, Hardware explained to Stella what happened.[1]

The man Stella saved was Dr. Michael Merriman, a particle physicist who invented a tachyon telescope that would revolutionize the field of astronomy. However, on the night of the telescope's demonstration, something went wrong as the device began drawing energy from the pulsar Merriman was observing and then transferring it into his body. If Stella had not shielded Merriman, he would have suffered her fate: being transformed into the human equivalent of the pulsar.[1]


Stella thought her life was over since she could not interact with other people unless she wore a lead suit.[1] Her condition was so bizarre that health insurance would not cover it, and doctors could not begin to determine a treatment.[2] However, Hardware would not let Stella give up hope and worked tirelessly to teach her how to control her radioactive energies.[1] Though she thought Hardware was crazy, Stella began to see fruit from his training as she began to reduce her radiation to safer levels. Hardware also gave her a special wrist gauge so she could better monitor and thus control her powers.[1] Feeling more confident and hopeful, Stella decided to pick a new name for herself that was suggested by Hardware: "Starlight".[3]

Having taken Starlight as far as he could go, Hardware informed her that she would be trained by a new mentor.[2] Stella was shocked when the mentor entered Hardware's lab by materializing from the shadows themselves. Hardware said the man was named Dharma, leader of the Shadow Cabinet, a superhero team that covertly protects mankind from various threats.[4] Dharma would train Starlight to fully control her powers in exchange for temporary membership with the Cabinet.[2] Starlight agreed to these terms and was instantly teleported along with Dharma to the Shadowspire, the Shadow Cabinet's secret headquarters.[2]

Shadow Cabinet

Unknown to Hardware, Starlight would join the Shadow Cabinet during one of the most tumultuous periods in its history. A few days earlier, Dharma had ordered some of his operatives to attack the outpost of the USS, a scientific think tank allied with SYSTEM, a sinister conspiracy that secretly rules the world.[5] He then seemingly abandoned the operatives so they could not be traced back to the Cabinet.[5] As Dharma hoped, his strategy increased tensions among various SYSTEM cells, who suspected each other of the USS attack.[3] However, the Cabinet's engineer Mechanic objected to Dharma's actions and angrily confronted him.[2] This argument was witnessed by Starlight, who thought Mechanic was attacking Dharma and used an energy blast to separate them.[2] Ironically, another new Cabinet operative, Payback observed this scene and leaped into the fray, thinking Starlight was attacking Dharma. Starlight was frightened by Payback's monstrous appearance, which caused her to revert to human form much to her surprise.[2]

Now on the same page, Dharma ordered Starlight to protect Foundation, the USS's main base in Antarctica, from three SYSTEM cells, each of which wanted to claim the think tank for itself.[2] She also was to eliminate the network of microwave satellites USS had launched into orbit to provide the world with clean renewable energy.[2] Despite these good intentions, Dharma had foreseen through his precognitive powers that the satellites when activated would instead melt the world's ice caps, causing a worldwide flood.[5]

Using the Cabinet's Shadowslide, Starlight was teleported to Foundation, which was under siege by the cells' armored soldiers called SYSTEMatics. By now, the USS were Cabinet allies thanks to Dharma's symbiotically joined sisters, Plus and Narnie, who convinced the scientists of SYSTEM's true evil nature. Thanks to Starlight's timely arrival, the tide of battle quickly turned against the SYSTEMatics, which were all destroyed except for one that fled. Starlight then destroyed the USS satellites, discovering in the process that she could survive in outer space without artificial aids.[4]

Despite their victory, the USS knew that SYSTEM would not stop until they killed the scientists for switching sides. The USS's leader, Captain Ray, then revealed to Starlight and Plus/Narnie that Foundation was designed to be a spaceship that relied on a series of nuclear explosions to launch into space. Quickly leaving the base, Starlight and Plus witnessed the first detonation, which appeared to consume Foundation, but the fate of the USS remains a mystery.[4]

Starlight and Plus returned to Shadowspire, where they found the "abandoned" operatives safe and sound as Dharma planned. With everyone reconciled, the Cabinet celebrated their success by shadowsliding back to the South Pole to have an impromptu snowball fight.[6]

Starlight and Payback

Serving in the Shadow Cabinet was a major boon to Starlight, who with every mission gained greater mastery of her powers.[1] In a few months, she learned how to assume human form at will, emit more precise energy blasts, and detect unique energy signatures like those within the Dark Flow, the dimension that powers the Shadowslide.[1] This period also benefited Starlight socially. Though they met under rocky circumstances, she and Payback became good friends during the course of their missions with the Cabinet. Payback soon found himself attracted Starlight and eventually confessed his feelings for her.[1] Though still insisting they were just friends, Starlight soon reciprocated Payback's love, and they became a couple.[1] Starlight even let Payback live in her apartment in Dakota's Westwood neighborhood until he could afford his own place.[4] Payback wondered if Starlight felt sorry for him, but she assured him that he was wrong. The pair also became good friends of two other Cabinet operatives, Donner and Blitzen, who also lived in Dakota.[1] So, the quartet regularly hung out together when off mission.[1]

Ghost from the Past

However, Starlight decided to leave the Cabinet to finish her college degree and made her intentions known to Dharma. Before her departure, he asked Starlight to complete one final mission for him. Through his visions, Dharma learned that Dr. Merriman was obsessed with gaining power and planned to repeat the tachyon telescope experiment to tap into the pulsar that transformed Stella. Unless stopped, Merriman would destroy everything within a 100-mile radius of University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, where he had established his secret underground lab.[1]

Starlight immediately shadowslide to the university and arrived on the edge of the campus.[1] There, she saw another Shadow Cabinet operative, Sideshow, wandering the campus in a daze until he began randomly shapeshifting, scaring onlookers nearby. Starlight grabbed Sideshow and flew him to his home for privacy and to learn what happened to him.[1] After regaining his composure, Sideshow explained that he nearly killed Dharma, whom he believed intentionally abandoned he and his fellow operatives during the USS mission.[6] Ashamed of his behavior, Sideshow took a leave of absence and soon began abusing drugs to cope.[1] Sympathetic, Starlight recounted her origins to encourage Sideshow to regain control over his powers and his life. Sideshow cynically dismissed this advice, adding that in spite of his actions he still believed Dharma was untrustworthy. To underscore the point, Sideshow noted how Starlight had been teleported in the vicinity of his home instead of Merriman's lab located two miles away.[1] Disappointed, Starlight flew off to complete her mission.

Using her powers, Starlight easily bypassed security and located Merriman's lab. She tried to convince Merriman to not activate the new tachyon telescope, but he responded by trying to shoot her. The scientist was convinced that the previous telescope's beam would have transformed him into a god if Stella had not shielded him from it. However, Merriman did acquire the power of intangibility, which he revealed by passing through Starlight and then trapping her in the energy draining chamber powering the telescope. Merriman designed the chamber to drain the pulsar's energy, but he decided that draining Starlight first would grant him even greater power. Merriman activated the chamber which began painfully disintegrating Starlight's body. Just then, Merriman was distracted when a repentant Sideshow tunneled into the lab and promptly attacked the scientist. As the two men fought, Starlight discovered she too could become intangible and used this new power to phase out of the chamber. After defeating Sideshow, Merriman thought Starlight's disappearance meant the chamber had fully drained her energy and thus recalibrated the device to target the pulsar. This is when Stella revealed her survival and knocked Merriman unconscious with an energy blast. However, Merriman's telescope began overloading, but Starlight averted the foreseen explosion by reabsorbing the energy it had stolen. Checking to see if Sideshow was okay, Starlight was surprised by the arrival of Blitzen, who was sent in when Shadowspire lost radio contact with Stella. The three heroes then took Merriman back to Shadowspire, where Dharma said he had the means to imprison the scientist. Due to this experience, Starlight appreciated the good she could do as a superhero and thus decided to remain with the Cabinet.[1]

Enter Harm

Starlight's next mission took her closer home. Several SYSTEM cells had heavily invested in Utopia Park, Dakota's new multi-billion dollar futuristic theme park.[7] Other major crime figures were also investors, including Milton St. Cloud, who was a SYSTEM cell leader until his recent expulsion.[3] Dharma had a vision that St. Cloud's use of metahuman muscle to corner all the Utopia Park construction contracts would enable the crimelord to eventually gain enough power to challenge SYSTEM itself. Starlight and the Cabinet's field commander, Iron Butterfly, were to aid a third party to prevent either SYSTEM or St. Cloud from gaining an advantage in this imminent clash.[7]

Starlight learned that party was Harm, a Cabinet ally who was currently working undercover as a mob enforcer for Dakota crime boss, Don Giacomo Cornelius. Harm confirmed Dharma's fears since St. Cloud was on the verge of ruling Dakota's criminal underworld as his crime family began gobbling up territory belonging to his weaker rivals. Convinced of the danger St. Cloud posed, Starlight and Iron Butterfly agreed to help Harm.[7]

So, the three heroes launched a surprise attack on St. Cloud's mansion home, easily sweeping through the crimelord's henchmen, superhuman or not. Since St. Cloud was unfamiliar with Starlight and Butterfly, Harm tricked the crimelord into believing the superheroines were Don Cornelius' new superhuman enforcers. Harm warned St. Cloud that trying to conquer Cornelius' territory would be a very costly mistake. Thus, St. Cloud found himself walled in as future attempts to expand his territory would put him in direct conflict with SYSTEM as well as Dakota's most powerful mob families. Following this successful mission, Iron Butterfly made a startling confession to Starlight: she no longer trusted Dharma to lead the Cabinet.[7]

Dissension in the Ranks

Several other Cabinet operatives shared Butterfly's concerns and met in the pocket dimension within Twilight, which was shielded against Dharma's powers.[8] The operatives began recounting how many recent missions seemed focused on undermining SYSTEM's operations. This is when Payback revealed that he joined the Cabinet at the urging of the Dakota based hero, Icon.[9] The Hero of Dakota was deeply disturbed after learning Dharma had foreseen the Big Bang, a tragedy that spawned many of Dakota's metahumans, but did nothing for his own arcane reasons. So, Payback was to serve as Dharma's conscience in using the Cabinet's power wisely and ethically. Payback confessed that his relationship with Starlight had distracted him from his duty. (Considering Dharma's precognitive powers, he may have recruited Starlight for that very purpose.)

Starlight forgave Payback and then made a starting conclusion having heard her teammates' testimonies: Dharma was trying to take over SYSTEM. This led to a split among the operatives with some believing Dharma gaining that much power was disastrous while others like Butterfly believed he could use it wisely. However, before they could debate this point any further, Starlight and her comrades were drawn into the "Utopia Park Riots."[8]

Utopia Park Riots

To save costs, Utopia Park was built on the very inexpensive land of Paris Island, Dakota's poorest, most crime-ridden section. In one of the most unethical acts in Dakota's history, local political leaders used government force to evict many of Paris Island's residents, who were placed into hastily built housing projects. Not surprisingly, on opening day of Utopia Park, the Blood Syndicate, the metahuman gang spawned by the Big Bang, led a crowd of disgruntled residents to the park gates to protest their mistreatment. The situation deteriorated when a fearful security guard shot one of the protesters, causing the riots. Despite the mounting number of casualties, Dharma ordered all Cabinet operatives to not intervene in the riots because he believed the long term impact would be beneficial for Dakota and even the world.[8]

Starlight did not learn of the Utopia Park riots until after returning from her latest mission. She was furious with Dharma both for not informing her that her hometown was in flames and that she was under orders to not intervene. Before Starlight could continue her protest, Dharma had her shadowslide to a new mission in Egypt. En route to her destination, Starlight's anger enabled her to somehow tap into the Dark Flow's energy and make the Shadowslide send her to Utopia Park instead. Starlight had little time to revel in her newfound teleportation power since people were dying.[10]

Fortunately for Starlight, Payback, Donner, Blitzen, Mechanic and Iron Butterfly were already on the scene, and then joined forces with other Dakota superheroes responding to the riots. While their teammates focused on quelling the rioters, Starlight and new ally Catholic Girl used a combination of science and the Divine to restore power to Utopia Park, enabling security and first responders to more easily help innocent bystanders. After the riots were ended, Starlight and Payback announced that they were tired of Dharma's amoral scheming and were leaving the Cabinet.[10]

The World Needs Heroes

Dharma viewed Starlight and her compatriots' latest actions as proof that his Cabinet operatives had too much free will and thus were less effective in his eyes. So, he transmitted a signal to recall all operatives to the Shadowspire, where he announced that none of them could leave except for missions. Realizing Dharma had gone insane, Donner and Blitzen joined fellow operative Iota in fleeing the Shadowspire. The trio then pledged to form their own superhero team, Heroes, which would operate publicly, thus earning people's trust and eliminating the temptation to resort to the Cabinet's amoral tactics.[11]

The Heroes made a major splash after saving the city of Iberia, Arkansas from being wiped out by flood waters from the bursting local dam. This widely reported heroism got the attention of not only Starlight and Payback, but also local teen superhero Static. The trio found the Heroes' idealism attractive and immediately signed onto the team. That is when a Shadow Cabinet strike team led by Iron Butterfly appeared to give the Heroes an ultimatum: return to the Shadowspire or die.[12]

The Heroes flatly refused to return to the Cabinet, and a fierce battle erupted between the two teams. During the conflict, Starlight and Payback were sucked into Twilight's pocket dimension Twilight. Though he believed the pair were forever trapped, Twilight was forced to release Starlight and Payback, who had found an escape route after a two-month long quest. The two heroes were surprised that mere minutes had passed in their native universe. The Heroes and the Cabinet then noticed their battle was causing major structural damage to the apartment building. Calling a truce, both teams combined their powers to shore up the building and save the lives of its residents. Ashamed that the battle had endangered innocent people, Iron Butterfly promised the Heroes that they were free of their ties to the Cabinet. With that, the Cabinet operatives teleported back to the Shadowspire.[13]

New York, New York

Though impressed with their valor, Mayor Jefferson politely asked the Heroes to find a new home outside Dakota, which already had enough problems with superhuman activity. After scouring the country, the Heroes considered establishing a headquarters in the upper floors of the Chrysler Building in New York. The superhero team were barely into their tour of the office building before they had to go into action to protect New Yorkers from several threats. Due to her enhanced vision, Starlight proved vital in coordinating the Heroes' efforts. She played a more active role by aiding Static in creating an enormous magnetic field to snag a runaway fighter flown by a distraught pilot and then safely land it in Central Park. Realizing that New York City needed them as much as they needed a home, the Heroes decided to settle in the Chrysler Building.[14]

Into the Inniverse

Following the Heroes' press conference, Iota learned a shift had occurred in the Inniverse, the subatomic universe that was the source of her shrinking powers.[15] She was convinced that her "late" husband, Albert Wellington-Smythe, was still alive and trapped somewhere in the Inniverse. Starlight and the other Heroes agreed to help Iota investigate this mystery. The team piled into Iota's SUV, which she equipped with a dimensional transfer unit (DTU) capable of transporting them into the Inniverse. The Heroes were promptly attacked by a quartet of Inner Men, elephantine natives of the Inniverse who thought they were being invaded.[16] Soundly defeating the Heroes, the Inner Men learned that one of the "invaders" was Iota, wife to Albert, ruler of the Inniverse. After apologies were made, Iota was happily reunited with Albert, now called the Inner King, and decided to remain with him in the Inniverse.[16] Though saddened to lose a friend and teammate, the Heroes were glad Iota had found her husband and wished them the best before returning home in a new DTU vehicle built by the reunited couple.

Reappearing in the Chrysler Building, the Heroes were shocked to see an unexpected visitor, Plus, who had also left the Shadow Cabinet. But the joy ended when Static noticed the matter/energy buffer for Iota's shrinking ray was dangerously overloaded and would soon explode with enough force to level New York City. The overload was caused by Iota's use of her powers in the Inniverse, resulting in her mass being sent backward to the buffer. To make matters worse, the Inner King informed Iota that his shifting of the Inniverse was his attempt to create a gateway back to his native universe in order to conquer it. Albert then ordered his huge Inner Men army to enter the portal that had been used by the Heroes.[17]

The Heroes quickly organized a defense against the Inner Men pouring into New York.[17] While her teammate fought the invaders, Starlight used her powers to contain the unstable buffer long enough to dispose of it in the Atlantic Ocean. While the Heroes fought valiantly against overwhelming odds, Iota rebelled against her husband and escaped to our reality along with a resonator device that amplified her powers. Growing to gigantic size, Iota ordered the Inner Men to cease their invasion and return to the Inniverse. Loyal to their queen, the Inner Men evacuated New York and returned home via the interdimensional gateway, which Starlight forever sealed by tossing the resonator into the portal. Having saved New York City from conquest, the Heroes were hailed as the Big Apple's most honored sons and daughters. With some prodding from Blitzen, Starlight accepted the role as the Heroes' leader.[17]

The K'lumnii Invasion

From that point on, the Heroes protected New Yorkers from a variety of menaces, usually terrestrial. However, history repeated itself when the Big Apple was attacked by another extra-dimensional race, the K'lumnii. While the rest of the Heroes repelled the aliens, Starlight, Payback, and Iota began tracking down the source of the portals the K'lumnii were using to invade Earth. Their search led them to a destroyed S.Y.S.T.E.M. base in Montana and an unexpected encounter with Hardware, who also was drawn to the location.[18]

After comparing notes, the heroes determined the K'lumnii invasion was in retaliation against S.Y.S.T.E.M., which used activate Bang Baby Elizabeth Johnson to power an interdimensional portal in an unsuccessful attempt to conquer other universes.[18] Just then, a squad of K'lumnii warriors attacked Hardware and the Heroes before they could free Brown. As Starlight, Payback, and Iota fought the alien warriors, Hardware entered the portal in order to meet the K'lumnii's rulers and negotiate an end to hostilities.[18]

Shortly after Hardware disappeared, the Heroes and the K'lumnii were confronted by Scar, a monstrous Bang Baby agent sent by SYSTEM to eliminate all traces of their dimension-hopping activities. Though outnumbered, Scar proved more than a match for his opponents until Starlight teleported herself and the SYSTEM agent to a deserted location. There, she unleashed her full power against Scar, who was left seriously injured. When Starlight returned, Payback informed her that Hardware had successfully brokered a truce with the K'lumnii, whose troops promptly returned to their home dimension. Hardware then borrowed Starlight's wrist gauge, which he modified so Johnson could be safely removed from SYSTEM's portal generator and life support system.[19]

Setbacks and Victories

The Heroes' string of successes was soon followed by setbacks. Static quit crime fighting and resigned from Heroes after he failed to save his friend and ally, Dusk, who was killed helping people escape a building fire. [20] Static was soon replaced by Gloria Mundi, an alien collective intelligence of vast power and mysterious origins.[21] A few months later, the Heroes learned that Dakota's metahumans, mostly Bang Babies, were disappearing. The team's investigation led to a clash with the Traffic Men, mysterious figures who used energy staves to temporarily disrupt Bang Babies' powers and capture them.[20] The superhuman kidnappers proved too much for the Heroes, who lost Donner in battle before they were forced to retreat. With Icon and his sidekick Rocket off-world and Hardware left crippled by the Traffic Men, the Heroes really needed Static's power and cunning to defeat this new foe.[20] However, Static was adamant about not being a superhero again.

However, Stella was not one to give up easily and met with Static while he was mall shopping in his civilian guise of Virgil Hawkins. Starlight had an ulterior motive since she believed the Traffic Men would try to kidnap Static, one of the few Bang Babies still free. She was proven correct when she spotted a team of Traffic Men, who detected the presence of a Bang Baby at the mall though they did not know his identity. Stella transformed into Starlight and attacked the would-be kidnappers, who believed she was the Bang Baby. The Traffic Men then fired their energy staves to capture Starlight, but the combination of the staves' energies with Starlight's triggered a massive explosion. When the smoked cleared, Starlight was in a coma while the largely unharmed Traffic Men moved in to capture her. Refusing to let his friend be captured, a now recovered Virgil donned a makeshift Static costume and fought the Traffic Men, who quickly fled.[21] The rest of the Heroes soon arrived on the scene and took Starlight to the hospital.

However, Starlight's selflessness was not in vain since Static finally snapped out of his depression and rejoined the Heroes. Static proved instrumental in the locating the missing metahumans and defeating the Traffic Men and their master John Tower, the legendary superhero turn villain who was using his captives' blood to increase his own power.[22][23]

Stella soon woke up after Tower's defeat and was happy that Static was back in action. With Dakota's metahumans safe and sound, Starlight and the rest of the Heroes returned to New York, which they defend to this day.


  • Unique Physiology: The tachyon telescope accident transformed Starlight into the human equivalent of a pulsar.[1] Her body naturally generates all forms of electromagnetic radiation: visible light, x-rays, gamma rays, infrared radiation, ultraviolet, radio waves, microwaves, magnetic waves etc.[2] Initially, Starlight would regularly and uncontrollably release electromagnetic radiation at levels lethal to any nearby non-shielded human being.[1] However, under Hardware's tutelage, she learned to not only reduce her radiation emissions to a safe level, but also channel this energy for various effects.[2][1]
  • Energy Projection: Starlight can project electromagnetic radiation from her body in the form of laser-like beams from her hands[2] or eyes.[19] These beams are capable of cutting through virtually any substance.[4] She can only project one form of energy at a time, but she can switch from one energy wavelength to another in a fraction of a second.[4] Starlight can also release her bodily energies as an electromagnetic pulse that at maximum power rivals that of a nuclear detonation.[4] This pulse normally fries all electronics in her vicinity but, she can focus it to affect a specific target without damaging nearby technology.[19] Starlight can uses her energies in non-destructive ways as well as such as using a low-level pulse of infrared radiation to fry eggs[11] or generating magnetic fields to levitate metal objects weighing many tons.[14]
  • Holograms: Among the most sophisticated of Starlight's powers is reconfiguring the light emitted from her body into holograms. Despite their lack of shadows, these illusions are quite realistic. Starlight has also used such holograms to disguise herself or others.[24]
  • Energy Absorption: Starlight is capable of absorbing energy from outside sources by duplicating its frequency and wavelength.[4] When she encounters a new or unfamiliar energy, she can be left temporarily disoriented or in some cases unconscious.[7][20] However, given enough time, Starlight will be able to fully analyze the new energy, which she can then safely absorb.[7] Starlight primarily uses this ability to quickly cleanse areas contaminated by radiation.[4] However, she has employed it in more dramatic ways like absorbing all light in her vicinity to temporarily create a zone of blinding darkness.[1] Before she learned to teleport, this latter power was useful when she needed to access the Shadowslide, which only functions in shadow.[1]
  • Flight: Starlight can release electromagnetic energy uni-directionally to propel herself through the air for flight. She can easily reach escape velocity (25,000 mph) and may be capable of considerably greater speeds in outer space.[4]
  • Self-Sustenance: Starlight can survive indefinitely in the vacuum of space, where she is sustained by her own electromagnetic energies instead of oxygen.[4]
  • Phasing: Starlight can convert her body into a completely energy-based form. She is intangible in this state, meaning that physical objects pass harmlessly through her. Conversely, she can pass through people and objects with certain exceptions; for example, if she assumes the form of gamma rays, she could not pass through lead. Starlight rarely assumes her energy form, suggesting it takes considerable effort to accomplish this feat.[1]
  • Enhanced Senses: Starlight can sense any form of electromagnetic radiation and determine its power level and source. She can even extend her vision to perceive radiation beyond visible light.[7] Through this means, Starlight can for example grant herself X-ray vision to see through inanimate objects.[2]
  • Teleportation: In recent times, Starlight discovered she could open portals into the Dark Flow, the otherdimensional realm of dark matter that powers the Shadowslide.[10] As a result, she can now teleport herself by shifting into the Dark Flow, traveling a certain distance in that realm, and reappearing at a new location in her home dimension.[10] This entire process is virtually instantaneous. Starlight has proven capable of teleporting herself to any point on Earth she can imagine. Presumably, her enhanced senses help her in properly navigating the Dark Flow as she teleports.[2] Like the Shadowslide, she cannot open her teleportational portals in broad daylight, but her ability to create darkness easily overcomes this limitation.[2]
The only real limitation to Starlight's teleportation power is mass.[14] When she first developed her power, she could only teleport herself and an extra 150 lbs.[14] However, through practice, she is learning how to teleport with greater masses. Starlight demonstrated this when through considerable effort she teleported herself and the multi-ton Scar over a distance of several miles.[19] Starlight can also teleport a person or object without teleporting herself.[14]
  • Transformation: Through concentration, Starlight can revert to human form in which she does not emit electromagnetic radiation.[1] Initially, she would only become human after a huge release of energy or if she were sufficiently frightened.[2] Now, Starlight can transform to human form and vice versa at will. She can also partially revert to her Starlight form, such as shifting her eyes into an energy state to enhance her vision.[7]


  • Science: Stella Maxwell is a gifted astrophysicist as well as a brilliant mathematician capable of quickly performing complex calculations in her head.[1][25][16]
  • Leadership: She is also a naturally gifted leader.[17]
  • Tactical Analysis: Starlight is a capable battle tactician.[17]


  • Dependence on Physical Laws: Starlight's powers depend on the normal laws of physics to function properly. Hence, she can find it difficult if not impossible to use her powers in dimensions like the Inniverse whose physical laws are radically different.[16]


  • Shadow Disk: Like all Shadow Cabinet operatives, Starlight has a Shadow Disk, which permits instant communication with Shadowspire or other operatives.

  • Starlight is currently dating fellow Shadow Cabinet member Payback.
  • As Starlight, Stella Maxwell's body is covered with star-like patterns except for her face and hair which are purple in color.[3]
  • After Starlight gained her powers, Hardware gave her a wrist gauge that constantly monitored her body's radiation emissions.[3]

When her emissions reached dangerous levels, its needle moved into the red section to alert her to rid herself of the radiation.[2] Starlight later wore a second gauge designed by Hardware that was of a lighter and sleeker design.[2][1] Now that Starlight has full control of her powers, she no longer uses the gauge.[24]



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