I have for some time been contemplating whether Steve Gerber intended a number of his characters to have sprung from the same concept, despite his never getting to reveal them before he’d left Marvel acrimoniously.
The first suspect that comes to mind is Tara, the older daughter of Stakar and Aleta (Starhawk), and the woman-child of the same name, first of the Children of the Comet, creation of the Caretakers of Arcturus. Both have direct connections to the planet of Arcturus IV, and both were psychic vampires, so it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility.
It is interesting that Starhawk was “The One Who Knows”, yet didn’t see their fates coming;-)
But I digress…
Gerber’s story in Adventure into Fear seemed to imply that the woman-child Tara and her Children of the Comet brethren were genetically engineered creations of the Caretakers.
However, some later writers described the Children of the Comet as androids.
This is most interesting when you consider Gerber’s other creations, the parents of James-Michael Starling, were also revealed to as such.
Nevertheless, this repeated theme might finally provide a clue on the direction he was taking Omega the Unknown.
That is, was young James meant to be a successful outcome of Project: New Genesis?
Think about it for a moment.
Tara demonstrated the ability to physically shift her own form into that of her older selves.
Was this in essence what James Starling was doing when Omega kept showing up on the scene when the young boy was in peril?
Was Omega the older self of James-Michael akin to Tara’s adult selves?
Recall how the Girlchild Tara could create and control a duplicate form of that which she would have as a woman in ten years, as well as the forms she would have at twenty year intervals to any point in her life span.
She also demonstrated the ability to psychically shift her own form into those of her older selves much like Franklin Richards’s dreamself power as Tattletale.
But I’m not stopping there…
Then is another character demonstrating mental abilities that Gerber created… the man-child, Wundarr.
Does all of this suggest that Gerber was intending to reveal his numerous ‘child’ characters as leftovers of Project: New Genesis?
Then there is the unsettling connection between the woman-child Tara and the older daughter of Starhawk.
Was Aleta’s father, Ogord, compelled by the woman-child, Tara, to retrieve the baby, Stakar, from the battlefield and rear him?
Or did one of Tara’s adult incarnations survive and escape back to Arcturus where she had a brief liaison with Ogord, leader of the Reavers?
Or was Aleta a surviving incarnation of Tara that the Reaver discovered when she too was an infant?
Was Ogord originally a Caretaker Tara had manipulated into becoming a Reaver, in much the same way she claimed to have influenced Daemond?
If Aleta was another possible incarnation of Tara, was her ability to merge with Stakar not in fact a result of the Hawkgod, but perhaps a more advanced form of Tara’s originally presented ability to physically shift her own form into that of her older selves?
Was Ogord in fact aware of Aleta’s ability and adopted Stakar (aware of the child’s potential to become all-knowing) so he could have Aleta steal the power and use it to aide him in his ongoing quest for power?
This might explain why Ogord went on to kidnap his own grandchildren – the offspring of Starhawk – and unleash latent psychic abilities they had perhaps inherited from their mother.
In fact, Stakar’s appearance on Arcturus could be read as a massive coincidence – or some kind of elaborate set-up.
The same could be said for Gerber’s other creation Wundaar, who exhibited characteristics quite different from those of his race, bringing a pacifist message.
Arcturus seemed extremely important to the Seventies strain of story-interconnection at Marvel and maybe this is why!
Were Wundaar, Stakar and James Starling all products of Project: New Genesis, its objective to perhaps engineer “gifted” children that would be deposited at critical junctures in societies to help guide them through the hard times?
Does this further explain how the infant Stakar showed up on the Arcturan battlefield when he did?
It has been implied that the Hawkgod statue that transformed Stakar and Aleta into the composite being Starhawk was not built by the Arcturans but that it was placed there by someone unknown.
What if Gerber intended to reveal that the island the Enclave created their Citadel of Science on was an abandoned outpost of the Caretakers of Arcturus, and their Beehive was built from the information and/or technology from Project: New Genesis?
Recall that similar to Tara, Stakar, Wundaar and Omega, the Enclave create their own man-child, Adam Warlock, who I suspect goes on to become the Hawkgod and is exiled to Arcturus to redeem himself and rescue Stakar from Ogord’s plans, thus preventing his becoming the dark expression of the Project like the woman-child Tara before him.
One more interesting piece of information, considering my earlier discussion of the inclusion of androids in these origins, is how Brutag, one of Ogord’s Reavers of Arcturus, was also an android. Was this another hint left behind by Gerber?
Postscript: While I leave you with the above thoughts, what if Stakar and Aleta, combined as Starhawk, are Sharra and K’ythri, “the end of all that is”?
Filed under: Steve Gerber