…the link between Omega the Unknown and James-Michael Starling?

WAS there a link between the Children of Starhawk and James-Michael Starling?

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: Second 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: Second 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: Second 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: Second 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”?

8 Responses

  1. […] Steve Gerber Omega-Guardians of the Galaxy-Wundarr article was very tightly reasoned, and so was the Hank Pym-Ultron […]

  2. @Greg: Likewise again. Thanks:)

  3. always thought maybe Tara or at least Wundar might have had a connection to Omega like all being due to the caretakers having some grand plan since both the children of the comet and james parents being androids the plan being project new genesis . a nice theory espically over trying to finaly figure out what steve plans were truely for Omega and characters like starhawk before he walked away from Marvel.

  4. After rereading the appearance of Tara in Fear #21, I think this has to be the answer. In fact the more I think about it, the more it has a feeling of logical inevitability, as if no other answer makes sense in retrospect. I find myself thinking, “I always knew this, didn’t I? I just didn’t know I knew it.”

    If this is right, and if Gerber and Skrenes had been able to finish the story as intended, I have to think this would have been treated the way characters like Richard Rory and Ruth Hart and Ruby Thursday were used in Omega. That is, if you weren’t aware of their past history in Man-Thing or The Defenders or wherever, that wouldn’t be information you needed to know and it wouldn’t be mentioned…but if you DID know, it would add more depth and resonance to the story. That was one of the hidden points of the “Seven Soldiers of Steve” cross-blog project, in a way — in the era of newsstand distribution and no Internet, a writer couldn’t assume people would be able to find back issues at all, so a story still had to be just self-contained enough to get by.

    I never owned those last couple of Morbius stories — the one scripted by Doug Moench over Steve’s plot, and the one Moench did on his own — so I have no idea how the children of the Comet storyline was wrapped up, much less how true it was to Gerber’s intent. Does Tara show up again in those last couple of issues? And is there any possibility, do you think, that the girl Tara who meets Morbius is in fact the same Tara being cared for by Starhawk and Aleta along with her siblings Sita and John? I have a thought on how that could work…

  5. @demoncat4: Thanks for posting Yes there’s quite a few of us that have thought there’s always been some connection behind these children and the Caretakers it seems.

    Re: Starhawk all we need to figure out is what connection Arcturus and the Hawkgod had to the Shi’ar;)

    @Richard: I know we’re on the right track. I’ve invited Mary to drop by but am doubtful she’ll give anything away out of respect for Steve.

    Re: Ruby, yes I do think you’re spot on, but boy I’d love to know where Steve and Mary were taking the plot where she had set Dibbuk loose on Omega.

    While Tara was a genetically engineered prototype comet-child of the Caretakers, upon Moench taking the story over he described the Children as androids which was extremely disappointing.

    You know, how groovy would it be to reveal the Caretaker and the Blood from Ghost Rider as Arcturans who remained behind on Earth. Recall we did see a Spirit of Vengeance in the Guardians of the Galaxy’s future, so were they responsible for the ones on Earth as well!

  6. Unfortunately, I did not read those other books Steve wrote. I would have enjoyed them as I almost always enjoyed Steve’s work. I recognize some possibilities but don’t know the source work.

    It was definitely an intriguing analysis.

    Steve and I both had themes that ran through our separate works. We brought our views on survival, justice, honor, mystery and the occult into our collaborations.

    When I hear that you, or somebody like Lethem, were intrigued by our mysteries I feel a warm glow. It makes the fact that we were crushed because of our uppity take on the genre and that our book was killed in it’s infancy, sadder for your caring.

    Thank you,

  7. @Mary: Firstly, wow Steve’s better “writing” half, Mary Skrenes, has thought enough to contribute to my blog.

    I could die a happy person knowing you found my analysis intriguing!

    A pity you didn’t get to read those other books Steve wrote. What do we all think reading this? Should we organise to post Mary said issues for her edification?

    I’m sure I can speak for all my commenters here who are also fans of Steve and your work that we absolutely loved the existential themes you built your comics work around. You both fulfilled a desperate yearning those fans of us who were wanted something deeper from their stories:)

    Keep feeling that warm glow, and don’t ever think your take was uppity. Your work shone light on the desperately neglected areas in comics, the people who in not only comics, but society in general, tended to not be given a voice. You gave us characters we could truly empathise with, thereby helping us direct that emotion to those who mirrored these characteristics in our own worlds.

    We’re still grieving too that yourself and Steve never got to see your vision reach its logical end, and would still after all these years love to know how you both intended to reveal the TRUE relationship between Omega and James-Michael.

    Words can’t express how much I appreciate your reply.

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