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Pulsar Stargrave
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superboy #223 (Jan 1977)
Created by Jim Shooter
Mike Grell
In-story information
Species Coluan
Place of origin Colu
Notable aliases Brainiac, Brainiac 4

Stellar energy manipulation

Pulsar Stargrave is a fictional supervillain featured in DC Comics as a foe of the Legion of Super-Heroes.

Pre-Crisis origin and character biography

A native of the planet Colu, Stargrave originally claimed to be the father of Brainiac 5. In appearance, Stargrave looks like an ordinary Coluan (green-skinned and humanlike) with no hair.

According to Pulsar's own account, he was a scientist whose ship's life support failed during an expedition. he put himself into suspended animation hoping for rescue. He was found by alien explorers, but believed dead, so his body was sent into a nearby star just as it went supernova, merging with his body and giving him the ability to harness and control stellar energy. Later, Pulsar Stargrave was revealed to be the original Brainiac, who had fled from Superman into the future.

Stargrave is an extremely powerful figure, on par with other Legion opponents such as Mordru and the Time Trapper. In his quest for galactic conquest, he manipulated Brainiac 5 in a complicated scheme to frame Ultra Boy for murder and to cause Brainiac 5 to go insane as a result. However, following the time twisting events of Legion of The Super-Heroes V4 #5, in which the villain Glorith replaced the Time Trapper as the Legion's main time travel villain, his role in the framing of Ultra Boy and Brainiac 5 was replaced by Glorith.

His last pre-Crisis appearance was in the DC Special one shot edition of Legion of Substitute Heroes in 1985. The special gave yet another origin to Stargrave, positioning him as an unnamed cosmic horror-type creature who had impersonated a member of the Colu species/Brainiac. While attempting to enslave the homeworld of Matter Eater Lad, the Legion of the Substitute-Heroes and Matter Eater Lad defeated the villain, with Matter Eater Lad biting off Stargave's nose in the course of the battle.


Following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Pulsar Stargrave was reinvented as Mr Starr. The new version of the character was a villain of the 20th century L.E.G.I.O.N., rather than the 30th century team.

After Vril Dox II liberated Colu from the Computer Tyrants, the Tyrants uploaded their consciousness to an orbital satellite, and created an android called Mr Starr, who looked identical to the pre-Crisis Stargrave. Mr Starr attempted to conquer Talok VIII by posing as a hero. As Talok VIII's planetary champion, Lyrissa Mallor, was absent, working with L.E.G.I.O.N., the inhabitants welcomed this new hero.

Starr then sought revenge on Dox's team by accelerating the age of Mallor's daughter and sending her out to assassinate the L.E.G.I.O.N. She killed her mother before she was caught and deprogrammed. The L.E.G.I.O.N. then tracked her back to Talok VIII, where Starr was believed to have been destroyed.

In a possible future featured in the L.E.G.I.O.N. '91 annual, Vril Dox and Lady Quark had traveled back in time to Talok VIII, where Mr. Starr had actually survived his encounter with L.E.G.I.O.N. He took control of both Vril Dox and Lady Quark, and soon very nearly took over the entire galaxy.

Post-Infinite Crisis

Following the Infinite Crisis limited series, much of the Legion's original history (which was rebooted following Zero Hour: Crisis in Time) has been restored. Pulsar Stargrave has been returned to continuity. His status as the future incarnation of the original Brainiac remains an open question, one even Brainiac 5 has yet to resolve. Pulsar Stargrave has returned to DC as a creation (a sentient Solaris Class Macroprocessor created when imploding a neutron star) of Lryl Dox aka Brainiac 3 in R.E.B.E.L.S. issue 18, July 2010.

The New 52

In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Pulsar Stargrave is reintroduced in a back-up story in Threshold #2 featuring Larfleeze. In 2013, it was announced that he would continue to be a main character in Larfleeze's self-titled ongoing series.