Stardust, The Super Wizard

Here is another public domain superhero that I have revamped. This is one of the more obscure superheroes from the early days of superhero comics, who has since developed a bit of a cult following in recent years. This began with his creator, Fletcher Hanks, man whom not that much is known, and who I’ve seen described by one writer as “the Ed Wood of comic-books.” In the immediate aftermath of the debut of Superman in 1938, Fletcher Hanks proceeded to spend the next three years writing and drawing 53 comic-book stories of his own new superhero creations. The thing is that Hanks, who was said to already by pushing 50 years old at the time, had no preconceived notions about what a “superhero” should be or what types of stories should be told, since the genre was still so new, and so he really let his imagination run wild as he came up with some of the weirdest heroes and equally bizarre stories. The most (in)famous of which is STARDUST, The Super Wizard.

Like Superman, Stardust was a muscular White man in a skintight blue suit, but that’s where the comparison stops. The opening tagline for every Stardust story was: Stardust, the most remarkable man of all time, is devoting his vast knowledge of interplanetary science to crime-busting. Thus Stardust’s powers were explained as the result of various scientific gadgets that he invented himself. most of which were built right into his suit. The red dots around his waist were said to be like knobs or dials that he used to activate his various abilities. And what were those abilities? Pretty much anything! Whatever was necessary for the story, Stardust could do. Flying, teleportation, levitation, super strength, shape-shifting (of himself and others), you name it. There appeared to be no limit to his powers. He was said to reside in his “private star” where he kept a lab, and could monitor the Earth (and other worlds) for criminal activities.

Despite his near-omnipotent status, most of the foes that Stardust faced were ordinary humans, and thus rather over-matched. Following the simplistic morality tales of the pulp era, most of the antagonists that were “gangsters” or “spies” or “racketeers” who were out to cause chaos through causing crimes and starting wars. These groups were generally well-funded and organized, as they had the means to stage national attacks with airplanes and tanks. But when Stardust got wind of their plans, he would arrive on the scene to inflict his form of justice on them.

And by justice, I don’t mean tying them up and leaving them for the cops to arrest, like other superheroes of the time. I mean, he did occasionally turn over the bad guys to the law enforcement officers, but he more often inflicted his own brand of punishment, which I saw one writer compare his actions to that of “an Old Testament God.” His punishments were often creative and cruel.

Some were pretty straight forward, he took one criminal out in space to “the floating prison of eternal ice”, where the man would be frozen, “able to see and think, but always motionless.” And in that condition Stardust said he would live forever, to think about his crimes.

There was a group of mobsters whom Stardust transformed into rats, then turned himself into a panther and chased the rats through the city until they all jumped into the ocean and most of them drowned. Except for the leader, whom Stardust then levitated out of the ocean while still alive, changed his head back to human, but left him with a rat’s body, and then turned him over to the FBI.

Other bad guys he simply turned into icicles, and let them melt in the hot sun.

One of Stardust’s non-Earth villains was an evil scientist from Venus, who decided to invade Earth with his own flock of giant vultures. Stardust repelled the vultures back to Venus, and then turned the scientist into a giant worm and sent him back too so he’d be eaten by his own vultures.

But the weirdest punishment had to be what happened to “Destructo,” the leader of an “international racketeering mob.” After defeating Destructo’s mob, Stardust transforms Destructo into nothing but a head. And then. . .

Seriously, how fucked up is that?!?

In my revamped version of the character he’s mostly the same, in terms of personality and powers. He’s also still tall and muscular, but now he looks like an Asian man. The above image is by SAMAX AMEN and I also got this below image from CELINA HERNANDEZ:

And there is an in-story reason for this race-swapping that doesn’t invalidate his original stories.

My take on the character is that he is actually an alien, he comes from an old scientifically advanced race that eventually became so advanced that they experienced a technological singularity, in which they abandoned their mortal flesh and their collective consciousness’ left to a higher dimension of existence. The being we’ve come to know as Stardust is the only one who stayed behind, and he decided to travel the universe, seeking out other civilizations and attempting to guide them to higher advancement in their societies. He arrived in our solar system in 1938 and spent three years monitoring Earth, and then he left to seek out other civilized planets. And now 80 years later he has returned to our world, to see how we’ve advanced in his absence.

We never see Stardust’s true form, as when he encounters a new inhabited world, he adopts the form of the dominant species, in order to interact with them better. Thus he looked like a White man when he first visited Earth before, but when he returns in 2020 he scans the planet and out of the 7 billion + humans he sees that the majority reside on the Asian continent, and thus he takes on the appearance of the “average” human being, a Chinese man.

So evil-doers beware, the Super Wizard is on his way back! Repent now, or he might turn you into literal piece of shit and flush you down a giant toilet.