[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/STARMAN1.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Jack Knight as Starman, in his CivvieSpandex.]]

James Robinson's most famous series for Creator/DCComics, ''Starman'' was one of the steps away from the NinetiesAntiHero and into TheModernAgeOfComicBooks. The series followed LegacyCharacter Jack Knight, son of the [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] Starman (there were plenty of others) and something of an AuthorAvatar. Jack is a reluctant newcomer at first, but over the course of the series, his character develops into something akin to old-school heroes while maintaining a distinct personality.

Starman is also notable for Robinson's dusting off of plenty of older characters. [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfComicBooks Golden Age]] CardCarryingVillain The Shade, for instance, returned as an AntiHero, complete with BelatedBackstory. The entire Starman legacy was touched upon, with most of the characters involved (especially the original, Ted Knight) growing out of the one-note molds from their original stories. Along the way, Ted Knight's colleagues in the ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica were highlighted and brought back to prominence, eventually leading to the highly popular ''JSA'' title. (Jack was briefly a member, and new-JSA founder Stargirl carries on his legacy.)

Jack Knight first appeared in ''ComicBook/ZeroHour'' #1 (September, 1994) and soon graduated to his own title. The ongoing lasted for 81 regular issues (October, 1994-August, 2001), though numbering begun with #0. Starman was also one of the series revived as part of the ComicBook/BlackestNight event.
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[[folder:List of Starmen]]
The book makes extensive use of previous Starmen. For a brief list:
* Ted Knight. The original Starman, created by DC editorial and Jack Burnley, who also drew the series for a long time. First appeared in ''Adventure Comics'' #61 (April, 1941). Ted was an amateur astronomer who invented the gravity rod when he discovered that he could collect a certain type of cosmic ray as a power source. In his solo career, Ted often worked with FBI chief Woodley Allen to stop various crimes and catastrophes. He also served as a member of the ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica. Father of Jack.
* Starman of 1951. A mysterious character taking up the identity. Eventually revealed to be Doctor Mid-Nite/Charles [=McNider=], a fellow member of the JSA. The concept of an established hero using the Starman identity in the 1950s was inspired by ''Detective Comics'' #247 (September, 1957). In said story, Franchise/{{Batman}} claims the mantle.
* Mikaal Tomas. First appeared in ''First Issue Special'' #12 (March, 1976). A blue-skinned alien, scout of an invasion force. Decided to side with Earth against his people. Originally a one-shot character.
* Prince Gavyn. First appeared in ''Adventure Comics'' #467 (January, 1980). A member of an alien royal family. Condemned to die to prevent him from claiming the throne against the senior heir. The near-death experience activated superpowers within him.
* Will Payton. First appeared in ''Starman'' vol. 1 #1 (October, 1988). A regular human mutated by a space-faring bolt of energy.
* David Knight. First appeared in ''Starman'' vol. 1 #26 (September, 1990). Son of Ted and older brother of Jack. Claimed the mantle of his father and served as a rival to Payton.
* Jack Knight. First appeared in ''ComicBook/ZeroHour'' #1 (September, 1994). Son of Ted and younger brother of David. Took the mantle of Starman when [[spoiler:David was killed in action]].
* Courtney Whitmore. First appeared in ''Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.'' #0 (July, 1999). A teenage superhero originally known as Star-Spangled Kid. After Jack Knight [[spoiler:retired from superheroing]], Courtney received his cosmic staff and mantle. She continues the Starman legacy as Stargirl.
* Thom Kallor: First appeared in ''Adventure Comics'' #282 (March, 1961). First debuting as Star Boy of the ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}, at least two versions of Star Boy have become Starman. One version eventually went back in time and joined the JSA.
* Farris Knight: First appeared in ''JLA'' #23 (October, 1998). The Starman of the 853rd Century, whose great-grandfather restored the Starman legacy. [[spoiler:His discontent at being expected to take the mantle and live up to his ancestors eventually caused him to turn traitor, but speaking with his ancient ancestor Ted Knight awakened his desire to do good, and he sacrificed his life to redeem himself.]]
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!!This series contains instances of:
* AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder: [[spoiler:After believing Prince Gavyn dead, Lady Merria eventually married his best friend Jediah Rikane. This turns out to have been a terrible mistake, and not just the way you may [[FaceHeelTurn be]] [[DrunkWithPower thinking.]]]]
* AccentRelapse: After learning about [[spoiler:his past life as Scalphunter]] Matt O'Dare slips into a Western accent more and more often as he speaks.
* ActionGirl: Hope O'Dare.
* AddictionDisplacement: Mikaal's race [[spoiler:has a biological need for conquest and battle]], which he displaced with sex and drugs back in the 70's. Lots and ''lots'' of sex and drugs.
* AddledAddict: Mikaal's drug addiction in the 70's took a severe toll on his mind.
* TheAlcoholic: Billy O'Dare was this, to the point that it wrecked his health, though it didn't affect his quality as a cop or a father.
* AlienBlood: Mikaal's is green.
* AllThereInTheManual: Important bits of backstory which pay off in the "Grand Guignol" arc are found only in the first Shade miniseries and in various text stories, not to mention the re-used {{backstory}} from Robinson's ''ComicBook/TheGoldenAge'' miniseries.
* AmbiguousDisorder: The Mist and his children appear somewhat...off.
* AmnesiacDissonance: Sans his memories, Mikaal is a calm, gentle soul...[[spoiler:from a ProudWarriorRaceGuy civilization of conquerors. When his memories are restored, his personality undergoes a change that threatens to alienate him from his boyfriend.]]
* AnimalThemedSuperbeing: Black Condor
* AntiHero: The Shade.
** Jack starts out at this, but by series end is sort of an anti-anti-hero.
* ArchEnemy: The Mist. But in one conversation with his dad, Jack names a rival junk dealer as his ArchNemesis.
* ArmorPiercingQuestion: During the first arc, Jack asks Nash what reason she, specifically, has to kill him when she has a gun pointed to his head. She lets him go. [[spoiler:He then proceeds to give her a pretty damn good reason by killing her brother.]]
* ArtistsAreNotArchitects: Used deliberately. Robinson goes for a retro look, and relies on RuleOfCool with some {{Handwave}} explanations.
* ArtShift: During the "Sand and Stars" story a flashback to the early days of Ted Knight and Wesley Dodds (The Sandman) was drawn by Guy Davis, matching his work on ''ComicBook/SandmanMysteryTheatre''.
* AuthorAvatar: Jack Knight, was blatantly and unabashedly a dual creator avatar. The first volume's introduction has a third party writer note that Jack ''is'' writer James Robinson and that he bears a strong resemblance to artist and designer Tony Harris.
* AuthorTract: The series featured a scene where Solomon Grundy referred to Alan Scott as "ComicBook/GreenLantern" despite the fact that he was going by the name "Sentinel" at the time (as [[ExecutiveMeddling editorial decreed Kyle Rayner was the only hero allowed to use the GL name]]). Upon being corrected, Grundy shrugs and says he'll always consider Alan to be Green Lantern no matter what anyone else says.
* AvengingTheVillain: Nash takes up the identity of The Mist and becomes Jack's archenemy after he kills her brother Kyle.
* BadassFamily: The O'Dares and the Knights.
* BarredFromTheAfterlife: The Black Pirate, hanged for a crime he didn't commit, curses Port O' Souls, the settlement that would eventually become Opal City, so that anyone who dies there will be unable to find rest until his name is cleared. [[spoiler:A few hundred years later, Culp is able to use the ''thousands'' of souls trapped in Opal for his own evil purposes, until the truth is revealed.]]
* BelatedBackstory: The Shade, as mentioned above.
* BilingualBonus: Culp prefers to speak in French, and his lines (and those of the characters who respond to him in kind) go untranslated.
* BiTheWay:
** Mikaal Tomas mentions that as an alien, he doesn't subscribe to human views of sexuality.
** Nash (Mist II) sleeps with men and women to manipulate them.
* BloodKnight: Hourman was addicted to the thrill of superheroism as much as Miraclo, neglecting the other parts of his life. He warns Jack about going down the same path.
* BrotherSisterIncest: Heavily implied between the Mist's children Nash and Kyle in issue 3.
* CainAndAbel: [[spoiler:Matt and Barry O'Dare end up killing each other.]]
* CannotSpitItOut: Mason for the very, very patient Charity.
* CardCarryingVillain:
** The Mist revels in his cackling supervillainy.
** The Mist's daughter takes up his mantle, and seeks to refine herself into as dark a villain as he.
* CavemenVsAstronautsDebate: In ''Starman'' #13, one of the Mist's goons has a bizarre conversation with the captive Mikaal about who the best big screen Literature/PhilipMarlowe was. He then admits that he once murdered a man for daring to claim it was George Montgomery.
* CityOfAdventure: Opal City.
* CivvieSpandex: Jack's superhero suit consists of a leather jacket, a pair of goggles and whatever else he happens to be wearing at the time.
* ClearMyName: Jack and [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]] are called on to clear the name of the aging Bulletman, who stands accused of being a Nazi agent during World War II.
** This is why the Pirate Ghost is watching and helping Starman; he says he wasn't guilty of the crime he was accused of.
* ClosedCircle: The final arc has a shield placed around the whole city to keep anyone but the heroes of the story out.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: This exchange:
-->'''Jack''': This one isn't about collectibles but it's the same kind of thing. I'm in a book store ... for new books. I've gone a little bit crazy and I'm about to spend a couple of hundred bucks. I murmur under my breath "money's too tight to mention". Now the guy behind the register, he hears this. He looks at me, nodding his head knowingly like we're in some "club of cool" together. He says, "Yeah, Simply Red" like it's a password, and now we do the secret handshake. And I'm thinking "Simply Red"? Lame English band. More soul at a polka convention. And the book store guy thinks he's on some kind of inside loop with that.
-->'''Sadie''': That's the smuggest thing I ever heard. A guy tries to be nice and you stand there hating him just because he hasn't heard of the Valentine Brothers. You're like my ex-boyfriend. He was that way about authors. He'd deliberately drop obscure quotes and references. He'd take over conversations at parties. But none of what he read was for the love of it. His knowledge was like a weapon. Don't tell me you're like that. I don't want another jerk. I've had... Hey, why are you smiling?\\
'''Jack''': Because you've heard of the Valentine Brothers.
* ContinuityPorn: Perhaps the poster child for this trope in DC comic books. Notably, not only does ''Starman'' rely on the greater DC canon, but it has its own strong internal canon as demonstrated in the last few arcs, wherein every Checkhov's Gun is set off.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious: After Grundy is nearly killed, Ted finds himself watching over him, reflecting out loud about how conflicted he feels taking in the person who killed his friend and protegé Skyman, but who seems child-like and innocent now. [[spoiler:Grundy's not actually unconscious.]]
* CoolOldGuy: Both Ted Knight and Wesley Dodds qualify in spades.
* CowboyCop: Played with with Mason O'Dare. He won't break the law, but he will endanger himself pulling crazy stunts to get a collar.
* CrashIntoHello: Jack's first encounter with Sadie is when he bumps into her at a carnival. She chews him out and is gone in two panels.
* DarkIsNotEvil: The Shade, ultimately.
* DatingCatwoman: Averted. Jack's archenemy, the Mist, [[spoiler: raped him and gave birth to his son without his knowledge. She frequently talks like they have a FoeYay relationship going on, but he knows full well how disturbed she is and just wants to get his child away from her.]]
* DeadGuyJunior: [[spoiler:Nash]] names her [[spoiler:and Jack's]] son after her brother and his father.
* DeadPersonConversation: Every real-time year included one issue where Jack talked to [[spoiler:his brother]], who died in the first issue. Later conversations would also include other deceased DC characters, including [[spoiler:their father Ted]].
* DeadpanSnarker: The Shade.
** Jack gets in plenty of riffs of his own as well.
* DeathEqualsRedemption:
** After dying, [[spoiler:Kyle]] meets [[spoiler:Jack]] in the afterlife, and is perfectly sane and stable, explaining that his former life of evil was purely a result of his horrible upbringing, and [[spoiler:apologizes to Jack for making him a killer.]]
** After [[spoiler:her father shoots her]], [[spoiler:Nash]] experiences a moment of clarity and calmly hands [[spoiler:Kyle Theo]] over to Jack before dying.
** [[spoiler:The Mist himself]] comes to realize that his life as a villain was pointless, and shares a last handshake with [[spoiler:Ted]] before [[spoiler: they die.]]
** David Knight was something of a pompous ass in life. After [[spoiler:his tenure as the Starman of 1951, and a stint in the afterlife, he's a lot nicer.]]
* DeathByOriginStory: Played with. David Knight dies in the first issue after doing nothing of note (apart from fighting the Will Payton Starman), but Jack takes an entire story arc before taking up the mantle. David becomes more interesting after his death, popping up in the annual "Talking With David" stories and even getting his own story arc at the close of the series.
* DeathIsCheap: [[spoiler: Jack]]'s back before the end of one issue via a body made out of new body parts.
* DecliningPromotion: Mason O'Dare has frequently refused to be promoted above a beat cop, like his father, but Charity reveals that he'll be a plainclothes officer within five years. [[spoiler:Probably because of their kid.]]
* DepravedBisexual: While in prison early in the series the Mist seduces both guards and fellow (female) prisoners, just to get them under her thumb.
* DirtyCop:
** Matt O'Dare starts out as reluctant one of these [[spoiler:but changes his life after learning that he's the reincarnation of Wild West hero Scalphunter]].
** [[spoiler:Barry O'Dare turns out to have been one of these, as well, with no reluctance whatsoever.]]
* DistaffCounterpart: Averted with Stargirl, who only took the name after Jack retired; she was Star-Spangled Kid when they first met.
** Played straight with the one-off "Stargirl" of the 1940s, who was Ted Knight's girlfriend.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Averted with the revelation that [[spoiler:The Mist raped Jack while he was unconscious]], which is very unsettling for him. A lot of his angst comes from the fact that [[spoiler:The Mist also got pregnant and plans to raise the child to become a villain]], but the rape angle isn't played lightly either.
* DyingAsYourself: [[spoiler:Jediah Rikane became a power-mad tyrant and tried to kill his old friend Prince Gavyn, but as Gavyn burns him to death he seems to finally snap out of it. His last words: "Long live Prince Gavyn.". He's even smiling while he says it.]]
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: [[spoiler:Having contracted a fast-acting cancer from exposure to Dr. Phosphorus's powers, Ted knight decides he'd rather go out saving the city one last time.]]
* EmbarrassingNickname: Jake Benetti hates the nickname the cops gave him. Unfortunately, "Bobo" stuck.
* EmotionEater: Bliss is an incubus who feeds on suffering, and especially likes the flavor of the suffering of "special people" ([[TheFreakshow circus freaks]]).
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: Louie Soul, aka No Mercy, was a psychopathic murderer whose relationship with his son switched between loving and abusive. Nevertheless, Frankie Soul is obsessed with avenging him.
* EvilerThanThou: Double Subverted. [[spoiler:For all her talk of becoming a brilliant villain, it seems like Nash is reduced to a mere lackey for Culp...until it turns out she and her father The Mist were playing him. But suddenly The Mist reveals that the plans to destroy all of Opal City, Nash and her son included, and then shoots her after he convinces her to give him her gun.]]
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Ted Knight convinces the Mist, who is in the middle of a VillainousBreakdown, to stand up and do this.]]
* FaceHeelTurn:
** [[spoiler:Jediah Rikane, once one of Prince Gavyn's most loyal allies, found the taste of power he got after from marrying Lady Merria to his liking and quickly became a [[DrunkWithPower tyrant]]]].
** [[spoiler:Medphyl, former Green Lantern, sides with Rikane in exchange for a planet of his own.]]
** [[spoiler:Barry O'Dare is offered a place in Culp's organization, and readily accepts.]]
** [[spoiler:The Mist had been a soldier in World War I, and earned a medal for his bravery.]]
* FanOfThePast: Jack.
* FlyingFirepower:
** '''Mikaal Tomas''': the current Starman has a body which is specifically built for outer space. In addition to being able to fly and survive in a vacuum, he can project energy blasts.
** '''David Knight''': Starman II, uses the Gravity Rod, which grants flight and the ability to absorb and fire solar energy.
** '''The Cosmic Staff''', the main weapon used by Starman III (Jack Knight) and Stargirl, grants flight and the ability to project cosmic energy.
** '''Ted Knight''': the original Starman, used ''both'' of the aforementioned weapons.
** '''Farris Knight''': uses the Quarvat, a mysterious device of unknown origin.
* FightInTheNude: The Mist kidnaps, drugs, and rapes Jack, takes his clothes and his gear, and forces him to fight through a maze full of [[{{Mook}} mooks]]. [[BadAss He succeeds]].
* FiveManBand
** TheHero: Jack
** TheLancer: The Shade, sometimes Mikaal.
** TheBigGuy: Solomon Grundy
** TheSmartGuy: Ted
** TheChick: Sadie or Hope O'Dare.
** The O'Dare Family also constitutes a FiveManBand:
*** TheHero: Clarence
*** TheLancer: Mason
*** TheBigGuy: Matt
*** TheSmartGuy: Hope
*** TheChick: Barry (he's also [[spoiler:the Traitor]]; Charity and Faith are straighter examples.
* FishOutOfTemporalWater: [[spoiler:Merritt's been absorbing people into his poster for over one hundred fifty years, and when his demon is defeated, all of them are restored to the modern world at once.]]
* {{Flashback}}: If we had a Loads and Loads of Flashbacks trope, this would qualify.
* FlatEarthAtheist: Ted Knight
* FoeYay: In-universe. After becoming the new Mist, Nash refers to Jack as "my love" several times. It's completely unrequited.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** Etrigan appears to Ted Knight in 1944, and when the scientist in Ted refuses to believe he's a demon, Etrigan tells him of the hell he'll suffer when his involvement with the Manhattan Project bears fruition. The revelation of the supernatural might have compounded Ted's guilt and helped break him.
** When we get a glimpse into Barry O'Dare's POV, we see that he thinks of himself as the OnlySaneMan of the family, who never takes risks and has no taste for heroism or sticking his neck out. [[spoiler:We get to see just ''how'' different he is from the other O'Dares during the ''Grand Guignol'' arc, when he joins Culp's takeover of Opal City and kills his brother Matt.]]
** The betrayal of [[spoiler:Medphyl]] foreshadows the betrayal of [[spoiler:Barry O'Dare]]. [[spoiler:Both were police (or the equivalent in Medphyl's case), both turned traitor when offered power and wealth, and both express their surprise at just how easy it was for them to accept.]]
* FormerlyFat: Barry O'Dare.
* FormerTeenRebel: Jack, owing to admitted neglect on Ted's part. As a youth he got into trouble with the police numerous times, and even broke into a pharmacy at one point (implying a drug problem). Although he's hardly strait-laced as an adult, he's mostly grown out of it (and matures further throughout the series).
* FusionDance: [[spoiler:Prince Gavyn was apparently killed, but his essence actually crossed space to reach Earth, where it became a mysterious beam of light that hit Will Payton. At first, it seemed like a Power Booster type where Will Payton received cosmic powers at the cost of Gavyn's existence, but it turns out to be more of a Composite, with Will Payton having been killed on impact and an amnesiac Gavyn taking his body and memories as his own. Probably. They're still working it out.]]
* GadgeteerGenius: Ted again
* GentlemanAdventurer: The Shade notes that Merritt's exploits over 150 years of life would be quite admirable...if it weren't for that whole "feed people to the demon in my poster" thing.
* GhostPirate: The Black Pirate.
* GogglesDoNothing: Averted, as Jack's bomber jacket and aviator goggles are specifically meant to offset the odd conditions of flying with an extremely bright staff.
* GoodIsNotNice: Jack could be the poster boy, at least early on in the series. He is told, point blank, by the ex-girlfriend he is trying to romance again (using his becoming a superhero as evidence of his newfound maturity) that "You may be a hero, Jack Knight, but that still doesn't make you a nice person."
* GoOutWithASmile: [[spoiler:Frankie Soul, having failed at avenging his father and knowing that Mikaal is going to kill him, just smiles, knowing he'd done his best.]]
* GrandFinale: Grand Guignol. It even has 'Grand' in the title! There's a few issues after it to tie up loose ends but it wraps up the story.
* GreatDetective: Hamilton Drew.
* [[spoiler:HappilyEverAfter]]
* [[spoiler:HappilyMarried: At the end.]]
* TheGreatestStoryNeverTold:
** By Farris Knight's time, Jack's tenure as Starman is almost completely lost to history, and Ted is only remembered for his scientific accomplishments--then again, it ''is'' over ''83,000'' years into the future.
** The full story of the Starman of 1951 goes unrevealed until [[spoiler:Jack goes back in time and meets him]].
* HeelFaceDoorSlam:
** Although he never became a villain, Mikaal Tomas went from a superhero to a frazzled, slightly unstable junkie, but was considering getting off the pills and changing his life...[[spoiler:getting kidnapped, severely drugged, used a living collectible, then a sex slave, then finally a sideshow attraction put paid to ''that'' idea.]]
** Inverted in "Bobo" Benetti's case. [[spoiler:After deciding he couldn't hack it outside of jail, he decides to rob a bank so he can be sent back...only for said bank to be attacked by the Royal Flush Gang. One fight later, he's got a steady job protecting the bank and is on his way to a respectable life.]] So it's more like someone threw open the Heel-Face door and yanked him inside.
* HeelFaceTurn:
** Matt O'Dare
** [[spoiler: Farris Knight, though believing himself genetically predisposed toward evil and working with Solaris, the BigBad of his story arc, is inspired by Ted to [[RedemptionEqualsDeath redeem himself]] with a HeroicSacrifice.]]
* HeelRealization: After his first heist, the Mist has a moment of contemplation and comes to the realization that his life would be defined not by his accomplishments as a scientist or a soldier, but by his evil deeds. [[StartOfDarkness He's absolutely thrilled]].
-->'''Mist''': [[CaptainObvious I'm a villain.]]
-->'''Henchman''': Err...yeah. We know, boss.
-->'''Mist''': I'm not sure that ''I'' did. Not until this moment, anyway.
* HeroicBSOD: As explained in flashbacks, Ted's response to his role in the creation of the atomic bomb. It forced him to live for years in a mental institution. [[spoiler:Just when he was getting better, his first love Doris Lee was killed, making him worse than before. He finally snaps out of it after solving her murder and becoming Starman again.]]
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Ted Knight, after learning he has cancer.]]
** As well as [[spoiler: Good Grundy]] dying (or becoming [[spoiler: the thuggish villain Grundy we're more familiar with]]) after saving people from a collapsing building.
* HistoricalInJoke: Mikaal claims to have inspired the David Bowie classic Rebel Rebel. Wait... no.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: Although the Cosmic Staff has many powers, Jack spends the first half of the series relying entirely upon its flight and energy blasts, at first because he didn't know it could do anything else, and later because he felt that using them would be imitating his father too much. For the fight with Captain Marvel, though, he pulled out all the stops and [[spoiler:barely delayed The Captain.]] He starts using the other abilities more often after that.
* ICouldaBeenAContender: The Red Bee looks upon his life this way. Being a superhero meant a great deal to him, but no matter how he tried he never got recognition, and he was killed before he could do anything great.
* IHatePastMe: [[spoiler:The newly-resurrected Grundy]] is absolutely disgusted by his kind past self.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Jack, at first.
* IKnowYoureInThereSomewhereFight: [[spoiler:Mikaal spends his fight with Grundy trying to get through to the good Grundy he knew, but this [[TheNthDoctor reborn]] Grundy isn't having it--until he suddenly dives to save Mikaal from a sniper's shot, sacrificing his life without being able to explain why.]]
* ImportantHaircut: As his memories start to come back, Mikaal goes from, well, a [[NinetiesHair mullet]] to something more like he wore in the 70s, complete with sideburns.
* InadequateInheritor: David Knight was a good son, who idolized his father, but he was ''never'' meant to be Starman, and Ted knew it.
* InterplayOfSexAndViolence: [[spoiler:Ted Knight and Dinah Lance teamed up on several cases, and eventually the thrill of fighting side-by-side led to other thrills as well.]]
* InTheBlood: Farris Knight, the Starman of the 853rd Century mentions that there have been several evil Starmen by his time, and chalks it up to [[spoiler:a latent strain of evil introduced into the Knight bloodline via Jack and Nash's son]].
* {{Irony}}: Terry Sloane notes that in spite of being a genius RenaissanceMan, who could master any skill almost instantly, he was somehow never able to make it as a superhero.
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: David Knight broke up with his girlfriend because of this, even though she was aware and accepting of the risks.
* JourneyToTheCenterOfTheMind: After [[spoiler: Good Grundy dies, Jack and his allies enter his mind to try and bring him back before [[TheNthDoctor one of his evil selves can take over]]. After a [[BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind brawl against those evil selves]], it turns out to have been AllForNothing. Cyrus Gold (the original personality) prefers being evil and Good Grundy doesn't really ''want'' to fight himself.]]
* [[KnightInSourArmor (Jack) Knight In Sour Armor]]: To put it mildly, Jack has a very caustic personality at the start of the series, though not nearly so much as in his youth.
* LargeHam: Shade, normally a quiet CombatPragmatist, practiced in a mirror when planning to go against Flash or Starman in the Golden Age to get the voice and [[MilkingTheGiantCow additional gestures]] right.
* LastOfHisKind: Mikaal thinks he's this. [[spoiler:It turns out he's actually the last of his specific ''tribe''. He's a Talokian, a race that would eventually produce Shadow Lass of the Legion of Superheroes--in fact, she's one of his descendants.]]
* LegacyCharacter: Jack is actually the sixth or seventh Starman, depending on how you count; the series inspired many other DCU Legacy Characters.
** Legacy characters is the main theme of the series, and a lot of the action is driven by Jack interacting with all of them, even going out into space and back in time to do so.
* LetsYouAndHimFight: In this case, against [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]. Needless to say, Jack is horrendously overmatched, even after the fight forces him to tap into some of his staff's more obscure powers that he had never bothered with before.
* LightningBruiser: "Bobo" Benetti has overall superhuman physical abilities, including speed and agility, sufficient to go head-to-head with big-name heroes like the Alan Scott Green Lantern (and to wipe the floor with several lesser-knowns like Iron Munro).
* LimelightSeries: For the entire Starman legacy, but most of all for the Shade, who got two minis of his own as a result - a four-issue one during the series' run, and a twelve-issue one as part of DC's big 2011 relaunch.
* LiteraryAgentHypothesis: The Shade's {{Backstory}} is borrowed from a Charles Dickens novel.
* [[TheLittleShopThatWasntThereYesterday The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday]]: Charity's fortune-telling place. Subverted, as she tells Jack she moved in normally.
** There's also the storefront Jack eventually moves his own store, ''Knight's Past'', into. He swears [[CaptainObvious he never saw it before when he first sees it]].
* LivingForeverIsAwesome: Merritt and (usually) The Shade think so.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LogicalWeakness: The Shade's powers are somewhat weakened in the presence of flame or bright light, and he cannot use his powers at all if there is no shadow.
** Solomon Grundy, as a plant-based being, is greatly weakened by having weed-killers and similar toxins pumped into him.
* LoveAtFirstSight: Mason and Charity. Though it was more love at ''[[{{Pun}} second]]'' sight for Charity, since she foresaw it.
* LoveCannotOvercome: [[spoiler:Sadie hates the danger Jack gets into, but thinks she could have handled it if it was just the two of them. After she discovers she's pregnant, however, she realizes she can't raise a family in that world and leaves Jack. Jack, after some deliberation, decides to give up being Starman and join her.]]
* MadBomber: The Infernal Mr. Pip is a merely a selfish, amoral mercenary at first. [[spoiler:After getting caught in one of his own bombs thanks to Jack and Grundy, the dying Pip flips out and decides to [[TakingYouWithMe take everyone with him]]. ''[[NukeEm Everyone]]'']].
* MagicFeather: [[spoiler:Although charged with cosmic energy, Prince Gavyn's staff was only a means for him to channel his powers more easily. The true power lay within him all along. Learning this allows him to turn the tables on Rikane, who had been using it to attack him.]]
* MilhollandRelationshipMoment: [[spoiler:After Jack decides to retire as Starman, he meets his deceased father and brother one last time. With some trepidation he tells them that he plans to quit. Ted's response is basically to shrug and say that there would always be a Starman, no matter who, and when Jack's surprised at how casual he was about it to reply that not everything has to be dramatic.]]
* MindHive: [[spoiler:The Shade has unknowingly been one of these ever since his last battle with Culp.]]
* MuggingTheMonster: [[spoiler:René, a genius dwarf known as the "Pocket Encyclopedia", figured out that Culp was inhabiting the Shade's body, and demanded ten percent of his takings in exchange for silence. A [[{{Lobotomy}} shadow tentacle through one ear and out the other later]] and René found himself in need of a new sobriquet.]]
* [[MusicalEpisode Musical Issue]]: One of the "Talking With David" stories has Jack and David assume the role of pirates. The dialogue disappears for this segment, replaced by a pirate sea-chanty.
* MythArc: The series as a whole was written as such, with several mini-arcs as well.
* NeverForgottenSkill: Jack learned Jujutsu years prior to the series, apparently on a lark, and then dropped it. When the series starts, he's able to take down multiple {{Mooks}} barehanded.
* NoBiochemicalBarriers: Referenced. By the 853rd century, food has become so pure and healthy that a cup of coffee from our time would ''probably'' not kill the drinker, but it would certainly make them quite sick.
* NoBisexuals: Averted with Mikaal.
* NotQuiteDead:
** [[spoiler:After Ragdoll threatened the loved ones of Starman and his allies, Ted Knight blasted him--he thought--to death, and spent over a decade feeling guilty about it afterward. However, Ragdoll barely survived, albeit in a terrible state.]]
** [[spoiler:Culp's ally Crusher beats a restrained "Bobo" Benetti to death, but in a few hours he comes back to life and breaks free.]]
* NotSoDifferent: Nash lays this trope at Jack's feet. Jack spends several issues trying to convince himself she's wrong.
* TheNthDoctor: Solomon Grundy's ResurrectiveImmortality is shown to have this as a side effect. Each time he comes BackFromTheDead, he comes back with a different appearance and level of physical power, and with a different aspect of Cyrus Gold's original personality rising to the fore. Since Gold was an awful human being who enjoys the power using Grundy gives him to hurt people, this means that kindly, gentle Grundies (like the one seen in this series), are few and far-between.
* OccultDetective: Very few of Hamilton Drew's cases actually involved the supernatural, but this is what he's remembered best for, much to his chagrin.
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome: Bobo references an [[NoodleIncident incident]] wherein he somehow managed to get away from ComicBook/DoctorFate, of all people. Sure it was with only fifty bucks left from his heist and the skin of his teeth, but still, ''Doctor Fate''.
* TheOldConvict: After spending thirty years in jail for killing his wife and her lover, "Bobo" Benetti has doubts about being able to live in the outside world.
* OlderThanTheyLook:
** After the JSA was subjected to [[BuffySpeak weird timey-junk]] during a mission, they all began aging extremely gracefully, looking much younger than their actual age. After this was reversed, they all instantly aged rapidly, but Ted Knight less so than some of the others. He ought to be around eighty-something, but physically he's in his early sixties at worst.
** Jack also apparently looks a good deal younger than he actually is, [[VagueAge though the difference isn't actually spelled out]].
** Bobo Benetti notes that in his seventies, he looks like he's in his fifties, and still has the same body he had in his thirties.
** Mikaal Tomas doesn't seem to have changed in the past twenty years.
** Merritt allowed himself to age until he hit an age he felt respectable, about 40, then stopped afterward.
** The Shade hasn't aged a hair since the 1800s.
* OutlawCouple: The Bodines, who are a shout-out to Film/NaturalBornKillers.
* OutsideContextProblem: The Shade's powers explicitly come from a source outside that of supernatural forces such as magic, worked perfectly well when the Genesis event depowered everyone else, and render him immune to being converted into a Black Lantern.
* PassingTheTorch:
** Just prior to the series, Ted handed the mantle to Starman to his older son David [[spoiler:despite knowing all along that it was always Jack who was truly meant to hold the title]]. After David's death, Jack reluctantly takes on the role of Starman.
** The Mist intended to pass his mantle to his son Kyle, but upon [[spoiler:Kyle's death]], his daughter Nash [[spoiler:grabs the torch for herself]].
** In the far, ''far'' future, the mantle and history of Starman are rediscovered by Farris Knight's great-grandfather, who passes it to his son, who passes it to his daughter, who passes it to Farris [[spoiler:who never asked for it.]]
** In the final issue, [[spoiler:Jack]] passes the cosmic rod to [[spoiler:Courtney Whitmore, who becomes Stargirl.]]
* PastLifeMemories:
** Remembering his former life as Scalphunter is what prompts [[spoiler: Matt O'Dare's]] HeelFaceTurn.
** On a less story-significant note, Jack apparently has occasional dreams of being a spy in the Napoleonic Wars named Rosa.
* PoliceAreUseless: Averted with the O'Dares, a family of cops that assist Jack. They start by capturing the Mist while Jack fights the Mist's son, and they keep that level of competence for the entire series.
* {{Polyamory}}: Mikaal engaged in a relationship with a guy and a girl in the 70's. It ended rather decisively. [[spoiler:The girl, while sleeping with random guys for their drugs/money picked up one of Mikaal's old foes, a villain named No Mercy, and Mikaal walked in on them. During their fight, the other man in the relationship showed up and got killed by No Mercy, who Mikaal blasted out a window.]]
* PowerupLetdown: Doctor Phosphorous notes that his deal with Neron led to him having much more control over his radioactive powers, but also weakened them considerably.
* ProudWarriorRaceGuy: [[spoiler:Mikaal's]] race. [[spoiler:Following his trip into space and the restoration of his memories, Mikaal's personality starts shifting toward this, much more than it had been even before he lost them.]]
* PsychicPowers:
** Charity is a fortuneteller who Jack befriends and often consults.
** Charity mentions that Jack also has some psychic ability, though less so than hers.
* PunchClockVillain: The fourth issue involves a shady businessman wishing to acquire a so-called mystical Hawaiian shirt featuring a design said to open a gateway to heaven. His agent, Sands, originally planned to kill Jack for the shirt. When Jack explains he doesn't want the shirt knowing what it can do, Sands asks if he could simply buy it. Jack lets him do just that.
* PutOnABus: [[spoiler:Jack]] at the end of his series, at James Robinson's request.
* RapeDiscretionShot: When [[spoiler:Jack]] is drugged into unconsciousness and raped by [[spoiler:Nash, the second Mist]], the scene occurs from his point-of-view as a very strange erotic dream. Additionally, while the implication is there in the initial scene, it isn't until many issues later that the series confirms the fact that a rape occurred with a WhamLine.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil:
** On one of the (first) Mist's earliest jobs a bunch of people were put to sleep. He killed one of his own men who tried to molest one of the unconscious women.
** [[spoiler:Nash's]] rape of [[spoiler:Jack]] is depicted as a horrifying example of her mental instability.
* RashomonStyle: In "Taxicab Confessions", three different characters tell three different versions of the story of how Jack and Mikaal saved Starfire from space pirates. The issue takes place in the future, a couple of hundred years after the events recounted, so none of the storytellers have objective knowledge on what happened, though one of the stories certainly sounds more likely than the other two. RashomonStyle is also used to do a little [[{{Metafiction}} metafictional]] gag on [[Franchise/TheDCU DC]] continuity: there have been three different DC characters called "Starfire", so in each of the stories Jack and Mikaal rescue a different Starfire.
* ReallyGetsAround: Implied of Jack before he became Starman, and shown with Barry O'Dare. In Jack's case it shows what a shallow person he used to be. In Barry's case it makes him look like a sleaze...[[spoiler:which makes it [[FaceHeelTurn foreshadowing]]]].
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Jack receives an utterly ''blistering'' one from Ted after he is attacked by Kyle, [[spoiler: David's killer]], and Kyle gets away.
* RedSkiesCrossover: The cosmic rod fails in one issue due to the ''Genesis'' event... and it is never spoken of again.
* ReedRichardsIsUseless: Subverted in-series. As part of Jack's original bargain to take up his father's job as the town superhero, Ted had to agree to find applications for the cosmic energy he had discovered and harnessed apart from making weapons. By series end, Ted had apparently patented a number of technologies that would revolutionize the world... but the idea never quite took in the [[Franchise/TheDCU shared universe]].
* {{Reincarnation}}: Used in one or two cases, depending on how you count it. [[spoiler: Matt O'Dare was the DC Western hero Scalphunter and would later go on to be reincarnated as Thom Kallor aka Starboy of the ComicBook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}.]]
* {{RetCon}}: If you want to keep track of them all, you'll need a scorecard. Many of them were [[AuthorsSavingThrow Author's Saving Throws]] to redeem older characters.
** Probably the most notable was the retconning of The Shade, an old [[Main/TheFlash Flash]] villain, who was revealed to have been [[AntiVillain not so villainous]] after all, and who would eventually turn into an actual hero. The reimagined Shade was so popular he got two mini-series of his own.
** There was also a hint from fortune-teller Charity that Jack would someday meet an old friend of his father's. The hint was originally meant to refer to Hawkman but Robinson's plans to revitalize the character in Starman were sidelined. Charity [[LampshadeHanging even tells Jack later]] that their paths have changed and he might never meet "the winged hero" after all.
** ''Sand and Stars'' more-or-less canonizes ComicBook/SandmanMysteryTheatre, and retcons out the period in which Sandman wore yellow and purple spandex. (It gets retconned back in later.)
* RetiredBadass: The Shade notes that, seeing the "gentle scholar" of today, people often forget what a physical hero Ted Knight used to be. He can still get the job done when he needs to, though.
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge: After the Tuesday Club blows up Brian "Scalphunter" Savage's offices, killing all his deputies but Carny O'Dare, he and Carny proceed to go on one of these, killing all fifty-seven members in one night. [[spoiler:[[InTheBack Too bad for him]], there were actually fifty-''eight''.]]
* RoomFullOfCrazy: The Mist's jail cell has messages like "Jack is to blame" and "Die Starman" scrawled on the wall.
* SatelliteLoveInterest: Sadie has no character outside of her relationship with Jack and worry about her brother.
* ScienceHero: Ted Knight, who can still use his knowledge to pull off an IndyPloy when cornered by the new Mist.
* SeinfeldianConversation: Shows up quite a bit, especially with Jack. At one point he compares the original [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]] to the Mercury Seven.
** This even happens in Jack's internal monologues, where he ponders how he always equated maturity with enjoying the musical numbers in MarxBrothers movies that weren't Chico and Harpo goofing around with the instruments.
* SherlockHomage: Hamilton Drew.
* ShoutOut: More than a few. One example: the "Powdered Toast Man" graffiti and drawing of [[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren]] on a lamppost at the end of issue 1.
* ShrinkingViolet: Nash, for much of the first arc -- until [[spoiler:Jack kills her brother]] and she becomes The Mist.
* SillyRabbitIdealismIsForKids: [[spoiler:It turns out Farris Knight feels this way, seeing no meaning in his role as a hero or the legacy he inherited, save the money and women it can get him. Meeting Ted Knight awakens his idealism.]]
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent: The issue featuring Space Cabbie. (That's right, ''Space Cabbie''.)
* SophisticatedAsHell: At one point two gangsters have a profanity-laced argument about which is the better Creator/StephenSondheim musical. One argues for the "cohesion of words and music" of ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', while the other supports the "resonant narrative purity" of ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods''. [[spoiler: While gunning them down during his HeelFaceTurn, Matt O'Dare vouches for the superiority of ''Theatre/SundayInTheParkWithGeorge'']].
* SplitPersonality: [[spoiler:The Shade and Culp.]]
* StableTimeLoop: [[spoiler:Farris Knight's great-grandfather discovers the mysterious Quarvat when it slams into the asteroid on which he's stranded, and uses it to become Starman. As Farris is battling Solaris, the evil sun lets loose a parting blast that separates him fron the Quarvat, sending it back in time for his great-grandfather to discover.]]
* StarfishLanguage: How Mikaal's language and [[spoiler:Kryptonian]] are represented.
* StarPower: The entire point of Ted's research that enabled him to build the Cosmic Rod and its derivatives. It's also hinted that the power-wielded by each Starman/Girl is a unique variant of a unified source, not unlike Marvel's Power Cosmic split amongst various beings.
** In a crossover with ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' and ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'', a group of [[{{Ghostapo}} neo-Nazis]] build a machine to collect power from the stars in order to awaken an Eldritch Abomination.
* STDImmunity: Inverted. Turns out herpes affects [[spoiler:Mikaal's race]] like AIDS.
* StuffedIntoTheFridge: Several C-list superheroes took on the Mist and died horribly, just to establish Mist's cred.
* SummonMagic: Although the Shade can use his shadow powers in the form of bolts and tendrils, he has a fondness for conjuring demonic-appearing entities. One of them in particular, Smudge, is a sidekick of sorts.
* SuperHeroOrigin: The first arc, naturally, plus several in {{Flashback}}s.
* SuperSmoke: Both Mists.
* SwissArmyWeapon: The Cosmic Rod/Staff can fire energy blasts, create force fields, levitate objects (including the user), project intense heat, make bright flashes, follow the user's mental commands and...be wielded like a club/quarterstaff.
* TeleporterAccident: The Zeta Beam works, not by disappear-in-one-place-reappear-in-another teleporting, but by actually shooting its subject across 25 trillion miles of space at LudicrousSpeed. Normally it's perfectly safe (no, really!), but when Opal City has an absolutely impenetrable force field around it, and the Bodines attack Adam Strange and his jury-rigged Zeta Beam device...well, let's just say it's a good thing [[GoryDiscretionShot we don't see]] exactly how Ms. Bodine became a widow.
* ThinkingUpPortals: The Shade's powers let him do this.
* TimeTravel: Several instances.
** Jack and Mikaal travel across space (and time) to arrive in the 31st Century and team up with the ComicBook/{{Legion Of Super-Heroes}}. Later in the same arc, they travel into the past and visit the planet Krypton, before it blew up.
** Jack and [[spoiler: his brother David, ripped from time before his death, by Doctor Fate]] are sent back to the year 1951 to help protect Opal City at a time when Ted Knight was still suffering from his breakdown after playing an important role in the development of the atomic bomb.
** The Shade's powers let him do this, though it takes a while for him to find out.
* ToHellAndBack: Jack, The Shade and Matt O'Dare do wind up going to one of DC's Hells at one point.
* TraumaticSuperpowerAwakening: "Bobo" Benetti was a Navy Diver who ran afoul of a floating mine during WWII. Waking up in the hospital with barely any injuries, he discovered his other superhuman physical powers shortly afterward.
* UnCancelled: Came back for one issue thanks to the ComicBook/BlackestNight event; Jack was absent and the story focused on the Shade and Hope O'Dare.
* WellDoneSonGuy: The Comic Book.
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: [[spoiler: Farris Knight, the Starman of the 853rd century, is a jaded burnout who was thrust into the role against his will and ultimately joined Solaris in his attempt to kill Superman, so that he could be freed from it. Confronting his ancestor Ted Knight, with the intention of killing him for starting the legacy, the old man asked Farris to look within himself and accept the good within his heart as well as the evil. [[HeroicSacrifice It]] [[RedemptionEqualsDeath worked]].]]
* WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity: The Mist again.
* WriteBackToTheFuture: [[spoiler:While in 1951, Jack hides a note explaining who he and David really are in one of Ted's journals. It's unclear how much detail he went into (Ted seems surprised by things you'd think Jack would have included), but it does explain some of his actions and statements throughout the series.]]
* WritingForTheTrade: Lots of six-issue arcs.
** Subverted with a lot of one-shots and smaller arcs thrown in. The trades pre-Omnibus were notoriously difficult to keep straight.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: Mikaal is said to have mauve hair, though most of the time he just looks like a comic-book-style redhead.
* YouKilledMyFather: Frankie Soul's father (a villain named No Mercy) died fighting Mikaal Tomas, and in spite of their [[AbusiveParents complicated]], relationship, Frankie seeks to avenge him.
* YourCheatingHeart: Jack learns to his surprise that [[spoiler:his father and the Black Canary had had a brief affair]].
----


!!The Golden Age Starman series provides examples of:

* Animorphism: One story involves a scientist who changes men into half-man, half beasts in order to make them better criminals. Starman himself is put through the process and ends up with a lion's head temporarily, though he's able to use the gravity rod to reverse the effects.
* ArchEnemy: given the number of appearances and how seriously Starman treats him, the Light is clearly his Golden Age ArchEnemy. The Mist is the runner up, and he would end up taking this role from the Silver Age on.
* ArtShift: The look of the series changes drastically several times. Jack Burnley's photo-like realism is replaced by Mort Meskin's cartoony art, and then back to a more realistic style, before ending with very simplistic, cartoony art.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Even without his gravity rod, Ted Knight is a capable threat to the villains as he is a formidable hand to hand fighter, as well as being exceptionally strong.
* GravityMaster: Ted's gravity rod is the source of all his powers, and nullifying the pull of gravity is among the uses it has.
* InvisibilityCloak: the Mist uses his "inviso-solution", both for himself, his underlings, and his airplanes. In the case of the latter two, they're completely invisible except under the light of Starman's gravity rod. The Mist usually paints a cloak with the solution and leaves his head visible, resulting in the appearance of an old man's bony head with long hair floating on a cloud, hence his nickname.
* JusticeSocietyOfAmerica: The fact that Starman is a member of this group is never mentioned in his solo series.
* LovesMyAlterEgo: the series plays with this a bit by having Doris occasionally compare Ted to Starman, and ask why he can't be as much of a man as Starman. She only does it a few times, and it could be just an attempt to make Ted jealous.
* MillionairePlayboy: Ted Knight is filthy rich. He has no job, went to an exclusive prep school, has a butler to drive him around, and is never once seen working. He's described as "wealthy playboy Ted Grant". He outdoes Bruce Wayne in the RichIdiotWithNoDayJob category.
* PlayingSick: Ted Knight uses this tactic constantly in order to ditch his fiancee Doris Lee, put on his Starman costume, and go see what new assignment FBI chief Woodley Allen has for him.
* RecklessSidekick: For (thankfully) only one story, Starman gains a kid sidekick named Mike Muggins, a Brooklyn scrapper who refuses to go away. He almost gets them both killed halfway through the story, but in the end helps bag the crooks. It appears that he will become a regular, but that one story is his first and only appearance.
* SecretIdentity: Ted goes to great lengths to keep his identity as Starman a secret, even from his fiancee. Oddly, his face is completely visible while he's in costume, but neither Doris Lee nor Woodley Allen recognize Ted as Starman.
* ShrinkRay: This is the weapon of choice for the Light, the first of the two recurring supervillains Starman has to contend with in addition to a bevy of normal crooks. The Light reduces his victims to about a foot tall, Starman included, in order to extort money from them and to get revenge on the scientific community that scorned him.
* StarPower: The gravity rod draws its power from the stars, and can only be recharged at night. This leads to the occasional problem when it runs out during daylight, and Ted has no way to recharge it.
* SuperHeroOrigin: Ted never gets one. He's already active and known to Chief Allen in his first story, and the series never bothers to tell us just how or why he decided to become a costumed mystery man.
* SuperheroSobriquets: Starman is often referred to as "the Man of Night", but occasionally other names pop up, such as the "Astral Avenger". He's even referred to once as "The Dark Knight", a nickname that now belongs pretty much entirely to Batman.
* SuperheroesStaySingle: Averted. Ted has a steady girlfriend in his first story, and by the second story they're engaged. They remain so for the rest of the series. A wedding or breakup is never shown.
* SuperheroesWearTights / SuperheroesWearCapes: As Starman, Ted wears a classic cape and tights superhero costume.
* SwissArmyWeapon: Ted's gravity rod can nullify gravity so Ted can lift heavy objects and fly, project intense heat for melting and cutting, deflect bullets, and various other things as the plot requires. The gravity nullification may account for some of Ted's feats of strength such as throwing criminals around as if they weigh nothing.
* TimeTravel: In two different stories, the plot revolves around a time machine built by an older inventor being taken and used by criminals. The first involves the Light, Starman's arch-enemy, stealing a time machine to go into the future and return with future tech and armored men in order to pull off unstoppable crime sprees. The other involves some pretty dense thugs using the stolen time machine to find a historical genius to be their gang leader and help them pull off better crimes. They kidnap William Shakespeare, of all people.
* TwoFistedTales: Like so many Golden Age heroes, Ted Knight is a man of action, using his fists and his brain (and good luck) as often as he uses his gravity rod. Many of the other staples of pulp storytelling appear over the course of the series, especially early on.
* WesternZodiac: Astrology becomes a theme of several stories once Alfred Bester takes over as writer from Gardner Fox. Generally either someone is letting his horoscope run his life, and Starman has to set him straight, or else some crooks are making use of faked horoscopes to commit crimes.
* WhatDoesSheSeeInHim: In one story, Bill Baxter asks Doris Lee why she stays with Ted, when all he does is claim to be sick and ditch her any time something exciting happens. She responds that she just feels sorry for him. At other times she remarks that he's a lot of fun when he's not having one of his fainting spells, so presumably we only see the two of them at the worst possible moments, when Ted has to make up an excuse so he can go be Starman. Or Doris could be a GoldDigger, because Ted is loaded with money.
* YourCheatingHeart: Doris once goes swimming with guest character Bill Baxter when Ted refuses to go. At the end of the story, she admits to Starman that she kind of liked Bill. Keep in mind this is when she was engaged to Ted.