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Starr the Slayer is a fictional character published by Marvel Comics. He first appeared in Chamber of Darkness #4, (April 1970), and was created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith. In 2007, writer Warren Ellis introduced a new version of Starr in the Marvel series newuniversal.

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Starr the Slayer  

STARR THE SLAYER

Real Name: Starr Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian era) Occupation: Barbarian king of Zardath

Group Membership: Obviously the Royal Court of Zardath,possibly the Zardathian Army

Affiliations: Morro

Enemies: Len Carson, Man-Dragon, Trull Known Relatives: None Aliases: None known

Base of Operations: The kingdom of Zardath 

First Appearance: Chamber of Darkness#4 (April, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: Starr the Slayer was a powerful warrior, armed with a broadsword.Somehow,unexplained Starr the Slayer can travel between alternate realities.

History: Edit

(Chamber of Darkness#4/3) - Starr the Slayer was the barbarian king of Zardath, and fought off invaders such as the wizard Trull and his Man-Dragon.Trull was a wizard who believed that he should be the ruler of Zardath, and fought Starr the Slayer on more than one occasion, once conjuring a Man-Dragon to battle him.The Man-Dragon was a creature summoned by Trull during one of his attempts to conquer Zardath. His adventures appeared in the dreams of 20th century writer Len Carson, who wrote stories about Starr for magazines. When Carson developed ulcers, he decided to give up writing, and intended to kill off Starr in his last story, but Starr confronted him on his way to the mailbox. Starr claimed that Carson himself had summoned him there (apparently through his subconscious), and identified Carson as a wizard. To preserve his own life, Starr killed Carson. Starr then awoke from his dream-like experience to find himself back in Zardath, with his minstrel friend Morro nearby. He told Morro that he had just won a battle to save his very soul, and Morro was interested in turning his adventure into a song. Starr returned to Zardath, "and there did rule wisely and justly till the end of his days...and they were many." -- the Chronicles of Zardath.Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.Starr served as a prototype for Conan prior to Marvel's acquiring of the license; Thomas and Smith went on to serve as the creators who brought Conan to Marvel with Conan the Barbarian#1.Now that Marvel doesn't have the Conan license, Starr has some appeal as a stand-in... Starr the Slayer was revived for the Newuniversal line. He appeared in Newuniversal: Conqueror#1 (October, 2008) and a self-titled mini-series Starr the Slayer#1-4 (November, 2009 - February, 2010). It is unknown if the Starr the Slayer from Newuniversal is the same as the character from Chamber of Darkness#4. 

Publication historyEdit

Chamber of DarknessEdit

Main article: Chamber of DarknessThe initial version of Starr was a barbarian king, defending his kingdom. A 20th century writer, Len Carson, dreamed of Starr's adventures. When he was about to turn in a manuscript that would kill off Starr, Starr mysteriously appeared, killing Carson. It is unclear whether or not Starr was intended to be part of the Marvel Universe.[1] Starr the Slayer is shown defending the city of Zardath, of which he is king, from a fire-breathing Man-Dragon conjured up by Trull the sorcerer.  Suddenly, the Man-Dragon vanishes and a gigantic image of Trull’s face appears, telling Starr that he is going to be destroyed.  The Man-Dragon suddenly reappears many times larger than it was just moments before.

As Starr is held over a raging inferno of fire caused by the Man-Dragon, Trull informs him that the inhabitants of Zardath will become slaves as punishment for Starr usurping the throne from Trull.  A fireball suddenly leaps out of the flames towards Starr, but he blocks it with his sword.  The Man-Dragon vanishes again, this time forever, in an explosion, and Starr falls to the ground.

He credits his Heaven-forged blade for saving his life. Trull appears behind Starr and begins to cast a spell. Starr immediately throws his sword at Trull in an attempt to interrupt the spell.  It is at this point we learn the battle between Starr, Trull, and the Man-Dragon was apparently a dream had by a writer named Len Carson in modern-day America.  Len calls up the editor, Whitney, of the magazine he writes for saying he has another Starr the Slayer story.Len Carson tells Whitney that he plans on killing off the character of Starr.  Whitney is angry at this and hangs up on Len.  A few hours later, as Len exits his apartment to mail his new Starr the Slayer story, he encounters Officer O’Neal who asks Len about the strange dreams he has.  Len tells O’Neal that according to his doctor, the dreams are making Len uptight and giving him ulcers and he’ll have to stop writing Starr the Slayer stories. As Len continues on his way, Starr the Slayer appears in an alley, and accuses Len of being a murderer and assassin.   Len is shocked and confused, telling Starr that he is not real and only a creation of his.  Starr does not believe him, calling him a wizard and swinging at him with his sword.  Len continues to protest, saying he’s not a wizard and only a writer that dreamed up Starr the Slayer.  Starr says he must kill Len to save his own life, and he does so.On the plains outside of Zardath, Starr awakens to his minstrel, Morro, who tells Starr that Trull is dead.  

Starr tells Morro that he had been in a strange land, but Morro says Starr has been laying on the ground unconscious for many minutes.  Starr says he will one day tell Morro of his strange dream, but in the meantime they head back into the city where Starr is the rightful king. Starr the Slayer was a trial run for Conan by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith, the original creative team of the Marvel Conan comics. Starr looks and acts like Conan but was created before Marvel Comics got the rights to do Conan.Starr the Slayer was very loosely based upon both Conan and Kull.Len Carson is a vaguely loose verson of Robert E. Howard and Lin Carter[1]

newuniversalEdit

Main article: Star Brand (newuniversal)#Starr the SlayerWarren Ellis's newuniversal series includes another version of Starr. In the universe of newuniversal, some areas of space are part of an artificial construct, the 'newuniversal structure', and do not entirely obey the standard laws of physics. Earth has drifted into this structure on several occasions, and was within it for at least part of Starr's lifetime.Template:Issue When a world first moves into the newuniversal structure, a small number of inhabitants are modified in predetermined ways, endowed with abilities that will help their people to cope with these changes.

The newuniversal version of Starr was one such superhuman, gifted with the Starbrand, which has been described as a planetary defense system embodied in human form.Template:Issue An archaeological discovery on the new universal Earth reveals that Starr the Slayer, and the "prehistoric" city of Zardath actually existed in Northern Europe centuries before Uruk, the oldest known human city. Starr, accompanied by three other superhumans, had greatly accelerated the technological development of his people; excavation of Zardath's ruins revealed arc lights and possible traces of nuclear power.Template:Issue  However, Starr was betrayed by the Nightmask Trull, one of the other superhumans. Trull plotted against Starr's rule, destroyed the mind of his old friend Ukru and preyed on other superhumans before they could reveal themselves to Starr and join Zardath.Template:Issue Stripped of their minds, Trull's victims were hideously mutated by their own uncontrolled powers, becoming monstrous beasts - which Starr regularly fought and killed, without understanding their origin. Trull was eventually exposed when one of his victims, the mute girl Gila, managed to warn Starr before her death.[2] Starr's subsequent actions are unknown. Zardath was eventually buried beneath a rock shelf and undiscovered for approximately four and a half thousand years, uncovered only when earth drifted back into the newuniversal structure and the White Event created a new batch of superhumans. Starr himself had evidently died some time before Zardath was buried, as his body was entombed deep beneath the city; the tomb survived intact until Zardath was uncovered.Template:Issue When the tomb was excavated the Starbrand, the mark associated with a Starbrand's powers, was still visible etched into the forehead of Starr's skull.[3]

MAX ComicsEdit

In September 2009, A new version of “Starr the Slayer” by Daniel Way and  Richard Corben is published by Marvel Comic's MAX Comics imprint.[4][5]

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

STARR THE SLAYER


Real Name: Starr

Identity/Class: Human (Hyborian era)

Occupation: Barbarian king of Zardath

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Morro

Enemies: Len Carson, Man-Dragon, Trull

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: The kingdom of Zardath

First Appearance: Chamber of Darkness#4 (April, 1970)

Powers/Abilities: Starr the Slayer was a powerful warrior, armed with a broadsword.

History: (Chamber of Darkness#4/3) - Starr the Slayer was the barbarian king of Zardath, and fought off invaders such as the wizard Trull and his Man-Dragon. His adventures appeared in the dreams of 20th century writer Len Carson, who wrote stories about Starr for magazines. When Carson developed ulcers, he decided to give up writing, and intended to kill off Starr in his last story, but Starr confronted him on his way to the mailbox. Starr claimed that Carson himself had summoned him there (apparently through his subconscious), and identified Carson as a wizard. To preserve his own life, Starr killed Carson.

Starr then awoke from his dream-like experience to find himself back in Zardath, with his minstrel friend Morro nearby. He told Morro that he had just won a battle to save his very soul, and Morro was interested in turning his adventure into a song. Starr returned to Zardath, "and there did rule wisely and justly till the end of his days...and they were many." -- the Chronicles of Zardath.

Comments: Created by Roy Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith.

Starr served as a prototype for Conan prior to Marvel's acquiring of the license; Thomas and Smith went on to serve as the creators who brought Conan to Marvel with Conan the Barbarian#1.

Now that Marvel doesn't have the Conan license, Starr has some appeal as a stand-in...

Writer Len Carson is probably a parody/homage of real-life sci-fi/fantasy author Lin Carter, who was the creator of

'CLARIFICATIONS':



Starr the Slayer should not be confused with:

  • Aaron Starr of the Deterrence Research Corporation, @ Fantastic Four III#1
  • Dawn Starr, former student of Peter Parker at ESU, @ Amazing Spider-Man I#204
  • Jacqueline Starr, Canadian reporter, @ Alpha Flight II#6
  • Patricia Starr, niece of Effhead, @ Marvel Feature I#5
  • Ramona Starr, AIM agent, Ka-Zar foe, @ Ka-Zar III#18
  • Starr Ryder, Golden Age character @ Marvel Boy#2
  • Starron, home of Sky-Walker, @ Daredevil I#128
  • Starr Saxon, better known as Machinesmith @ Daredevil I#49
  • Joey Starrs, New York crimelord, @ Marvel Comics Presents#152

Trull should not be confused with:

  • Trull, formless alien who inhabited a steam shovel @ Tales to Astonish I#21




MORRO

Morro was the minstrel companion of Starr the Slayer, and would write songs based on his friend's adventures.Obviously inspired by Rodondo from the Kull stories

--Chamber of Darkness#4/3



LEN CARSON

Len Carson wrote the Starr the Slayer stories for a magazine, basing them upon dreams he would have of Starr's adventures. When he developed ulcers, he decided to give up writing, and intended to kill off Starr. However, Starr appeared in the present day, apparently summoned by Carson's own subconscious, and Starr murdered Carson to preserve his own life.Len Carson-even though the name sounds like late author Lin Carter,he's more like Robert E.Howard or Sir Arthor Conan Doyle,in his considering giving his greatest creation.

--Chamber of Darkness#4/3



MAN-DRAGON

The Man-Dragon was a creature summoned by Trull during one of his attempts to conquer Zardath.

--Chamber of Darkness#4/3




TRULL

Trull was a wizard who believed that he should be the ruler of Zardath, and fought Starr the Slayer on more than one occasion, once conjuring a Man-Dragon to battle him.Trull is made to look alot like Len Carson,saying that Starr the Slayer has always fighting his creator one way or another.

--Chamber of Darkness#4/3




Publication history
Starr
Edit

-Starr the Slayer that self-same savage made his debut in Marvel's Chamber of Darkness #3 (January, 1970) .It was by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith,as they'd called later a Conan Warm Up pages in Conan the Barbarian,No.16-where I first saw.as it was reprinted as a back up to the main feature The Frost Giant Daughter-also the two gentlemen mentioned before.Star the Slayer although looked alot like Barry Smith's version of Conan or Kull-did do one version if remember,but it was more of a statement creator abandonning their creation-Sir Arthor Conan ? Doyle who wanted stop doing Sherlock Holmes tales,even the fans wanted more and didn't believe in his dead in the Final Solution.And it was also a statement on Robert E.Howard-even the fictional author had the Len Carson,that sounded like late author Lin Carter.Big Two Gun Bob Howard talked abandoning Conan and writting Westerns and other stuff,but in the he did anyway,when stupidly shot a bullet into his head.I'm not going to soft peddle that one,for the fans.We all think Howard did a dum final thing in the end and wasted anykind of a future career that night,he may or may not have had.

Anyway,the Starr story was pretty brilliant,even though a bit short.

The initial version of Starr was a barbarian king, defending his kingdom from a red demon,sent to slay him by Trull the Wizard. A 20th century writer, Len Carson, dreamed of Starr's adventures. When he was about to turn in a manuscript that would kill off Starr, Starr mysteriously appeared,in a modern city,calling a great city of towering glass mineretts,as close as what he'd think of a skyscapter might be.Before Len Carson can defend himself and explain he created Starr or so he thinks,Starr the Stayer kills Carson.Dead,Carson lays upon the pages of his last story-never be published Thull the Wizard finally kill Starr in the end. It is unclear whether or not Starr was intended to be part of the Marvel Universe.[1]

Chamber of DarknessEdit

Main article: Chamber of Darkness

The initial version of Starr was a barbarian king, defending his kingdom. A 20th century writer, Len Carson, dreamed of Starr's adventures. When he was about to turn in a manuscript that would kill off Starr, Starr mysteriously appeared, killing Carson. It is unclear whether or not Starr was intended to be part of the Marvel Universe.[1]

Starr the Slayer was a trial run for Conan by Roy Thomas and Barry Smith, the original creative team of the Marvel Conan comics. Starr looks and acts like Conan but was created before Marvel Comics got the rights to do Conan.[2]



newuniversalEdit

Main article: Star Brand (newuniversal)#Starr the Slayer

Warren Ellis's newuniversal series includes another version of Starr. In the universe of newuniversal, some areas of space are part of an artificial construct, the 'newuniversal structure', and do not entirely obey the standard laws of physics. Earth has drifted into this structure on several occasions, and was within it for at least part of Starr's lifetime.

When a world first moves into the newuniversal structure, a small number of inhabitants are modified in predetermined ways, endowed with abilities that will help their people to cope with these changes. The newuniversal version of Starr was one such superhuman, gifted with the Starbrand, which has been described as a planetary defense system embodied in human form.

An archaeological discovery on the new universal Earth reveals that Starr the Slayer, and the "prehistoric" city of Zardath actually existed in Northern Europe centuries before Uruk, the oldest known human city. Starr, accompanied by three other superhumans, had greatly accelerated the technological development of his people; excavation of Zardath's ruins revealed arc lights and possible traces of nuclear power.

However, Starr was betrayed by the Nightmask Trull, one of the other superhumans. Trull plotted against Starr's rule, destroyed the mind of his old friend Ukru and preyed on other superhumans before they could reveal themselves to Starr and join Zardath.

Stripped of their minds, Trull's victims were hideously mutated by their own uncontrolled powers, becoming monstrous beasts - which Starr regularly fought and killed, without understanding their origin. Trull was eventually exposed when one of his victims, the mute girl Gila, managed to warn Starr before her death.[2] Starr's subsequent actions are unknown.

Zardath was eventually buried beneath a rock shelf and undiscovered for approximately four and a half thousand years, uncovered only when earth drifted back into the newuniversal structure and the White Event created a new batch of superhumans. Starr himself had evidently died some time before Zardath was buried, as his body was entombed deep beneath the city; the tomb survived intact until Zardath was uncovered.

When the tomb was excavated the Starbrand, the mark associated with a Starbrand's powers, was still visible etched into the forehead of Starr's skull.[3]

MAX ComicsEdit

In September 2009, A new version of “Starr the Slayer” by Daniel Way and Richard Corben is published by Marvel Comic's MAX Comics imprint.[4][5]

Starr the Slayer #1 ReviewEdit

The obscure barbarian hero gets the MAX treatment. September 2, 2009 by Jesse SchedeenThe most common criticism leveled at Marvel's MAX imprint is that it lacks diversity, particularly when held against other mature-readers labels like Vertigo. Most MAX books involve vigilantes like Punisher and Foolkiller punishing and killing fools. The announcement that the newest MAX book would star a violent barbarian hero was perhaps not cause for much excitement. However, the story of Starr the Slayer has an interesting hook, enough so that I hoped this mini-series might break away from the pack a little.

In a way it manages that much. Stylistically, Starr the Slayer is like no other MAX book you've read. Unfortunately, different doesn't automatically equate to good. Writer Daniel Way makes the risky choice of communicating this story almost entirely through rap. Yes, you read that right. Instead of a standard omniscient narration, the tale of Starr and his creator is relayed through hip-hop rhymes. Suffice it to say, I'm not prepared to crown the writer as Mixmaster Way anytime soon.

The original Starr story showed readers Len Carson, a vaguely Robert E. Howard-esque writer and his fictional creation. The twist was that, when Carson decided to kill off Starr and end the stress these stories caused, Starr appeared in the real world to punish his creator. Way takes that same basic concept and attempts to weave a four-issue mini-series around it. We see Carson elevated from obscurity to fame and fortune and back again. And just when his career seems to be over, Carson chooses to visit the origins of his hero for the first time. From this point, the narrative bounces between Carson's writing and Starr's early life.

In an added bit of metatextual tomfoolery, the entire affair is narrated by one of the ancient savages in Starr's world, who now busts mad rhymes on a street corner. I wish I could say it all works, but it doesn't. Way's endless, repetitive rap goes on and on and on and on (the beat don't stop till the break of dawn). With each page it grows more and more tiresome until I reach the same state I usually reserve for the Wonder Woman strip in Wednesday Comics. I stop paying attention to the words and just admire the pretty pictures.

Which, admittedly, are very pretty. I'll never complain about seeing Richard Corben work on fantasy and barbarian stories. Corben's style is significantly exaggerated here. Given that so many characters are of the not-quite-human variety, it's really a requirement of the job. The most visually interesting scenes tend to be centered in Carson's apartment as his mind slowly warps and his fictional world intrudes on the real one. Starr's world, by comparison, is a little bland and surprisingly devoid of violence and bloodshed at the moment.

In discussing this book, Corben has revealed that he, Way, and editor Axel Alonso constructed the story in the "Mighty Marvel Manner", which essentially means that Way constructed a basic outline, Corben drew the issue, and then Way filled in the dialogue afterward. This certainly isn't a common approach anymore, and for good reason. Perhaps in a misguided attempt to make the writing stand out in this art-centric comic, Way has needlessly burdened the script with unusual narration and pointless homoerotic humor. It would have been better for all involved if Corben's art had been left to carry the day on its own. What worked perfectly well as a short, dozen-page story is not working as a longer mini-series.

NotesEdit

Corden is more offen bad than good.

External linksEdit


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