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The Justice Society must live on. Its legacy must survive. Someone with honor and strength must carry the torch. Not you. Someone with grace and heroism. You, you can’t do it. But someone out there will. But it’s definitely not you. Pat. You were a good friend.
Sylvester to Pat in "Stargirl"

Sylvester Pemberton aka Starman is a character in The CW and DC Universe series, Stargirl.

Sylvester is a rich socialite during the day, but in hiding, he was a courageous and confident superhero known as, Starman. He was a member of the Justice Society of America. Starman wielded a mysterious anti-gravity weapon called the Cosmic Staff. His longtime partner was his sidekick, Stripesy, better known as Courtney Whitmore’s stepfather, Pat Dugan.

Despite his wealthy roots, Sylvester has a good heart and strong morals that propelled his superhero career during his beginnings as the Star-Spangled Kid. His friendship with Pat Dugan helped him in his endeavors and as they operated together. Sylvester was initially a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory before leaving the group and reinventing himself as Starman. He never went anywhere without Pat, his best friend, and they even joined the JSA together.

Sylvester was also the brother of Merri King and the uncle of Henry King Jr., though they never had the chance to form a relationship due to Sylvester's believed death in 2010 "Starman" was believed to have died at the hands of Icicle while fighting valiantly against the Injustice Society. However, he resurfaces in Christmas of 2020, looking for his old friend, Pat Dugan.

Biography

Sylvester Pemberton was born to a wealthy and well-respected family in California. He was the sibling of Merri. When Sylvester was fifteen, his family hired twenty-year-old Pat Dugan to be their driver and mechanic. Sylvester eventually put on a mask to stop criminals who were threatening his parents, and Pat helped him. Their partnership eventually turned to friendship with Sylvester extending his crime-fighting antics to superheroism as the masked hero, Star-Spangled Kid. Pat joined Sylvester as his sidekick and guardian, Stripesy. The duo's antics caught the attention of media when they defeated a villain known as Dr. Weerd.

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At the beginning of their crime-fighting days, Sylvester and Pat joined the underappreciated group known as the Seven Soldiers of Victory. They followed the leadership of Shining Knight and the group was more allies than friends. They later encountered Dragon King for the first time. The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy helped the Seven Soldiers of Victory stop Dragon King from destroying New York. They even saved the world once. With Dragon King in hiding, the Soldiers disbanded and lost contact with one another. Sylvester's parents discovered the secret of the superhero life at an unknown time in Starman's career and died as a result of the superhero life.

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Now in his adult years, Sylvester discovered the cosmic staff and began using it in his times as a superhero. He reinvented himself as the adult superhero Starman, though Pat still operated as his sidekick Stripesy. Sylvester was recruited into the Justice Society of America, an elite team of superheroes that gained much media attention. Sylvester brought Pat into the JSA and the team became very close.

In the meantime, Sylvester's sister Merri operated as a superheroine in her right as the Girl of A Thousand Gimmicks. They didn't cross paths in any notable incidents but remained close in their personal lives. Merri married Henry King and the couple had a son, Henry. Sylvester's role in his nephew's life is unknown, due to the friction between Dr. King and Sylvester. Dr. King was aware of Sylvester's alter ego as "Starman" and had one as well, though he operated as a villain known as Brainwave. Brainwave was a member of the Injustice Society of America, a group of powerful villains that were the primary villains of the Justice Society.

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In 2010, the Injustice Society lured the JSA into a battle in an abandoned California mansion. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the battle was a trap as the ISA planned to eliminate the JSA so they could further a secret agenda. Starman fought valiantly alongside his comrades but his efforts were futile as the group was massively overwhelmed by the ISA. He tried to save Stripesy, who arrived late to the battle, by attacking Brainwave and blasting the man away. Before he could greet his late friend, he was impaled by an ice spear courtesy of Icicle. With the rest of the JSA having fallen during the battle, Starman and Stripesy escaped the battle but STarman died later that night as a result of his injuries. The news of his death hit newspapers around the country, with Icicle being labeled as his killer.

After Sylvester's death, Pat went into hiding and retired his crime-fighting days. He safeguarded the Cosmic Staff in case the day would come when a hero rose to the mantle. Merri, however, was heartbroken over her brother's death and the role that Henry played in Sylvester's murder. She interfered with Brainwave's plan to help the ISA which resulted in Brainwave murdering her. Merri's son, Henry Jr, was unaware of his Uncle's existence growing up.

Series

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Christmas Eve 2010, Sylvester Pemberton battles against the Injustice Society of America as his superhero alter ego, Starman. Pat Dugan desperately tries to reach Sylvester, telling his friend he'll be there soon to help. Sylvester tries to sway Pat not to come, warning that it's dangerous and that Pat isn't a member of the JSA. He screams over the radio and his comms die causing Pat to flee to the manor in which the battle is being held. When Pat enters, he is overwhelmed by the ISA and attacked by The Wizard. Sylvester shoots a cosmic blast at The Wizard, knocking the villain aside. Starman lands on the ground and greets his friend by stating that Pat was supposed to wait in the car. He is suddenly levitated several feet into the air by Brainwave, who uses telekinesis to levitate the hero along with debris. Starman shoots a cosmic blast at the villain, who uses a mental shield to block the attack. A war between mind and will proceed until Brainwave caves and is hit with the cosmic blast. Starman turns victorious and smiles, but is stabbed with a dagger of ice in the chest, courtesy of Icicle. Starman falls to the floor. Pat rushes to his friend's side and tries to help the man. Starman feebly whispers that the Justice Society of America is gone.

Pat helps Starman to his feet and rushes outside in an attempt to escape the caving building. They climb into Pat's car, however, Solomon Grundy gives chase, and as he nears Pat presses a button that allows the car to converts into jet-setting mode and flies off as Solomon hits the back of the vehicle. Damage is done, as the engine dies mid-air and the car crashes into the woods. The two men escape seconds before it explodes, and Pat sets Starman on the ground. He explains that they need to go to a hospital, but Starman is resolute that it's the end for him. He tells Pat the JSA must live on, its legacy must survive. Someone with grace, honor, and courage must carry it - but not Pat. In his dying words, he states Pat was a good friend. He dies while Pat crouches next to his lifelong friend, crippled by emotion.[1]

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Sylvester's legacy does live on in the heart of Pat, who takes his friends Cosmic Staff with him on his many endeavors. His most recent is moving to Blue Valley with his wife, son, and stepdaughter. Pat's stepdaughter, Courtney, discovers the staff and both are surprised when it whirls to life for the first time since Sylvester's time with the staff.[1] This leads Courtney, who assumes the mantle of Stargirl, to believe that Starman must have been her father, as he disappeared the same night Courtney's father was supposed to meet her.[2] Driven by her desire to get justice for Sylvester and the rest of the JSA, Courtney rebuilds the JSA in Starman's honor.[3] She tells Sylvester's story to her new friends and inspires them to be the best versions of themselves. Pat takes Courtney to the JSA's former headquarters where she is able to find a banner of Starman and learn more about his history with the JSA.[4] Courtney later discovers that she isn't, in fact, Sylvester's daughter, but is his legacy.[5]

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As the month's pass, the modern-day JSA is able to defeat the ISA and gets justice for their Golden Age predecessors. Justin, an old friend of Sylvester, remarks that Sylvester would have been proud of the group. Six weeks later, in North Hollywood, California, a man approaches a building manager asking for Pat Dugan. The manager informs the man that Pat moved away months ago but wants to know who is asking. The man smiles stating that he's an old friend. He states that his name is Sylvester Pemberton.[6]

Personality

Little is known on Sylvester's full personality given his appearance in the flashback to the JSA's demise and well as the cliffhanger towards the end of the season. He had shown to carry a strong will and a strong sense of justice. Even as a teenager from a rich family, he wanted to fight crime and help other people. He presumably had a sense of humor, given in his supposed last moments he sarcastically rejected Pat's offer of carrying on the Cosmic Staff.

Physical Appearance

Sylvester is a handsome man with a pale complexion. He has dark blue eyes, unkempt light brown hair, and a short beard. He is tall with an athletic and muscular physique, most likely to help him execute his heroic deeds. In the present day, Sylvester is leaner then he was in 2010, with less facial hair and a casual sense of style.

Powers

  • Abilities via The Cosmic Staff: When wielding the Staff, Sylvester was granted powers.
    • Flight: While using the staff, Sylvester was able to fly.
    • Stellarkinesis: Sylvester can create and manipulate stellar energy generated by his Staff to use against his opponents.
      • Photokinesis: Sylvester was able to use the light generated by his staff to blind people or distract them.

Equipment

  • Cosmic Staff: Sylvestor stumbled across the staff while he went by the alias, Star-Spangled Kid. After being anointed as the Staff's new handler, he changed his alias to Starman. The staff gave Sylvester the ability to fly, shoot cosmic blasts from the rod, and gave him an upper-hand against many villains. He passed the staff onto Pat Dugan for safe-keeping moments before he died.
  • Starman suit: This suit hid Sylvester's identity while he fought crime as Starman. It kept him safe from numerous attacks due to its durable fabric. Pat Dugan took the suit after Sylvester's death, however, it would later be used as a basis for Stargirl's suit.

Appearances

Season 1 (2/13)

Notes and Trivia

  • Sylvester and Courtney are the only known people who can wield the Cosmic Staff.
  • He was thought to have been murdered in 2010 by ISA leader Icicle.
  • Sylvester has been mentioned in every episode of the first season despite only appearing physically in the first and last episodes of the season.

Comic Comparisons

  • This incarnation of Sylvester blends elements of his comic counterpart with Jack Knight, son of the original Starman Ted Knight, and the wielder of the Cosmic Staff before Courtney. In the comics, Sylvester never took the name "Starman," nor did he wield the Cosmic Staff.
  • Sylvester's Starman costume is based on his comic counterpart's "Skyman" costume.

Gallery

References

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