Monday, January 14, 2013

DC '78 # 7: Opal City Protectors

Jack Knight is the newest Starman, and he reflects the
heart of the city that has become a home for so many
of the bizarre and ostracized. He is a fiery solo artist,
stylized and defiant, bold and passionate. He has his own
means of going about his business, just like Opal--that dark
lady of shadow and loss, struggle and redemption.

Ted Knight, the most famous denizen of Opal,
and its brightest star. He continues on in his
scientific studies and overseeing/assisting his son
Jack who has finally, reluctantly, taken up the
mantle of Starman to defend the city.
The O'Dare family of crime-fighters;
entrenched in the city for generations.
The Shade, an astute old soul with dark
shadow powers.

The enigmatic Charity has been of great help
to Jack on many quests, and is of special
interest to one Mason O'Dare.
But it is unknown what her relationship with
Madame Xanadu may be, and what importance
it may have regarding her loyalty.

Sadie Falk, Jack's first serious relationship,
finally came clean about what brought her to Opal.
Jake 'Bobo' Bennetti
Opal is a unique city, full of its own bristling
wonderment; a dash of yesteryear, more than
a smidgen of lost dreams and longing.
A dark place, where grey folks are the norm,
and there's a tough grit to the flock.

People come to Opal to find something...
to be a part of something....
to be content amidst the other proud
outcasts, loners and radicals.

Opal is a place of strange mysteries, wild
adventures, odd occurrences, and times
gone by. Its heroes and protectors reflect that.

After being saved from an evil carnival ( a recurring
theme; Sandman and Starman fought another in the
'Golden Age,' as they refer to it) this blue-skinned
Starman of space stayed on to recuperate, indeed
developing friendships and ties.

Originally seeking help for being trapped in his
Golden Gorilla's body, Congo Bill eventually
realized this was his fate, and embraced becoming
'Congorilla' permanently. He found a kindred spirit
in the blue Starman, Mikaal, as these two outsiders
both began new paths on their own.

Greg Saunders likes a challenge, and after his years in Vegas,
he knows from corruption. In part responding to the call
from an old friend (the reincarnated Brian Savage, whom
Saunders had met while stranded in the Old West,) the
original cowboy--the Vigilante--is a proud temporary
citizen....but hopes to return to his southwestern dude
ranch and business interests.

Bruce Gordon came seeking the disappeared mark Merlin, last
spotted in Opal, and now feels the demonic busyness of
the olden streets may be the perfect place to help end his
counter, Eclipso, for good.

Not much is known of this confused and eccentric
anti-hero, yet another Harlequin. Enigma is not her
intention, for once, however; she is a survivor of the
Explosion (known as 'The Crisis' in some circles)
that changed the face of the world earlier in 1978.

She is one of but a handful of people to survive her earth's
destruction. When Opal reached out its hand to the
regular citizens of her earth when survivors were

being held in camps and divided amongst the world
populaces, this Harlequin hitched along and started
yet another reinvention. Her allegiances are unknown.

Adam Strange was involved in a case involving Starman (Ted Knight,)
Hawkman (Carter Hall,) and a theft of museum artifacts
both historically valuable and dangerous.
Once The Untouchables
were tracked and defeated, Adam had a friend in Ted Knight.
Upon his Zeta-trips to earth, he makes a point to check
in, dividing his time between League cases, science work,
and helping with meta-crime in Opal.

During a spell cast by Blackbriar Thorn during a
Legion of Doom assault on the Secret Society of Super-
Villains, the body of Solomon Grundy
(the swamp monster) was split into many versions of
the creature. They proved difficult to control, as each
maintained autonomy and an individual personality,
just as happened each time Grundy is destroyed and
subsequently reconstituted.

Eventually, the Wizard and Blackbriar Thorn
destroyed all but the original Grundy in a blast,
but one 'duplicate' was only nearly ruined. He managed
to escape the area, in dire shape, and was captured by
a carnival. With the aide of Jack Knight, he eventually
found freedom and friendship.
The spirit of the original Black Condor brought
this new, mysterious protegee to Opal for
reasons as yet unknown, but seemingly
related to a rash of disappearances happening in the town.

Beth Chapel became a 'super-hero' merely by chance.
Her dedication to the legacy of Dr. Charles McNider
and the field of medicine brought her to Opal City
to complete unfinished business for Charles (her
predecessor in the costume) from his time as Starman
(which she was informed about via a letter that was
delivered upon his death.)

Beth mostly spends her time working at a free clinic
set up to handle the influx of new residents from both
the release of prisoners of the "Poster Demon"and the
new residents from the alternate earths Her nights she
spends devoted to McNider's mission...and forgetting
her feelings for Rick Tyler.

The 2nd Whip, another legacy character drawn to Opal's streets.
She strikes up an unlikely relationship with the original Vigilante,
becoming partners of a fashion. He has even considered her for
a new version of his old team, the Seven Soldiers, along with
another Opal resident....I, Spyder.
The second Midnight has a nose for solving crimes
and mysteries, and is a throwback to another age.
His bare-knuckled noir antics made him a popular
cult figure amongst residents....a welcome change to the
'Ragdoll' followers that continue to congregate.

Following in his predecessor's footsteps, his motto is
'friend of the needy.' He focuses on helping the little man
and unseating fat cats. He is hellbent on keeping corruption
down, and downright obsessed with crime-fighting. The
inspirational voice in him that led him to this identity also
brought him to Opal, in search of an occultist by the name
of Debral Lincoln....though he has no idea why.

Phantom Lady II, Dee Tyler,
began checking out mysterious phenomenon in Opal
as a favor to her mentor, the original Phantom Lady,
who is Ted (Starman) Knight's cousin.

Dee is also working on the side to
follow up on some personal business; tracking down
her friend and flame, Will Payton, whom sources
found trace activities leading to Opal. 
Adventurers Wesley Dodds and Diane Belmont came through
Opal periodically, as it was known as a hotbed for magic,
reincarnation, occult activity, troubled spirits and more.

The original Sandman was also one of the few early heroes
which Ted Knight had rapport with, as Wesley's sensibilities
mirrored those of the reclusive and quirky Knight.

Ralph & Sue Dibny, sleuths of global proportions,
came to town nosing out a mystery and in search
of hero Hamilton Drew. They quickly found a home
that suited this unorthodox power couple.

On the matter of those paranormal activities...
Opal maintains several elite ghosts in residence,
including the city's fallen son, David Knight, the
first to take up the family mantle.
 Jon Valor, the Black Knight, is seeking
vindication for his sullied name, and helps
Jack in his quests when possible.

Though not a unified or formal
group by any stretch,
these unconventional souls have a
cameraderie that transcends their various
differences and styles.

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