aka Ken Connell
*Energy Control 9 (Extras: Flight, Damage Resistance, Dazzle, Transmutation, Absorption, Blast, Healing, Life Support, Immortality, Ability Boost)
Technology – Auto Repair (Expert +2 bonus), Drive – Motorcycles (+1 bonus)
*I’m my own Grandpa
I know what you’re thinking — the New Universe was crap. Well, yes and no. The execution was certainly lacking at times and some of the books should never have been started to begin with, but others had potential. Star Brand, for instance, has many parallels to Jim Shooter’s later work on Solar, Man of the Atom. Both stories are about a man who becomes a veritable god, and both Ken Connell and Phil Seleski were in some way responsible for the birth of heroes in their universes. Both were also responsible for numerous deaths, as Phil destroyed his entire universe and Ken blew up Pittsburgh… the biggest difference between Solar and Starbrand is that Ken was often a jerk, using one girl for sex and ignoring her feelings for him while he was also cheating on another woman. He was also not very good at really using his powers – his ability boost, for instance, could have been used on any of his attributes but he only ever used it on his strength.
While riding his dirt bike in the hills outside of Pittsburgh, auto mechanic Ken Connell came across a blasted circle of forest. Investigating, he was greeted by an old man who, after interviewing him for a few short minutes, gave him the most powerful weapon in the universe: the Star Brand. Ken passed out from the physical shock of this, and when he woke up, the Old Man was dead.
In fact, it appeared that he wasn’t even human, as when Ken found him, he appeared to be a sort of pink, fish-headed thing with loose skin. Burying the apparent alien, Ken went home to think about his new abilities, and confided in his old pal Myron, a psychologist who Ken trusted enough to talk about this bizarre occurrence. Though he didn’t believe the alien bit, he was still wowed by Ken’s ability to fly.
Though Myron tried to help him decide what to do, it took Ken about a year before he finally decided to help people with this amazing powers. During this time, he had various adventures across the earth, several of which involved the return of that Old Man, who tried to get Ken to give him the Star Brand back. Having gotten used to such power, however, Ken declined… violently.
Deciding at last to go public, he donned a costume made for him by his girlfriend, and Ken exposed his powers to the media in several spectacular ways. He was liked and adored by the public, which was what Ken always wanted, though this didn’t last. You see, he decided to attend a comic book convention as a guest of honor, and the creators of several comic books tore him apart.
After these folks pretty much insulted him for being stupid enough to fly about as a costumed ‘hero’, the Old Man again appeared to confront Ken, and this time, he killed him. Spectacularly. In fact, the explosion the Old Man used to achieve this flattened the complex, killing at least five thousand people in addition to Ken himself. Of course, Ken got better.
His body, for the first time, assumed that pinkish regenerative form, and Ken made his way to Myron’s place, who convinced him to get rid of the Star Brand once and for all. Feeling guilty about the deaths he had inadverdently caused, Ken didn’t want anything to do with the power anymore. As such, he grabbed an bent iron weight and flew into the skies.
Remembering things the Old Man had revealed to him, about the creation of the White Event, Ken was going to get far away in order to release the Star Brand’s power into the weight. Of course, he decided that ten miles up was probably good enough, and transferred the power over into that inanimate object. The resultant explosion ripped his body to shreds, and obliterated the city of Pittsburgh.
Again, however, this wasn’t enough to kill Ken. His body eventually pulled itself back together again, though he’d gone completely nuts after realizing what he’d done. Of course, he still had ten percent of the Star Brand’s power flowing within him, so this made him unbelievably dangerous to have around. His son realized this when he finally managed to track him down.
You see, Ken’s girlfriend discovered that she was pregnant several months before, and after the Pitt occurred, her son was violently born into the world. Trying to understand his place in the world, he tracked Ken down to get his help, but since the man was gibberingly insane, the so-called Star Child decided that he had to protect the world from Ken.
Given a choice of suffering permanent death or powerlessness, Ken chose powerlessness, and was returned to the earth without his portion of the Star Brand; his child was indeed powerful enough to take it from him. Of course, he was still crazy, and after he saw an apparition of his dead friend Myron, Ken accidentally drove his motorcycle off a cliff.
He didn’t die, however. You see, by this time, the Star Child had temporarily halted the process of death itself across the earth. Ken, though horribly burned and broken up by the wreckage of his bike, was still alive. In fact, he formed a sort of White Event cult in the ruins of Pittsburgh, and preached the gospel of his godhood until death returned to the earth, and he died yet again.
Once he died, Ken’s body finally had an opportunity to heal itself, and Ken awoke anew in his old body, this time with his sanity returned to him. Realizing the horrible things he’d done, Ken resolved to help fix matters somewhat, when the Star Child teleported him (and everybody else that’d ever used the Star Brand’s power) onto an asteroid in orbit around Jupiter.
He’d been delving into the origins of the Star Brand, you see, and discovered that it was spontaneously created at some indeterminate point when the universe folded in upon itself for a microsecond. As such, he resolved to trap the Star Brand in time before it’s continued existence destroyed the continuity of the universe as it was presently known.
In order to do this, however, he needed to absorb the energies of the Star Brand from those who currently wielded it (all three of the others), and then he needed to wedge Ken Connell himself into this time loop, since he was already there. You see, it was revealed that the Old Man was a much older version of himself, and that the Star Child was actually a younger version of Ken.
So, once he’d absorbed the Star Brand into himself, the Star Child took Ken and the Old man into time, altering their essences and minds until they fit into the places he needed them to be, so that this loop could be completed once and for all. While the Star Child’s essence became what would become Ken Connell, Ken Connell’s essence was transported into the past so he could become the Old Man.
And finally, the Old Man’s essence was imparted into Ken Connell’s baby while it was still within his girlfriend, Debbie. As such, Ken was finally able to atone for his horrible mistakes to some extent, as his sacrifice managed to heal the wounds the Star Brand inflicted upon the time stream, even if it meant he’d be doomed to repeat his actions over and over….