After traveling back in time with a number of her teammates from the Legion of Super-Heroes, the remainder of the team (referred to as Legion Lost out of continuity) is on the trail of Alastor, who threatens to release a virus which can destroy all of mankind. After nearly stopping him in Minnesota, the team travels to New York City in their continued attempt to track him.
Dawnstar is her real name (unlike most Legionnaires, she has no separate code name), and she is from Starhaven, a planet colonized by humans from Earth. Her name is derived from the planet Venus, the "morning star," hence the reason Dawnstar wears an eight-pointed star ornament on her forehead. Dawnstar and her people are of Anasazi Indian heritage, and her appearance and costume still closely reflects this. Back in the 13th century, members of the Anasazi tribe were abducted from Earth by mysterious aliens for unknown reasons and relocated to Starhaven, making the Anasazi the first human colonists of the planet. Dawnstar's parents are Mist-Rider and Moonwalker, and her younger brothers are Greybird and Greatfire. During her late childhood and early teens, her parents built a thriving business on their daughter's abilities, since Dawnstar excelled at guiding spaceships through hazardous areas of space.
Dawnstar was created in 1977 by writer Paul Levitz and artist Mike Grell, during a period when DC decided that the Legion needed more ethnic diversity. The first African American Legionnaire, Tyroc, had appeared 10 issues earlier, while Dawnstar became the first Legionnaire of Native American descent. She was the ninth female character to join the Legion of Super-Heroes and the 28th Legionnaire overall.
Original Continuity: New Earth
As a young teen, Dawnstar received an invitation to attend the Legion Academy and reluctantly accepted the opportunity. Her roommate and first Academy friend during this time was fellow Legion hopeful Laurel Kent, and the two girls often confided in each other on personal issues like romantic relationships and homesickness. At the age of sixteen, Dawnstar graduated from the Legion Academy. Her tracking and navigational talents earned her Legion membership on her very first mission.
Still feeling a strong connection to her homeworld, Dawnstar requested that her Legion stipend go mostly towards enhancing Starhaven's defenses. She served in many missions with the Legionnaires, contributing her often underrated talents at tracking and high-speed interstellar travel to perform many rescues of her colleagues, as well as investigations of personal disappearances and similar mysteries. She brought these talents into Legion adventures during other time periods as well, especially the 20th century. She was also notable for her early role in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, being one of the heroes selected by Harbinger for a first line of defense as the crisis unfolded.
During the 1970's many female Legionnaires were known for having sexy costumes, and Dawnstar was no exception. Her original costume was a revealing yellow dress of Native American design, with a plunging neckline and long ornamental fringes on the sleeves and boot cuffs. On her forehead was her signature logo, a gold 8-pointed star ornament. This costume design went virtually unchanged throughout most of original continuity.
Dawnstar was one of the few members of the original Legion to not appear in the post- Zero Hour reboot continuity (later known as Earth-247). During this continuity a new character called Shikari appeared instead, who was a member of an alien race called the Kwai. Shikari had pathfinding powers of similar scope to Dawnstar, and possessed insectoid wings and interstellar flight capability. This caused some Legion fans to believe that Shikari was the post- Zero Hour Dawnstar, but this was denied by various Legion writers.
Dawnstar also was not part of the second reboot continuity, dubbed the "threeboot" and later designated Earth-Prime. Her only appearance was in Legion of Super-Heroes #15 - Ancient Times, which featured a Barry Kitson cover that depicted Dawnstar (in her original costume) alongside fellow original Legion members Blok and Tyroc. The solicitation for this issue hinted that the Legion would become the "greatest heroes of the Multiverse," but the cover turned out to be misleading. Dawnstar only appeared in a series of 'campfire stories' told by groupie fans of the characters of the current Legion.
Retroboot: New Earth
The original Dawnstar's storyline finally picked up again prior to the Five Year Gap, which was erased from the timeline. Dawnstar became trapped in 21st century with several other Legionnaires. She lost memory of her past and found herself on the planet Thanagar, whose winged inhabitants share much in common with her own people. With the combined help of the Justice League of America and Justice Society of America the other lost Legionnaires located Dawnstar's Legion Flight Ring on Thanagar but Dawnstar had already left the planet; her ring had been left to a Thanagarian woman who was strongly implied to be Dawnstar's lover, as a promise that the two would be reunited. Although it was predicted that a Legionnaire would die before they could return to the 31st century, this prediction turned out to be false. Dawnstar was reunited with the other lost Legionnaires, and seeing her teammates again fully restored her memory. They all then returned safely to their own time.
The retroboot Dawnstar received a new costume, though it retained a yellow color scheme, Native American design elements, and generous cleavage exposure. Black was added as an accent color and her sleeve and boot fringes became stiff and feather-like. She kept the signature star ornament on her forehead but another was added to the center of her collar.
After the Flashpoint event, Dawnstar once again became one of a group of Legionnaires trapped in the 21st century, chronicled in the ongoing series Legion Lost. Her costume was modified, covering her previously bare legs with black tights and adding yellow plating to her shoulders and knees.
Major Story Arcs
Original Continuity: New Earth
Dawnstar had a lengthy, tragic romance with fellow Legionnaire Wildfire. They each respected the other's defiant and outspoken personalities, although they also counseled each other on working with their talents as part of a team instead of acting as individuals. Wildfire was an anti-energy being in a containment suit, and thus had no physical body. When he briefly was able to partially reverse this they attempted a physical relationship, but were unsuccessful.
Five Years Later
After the Five Year Gap following the Magic Wars, Dawnstar became possessed by an evil entity called Bounty, who amputated her wings and forced her to use her tracking powers as an assassin. She became an expert at marksmanship during this time. Dawnstar was later freed from the Bounty entity's control with the help of her old lover Wildfire. But the storyline was never resolved as this timeline was erased by the events depicted in Zero Hour, when the Legion was entirely rebooted.
Retroboot: New Earth
Dawnstar was later seen as a member of the Legion in the storyline Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes, wearing a new costume (which carried over into the retroboot) and battling the xenophobic Justice League of Earth. Afterwards Dawnstar fought in the Final Crisis against Superboy-Prime, who had gone insane and was determined to destroy the Legions of all three realities alongside the Legion of Super-Villains. Teaming up with Polar Boy and her old lover Wildfire, Dawnstar went on a mission to steal a hair from a young Lex Luthor in 20th-century Smallville. They gave the hair to Brainiac 5, who placed it inside a Kryptonian chrysalis that resurrected Conner Kent. The return of Conner Kent proved instrumental in ultimately defeating Superboy Prime and his minions.
During this time, Dawnstar was portrayed as being very cold and distant from Wildfire, implying that the two had a falling out. This all changed after Dawnstar saw a beaten Wildfire lying on ground after losing a fight with Superboy-Prime. She ran to Wildfire and held him in her arms, telling him that she loved him.
Following the New 52 reboot, the Legion of Super-Heroes continuity returned to a close approximation of the original team prior to the Five Year Gap. However, there were some differences. A group of seven Legionnaires -- Dawnstar, Wildfire, Timber Wolf, Tellus, Tyroc, Gates, and Chameleon Girl -- became stranded in the 21st century after pursuing the villain Alastor, who carried a deadly pathogen, the events of which unfolded in the ongoing series Legion Lost. (For Dawnstar, this was the second time in retroboot continuity that she had become stranded in the past.)
Upon arrival in the 21st century the Legionnaires discovered that their Time Bubble and Flight Rings no longer worked, and after a disastrous encounter with Alastor the Time Bubble became damaged beyond repair. Dawnstar used her tracking abilities to help her teammates hunt down the villain. The series was cancelled after 16 issues with the lost Legionnaires, Dawnstar included, still trapped in the 21st century. In the Future's End: 5 Years Later event, Dawnstar was shown to have become a member of the Justice League.
Return to the 31st Century
Dawnstar and the other members of Legion Lost remained stranded in the 21st century until they were located by Brainiac 5, who in the 31st century had been elected the new leader of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Brainiac 5 sent another group of Legionnaires back to the 21st century to battle the villain Ininitus, and this group and the Legion Lost team were finally reunited. Together the Legionnaires fought Ininitus alongside the Justice League Unlimited. After the villain was defeated, Dawnstar and the other six Legion Lost members finally returned home to the 31st century with the rest of their fellow Legionnaires.
Powers and Abilities
Dawnstar is unique among her race in that she was born with the ability to locate and track any type of object or life form, even across light years of distance and through interstellar space.
Environmental Force Field
Dawnstar can comfortably survive in deep space indefinitely without a spacesuit or oxygen, due to her ability to generate a self-sustaining environmental force field around her person. Her force field also allows her to survive in most hostile atmospheres. However, it is only environmental in nature and does not protect her from physical or energy attacks.
Dawnstar and other Starhavenites possess pairs of large, white-feathered wings that grow out of their upper backs, the result of the genetic engineering of their ancestors by their alien abductors. In deep space, Dawnstar can travel at faster-than-light speeds and can even exceed the top speed of Daxamites like Mon-El or Kryptonians like Superboy, making her the fastest member of the Legion. In an Earth-normal atmosphere or in a sizable gravity well, her flight speed is diminished but still formidable.
Like all Legionnaires, Dawnstar has received extensive training in unarmed combat. Her combat techniques are specially designed to take full advantage of her powerful wings and superior speed and agility.
As a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Dawnstar possesses a Legion Flight Ring, which she mainly uses as a long-range communicator (enabling constant vocal contact with other Legionnaires, even across vast distances of space) and signal device. The ring also gives its wearer the ability to fly and contains a navigational compass, but Dawnstar's own flight and tracking capabilities far exceed those of the ring, so she almost never uses those functions.
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 120 lbs
Planet of Birth: Starhaven
Known Relatives: Mist-Rider (father), Moonwalker (mother), Greybird (brother), Greatfire (brother), Wildstar (21st-century ancestor)
Unusual Features: Large white-feathered wings, measuring approximately 16 feet from wingtip to wingtip, sprout from Dawnstar's back in the vicinity of her shoulder blades.
Dawnstar appeared as a member of the Legion in Superboy's Legion, an Elseworlds story. Her character and appearance was very similar to that in original continuity.
The Long Road Home
Dawnstar appeared in Legion of Super-Heroes Annual v4, which featured an Elseworlds story called The Long Road Home.
Dawnstar appeared in the 2005 Elseworlds miniseries Justice.
Dawnstar helps Wonder Woman and her team of women to find a safe place for Japanese-Americans from American internment-camps.
Legion of Super-Heroes Animated Series (2008)
The animated Dawnstar first appeared in second and final season of the series, in the two-part finale Dark Victory. She was visible on three different occasions in shots where the entire Legion was assembled.
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time (2014)
Dawnstar was a main character in the 2014 animated movie JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time. She was introduced as as a teenage superhero from the 31st century who had not yet been accepted into the Legion of Super-Heroes. Alongside fellow teen hero Karate Kid (who in this story was also a failed Legion tryout), Dawnstar traveled back in time to warn the Justice League about Lex Luthor's sinister plans to destroy them in the past. The movie marked Dawnstar's first animated starring role, since she was little more than an extra in the earlier Legion of Super-Heroes animated series. She was voiced by Laura Bailey.
As with other Legion animated characters, Dawnstar looks considerably different from her comic book incarnation: Her wings are black instead of white, her hair is shorter, and she has a younger and less curvaceous figure. Her costume, though still Native American in design, is also far more modest than in the comics.