James-Michael Starling was a young boy with mysterious ties to Omega the Unknown. He first appears as a 12-year-old. he is "unusually mature" for his age, strangely analytical and almost unemotional. He started dreaming about Omega and events relating to him, starting with Omega surviving the devastation of his planet.
Starling has been home-schooled through his young life and has poor socialization skills. He has spent said life on isolated mountain locals. His parents have planed on moving to New York City in order to help him. A car accident on the way to New York supposedly kills them both. But Starling discovers them to have been humanoid robots. He falls into a coma, waking in a hospital bed about a month later.
James-Michael Starling was created by Steve Gerber and Jim Mooney and first appeared in Omega the Unknown Vol.1 issue 1 (1976).
Major Story Arcs
Almost immediately after he awakes, the hospital is attacked by a mechanical being. He has seen it before in his dreams, fighting Omega. Omega soon appears to fight his foe and defend Starling. But it is Starling himself who defeats the creature. Manifesting a new power, energy blasts from his hands. A power previously demonstrated by Omega.The story shifts to orphaned Starling moving in a foster home in Hell's Kitchen. He has to deal with his lack of emotional response to his parents' deaths, living in a strange new place and adapting to New York life. He remains mostly reserved and strangely detached. Omega seems to appear whenever Starling is genuinely threatened.
The series was canceled before it could reach a resolution about the actual identities of Starling and Omega. A resolution was given (by a different writer) in the pages of the " Defenders". Omega and Starling were both revealed to be artificially created humanoids. They were created by the Protars, an alien mechanical race. The race had foreseen its own extinction and were seeking to create replacements, "an ideal race of true humanoids as their legacy to the cosmos ". Starling self-destructed after learning he was never human.