William Payton

    Character » William Payton appears in 159 issues.

    After hitchhiker William Payton falls asleep under the stars, he awakes months later to find that he has been imbued with superpowers. Adopting the super heroic personality of Starman, William must face the fact that not everyone wants him to have powers...

    Short summary describing this character.

    William Payton last edited by SlamAdams on 05/02/21 07:04PM View full history


    Will Payton was once a normal guy working as a copy editor. When out hiking one night, Payton was accidentally struck with a beam from a satellite intended for the secret agents known as the Power Elite. The beam gave him solar-like powers such a heat and light control, as well as the ability to fly and super strength.

    Later retcons in James Robinson's 90's Starman series, implied that the beam that struck Payton was actually the Starman known as Prince Gavyn. Payton was implied to have died and possibly reborn as the essence of Prince Gavyn.


    Will Payton was the creation of writer Roger Stern and artist Tom Lyle. Payton made his debut in his own volume Starman (1988).

    Major Story Arcs

    Payton's Original Costume
    Payton's Original Costume


    Payton learns more about his origins. Rampage reveals to him that his physiology as a result of the blast was no longer human, and that he had in fact become an actual star.

    Eclipso: The Darkness Within

    Eclipso claimed that it was he who had diverted the satellite beam, though Payton refused to believe him. Eclipso argued that Starman's shape shifting abilities allowed him to possess him without visible signs that would normally occur under others. Thus, Eclipso was able to infiltrate other heroes and steal their powers.

    Starman was eventually the one to defeat Eclipso. He sacrificed himself through a massive solar self-destruction, the one force he could hurt Eclipso with, and died a hero's death.


    Starman later resurfaced on Throneworld, home of Prince Gavyn. Prince Gavyn reformed himself over Will Payton, implying that the original beam that had given Payton his powers was actually prince Gavyn himself.


    In 1988 the Stellaron-5 satellite attempted to absorb the power of the Totality but the satellite's systems backfired causing a beam of light to fire towards Earth hitting Will Payton. The accident infused him the power of the Totality, Will used is new found abilities to become a superhero.

    Lex Luthor traveled back in time to captured and torture Will in order to unravel the secret of The Totality. Will was somehow able to escape and find the present Justice League. After recuperating Starman warned them of Perpetua.


    Starman is connected to The Totality which allows him to manipulate the energy of the universe.

    • Cosmic Awareness: Starman can see all corners of the multi-universe and glimpse into Hyper Time.
    • Portal Creation: Starman can open star gates to anywhere in universe.
    • Soul Manipulation: Starman was able remove a piece of Kendra that was still inside Shayera after the resurrection chain got broken.
    • Flight
    • Energy Manipulation


    Cosmic Staff: Is a device invented by Ted Knight and passed down through The Starman Legacy. The Staff possess various abilities:

    • Energy Base Construct
    • Energy Manipulation
    • Energy Projection
    • Gravity Manipulation


    This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

    Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

    Comment and Save

    Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.