Rising Stars [Logo by Heidi Berthiaume]


There were 113 Special children born in Pederson, IL after the unexplained flash in the sky in 1969. That's a lot to keep track of. In an effort to keep them all straight, this page will record all information revealed by the comic as time goes on. No doubt we'll never get info on all 113 of the Specials, but I'll write down any tidbit the comic gives out. (That includes spoilers, so read through all the issues before reading through all the files.) The Top Cow webpage also used to have some short character descriptions of its own. They couldn't be relied on entirely, some of them seemed to be early drafts as certain details have been contradicted by the comic, but in some cases they are still the only source for a character's first, last, or code name.

Category breakdown: "Featured in issues" are issues in which a character played an important role. "Mentioned in issues" are issues with a brief appearance or small mention, even a single offhand reference to a first name (I think we can assume that very few of the Specials have the same first name) or a unique power. "Also appeared in issues" are issues where a character is identifiable in a group picture or montage but is not referenced by the dialogue (covers don't count though). Characters who we don't know anything about will not be included in the files, but I plan to do a photo montage of them at some point.

Info on the comic: Rising Stars is a 24 issue Maxi-series, with 3 extra side-story issues. The first two 8 issue story arcs are available in trade paperback format. A trilogy of movies is planned, each movie corresponding to one of the comic story arcs. The first movie is in production.

Keeper of the files: Ray Kremer
E-mail: raykremer@yahoo.com
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Update 12/8/04: Well hey, Rising Stars in finally finishing! The second spin-off mini-series is going to be done too. Looks like I left off at issue 18 way back when, I guess I'll get this page caught up to the comic sooner or later. Not that there were any new characters to speak of that late in the story anyway. Gee, I wonder how many of the links at the bottom of the page are broken now.

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  Bright, Matthew A.      
Real Name: Matthew Bright

Powers: Flight, strength
Occupation: Police officer
Status: In a coma in a tower somewhere
Notes: Matthew's father, a police officer, won the Supreme Court battle for the parents to keep custody of the Specials. His uncle, also a policeman, died in the line of duty when Matthew was still a boy. Matthew wanted to be a cop like his father, but was not allowed to. He escaped from Pederson and become a New York City cop under an assumed name. Two years later, he was forced to reveal himself to save the lives of several fellow officers. After that, he was issued a special badge and uniform and now aids law enforcement worldwide. During the government crackdown on Specials, Matthew was assigned to work with Jason Miller. When he went to apprehend John Simon, John nearly killed him but instead only warned him that Jason was behind the murders and the crackdown. Later, when he went with Jason to stop the fighting in Chicago, Jason beat him nearly to death. John flew him back to New York, where the Hospital was prepared to treat him for injuries. He has remained in a coma for ten years, and Jason visits him regularly to keep him updated on the progress of the other Specials.

Featured in issues: 1, 4, 7, 13, 14
Mentioned in issues: 0, , 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17
Also appeared in issues: 5
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  Chandra, Elizabeth      
Real Name: Elizabeth Chandra

Powers: Appears to everyone as their ideal woman, strength (post surge)
Occupation: Former model
Status: Occasionally performing benefit concerts
Notes: Lived in a Beverly Hills mansion with the most powerful and wealthiest men in the world. They all had to wear masks so she could pretend they are the one man she loves - Poet. She's insecure about herself, she's never felt as if she actually is beautiful. She aided in the infiltration of Chicago to stop Critical Maas. She helps the cause of changing the world by performing benefit concerts in Atlantic City.

Featured in issues: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Mentioned in issues: 0, 2, 5, 13, 14, 17
Also appeared in issues: 1, 16
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  Darkhaven, Laurel      
Real Name: Laurel Darkhaven

Powers: Telekinesis, but only with small objects
Occupation: Assasin for the intelligence community
Status: Deceased, buried outside of Jerusalem
Notes: It is observed that the carotid artery is a very small object. If you could pinch it closed with just a thought, you could shut down the blood en route to the brain. Laurel used this to kill terrorists and other undesireables, but she didn't think that what she did made any overall difference towards the goal of peace. She planned to destroy major religious sites in the Middle East so that there would be nothing left there to fight over. John Simon convinced her to instead generate an earthquake that brought fertile soil to the surface of the area, which truely took away the need to fight over scarce resources. However, doing this took all of her strength and she died accomplishing it.

Featured in issues: 16
Mentioned in issues: 4
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  Dawson, Peter      
Real Name: Peter Dawson

Powers: Invulnerable - a microthin shield protects his body from all injury and sensation.
Occupation: Various, most recently a gas station attendant
Status: Deceased, murdered by asphyxiation
Notes: The only sensation Peter could experience was taste, leading him to become very obese and quite alone. He was the second in Jason Miller's systematic murders.

Featured in issues: 2
Mentioned in issues: 4, 8, 14
Also appeared in issues: 13
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  Drake, Joey      
  Real Name: Joey Drake
Code Name: Shifter

Powers: Looks like anybody you want to see
Status: Deceased
Notes: Joey was apparently the first of the Specials to be murdered by Jason Miller.

Mentioned in issues: Prelude, 2
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Real Name: Eli

Notes: Has a wife, Susan, and two kids. Accidentally led the government to the place where the low powered Specials were hiding. Doesn't particularly like John Simon.

Mentioned in issues: 8
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  Ferry, Patrick      
Real Name: Patrick Ferry
Code Name: Voyeur

Powers: Able to disappear into shadows, go anywhere without being noticed

Mentioned in issues: 2
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  Fisk, Randy      
Real Name: Randy Fisk
Code Name: Ravenshadow

Powers: Flight, strength, can see things nobody else can, can follow anyone
Occupation: Artist, and a very successful one at that. Now only sells his works in the underground market.
Status: Cleaning up crime and inspiring neighborhood watch programs
Notes: Half brother of John Simon. Randy is considered to be odd, even threatening, but he is really just eccentric. He had a Shadowcave where he kept his computers. One of the few Specials who keeps a public face. Negotiated an immunity deal with the government in exchange for retaking Chicago from Critical Maas, which he participated in. He has returned to vigilante crime fighting, and his example has inspired regular citizens to don masks like his and patrol their neighborhoods.

Featured in issues: 3, 7, 9, 10, 12
Mentioned in issues: 1, 2, 4, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Also appeared in issues: 0, 5
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  Jackson, Lee      
Real Name: Lee Jackson

Powers: Pyrokinetic - starts fires with his mind
Status: Deceased
Notes: Lee killed a camp councilor who was molesting him by burning him alive. His parents took him and they disappeared, while the incident was used as evidence the Specials were dangerous and needed to be controlled. His parents died in a fire soon after, and Lee lived on the street for years before being taken in by a kindly old widow, Eleanor Hamilton. When Eleanor was killed by muggers, Lee went berserk and hunted them down, killing them. Fearful of what he had become, Lee blew up a building while he was inside it, killing himself.

Featured in issues: 1, 3
Mentioned in issues: Prelude, 0, 2, 14
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  Jean, Cathy      
Real Name: Cathy Jean

Powers: Can resurrect the dead by laying of hands
Status: Deceased
Notes: Pre-surge, she lead an ordinary life with a desk job at Synthesystems, inc. Kept a scrapbook of childhood events in Pederson. Had a heavy crush on Jason Miller back in their school days. Was being held by Critical Maas in Chicago, forced to bring to life fearce creatures cobbled together from pieces of zoo animals. She was fatally shot in an escape attempt and with her dying breath restored Poet's life. Enraged by her meaningless death, Poet carried her body up to cloud level and used his power to incinerate her body.

Featured in issues: 4, 11, 14
Mentioned in issues: 10
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  Kane, Joshua      
Real Name: Joshua Kane
Code Name: Sanctuary

Powers: Levitation, body illuminates, energy absorbtion. Hermaphroditic, shapeshifts between completely male and completely female. The powers are amplified in the female form.
Occupation: TV evangelist out of Montana
Status: Deceased
Notes: Josh's life is run by his overbearing father Rev. William Kane, he has no say in anything. He maintains his male form in public since he was raised as a male, but much prefers being a female. The resulting internal struggle causes Josh to be very detached from his lifeand gives him low self-esteem. His father forced him into Patriot's anti-Special conspiracy, for which he feels incredible guilt. He participated in the infiltration of Chicago, and in that moment of defiance of his father he chose to fully reveal himself, or rather herself. Joshua died aborbing the blast from a nuclear missile that Critical Maas had sent toward Randy's strike team of Specials.

Featured in issues: 6, 10, 12
Mentioned in issues: 0, 1, 2, 4, 9, 14
Also appeared in issues: 5
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  Kempler, Brody      
Real Name: Brody Kempler
Powers: Supergenius
Occupation: Inventor
Notes: He never showed any signs of his powers as he grew up, and spent most of his life selling just enough of his inventions to fund his research. Finally he was ready to reveal all, and he went to Switzerland and held a press conference. His inventions include light and nearly indestructible alloys, cheap fuel sources, new spacecraft propulsion systems, cures for over a dozen diseases, and the better mousetrap.

Mentioned in issues: 17
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  Kramer, Ted      
Real Name: Ted Kramer

Powers: Flight
Notes: Went to Chiacago for the fight to drive out Critical Maas because he wanted to carry his weight among the Specials. Ted is married and has children.

Mentioned in issues: 13
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  Maas, Stephanie      
Real Name: Stephanie Maas
Code Name: Critical Maas

Powers: Multiple personality with shapeshift, strength, flight, telepathic mind control over Specials she has been in physical contact with, broadcast telepathy.
Status: Deceased
Notes: Due to her father abusing her, Stephanie developed a second personality to shield her from the trama. Only the second personality possessed Special powers, and it increased its control as it gained the power from other Specials' deaths. The Critical Maas personality influenced Stephanie into seducing Jason Miller, and during their intimacy Critical entered his mind and took control, forcing him to murder Specials for the purpose of gaining more control for herself. The surge brought Critical to the forefront, and she relocated to Chicago, laying waste to the city and allowing no communication or travel in or out of the city. She gathered a gang of Specials under her control and unsuccessfully launched a nuclear missile at the Special strike force sent against her. During the decisive battle between Jason and Matthew Bright, Critical Maas saw a girl cowering from the flaming buildings and was reminded of Stephanie's fear of her father. This disturbance brought Stephanie back into control, and she lept off a building into the flaming ruins to prevent Critical's return.

Featured in issues: 8, 10, 13
Mentioned in issues: 9, 12, 14
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  Mack, Clarence      
Real Name: Clarence Mack
Code Name: Dreamwalker

Powers: Telepathically visits other people's dreams
Occupation: Psychologist
Status: Deceased, beaten to death by Jason Miller after discovering his secret

Featured in issues: 5
Mentioned in issues: 7
Also appeared in issues: 13
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  Massie, Ed      
Real Name: Ed Massie

Notes: Ed ventured to Chicago for the big fight against Critical Maas but was to afraid to do any actual fighting. Stephanie Maas once had a crush on him.

Mentioned in issues: 13
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  Miller, Jason      
Real Name: Jason Miller
Code Name: Formerly Patriot, before that Flagg

Powers: Flight, strength
Occupation: Formerly masked superhero employed by NexusCorp, now a vigilante.
Status: Declining health
Notes: Jason's love of comic books was the inspiration for the costumes that some of the Specials wear. He got himself recruited by NexusCorp during career day at college. He married a woman named Andrea, they had two children, Robert Daniel and a daughter. Under the influence of Critical Mass he murdered several Specials and led the conspiracy to turn the government against the Specials. In Chicago, he almost beat Matthew Bright to death. When Stephanie Maas committed suicide he was freed from that control, and grief stricken with the he had done, he took off into the sky. He later returned and was forgiven by John Simon for his actions. He visits the comatose Matthew Bright every night to tell him how the plan to change the world is progressing. His part in the plan is to steal the world's nuclear arsenal and hide them away in a remote arctic cave. He developed radiation sickness from the continued exposure to radioactive material, and is in a very poor state of health. His family died from secondary exposure from him.

Featured in issues: Prelude, 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17
Mentioned in issues: 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 12
Also appeared in issues: 0, , 5
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  Montrose, Jerry      
Real Name: Jerry Montrose
Code Name: Pyre

Powers: Fire, flight
Status: Deceased, killed by the military after thier EM pulse neutralized his powers
Notes: Used to move from job to job, always seemed to end up on the wrong side of the law, albeit unintentionally. He is considered to be one of the Specials who went bad, though it was more a matter of falling in with the wrong people. And then he sided with Jason. In the years after he protected Las Vegas from rouge Specials. He is laid waste to Columbia's cocaine fields, resulting in a billion dollar bounty on him, then returned to Las Vegas. The military lured him to Boliva in order to test their electromagnetic pulse weapon on him. The pulse rendered him temporarily powerless and they killed him.

Featured in issues: Prelude, 6, 7, 18
Mentioned in issues: 2, 4, 9, 14, 15, 17
Also appeared in issues: , 3, 5
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  Mueller, David      
Real Name: David Mueller

Powers: Able to merge his mind with people within 20 feet
Status: Deceased, lost his consciousness when his mother committed suicide while he was in her mind trying to stop her, his comatose body was killed when Jason Miller threw it out a hospital window.

Mentioned in issues: 4
Also appeared in issues: 13
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  Ramirez, Paula      
Real Name: Paula Ramirez
Code Name: Singer

Powers: Telepathic singing that can only be descibed as beautiful
Occupation: Former singer, now lives on the streets in Montana
Notes: During the initial examination of the Specials, Paula sang to the doctor examining her. It was the most beautiful thing he'd ever heard, but only he heard it. In concert, she uses no band or microphones, and her talent does not function on a recording. Nobody remembers much about her songs except how beautiful they are.

Mentioned in issues: Prelude (as Paula Rodriquez)?, 1, 2, 4, 9
Also appeared in issues: 0
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Real Name: Sam

Status: Captured in the round up of the Specials

Mentioned in issues: 7
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  Simon, John      
Real Name: John Simon
Code Name: Poet

Powers: Has a knack with electronics, can avoid security systems and is sensitive to electrical impulses. Also, the force that created the Specials resides in him, making him the most powerful of all the Specials.
Occupation: Writer and poet, but not a very popular one
Status: Building a secret project in Mexico. Will be the last Special alive at the end of the series.
Notes: Poet is our narrator, telling the story from long after it is over. He is very reserved, even as a child he never smiled. He was the last of the Specials born, having been concieved moments before the famous flash in the sky. His real father is Mr. Fisk, Randy's father, whom his mother was having an affair with at the time. He has a special friendship with Dr. Welles, who taught him that as keeper of the power it is his responsibility to protect the world from the other Specials if any of them go out of control. He was killed during the battle to free Chicago from Critical Maas, but was resurrected by Cathy Jean. After the defeat of Critical Maas, he rallied the remaining Specials and they joined him in a quest to change the world for the better.

Featured in issues: 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16
Mentioned in issues: 4, 17
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  Smith, William      
Real Name: William Corealis, a.k.a. Willie Smith
Code Name: "The One That Got Away"

Powers: Flight, strength, can feel the location of other Specials
Notes: Willie had weak flight powers until the teasing of the other children got too much for him. One day he just flew straight up into the sky and disappeared. He grew up as a normal using the name William Corealis. He was living in Chicago when Critical Maas invaded, and stayed to help the normals. When Poet, the only Special who had ever been friendly to him, was killed in the infiltration attempt, William took his body to Cathy Jean so she could bring him back to life. His debt to him repaid, William felt no obligation to assist in fighting Critical Maas and took off into the sky.

Featured in issues: 11
Mentioned in issues: 0, 1, 2, 12
Also appeared in issues: 10
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Real Name: Steven

Status: Deceased
Notes: Accidentally provoked the soldiers into firing at the stand off of the low powered Specials.

Mentioned in issues: 8
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  Tyce, Carel      
Real Name: Carel Tyce

Notes: One of the criminal Specials who were banished to remote locations in lieu of a prison capable of holding them.

Mentioned in issues: 9
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  Zerb, Lionel      
Real Name: Lionel Zerb
Code Name: Dreamer

Powers: Able to see and hear the spirits of the recently deceased
Notes: Lives in seclusion, but is never alone.

Featured in issues: 5
Mentioned in issues: 2, 14
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Name Unknown
Powers: Telepathic control over electronics
Notes: Forced by Critical Maas to launch a nuclear missile at the Chicago strike team

Mentioned in issues: 12
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Name Unknown
  Powers: Able to convince

Mentioned in issues: 0
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Other Rising Stars Resources:

Top Cow's website - Rising Stars page
Top Cow's website - Rising Stars Message Board
Rising Stars at Top Cow Store - Get back issues
Rising Stars Realm
Rising Stars Review - Issue synopses
Focus on Rising Stars at About.com
scifi.ign.com Rising Stars reviews - Good way to keep track of when the next issue is out
Rising Stars Resource Center
Unofficial Rising Stars Site
Rising Stars Central
The Lurker's Guide to Babylon 5 - JMS's other great work
Worlds of JMS

The Web Site In Between - My other Joe's Comics web site.

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