KEN CONNELL

Real Name: Kenneth Connell

Identity/Class: Human, extra-dimensional, Star Brand-empowered, (Earth-New Universe)

Occupation: Super-hero, auto mechanic

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Arden, John Eberhardt, Myron Feldman, Madeline Felix, Nightmask, Barbara Petrovic, Ariane Poirot, Tad Selby, Spitfire

Enemies: Deanie, Gladiator, Mrs. Kaminski, Tony Kraft, Old Man, Scrunch, Witness

Known Relatives: Carol Connell (sister), Paul (brother-in-law), Stan Connell (father), Mrs. Connell (mother), Starchild ("son")

Aliases: Old Man, Star Brand, Starchild, Subject 14C

Base of Operations: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

First Appearance: Star Brand#1 (October, 1986)

Powers/Abilities: Ken Connell possessed all of the abilities granted by The Star Brand

Height: 6' 5"
Weight: 230 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Blond

History: (Star Brand#1 )- While riding his motorcyle in the Laurel Mountains, Ken Connell came across the Old Man, who knocked Ken out with a hypnotic trance. While Ken was in a trance, the Old Man transferred the Star Brand to Ken's hand, telling him that many people would be after it. Ken then found the Old Man dead; using the power granted to him, he hid the body behind a boulder. Returning to his home, Ken tested his power out, found he was immune to fire, could bend his barbell -- and even fly.

Ken flew to see his friend Myron Feldman in West Muffin and demonstrated his powers to him, but they were then attacked by a seeming alien who came for the Star Brand. Ken fought the creature, and caused an explosion that seemed to kill it.

Ken went to see Madeline Felix in Whitehall, and crashed on her sofa. The next day, he searched for the Old Man's body but could not find it -- only a uniform where the body had lain. That evening, Ken had dinner with his girlfriend Barbara Petrovic. He tried to settle down for a romantic evening, but Barbara's daughter Laurie drew a gun on Ken, in a hypnotized state. Ken phoned Myron and learned that the FBI had been questioning him. Ken went to see Madeline again, and decided to stay at her apartment until the danger had passed.

The following day, Ken went to his job as a mechanic to keep from getting fired. That evening, he put on the uniform he had found, and set after the "alien" he had seen before. He chased the alien back into its craft, and it seemingly departed Earth.

(Star Brand#2 ) - Ken tested out his flight powers, spying on Barbara's bedroom at one point. He felt like a pervert for doing so, and returned home. Madeline then arrived with a message from Myron, and asked to stay with him for awhile. Ken and Madeline went to see Myron, who had them sit in on his group therapy. Myron asked his patients what they would do with the power to control the world, infuriating Ken, who departed. On the road, he explained what had happened to him to Madeline, and demonstrated his powers to her.

The next day, Ken heard about a child trapped in a well, and he set out to save him, attempting to dig through the earth, but he couldn't tell where he was going. Ultimately, the armored hero Spitfire beat him to saving the boy. Later, hearing about Muslim terrorists with a nuclear device hijacking the Ajax cruise ship, Ken flew to the scene, but was unable to determine how to best use his power. Before he could act, American commandos assaulted the terrorists, and the nuclear weapon was armed. They threw it overboard, but Ken flew after it and carried it to the bottom of the ocean to minimize damage. Afterward, he visited Spitfire again and warned her and her Troubleshooters to bear in mind the consequences of their actions.

(Star Brand#3 ) - Ken found himself conflicted over what to do with the Star Brand, and tested his power again by flying to the moon and creating a new crater with an energy blast. Returning to Earth, he saw Russian planes attacking Afghanistan, and destroyed both of them on his way back home. At home, he found an advertisement in a newspaper that indicated someone had seen him when he first released an energy attack at the "alien." He went to meet the person who placed the ad, but did not let on to who he was. That evening on a date with Barbara, the two of them discussed parenting, and the emphasis on responsibility made Ken determined to settle the matter with the woman he had seen earlier. He confronted her again, and caught her trying to study his face. He flew away, but he had recognized her himself as a foreign student he had met once.

(Star Brand#4 ) - Ken carried on with both Madeline and Barbara at the same time, and Barbara quickly began to suspect him. She had also noticed the Star Brand on his hand, and asked him to get rid of it. He moved the brand to his chest to settle the matter. Later, he decided to confront President Reagan, but got cold feet on the White House lawn. He went to bar to drink, and asked the bartender for advice, pretending to be writing a book about a man with incredible powers who turns himself over to the President. The bartender replied that the man would be killed in his sleep, because the government wouldn't be able to trust him. Wandering about, Ken encountered three paranormals -- Scrunch, Deanie and Mrs. Kaminski --who had all escaped from a mental hospital. The paranormals managed to beat him unconscious, and Ken was ashamed for not having used his full power.

(Star Brand#5 ) - Ken stopped at his parents' house with Madeline, and found they had prepared a birthday party for him. After partying for over half an hour, he was shocked to find that Madeline had hidden inside of his car all that time, afraid to be seen with him when Barbara was around. Ken took off into the ocean, and emerged at Laguna, where he met and had sex with another woman. That night, Ken trailed a group of students gathering supplies for acts of terrorism. Instead of engaging them in battle, he made an anonymous phone call to the police. He then went to a military base in Libya and destroyed it. The next day, he attempted to tell Madeline that he wanted to break up with her so he could be with Barbara, but she collapsed into tears and begged him to stay with her, saying she would die without him. Ken felt forced to stay with her. Ken then went to see Barbara, and patched up their relationship.

(Spitfire and the Troubleshooters#5 ) - Ken learned that Spitfire was in prison and went to visit her. She informed him that her Troubleshooters were going to attempt to activate her armor, and that the pack was in danger of overloading. Ken engaged Eduardo Giotti inside of the armor, who thought Ken wanted to fight, but Ken was able to disable the armor and hurl the power pack far enough into the sky that the damage was minimized. He then lectured the Troubleshooters, telling them to not treat the armor as a game.

(Star Brand#6 ) - Barbara noticed that Ken still had the Brand, and he tried to move it to the top of his head to hide it amongst his hair, but he gave himself a bald spot trying. That night, he had dinner with Madeline, and was confronted by the Old Man, who claimed that he needed the Brand back so that he could fight in an alien war, and demanded that Ken join him. Ken finally realized that the Old Man wasn't an alien, and suspected he had been behind the "alien" who had attacked him when he first obtained the Brand. He and the Old Man fought, and their battle ended with Ken lost in space, unable to find his way back to Earth.

(Star Brand#7 ) - Ken eventually located Earth's sun, and followed it back to Earth. He found Madeline in a hospital, having been assaulted by the Old Man. When he went to see Barbara, she officially broke up with him, and had him take away all of his things at her house. Ken tried to hide from the Old Man at his parents' house, but the Old Man left him a message on the porch -- "The Brand or massacre!" He finally confronted the Old Man at Madeline's hospital bed, and this time didn't stop beating him until he was certain the Old Man was really dead. He then flung his corpse into orbit. With the danger past, he went to comfort Madeline.

(Star Brand#8 ) - Ken rode his motorcycle in the air while traveling cross-country, and chanced upon Tad Selby, a farm boy. Ken befriended Tad, and learned from his parents that their farm's ground-water had been contaminated with toxic waste from Axco. Tad revealed to Ken that he had seen him flying his motorcycle and thought the power was in the bike, but Ken showed him his powers, and took Tad flying, then demonstrated his powers at a wrecking yard. Tad asked Ken to use his powers to stop Axco, considering them the bad guys, but Ken rejected the notion that he was a super-hero. The next day, Tad suffered from a seizure, and Ken saw that he had drawn a facsimile of the Star Brand on his palm. Ken went to Axco's landfill site and used the Star Brand to atomize all of the toxic waste. He then visited Tad in the hospital before setting back home.

(Star Brand#9 (fb)) - Tad died a short time later, and Ken was overcome with grief.

(Star Brand#9) - Ken went to see Myron, telling him he had been having nightmares ever since Tad's funeral. Myron pointed him to the sleep therapy clinic of Dr. Lucian Ballad, where Ken's dreams (Subject 14C) were analyzed by Keith Remsen, Nightmask. In the dreams, Nightmask saw Tad represented as "True Believer", sidekick to the Star Brand, battling the villain Dr. Foom. Nightmask eventually learned that Dr. Foom was a representation of Ken, blaming himself for Tad's death. Ken finally confronted his dark-side, and afterward, came to terms with Tad's death.

(Star Brand#10) - Ken confronted Gladiator, a paranormal intent on ending the Cold War by single-handedly bringing down the Soviet empire. Fearful of what the Soviets might do, Ken fought Gladiator, and ultimately hurled him into space.

(Star Brand Annual#1) - Ken went to Zurich to visit his friend Tony Kraft, but his girlfriend Ariane Poirot became attracted to Ken, making Tony jealous. Tony hired two men to kill Ken, but they secretly planned on turning him over to Interpol. When they attacked Ken, he lashed out with the Star Brand to stop them, and buried them alive with an avalanche, killing the hired men and putting Tony in the hospital. Ken subsequently revealed his powers to Ariane and attempted to protect her from Interpol, who were now very interested in Connell, but Ariane became furious with him for not killing the people who pursued them. She left Ken, and he returned to America. The following day, Ken learned that Ariane had been killed -- supposedly by terrorists.

(Untold Tales of the New Universe: Star Brand#1) - Connell met Arden, an explorer from an alternate reality who had been exploring instances of the Star Brand, and made contact with Ken, showing him new ways to use his powers. They had a brief relationship that was cut short when Arden's people came and took her away from Ken's world for violating their rules.

(Star Brand#11 ) - Madeline convinced Ken to don a costume and become a super-hero, and although Myron felt he only wanted to stroke his ego, Ken ultimately chose to become a super-hero. He helped stop a plane hijacking, but people still doubted his existence even after seeing him on film. Intent on ending the speculation, Ken flew to the moon, and brought the Apollo 11 Eagle landing module to the lawn of the White House, as a gift to President Reagan. Ken was immediately a nation-wide sensation.

(Star Brand#12 (fb)) - Madeline informed Ken that she was pregnant, but he refused to believe that he was the father.

(Star Brand#12 ) - As the Star Brand, Ken attended a comic bok convention in Pittsburgh where he met John Byrne and Howard Mackie, who pointed out that his attempts to conceal his identity were doomed to failure, as they were able to make out his big nose, eye color, height, and skin color, providing plenty of information for someone dedicated enough to research. However, these points became moot when the Old Man reappeared, and attacked Ken. In the course of the battle, Ken learned the Old Man's seeming true origin, and in destroying him, slew everyone in the convention.

Ken made his way to Myron, and Myron convinced him that he had to be rid of the Star Brand. He handed him the barbell he had bent back on his first day with the Brand, and directed him to fly up into space and attach it to the barbell. However, Ken stopped at 10 miles up, thinking it would be enough. It wasn't.

(The Pitt ) - The explosion carved a crater into where Pittsburgh had been that went all the way down past the crust. Ken was carried away in the explosion.

(Star Brand#13 (fb)) - Ken went to see Madeline, and apologized to her for not accepting the baby. Ken was now haunted by Myron's spirit, sent after him by the Witness, who had seen what Ken had done. Ken begged with Madeline to keep their child safe.

(Star Brand#14) - Ken saved a woman from a band of looters and then held her prisoner, becoming delusional with power. He was then brought into space by the Starchild, his son, who demanded that Ken release the Star Brand to him. Ken struggled against the Starchild, but it was hopeless; he gave him the Star Brand.

(Star Brand#15) - While riding his motorcycle, Ken laughed over his choice, determined to get the Brand back. However, Myron's spirit appeared, and drove him off the side of a cliff.

(Star Brand#16) - Now mutilated and insane, Ken operated his own church, claiming that the Old Man was God himself. He was kept alive only because the Starchild had caused all death on Earth to cease. When the Starchild ended this, Ken died.

(Star Brand#17) - However, Ken's portion of the Star Brand soon restored him to life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Star Brand#18) - Ken wandered through the wastes of the Pitt, still determined to reclaim the Star Brand.

(Star Brand#19) - His mind cleared, Ken now wished only to make up for all the grief he had caused. He was brought to see the Starchild, along with two other men who had held the Star Brand, Jake Burnley and Roger Price. The Starchild revealed that the Star Brand was too dangerous to remain on Earth, and that its power had to be contained. Burnley brought the Old Man to them, and the Starchild revealed that he, Connell, and the Old Man were all the same person, a walking paradox. In order to complete the circle, the three of them would have to become one. The Old Man was terrified at the prospect, but Connell accepted what had to be done, and comforted the Old Man as the three men joined together, becoming a single entity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(The War#3-4) - The entity created by their merging brought to an end World War III by using its power to make all weapons useless. It also revealed to all of Earth's denzins that the Star Brand was responsible for the creation of paranormals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments: Created by Jim Shooter, John Romita, Jr., and Al Williamson.

Star Brand was one of the Avengers seen in Avengers Forever#12...so either Connell has an Earth-616 self somewhere in the multiverse, or an alternate Connell wound up in a reality where the Avengers exist.

Ken Connell was also glimpsed from Earth-616 by Quiet Bill in Gambit III#19.

by Prime Eternal

CLARIFICATIONS:
Ken Connell should not be confused with:


Images taken from:
Star Brand#13, page 26
Star Brand#1, page 24, panel 6
Star Brand#9, page 13, panel 3
Star Brand#12, page 20, panel 5
Star Brand#16, page 20, panel 2
Star Brand#19, page 3, panel 5
The War#3, page 43, panel 2


Star Brand#2 (November, 1986) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Al Williamson (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand#3 (December, 1986) - Jim Shooter (writer), Alex Saviuk (pencils), Vince Colletta (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand#4-6 (January - March, 1987) - Jim Shooter (writer), John Romita Jr. (pencils), Al Williamson, Rick Bryant (#6) & Al Milgrom (#6) (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Spitfire and the Troubleshooters#5 (February, 1987) - Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway (writers), Herb Trimpe (pencils), Tony DeZuniga (inks), Bob Harras (editor)
Star Brand#7 (May, 1987) - Jim Shooter (writer), Roy Thomas (pencils), John Romita Jr. (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand#8 (July, 1987) - Jim Shooter (writer), Arvell Jones (pencils), Danny Bulanadi (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand#9 (September, 1987) - Cary Bates (writer), Keith Giffen (pencils), Bob Wiacek (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand Annual#1 (October, 1987) - Bobbie Chase (writer), Geof Isherwood (pencils), Art Nichols (inks), Michael Higgins (editor)
Star Brand#10 (November, 1987) - George Caragonne (writer), Mark Bagley (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#11 (January, 1988) - John Byrne (writer/pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#12 (March, 1988) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne & Tom Palmer (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
The Pitt (March, 1988) - John Byrne & Mark Gruenwald (writers), Sal Buscema, Chris Ivy & Don Hudson (pencils), Stan Drake (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#13 (May, 1988) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne & Tom Palmer (pencils), Tom Palmer, Danny Bulanadi & Joe Rubinstein (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#14 (July, 1988) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne & Tom Palmer (pencils), Tom Palmer, Chris Ivy & Tom Morgan (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#15 (September, 1988) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Chris Ivy & Tom Morgan (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#16 (November, 1988) - John Byrne (writer/artist), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#17-18 (January-March, 1989) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Tom Morgan (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Star Brand#19 (May, 1989) - John Byrne (writer), John Byrne (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
The War#3-4 (1989 - 1990) - Doug Murray (writer), Tom Morgan (pencils), Tom Morgan & Paul Mounts (#3) (inks), Howard Mackie (editor)
Untold Tales of the New Universe: Star Brand#1 (May, 2006) - Jeff Parker (writer), Javier Pulido (artist), Mark Paniccia (editor)

Last updated: 05/28/06

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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