STAR of CAPISTAN

Classification: Power Gem, origins unknown;
    active in Pre-Cataclysmic Era, World War II era, Pre-Modern, and modern eras

Creator: Bloodgem (Exo-Mind, Hellfire Helix)

User/Possessors: Dr. Strange, Headmen, Omar Karindu, Red Rajah

First Appearance: Defenders I#42 (December, 1976)

Powers/Abilities/Functions: The Star of Capistan is an immense ruby, allegedly larger than any other on Earth or any other planet. It is sentient, sensitive to human brainwaves on a global or perhaps even cosmic scale. Imbued with a supreme will and a devilish drive all its own, the Star seeks an end to conflict and an absolute harmony among all men's minds.
    Its primary limitation is its immobility, and it must take a human host to act as its spokesman and protector. Upon contacting a human, it transforms that being into the Red Rajah, enabling it to affect others. Normally it cannot affect others without contact or via a host, however, it can seduce those who approach it, encouraging them to touch it and become its host.
    Contained, the Star is an incredible force for good or evil. It serves as the "key" to the Cult of the Unliving Four. Unleashed, it is a threat almost beyond comparison.
    Those trained to believe in harmony or in the greater good over individual rights are especially susceptible to its will.

History:
(Defenders II#9-10 (fb) - BTS) - The Star of Capistan was "birthed" by the Bloodgem at some point in the past.

(Defenders I#44 (fb)) - The Star of Capistan is rumored to have existed back in ancient Lemuria (presumably referring to prior to the Great Cataclysm, @ 18000 BC).

(Defenders I#44 (fb)) <1933> - The Star of Capistan was found in the ruins of Dashetal by an unfortunate man who became possessed by the Star and was transformed into the Red Rajah. However, as the host was powerless, he was easily subdued by Omar Karindu, who shot the man and took control of the Star for the Cult of the Unliving Four.

(Defenders I#42 (fb) - BTS) <1971> - During the Bangladesh War, Karindu relocated the Star of Capistan to London, England.

(Defenders I#42 (fb) - BTS) - In the modern era, the Star of Capistan grew out of the Four Cult's control, and Karindu brought it to Manhattan to seek the aid of Dr. Strange.

(Defenders I#42) - Omar Karindu, via his friend Bundu, summoned Dr. Strange to the Americana Hotel in which he was staying. However, Strange himself was possessed by the Star and transformed into the Red Rajah.

(Defenders I#43 - BTS) - When the Rhino and Solarr came to steal the Star of Capistan for Egghead, the Red Rajah easily overpowered them both.

(Defenders I#44) - When the Hulk, Nighthawk, and Power Man (Cage) sought out Karindu in an effort to locate Dr. Strange, Karindu informed them that Strange had fallen victim to the Star of Capistan. Eventually, Karindu joined the growing crowd of people under the mental domination of the Star/Rajah, and the trio of Defenders were overcome by the Red Rajah and his followers.

(Defenders I#45) - As Hellcat, Red Guardian, and Valkyrie fought the male Defenders and the Rajah's followers, Clea was able to make contact with Dr. Strange, and their combined efforts forced the Rajah to retreat back into the Star of Capistan, freeing all those formerly under its sway, including Karindu.

Dr. Strange, after being freed from the control of the Red Rajah, cast a spell that seemingly destroyed the gemstone, "And by the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth, let the Star of Capistan be no more!"

(Defenders II#9 (fb) - BTS) -  The Headmen located and restored the Star of Capistan for their own plot.

(Defenders II#9) - The Headmen used the Star of Capistan, in conjunction with the idol known as the God from Beyond, to control Orrgo, forcing him to take over the planet for them and AIM. However, those previously influenced by the Star were immune, namely the Defenders.

(Defenders II#10) - While the Headmen continued their exploration of science, MODOK and AIM allowed the Defenders to approach them, in order to break their ties to the group and to restore the world to normal. Nighthawk snatched up the God from Beyond and forced Orrgo to restore the world to normal. However, when Dr. Strange, Namor, and the Surfer began plotting other uses for Orrgo, Hellcat shattered the God from Beyond to prevent its abuse. Hellcat made up for things by convincing Orrgo to depart Earth, and Dr. Strange, unseen by the others, scooped up the Star of Capistan for himself.

(Order#4) - Dr. Strange revealed he had adopted the Star of Capistan as his amulet now that the Eye of Agamotto had failed him. 
However, in the last two issues of THE ORDER, Strange appears to again be wearing the Eye of Agamotto and no explanation of what happened to the Star of Capistan was ever provided.

Comments: Created by Gerry Conway, Keith Giffen, and Klaus Janson.

    It is uncertain whether the Star of Capistan was part of the Lifestone Tree.
Also, the Bloodstone supposedly arrived on Earth about 8250 BC but the Star of Capistan was
rumoured to have existed in ancient Lemuria, a continent which sank during the Great Cataclysm of 18,000 BC.  This would mean that the Star existed on Earth almost 10,000 years before its parent came to Earth.  Either the rumours of the Star of Capistan's presence in ancient Lemuria were unfounded (i.e. over time, legends about the Star became confused with those about another sentient gem of power that DID exist in ancient Lemuria) or the Bloodstone "birthed" the Star somewhere in outer space over 20,000 years ago but the Star reached Earth first (unless it was birthed on Earth over 20,000 years ago by the Bloodstone which then went back into outer space for 10 millennia before returning to Earth?)--
--Donald Campbell

    Per Kurt Busiek: "We were leading up to the return of the Red Rajah, but it seems it may never come to pass..."

    It was much smaller in Defenders II#9 and 10, presumably a result of its destruction and subsequent reformation.

In Daredevil I#10, the Organizer sent Ape-Man out to steal "the Rajah Ruby"; could this ruby possibly have some connection to The Star of Capistan?
--John Kaminski

The Star of Capistan has a small entry in Mystic Arcana: The Book of Marvel Magic.

Profile by Snood.

Clarifications:

The Red Rajah has no known connection to:

Red Rajah

    A.k.a. the Messiah of the Single Spirit, it is the form taken by the human host of the Star, it allows the Star to project its power outwards and influence others. The Rajah can unite the minds of those around it into a single will, the will of the Star of Capistan. This effect spreads in an ever-increasing radius until the Rajah/Star is forced to leave the host and return to the Star of Capistan.

 

    After remaining lost for an undefined period of time, the Star took a human host in Dashetal in 1933, but the host was shot by Omar Karindu, who took the Star into the protective custody of the Cult of the Unliving Four. In the modern era, the Star managed to possess Dr. Strange, granting the Rajah access to the sorcerer's power. As such, the Rajah proved easily able to neutralize the powers of behemoths such as the Hulk and Rhino, as well as the energy powers of Solarr. He could fire blasts of energy, grow in size and strength, and form shields. The Rajah's influence quickly spread throughout Manhattan, but a group of female Defenders proved resistant to its will, and while Hellcat, Red Guardian, and Valkyrie fought the male Defenders and the Rajah's followers, Clea was able to make contact with Dr. Strange, and their combined efforts forced the Rajah to retreat back into the Star of Capistan, freeing all those formerly under its sway.

Since the gem was destroyed by Dr. Strange, its consciousness has not manifested itself, even when it was handled by the Headmen.  It's possible that its sentience died when its physical form was shattered.
--Donald Campbell

 

 

--Defenders I#42, 43 (44(fb), [42], 43-45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


images:
Defenders I#44, p14, panel 6
    p27, panel 1 (Rajah face)
Defenders I#43, p14, panel 2 (Rajah body)


Defenders I#42-43 (December, 1976 - January, 1977) - Gerry Conway (writer/editor), Keith Giffen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks)
Defenders I#44-45 (February - March, 1977) - Gerry Conway, Roger Slifer & David Kraft (writers), Keith Giffen (pencils), Klaus Janson (inks), Gerry Conway (editor)
Defenders II#9 (November, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen & Eric Stephenson (writers), Ron Frenz (pencils), Scott Hanna (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Defenders II#10 (December, 2001) - Kurt Busiek, Erik Larsen & Eric Stephenson (writers), Erik Larsen (pencils), Sal Buscema (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)
The Order#4 (July, 2002) - Jo Duffy & Kurt Busiek (writers), Dan Jurgens (pencils), Bob Layton (inks), Tom Brevoort (editor)


Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

Last Updated: 08/02/04

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