Membership: Johnny Cool, Komodo (Melati Kusuma), Supermax, Two-Gun Kid (Matt Hawk);
formerly Blacksmith ("Jerry," a disguised Skrull)
Purpose: To protect Arizona
Affiliations: 3-D Man (Delroy Garrett, Jr.), American Eagle (Jason Strongbow), Batwing (Jimmy Santini), Butterball (Emery Schaub), the Cavalry (Red Nine/Wallace Jackson, Stunt-Master/Steve Brooks, Thor Girl/Tarene, Ultragirl/Suzy Sherman), Cloud 9 (Abby Boylen), Debrii (Deborah Fields), Enchantress, Firestar (Angelica Jones), Frog-Man (Eugene Patilio), Geiger (Delilah Deerborn), Gravity (Greg Willis), Heavy Hitters (Hardball/Roger Brokeridge, Nonstop, Prodigy/Ritchie Gillmore, Telemetry), Jocasta, Kerry, Liberteens (2-D, Blue Eagle, Iceberg), the Order (Anthem/Henry Hellrung, Aralune/Becky Ryan, Calamity/James Wa, Supernaut/Milo Fields, Veda/Maggie Neuntauben), Point Men (Devil-Slayer/Eric Payne, Paydirt, Star Sign), Rage (Elvin Halliday), Scarlet Spider (Patrick), the Skrull Kill Krew (Riot, Ryder), Slapstick (Steve Harmon), Think Tank
Enemies: Cottonmouth (Burchell Clemens), Skrulls (Blacksmith/"Jerry," others), Zzzax
Base of Operations: An unidentified location in Arizona, USA
First Appearance: (mentioned as an unidentified Initiative team in Arizona): Avengers: The Initiative I#12
(fully seen, identified as the Desert Stars): Avengers: The Initiative I#16 (October, 2008)
History: (Avengers: The Initiative I#12 - BTS) - When Komodo graduated from the Fifty-State Initiative training, she was assigned to the Desert Stars, Arizona's Initiative team, despite hoping she would be placed on the same team as her boyfriend Hardball.
(Avengers: The Initiative I#16) - After electric power and Starktech went down during the alien Skrulls' secret invasion of Earth, the Desert Stars aided civilians, with team leader Two-Gun Kid reminding civilians to stay calm and promising that they would have the power back on soon. Asking civilians with problems with heat to report to the cold-manipulating Johnny Cool, Two-Gun Kid continued to manage the situation, reminding the Desert Stars that children and senior citizens were priority. Unaware that 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew were tracking down and killing Skrull infiltrators, and that they had identified Desert Stars member Blacksmith as a Skrull, the Desert Stars were surprised when 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew drove into their rescue area on motorcycles, guns a'blazing. They soon realized Blacksmith was a Skrull when he reverted to his true form to battle 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew and the Desert Stars joined the battle against Blacksmith. After most of the Desert Stars were knocked out, Blacksmith was defeated by being shot through Komodo's body. As Komodo regenerated, 3-D Man confirmed that the other Desert Stars were alive but out of the fight, prompting Komodo's decision to join 3-D Man and the Skrull Kill Krew against other Skrull infiltrators.
Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice#1 (fb)) - Chasing the
bank-robbing Cottonmouth from Phoenix, the Desert Stars (minus
Supermax) tracked the killer into the Navajo Nation, where Two-Gun Kid
asked two police officers why they were wasting time waiting around
when Cottonmouth was still on the loose. When the officers asked who
the heroes were, Two-Gun Kid reminded them that they were Arizona's
Initiative team, the Desert Stars, but the officers quickly reminded
the Desert Stars that they were no longer in Arizona but the Navajo
Nation. The officers then explained that they had their own man for
dealing with superhuman craziness and when Two-Gun asked who the man
was, the officers directed him to American Eagle, who was sitting on
his motorcycle nearby. American Eagle and officer Kerry began
discussing the situation but Two-Gun Kid interrupted them, prompting
American Eagle to also ask who the heroes were. Two-Gun Kid quickly
reiterated that they were the Desert Stars and admitted his concern
that both American Eagle and the police officers did not realize how
dangerous Cottonmouth was, reminding them that they he had hospitalized
half-a-dozen security guards and had once battled Captain America.
American Eagle then asked what Cottonmouth had done to the guards to
hospitalize them and Two-Gun explained that he had bit the guards.
American Eagle then sat out to find Cottonmouth, asking Kerry to assume
him dead if he wasn't back by nightfall, and the Desert Stars announced
their plans to accompany American Eagle but American Eagle reminded the
Desert Stars that they had no jurisdiction on Navajo land and asked
that they tell Tony Stark to kiss his behind.
(Avengers: The Initiative I Special#1/Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#4 (fb)) - When the
electric creature Zzzax attacked a dam on the Arizona/Nevada border
seeking energy from the dam's generators, both Arizona's Desert Stars
and Nevada's Heavy Hitters responded. During the battle, Gravity placed
the Heavy Hitters under Two-Gun Kid's command so that he could focus on
fixing the damaged areas of the dam. Two-Gun Kid quickly ordered Johnny
Cool to plug the dam's hole with ice then assist Gravity with the
damaged areas but Supermax was soon shocked by Zzzax and Two-Gun Kid
nearly bumped into the Heavy Hitter Telemetry as Komodo and Hardball
watched the two teams trip over each other until they managed to defeat
Itself: Youth in Revolt#1) - The Desert Stars attended the rally held
by young hero Prodigy in Washington, D.C., where he discussed the
restarting of the Initiative program. After Prodigy's speech, members
of the Desert Stars mingled with the other assembled heroes. As various
young heroes later jumped into action to stop rioting and panic across
the United States, the Desert Stars foiled a bank robbery as Prodigy
monitored each of the Initiative teams' progress.
(Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#4) - The Desert Stars helped evacuate Las Vegas with fellow heroes Rage and Debrii helping find survivors of a battle between the young hero Hardball and an Asgardian Serpent-controlled Juggernaut. During the cleanup, Gravity angrily fought Hardball, further destabilizing the city, but the Desert Stars continued their evacuations.
(Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#5) - When the Heavy Hitters Hotel and Casino headquarters collapsed from the recent Las Vegas damage, the Desert Stars all ran for cover, with Frog-Man rescuing Johnny Cool and Supermax rushing around to find the missing Two-Gun Kid, worried that he might have been killed in the collapse. Komodo continued aiding in getting survivors to safety while worrying that Hardball might be dead.
(Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#6) - After Thor Girl
renounced herself to her true power as the Designate and attacked the
unknowing Prodigy in retaliation for earlier having her imprisoned,
Desert Stars members Johnny Cool and Supermax acted in Prodigy's
defense while Komodo was left wondering what was happening to Thor
Girl. The Desert Stars (minus the still-missing Two-Gun Kid) then
witnessed the Designate judge humanity unworthy of her power and travel
into outer space.
Comments: Created by Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage and Steve Uy.
Some online sources list Avengers: The Initiative
I#17-19 as appearances of the Desert Stars but Komodo is only one who
appears in that issue, not the team. Therefore, I did not include that
issue in the Desert Stars' appearances.
Profile by Proto-Man.
The Desert Stars have no known connections to:
images: (without ads)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#1, p10-11, splash page (Desert Stars, main image)
Avengers: The Initiative I#16, p15, pan1 (Desert Stars during an aid mission)
American Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice#1, p2, pan3 (Desert Stars in the Navajo Nation)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#1, p14, pan3 (Desert Stars in action)
Avengers: The Initiative I#12 (June, 2008) - Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (writers), Steve Uy (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative I#16 (October, 2008) - Dan Slott, Christos N. Gage (writers), Stefano Caselli (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
American Eagle: Just a Little Old-Fashioned Justice#1 (November, 2008) - Jason Aaron (writer), Richard Isanove (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Avengers: The Initiative I Special#1 (January, 2009) - "The Real Thing" story - Christos N. Gage (writer), Steve Uy (art), Tom Brevoort (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#1 (July, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#4 (October, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#5 (November, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
Fear Itself: Youth in Revolt#6 (December, 2011) - Sean McKeever (writer), Mike Norton (art), Lauren Sankovitch (editor)
First Posted: 11/21/2018
Last updated: 11/21/2018
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
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