Appearing in "Shanga, the Star-Dancer!"
- Star-Dancer (First appearance)
Races and Species:
- Zhalla'kla (First appearance)
Synopsis for "Shanga, the Star-Dancer!"
In the depths of space Shanga, the Star-Dancer dances across the stars on her seemingly endless quest to return to her homeworld of Zhalla'kla. She recalls how she foolishly left her world without taking a care to mark her passage and eventually became lost. With her natural talent to detect when events will prove fortuitous for members of her race, the Sky-Dancer reaches out with this ability and she feels it directing her toward the planet Earth. Although the probe of the planet leaves her to believe that it is a primitive backwater world, she decides to heed her abilities anyway.
At that moment in the town of Harsdale, Massachusetts the Thing is on vacation with his girlfriend Alicia Masters. After hearing a street vendor scolding Alicia for trying to touch his wood carvings, Ben angrily uproots a tree and leaves it out front of the vendors stall. Since Alicia wants to stay at the craft fair, Ben decides to knock off and do some fishing. As he walks down to the water, he passes by a house where a seemingly innocuous old man watches from his window. The old man is Elton Morrow, who was secretly the World War II hero known as the Blue Diamond. He recalls the accidental explosion of a blue diamond from space that gave him his powers and how he became the Blue Diamond, fighting crime and the Axis Powers alike. However when the war ended the Blue Diamond retired and Elton married his high school sweetheart and settled down. Unfortunately, the happy marriage was not destined to last when his wife later died. Now in high twilight years, the Blue Diamond realizes that the only thing that would have made him happy again was not giving up on being a super-hero. As he cuts a line across his vanity mirror with his finger, Morrow remarks that while his powers still work, he has grown old and become very bitter.
At that moment the Star-Dancer arrives over the town and after seeing the humans on the island, she decides that perhaps her goal is to toy with their genetics, she then uses her powers to erect a transparent dome around Hartsdale. With the dome over the town the locals begin to panic, and they believe that Alicia might be responsible since she was seen with the Thing earlier. As the mob attacks the helpless blind woman, she begins to wonder where her boyfriend is. Not far away, Ben continues to fish until he becomes aware of the strange dome that has appeared over the town. Rushing to it, Ben begins striking it and finds that his blows are having little effect. While from within, Elton Morrow watches what is happening from his window and decides that the time for sitting on the sidelines is over and that he must act. While the locals drag Alicia to the Star-Dancer to try and get her to make their attacker stop, the Sky-Dancer considers who to use as her test subject. While outside, the Thing continues to pound on the dome until it finally starts beginning to crack under his assault. While Ben smashes through, the Blue Diamond rushes in and stops the locals before they can shoot Alicia. However, this act of heroics is too much for the elderly heroes hart and he begins suffering a heart attack on the spot. By this point, the Star-Dancer has chosen her subject and entraps Alicia in an energy sphere. By this point, the Thing has arrived and he begins attacking the Sky-Dancer in the hopes that she will free Alicia.
As the two duke it out, the Blue Diamond recovers from his attack and wonders what a has-been like him could do to help the Thing. Eventually, the Diamond comes up with a solution and suggests that the Thing throw him like a projectile at the Sky-Dancer. The Thing does just that, and the blow is enough to knock Sky-Danger from the sky. Ben rushes to Alicia's side now that she is free but the Star-Dancer revives and blasts Ben in return for throwing the Blue Diamond at him. Instead of destroying the Thing, the Sky-Dancer turns her attention to the Blue Diamond, fascinated by him. Her foresight abilities begin kicking in and Sky-Dancer realizes that the Blue Diamond is the one that she has been drawn too and that they are destined to be together. Seeing that he is old and frail, she then uses her powers to restore Morrow to his prime and changes him into a being made of living diamond. Telling the Blue Diamond that he is her destined mate, he agrees to accompany her into the stars and the newly formed couple fly off into the sky, leaving the Thing more than a little confused about what happened in the end.
- The narrative of this story directs readers to Marvel Premiere #29-30 and "assorted issues" of the Invaders (specifically Invaders #35-38) however none of these stories detail the Blue Diamond's origins, only his time with the Liberty Legion. Prior to that the only other publications that feature the Blue Diamond were Daring Mystery Comics #7-8. Since then the Blue Diamond's wartime adventures have been covered in Twelve #1, Avengers / Invaders #12, Miss America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1, Twelve: Spearhead #1, Captain America: Patriot #1, and All-Winners Squad: Band of Heroes #1-5.
- In this story Elton states that he is 73 years old. This should be considered a topical reference relative to the date of publication per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616 that increases the length of time between World War II and the Modern Age. How he has remained relatively vital can likely be explained by the fact that the source of his powers was a gem from the Lifestone Tree, and likely slowed his aging over the years.
- Star-Dancer and Blue Diamond's relationship proved short-lived. As Star-Dancer was later seen as a prisoner on the Stranger's laboratory world in Quasar #14 while Blue Diamond was later seen in New Invaders #6 attending the funeral for the Human Torch. There he was depicted back in his normal human form and apparently back in his prime.
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