Forgotten Heroes: Dreadstar

For my first Forgotten Heroes post of 2023, I decided to do Jim Starlin’s iconic hero: Vanth Dreadstar.

Dreadstar started out in Marvel’s Epic Illustrated, before getting his own Epic Comics series that lasted for 26 issues. Then Starlin took it to First Comics, where it was published until they went out of business in 1991. Dreadstar briefly returned for a limited series published by Malibu in 1995. As far as I know, that was the last appearance of Dreadstar in comics, although there is supposedly a TV series in the works. Guess time will tell.

I have a confession to make: despite having almost all the Dreadstar comics, I could never get into the character. Maybe I should try again. Still, I was a huge fan of First Comics, who published some really groundbreaking stuff back in the 80’s; including my favorite comic of all time, Grimjack. First Comics heroes have been my go-to for Forgotten Heroes challenges in the past. I’ve done Badger, Nexus and Jon Sable, Freelance in previous years, and if all goes well, I’l be doing another First Comics hero by the end of the month.

But on to Dreadstar. To make this miniature, I used two old Heroclix models: Captain America, from the original Marvel Infinity Challenge set, and Aquaman, from the original DC Hypertime set. I removed Cap’s shield (cool objective marker!) and his head, and also beheaded Aquaman. Then I chopped off some of Aquaman’s hair and swapped the heads. Finally, I repositioned Cap’s arm. The end result was this:

I’m saying something really important!

I made his sword from a toothpick and green stuff, and I sculpted his belt and hood. As anyone with eyes can see, I’m a shitty sculptor. Sadly, I forgot to take any pictures of this miniature covered in green stuff, It was too depressing. Anyway, here he is.

I added an old Space Marine bolt pistol to his hip.

Up close, you can see how shitty my sculpting is. Try as I might, I can’t make that green stuff behave.

Dreadstar’s history is long and convoluted, and like i said, I could never get into it. According to the Fandom page, most of his powers are derived from his sword. It can be absorbed and extruded from his body at will (gross), allows him to speak and understand any language, acts as a shield, and gives Dreadstar enhanced reflexes, rapid healing and the strength of twenty men. It’s also a sword, so I guess it can cut stuff, too.

Despite the sculpting flaws, I’m happy with how he turned out. Like I said, I’m hoping to get another First Comics character done by the end of the month. It’s a very obscure character. Want to know who it is? I’ll Whisper it to you….

13 thoughts on “Forgotten Heroes: Dreadstar

  1. Dick garrison

    Well first of all I have to admit I’ve never heard of Dreadstar, but that is kind of the point of forgotten heroes after all, so nice one. Love the colour of his costume, and his face has come out really nicely. As I said before I’m forgoing forgotten heroes this year, but in better news I might actually have one of my monsters actually finished by the weekend!
    I am so far behind it’s funny (not).

    Cheers Roger

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Roger. Dreadstar’s a weird character with a small but devoted fanbase. I’m just not one of them. Sorry you’re giving FH a pass this year. I’m always eager to see anything you paint!

  2. Dave Stone

    Great character Keith, I know absolutely nothing about him, but love what you’ve done. as for your green stuff work, there is sections you’ve achieved to a high standard, what do you use to wet your sculpting tool, and what shape is it ?

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Those are some rather personal questions, Dave. 🙂 I have a set of wax carvers and rubber-tipped color shapers that I use, but TBH I pretty much use the same two-three tools and don’t venture far. The tip I use is a blunt blade and the rubber tip is usually a wedge-shape. It would probably be easier if I just post a picture, so maybe I’ll do that…As for what I use to wet them, just water. Mostly from the paint cup.

      1. Dave Stone

        As soon as I’m up to doing some late night Discord, I’ll have to show you a few tricks mate.

  3. Jeremy

    Nice work, Keith. I HAVE actually heard of Dreadstar, although I don’t know a great deal about him. As for Greenstuff, I too have issues with it, which is why I tend to use Milliput instead. It doesn’t give as detailed a result, but works for me, although I think Roger is allergic to it.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks! I’ve never used milliput. I suppose I could give it a try, but I think it’s more that I’m just completely not suited for sculpting. I can barely make a snowball in the winter.

  4. Matt

    Fantastic work, Keith! Both those minis work really well together to make an excellent conversion. Like Dave I know bugger all about Dreadstar but you’ve really brought him to life!

  5. Azazel

    That’s a cool conversion. No idea about the character, of course – but I guess that’s par for the course for many of the Forgotten heroes! 🙂

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks! It may be that Dreadstar’s popularity (such that it was, anyway) didn’t make it far beyond the States (or very far in the States, either)!

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