Monday, June 25, 2012

Who's Dat: Sunburst

Real Name: Omar Pairut
Occupation: Oil Tycoon
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Bakushi, Iran
Height/Build: Approximately 6'0", average
Eyes: Black
Hair: Black
First Appearance: DC Special Series #1 (September, 1977)

In the Middle East circa 334 B.C., before Alexander the Great emerged victorious over the Persians, a wise old man sought to safeguard a "sun stone" that he had been entrusted with. The stone was given to a Scythian slave, who was ordered to flee from the invading Greeks through a hidden passage under the city before Alexander put the old man to the blade. The stone continued to be protected by the same family for twenty-three centuries, until a modern descendant used the money earned from an oil fortune to unlock its secrets.

After eight years of study, Omar Pairut confided the history of the sun stone to a friend who was also Iran's ambassador to the United Nations. Pairut had learned that the stone could bestow unto him great powers, which he intended to use to glorify his own name and recreate the Persian Empire. Transforming into "Sunburst," Pairut ordered Ambassador Karhum to inform the U.N. of his intentions. Sunburst took a test flight over the ocean, traveling half a world away in just forty minutes, before encountering a jetsub piloted by Aquaman. Downing the craft, Sunburst saw Aquaman as an easy target for death in order to demonstrate his new power to the world. Pairut killed some dolphins under the Sea King's command, defeated Aquaman, and then stranded him in a desert.

The next day, Sunburst returned to Bakushi to announce himself as emperor of a new empire before his people. In the intervening hours, Aquaman had escaped his death trap and arrived in Iran to confront Sunburst. After a brief scuffle, Aquaman used a mirror to turn one of Sunburst's energy blasts back on the villain. The feedback reduced the sun stone to slag, and Pairut was taken into custody. Ambassador Karhum felt that Pairut had become a madman, but mourned his friend's end.

Pairut's sun stone allowed him to convert solar energy into a field of force, transforming him into a "human sunburst." With the stone placed on his chest, Pairut became a flaming entity that could fly, emit energy blasts, burn with his touch, and lift heavy objects through super-thermal forces. Sunburst appeared to be dependent on the stone's being in contact with his person, and seemed to lose all power with its destruction.

"I go now to give the world a symbol of my power and my destiny! ...A new force is upon the Earth-- and from this day forth, mankind will never be the same!"

Created by: Gerry Conway & Dick Dillin

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