Michael Morningstar, or Darkstar, is one of the many Plumber's children that appear throughout the course of Ben 10: Alien Force. He appeared in the episode All That Glitters and since became one of the most notable regular villains in the series. He has the ability to drain life force from living beings, he gained a grudge against Ben and his team after they accidentally caused him to turn from a handsome young man to an awful zombie-like being who has to wear a helmet to hide his now ugly face. His plans usually involve gaining back his original face and feeding himself, though he seems to still be interested in feeding from Gwen's vast stores of Anodite energy.
Ben 10: Alien ForceMichael is initially depicted as a well-mannered individual whom appears eager to help Ben and company. He comes from a rich family as he states that his family has multiple mansions. How his family acquired such wealth isn't explained but it is known his is the only family which has such wealth, which are armed with a menagerie of Plumber technology. The technology in question is monitoring equipment that up links to a variety of networks which funnels information to him. Part of the monitoring equipment features a communication network between the Plumber badges and presumably the homing signal mechanism that's built into each device.
As they travel with him he shows a very uncaring attitude to others around him. This is evident by his slamming of the door in Kevin's face as well as his remarks to Gwen while they are alone. While Ben and Gwen quickly trusted him, Kevin knew since the beginning about Morningstar's true motivation (partially because of his jealousy, as Michael and Gwen tended to flirt with each other). After a fight with zombified schoolgirls from unknown origin, Kevin guessed that Micheal was the one responsible for these zombifications. His guess later proved to be right when Morningstar drain Gwen's energy, becoming nearly unstoppable and easily defeating both Ben and Kevin. However, Gwen proved to have enough will to resist his control, and drained back her energy from him, as well as part of his own, leaving him weakened. His other zombie victims then turned against him, and took back what remained of his energy, leaving him almost dessicated and seemingly powerless.He later reappears as Darkstar in Darkstar Rising, his powers having gradually returned much stronger and more powerful than before. In order to get revenge, he tries to get Ben, Gwen, and Kevin arrested by Magister Prior Gilhil for impersonating Plumbers and by making a deal with a Highbreed Lord he defeated. When the Highbreed did his part of the deal, Darkstar tried to absorb Ben, Gwen, Kevin, the Highbreed and Gilhil's life force energy but he was unable to absorb Gwen's because she escaped. He later captured Ben, Kevin, the Highbreed, and Ghilhil and was about to absorb all of their life force energy when Gwen came in with the DNAliens in which he was unable to absorb all of them because of fatigue. He was defeated by Ben using a combination of his aliens. Afterwards, he was arrested by Magister Ghilhil and thrown in the Null Void.
In the two-part second season finale War of the Worlds, Darkstar is eventually released from the Null Void by Cooper Daniels unless he can help them stop the Highbreed invasion. During the battle, he tried to absorb the life force energy of several DNAliens, transforming his face back to its original youthful appearance, but Ben managed to talk him out of it because Mike realized that he was killing real people under alien control. After the fight was over, Darkstar managed to escape them.
Darkstar appeared again in the third season in the episode Trade-Off, where he tricks Kevin into finding him so that he could convince Kevin to join him to find the Dominus Librium (a device that was decidedly alien origin and could restore the two of them to original human forms) to which they eventually retrieved and used to absorb their powers and return them to normal. Then he sucker punched Kevin in the face. Darkstar kept the Librium so he could still use his powers. When Gwen discovered the truth about Kevin, she confronted Darkstar and he started to drain her power as well as Swampfire's. Darkstar's full power was eventually perished by Kevin when he broke the Librium and got his regular powers and ugly appearance again. Darkstar also got his previous powers(and zombified face) back too and he swore that he would make them all pay someday before running away.
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
Darkstar appears in the two-part first season finale Absolute Power, it is reavealed that Darkstar is now in a weaken state and is force to feed off the energy of stray animals just to survive and tries not to cause to much attention to himself. He was later found and recruited by Gwen to stop Ultimate Kevin. As payment, she changes his face back to normal using an incredibly strong and powerful transformation spell and promises him mana, enough to keep him strong and fully restored for about a year. Michael then agrees to help her to stop Ultimate Kevin, much to Ben's chagrin. Michael reveals that he kept a fragment of the Dominus Librium when it had exploded in Trade-Off, though it's ineffective. However, a strong energy surge would make it usable again. The group goes to Los Soledad and meet Cooper Daniels who also agrees to the plot. Both Michael and Cooper create a device while Ben and Gwen stall Kevin.
When Kevin becomes normal, Michael takes advantage of this moment and absorbs the vast powers and abilities of the Dominus Librium, becoming power-hungry Morningstar again. However, Ben anticipated this plot and presses a button which causes Morningstar to become Darkstar again (without the horrid face). Ben reveals that he told Cooper to create a mechanism to revert the process of the absorbture. Afterwards, Kevin punches Darkstar in retaliation prior from Trade-Off.
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
Darkstar appears in the Vilgax Attacks video game where he tries to steal an energy core on Encephalonus IV (Brainstorm's home planet). Soon, Ben Tennyson arrived and after a long battle, Darkstar is defeated by him once again.
Darkstar serves as the boss of Encephalonus IV. He attacks by shooting dark energy lasers at Ben. He can either shoot multiple blasts of dark energy or a dark energy laser at Ben. Beware as Darkstar's energy blasts can regenerate his health. He also has melee attacks at his disposal. Simply dodge his attacks and hit him until he's beaten.
- If you look very closely, you can see Darkstar's helmet come off when his health gauge is halfway gone.
- Darkstar runs faster than Jetray and Spidermonkey(which makes no sense because Jetray can fly at the speed of sound, though acceleration may play into this equasion).
Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks (Nintendo DS)
Darkstar appears on Vulpin (Wildmutt's home planet) and claims Vilgax is giving him power. He is invincible, and can only be attacked when acid fills the floor by pressing switches. However, only Goop can withstand the acid. Also, the switches will go up after a few seconds, and Darkstar will be invincible again. Once defeated, his mask will fall off.
Powers and Abilities
Michael Morningstar's powers are a 'vicious cycle': the more life force energy he drains from others, the stronger and more powerful he becomes. But the more power he gains, the greater his hunger for power becomes. In some ways, he is like the Sith Lord Darth Nilhius from Star Wars KOTOR 2, craving power and his hunger and power growing enormously more each time.
Michael MorningstarMorningstar's abilities allow him to absorb energy of another living being. During the first season, he limits his prey to female humanoids, though once he becomes Darkstar he broadens his selection and drains various DNAliens, a Highbreed, a Plumber Agent, Kevin, and Ben. Through the absorption of this energy he gains the ability to fly, superhuman strength and stamina, projection of bolts of energy and his skin tone becomes healthier-looking.
When he absorbs a great amount of energy, as in the case of his draining of Gwen, he gains a membrane of gold over his skin. Presumably this membrane confers a certain level of resistance as well as superhuman strength as it does for Kevin. With this increase in power, he can easily overpower and nearly kill Ben and Kevin (but Gwen never gave him the chance). All these abilities are lost should he lose the energy he's absorbed. This can happen by means of him coming into contact with someone he's drained. Whether he needs to recharge or something of the sort is unknown but it is known that he uses his draining as a sort of feeding.
His draining of people has a few after effects on his victims: The victims become 'attracted' to him and may feel a slight level of infatuation after being drained a bit. Victims may exhibit a ring of 'bite marks' from being drained. Finally after multiple drainings victims enter a zombie-like state and their skin becomes grey and begins to desiccate and shrivel.
After Gwen Tennyson regained her senses from Michael Morningstar's 'thrall' and took back her energy, the leech-like 'mouths' on Michael's palms were damaged/closed up, taking away Michael's ability to exert a thrall over his victims, as he is no longer able to mark them any more.
In true "Doctor Doom" fashion after his first defeat at the hands of Ben, Gwen and Kevin, Michael Morningstar now wears a metal helmet/mask over his face. He has experienced some changes in his powers. While he seems to have lost his ability to fly, the powers he has are:
- Superhuman Strength and Durability: Darkstar is strong enough to lift large pieces of rubble and rip open metal doors with his bare hands. He can easily withstand DNAlien blaster fire and being knocked back by a Highbreed. He is also durable enough to withstand several attacks from Ben's aliens, Gwen, Kevin, Magister Gilhil, and being stepped on by Humongousaur all at once, but it did knock him unconscious as a result.
- Dark Energy Control & Manipulation: Darkstar can now manipulate and control dark energy and display it as blasts of black energy. This is similar to Gwen's mana manipulation/control and may stem from his temporary absorption of her life force energy.
- Absorption of Life Force Energy: He can now absorb energy through his dark energy rays which expands his list of targets exponentially. As seen in "Darkstar Rising", when he absorbs the DNAlien's powers during the fight, when Darkstar absorbs them, he also absorbs their skeleton until their skin is left. Gwen's mana shields seem to be the only defense against the long-range attack.
Ben 10: Alien Force
Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- It has been confirmed that he is not an alien at all. Where he gets his powers from is currently unknown, he may be an interdimensional species of Human like Hex and Charmcaster.
- He is the only one to appear in every season of Ben 10: Alien Force and to return in Ultimate Alien as well.
- While his mother lives in the main mansion on their estate, Michael has his own mansion to himself nearby, though this maybe a lie and he's gained this personal fortune through other illegal means.
- He, Kevin, Gwen, Cooper, and Pierce are the only Plumbers' kids whose powers aren't derived from an Omnitrix alien from the original series, but he's one of the known few who doesn't get his powers from an alien heritage.
- Mike is considered to be Kevin's personal enemy; ironically, both share similar powers to absorb energy, though it may stem from Michael's interest in Gwen.
- Michael only likes Gwen for her powers, while Kevin genuinely cares for Gwen as a person.
- Dwayne McDuffie said that he thinks of Darkstar as the most dangerous enemy, while Vilgax is the most relentless, and the Highbreed as the most physically powerful (although the Highbreed are not evil anymore).
- In many ways, darkstar is similar to the Marvel villain Doctor Doom; his mask, megalomaniacal personality and his hunger for power all attribute to this.
- Dwayne McDuffie said that he is like a vampire.
- In three episodes, there is a boy resembling Morningstar in various scenes. First, it was in Ben 10 Returns: Part 1 during Gwen's karate match. Her opponent looked similar to Morningstar. Second was in In Charm's Way. When Charmcaster's rock creature came out of the ocean, a boy that was running away looked just like Michael. Third was in Fame inside Ben's school. There is a boy resembling Morningstar there.
- When it shows him zombified for the first time, he has all his hair, but when you see him in Darkstar Rising, he has bald spots. This was probably because after he turned zombified for the first time, he had no one else to feed on so he got weaker and weaker.
- Viewers and characters of the series believe he is a "Plumber's Kid". But Dwayne McDuffie has confirmed, "You shouldn't believe what he says".
- His name sounds like the ghost, Morgan Moonscar, in Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island.
- Strangely enough his actions and motivation is similar to Kevin's back in the original series. They were both misusing their powers and abilities for something that would benefit themselves even to the extent of harming others.
- His newfound powers and abilities of absorbing life-force energy from his opponents, and channeling it into unusually strong and powerful blasts of whitish-black energy from his hands are really similar to Raven's telekinetic abilities from the TV show "Teen Titans."
- His first name comes from the archangel Michael and his last name is based on the fallen archangel Lucifer, the Morning Star. Also known as Satan.
- After abosrbing the power and energy from at the end of "Absolute Power" he resembled Korvac.
- He is shown to be slightly vain, as whenever he gets his original looks back, (not counting War of the Worlds) he can be seen admiring himself in a mirror or some other reflective surface.