#1, November 1994
Oil (Paint) and Water (Sins of the Father: Part Two)
We open on three scenes; each taking up a third part of the page. In the top panel a shadowy man writes in his journal of the troubles facing his city and decides to go for a walk and see how bad things are first hand. The bottom panel shows some of the numerous masked thugs who are perpetuating a city-wide crime wave. The middle panel depicts a news report on what is now becoming known as "The Night of Fire". On the news, a police lieutenant notes that it appears the smaller crimes are all planned to distract from larger ones and that a criminal mastermind may be at work. The news then notes that Starman is dead.
We cut to the hospital, where we see a delirious Jack looking for his father. After having a bullet removed, he finally gets in to see his father who is relieved to see Jack at first. They are interrupted in their reunion by Matt O’Dare. Matt is leading a group of his brothers that have come to act as guards for Ted Knight, noting they thought that with all that was going on he might need protection. Ted then turns on Jack, calling him "my not-so-heroic son" as Jack tries to apologize for what he said earlier. Ted calls Jack a coward who was afraid of his family heritage and then casts him out.
Jack leaves the room and sits down in the hall, shocked at what his father said. He is confronted by a red-haired woman; Hope O’Dare. She explains to Jack that the reason she and her brothers are there to protect Ted is because of a promise made by their father, Billy O’Dare. Billy’s life was saved by Starman when he was captured by a supervillian in ‘43 and he promised to always be there if Starman needed him. His children figured that the promise applied to them as well, since their father died the year before from "love of tobacco".
POSSIBLE CONTINUITY GLITCH: It says here that Billy O’Dare died the year before (93) from "love of tobacco". But later stories (Annual #1, Secret Files #1) had Billy O’Dare dying of something related to "his love of drinking", a year after Jack was almost arrested for breaking into a pharmacy, sometime in his teen years. Perhaps Hope, ever Gaelocentric, lied about the cause of death to keep Jack from thinking of her father as the stereotypical drunken Irish cop. As for the date of death, Hope may have lied and made his death more recent in the hopes of getting some sympathy from Jack, who should be grieving for the brother he just lost.
Barry O’Dare comes out into the hall and tells Jack and Hope that Ted got a phone call and that there’ a view they should see. From the hospital window, we can see that most of the backdrop of Opal is ablaze from the rioting. The Mist is on the phone and tells Ted of how he was the one who killed both his sons, blew up his house and is now destroying his city. He says that he will take everything Ted loves, eventually killing him. He then says the next thing he takes will be the memory of Ted’s dead wife. Ted apologizes somewhat to Jack, saying, "You’re right about not being a hero" and tells Jack it was unfair to expect him to give his life to their legacy. Ted then asks Jack to leave Opal before the Mist’s men come for him again.
Jack goes to the bus station, and is ready to go when he hears a radio news bulletin. The bulletin says that the Opal County Museum is under attack, but most of the rioting is taking place in the Adele Knight wing. Jack realizes that is what Mist meant by "the memory of Ted’s dead wife", since the museum wing was built with money she donated to the city. Spurred perhaps by his father’s earlier words, memories of David or his love for his mother, Jack takes the spare Gravity Rod (which he still has) and uses it and his martial arts skills to combat the thugs at the museum. A crowd watching from the streets sees a figure with a cosmic rod in the flames and assumes that David Knight is still alive. We then see the shadowy man from before, and he says to crowd that the figure isn’t David and that if he had to guess it was "the younger Knight, Jack". Jack holds his own until Kyle shows up, armed with the cosmic belt. Jack flies off as Kyle and his thugs shoot at him, crashing into a nearby body of water. Kyle flies off, sending two of the thugs into the museum to steal some artwork.
These two thugs run into The Shadowy Man, who ponders out-loud if he should join in the looting or stop them. One of the thugs tries to shoot The Shadowy Man, who creates some manner of dragon out of the shadows, which then eats the thug. Leaving the other thug shaking on the floor, The Shadowy Man then finds something he thinks Jack Knight would have wanted to see and takes it, wondering if Jack might have proved to be a hero the city deserved and had not had since "the Native American lawman died" (A reference to Scalphunter). We close the comic as we see Jack emerging from the river, thinking that he must go back to his father and get a new rod; the one he had lost in the crash.