So, way, way back in the distant past, about 1976 or so, I read installments of Jack Williamson's "Brother to Demons, Brother to Gods" and decided the name he used in the book for the ultimate realization of post-human abilities, the Ultiman, would make a great superhero name. I had also read a short story where a guy was abducted by aliens and through various means, activated his latent psi talents and strengthened him and sped up his reflexes. It was on that basis that I created the first version of Ultiman a young man in his late teens with super-strength, flight, telekinesis and some telepathic ability.
But, things change, and now I've created the very first comic cover for my very first original character. In the new origin, everyone on his Earth who got super powers, got them during, or as a result of, the "Starfall", Greg Norton was sitting there, on the wooden pier at his family's lake house on that August night. Blue-white "embers" of cold fire drifted down from the sky for many hours, as a thing from space fell apart in the upper atmosphere. But, Greg was luckier than others. Where most people had to cope with their new abilities without any idea what had happened to them, Greg had someone -something- to advise him.
The thing that fell that night was not a thing, it was a man. A hundred thousand years ago, he was a mutant, with abilities that made him an outcast among his own people. He was the first Ultiman. After wandering the Earth for millennia, he took to the stars. Traveling the spaceways, his powers grew, until his awareness spanned galaxies. Eventually, his powers caused changes in his body, he began to crystallize. For the last couple of thousand years, he has been living crystal.
As his inevitable death approached, he decided it was time to return home. He died just as he entered the Solar System.
His body did not burn up on entry into the atmosphere, it was converted for the most part, to pure psionic energy. When it fell on an adult, it often sparked a weak superhuman power. Most of the adults who got powers were one-talent supers. A few, only those who already had a certain mental image of themselves as being more than normal, developed truly powerful abilities, Kodiak, Black Flame and a few others, became true super-humans overnight. Greg Norton's exposure was somewhat greater than most, but his "adviser" helped give him access to millennia of experience with super-human powers.
That night of the Starfall, Greg dived into the lake , to see what had fallen there and found the crystal skull of the first Ultiman. With the help of the First, he was able to quickly adapt to his new powers and began preparing for his future as a super-hero. Then, in 1975, his grandfather died and left his farmstead to young Greg, who had always enjoyed life in the country. Greg found a hidden entrance to a cave in the old barn, and inside, a legend. A small alien spacecraft, hidden for more than 75 years, after it crashed in Aurora, Texas. The ship had been badly damaged in the crash, but had managed to repair itself, heal itself, over the decades. Within the craft, Greg discovered a space suit, of sorts, that he took to wearing, while he learned the workings of the ship. When he learned to work the machines that manufactured the suits, he designed one of his own, the original being a bit... painful to look at.
After Greg began his career as Ultiman, he made a few enemies, including his arch-nemesis the Minotaur, a normal human, remade by alien technology similar to that of Greg's ship. And the Berserker, a wildman with superhuman strength and nearly indestructible. And....there was the government, trying to harness super-normals to their use.
So, that's basically the story of this cover.