Though their goal was to establish order in the universe, the ancient Maltusian race known as the Controllers were isolationists by nature. They split with their brothers, the Guardians of the Universe after the betrayal of the Manhunters and the decision to create the Green Lantern Corps. The Controllers wished to live apart from the problems of the universe and set many of their number to discover ways to further insulate themselves. They preferred to have others act for them, and for reasons they have not divulged, the Controllers would let others speak for them as well.
[Green Lantern Vol. 2 #200, Darkstars #23]
The Controllers created NEMO, the Network for the Establishment and Maintenance of Order. NEMO would keep the troubles of the galaxy away from the Controllers' domain. The Controllers did not intend to use NEMO to benefit other races, but it did. Over the millennia the Controllers realized they would have to take a more active stance by attacking chaos at its roots. Despite all the good they did, there were too many NEMO operatives in too many different places.
NEMO and the Controllers devised a new plan to insure order. The Darkstars were created. The first of these new protectors was named Druu, one of a thousand to carry the name Darkstar.
The Controllers' agents wore a suit of armor called an "exo-mantle" which granted the wearer incredible power. Strength, speed, and agility could be increased to superhuman levels while a personal forcefield protected against impact and energy weapons. The forcefield could be expanded somewhat to allow the Darkstar to take others into his/her/its protection as well.
The exo-mantle came equipped with twin maser units capable of firing energy bolts with pinpoint accuracy. Darkstars were often surgically altered to gain instant maser control, rather than the split-second delay in reaction time when wearing the less powerful deputy version of the exo-mantle. A powerful shoulder mounted cannon complemented the maser system of the Darkstars' exo-mantle.
With the exo-mantle, one could achieve high speeds during flight, all the while protected from wind friction by the forcefield. Though the Darkstars could operate in space, for longer trips they were given a personal space cruiser, affectionately known as a "puddle jumper". In addition, NEMO boasted larger cruisers, capable of transporting a squadron of Darkstars. With the cruisers, the Darkstars could operate at great distances, independent from the Controller homeworld. The gap between a Darkstar and the Controllers meant they had to act on their own. Decisions had to be made without hesitation.
NEMO allowed each Darkstar to appoint two deputies native to their jurisdiction. They would be paid monthly in gold. As time went on, the Darkstars proved an admirable addition to NEMO. But they could not be everywhere, a point made clear to Ferrin Colos of Zamba.
In the late twentieth century, an expansionist race spread throughout the Milky Way galaxy, driven to conquer other worlds. Invasions were staged on many planets, destruction without mercy. One world that died was protected by Darkstar Chaser Bron.
An invasion of Earth was being staged as the war on Daxam inflicted a heavy toll on the would-be conquerors. They invented a genocide device to destroy the Daxamites before that world could retaliate. It was never deployed.
Darkstar Chaser Bron avenged the world destroyed by the invaders. He diverted the genocide device, causing it to backfire. The homeworld of the invaders was destroyed in a blast of fire. The planned attack on Earth came to a standstill as the invaders died off.
[STRMN2 # 28]
Unfortunately, there were more dangers in the depths of space, more than any lone Darkstar could hope to triumph against. Ferrin Colos' peaceful homeworld did not know of space travel or war and were an easy target for Qinoori raiders. The aliens tore apart Zamba's crust for mineral wealth, and the ecological disaster killed millions before the raiders moved on.
A stranger from the stars came to Zamba, the Darkstar Vardan Radz. He offered Ferrin Colos the opportunity to strike back and prevent future destruction on other worlds. Colos eagerly accepted. He would channel his rage into helping others.
Darkstar Ferrin Colos was stationed on the planet Jenuwyne where he built a strong reputation. He protected space from the worst the galaxy had to offer, whether against the criminal element or natural disasters.
Elsewhere, an energy/chronal disturbance brought Darkstar Vardan Radz a number of years into the future. Radz fought alongside the time-displaced Green Lantern Abin Sur and the Darkstars of that future against the being known as Entropy. The fight was brief, soon the time warped heroes were returned to their proper time periods.
Ferrin Colos' space sector bordered that of Merayn Dethalis, the Darkstar of Bavacqua Seven. A close bond grew between the two Darkstars, first of friendship then of romance. The relationship eventually ended, but Colos still harbored some feelings for her.
[Darkstars #18, 20, 23]
Though he wielded great power, Darkstar administrator Huvah Jeddigar wished for even more. He wanted to be free of the Controllers. Jeddigar began a search for a reality free of their influence, using NEMO resources to aid him in his quest. He experimented with a dimensional gateway, but did not find the reality he was seeking. In exchange for his safety, Jeddigar offered the entire population of a planet guarded by one of the Darkstars.
As the protector of Jenuwyne, Colos was its first and only line of defense from a fleet of raiders. Somehow, these raiders blasted through his forcefield, plunging him to the planet below.
When Ferrin Colos woke, there was nothing left. The Jenuwynians were gone without a trace. Years later, he would learn he had been betrayed by Huvah Jeddigar. The Darkstar adminstrator had planted a power cut-off switch in the armor of the Darkstars.
Though Ferrin had failed Jenuwyne, other worlds needed the aid of a Darkstar. For a hundred cycles, the planet Clanadrern was victimized by an alien race known as the Anzdorl.
The aliens were not invaders, they came after a comet had passed the planet, wiping out all electrical systems on Clanadrern. Civilization colapsed as the population turned upon itself in war. The Anzadorl came to restore order, but were taking advantage of the people of Clanadrern by feeding on their life forces in exchange for their assistance.
Darkstar Ferrin Colos heard a distress signal from Clanadrern, sent by one young man who rebelled at the pact between his ancestors and the aliens. Working against the orders of Prigatz, Colos struck at the Anzadorl, an action unheard of by the Clanadrern, but one that made them realize the aliens were not their masters. Ferrin Colos left Clanadrern to allow them to continue the battle and win back their civilization.
Elsewhere in the cosmos. other events were shaping the future of the Darkstars. Before they left for another dimension, the Guardians prophesized Earth would be the next world to raise a race of immortals like themselves. Many alien worlds saw the Earth as a threat because of it. The absence of the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps left Earth vulnerable to some of the more hostile forces in the universe.
[Green Lantern Vol. 2 #200, Millennium #1-8]
The Controllers expanded the Darkstar project after the collapse of the Green Lantern Corps Central Power Battery on Oa. The Darkstars would fill the void left by the failure of the Guardians' legions.
[Green Lantern Vol. 2 #224, Darkstars #1]
An Alien Alliance formed, planning to neutralize humanity. The aliens feared the human race's ability to develop super powers by the activation of the meta gene. Thanagar, the Dominion, Khundia, Daxam, Gil'Dishpan, the Citadel, Okaara, and the Psions joined against Earth but were ultimately driven off. The invasion highlighted Earth's importance to the rest of the universe.
The Green Lantern Corps eventually returned, and its ranks grew slowly over the course of months. By that time the Darkstars were stepping out of the shadows of the Guardians' agents.
Despite the growing reputation of his peers, Darkstar Ferrin Colos had tarnished his own name. Other Darkstars considered him washed up. It was no surprise to them when Ferrin Colos was sent to Sector 109, Planet 43, a backwater world better known as Earth.
Colos was assigned to break up an interstellar drug ring that manufactured the narcotic "loku" known as "loco" on the streets. Loco was instantly addictive, though it brought the user feelings of euphoria, loco inclined the user to violence.
Mo Douglas was a homeless Vietnam veteran in Dallas, Texas that got caught up in a mob's loco-induced frenzy. He tried to save a young woman from the enraged addicts, but was almost overwhelmed. Douglas was saved by Darkstar Ferrin Colos but learned it was too late for the young woman, she had died of an overdose some hours before. The situation on Earth required Colos to gain more information, and he was able to reach into Douglas' mind to see if he was trustworthy.
Colos met another law enforcement officer, a narcotics officer named John Flint. These two men would become Colos' first deputies on Earth and help the Zambaii learn of his newly assigned world.
Regional administrator Prigatz reported Colos' findings to the Director of the Darkstars, Huvah Jeddigar. Earth had many off world influences and was succeptible to the high technology brought in by extra terrestrials. The Director believed there was more to the drug smuggling ring and made Colos' assignment to Earth permanent.
Aside from the Darkstars, NEMO ran a number of institutions throughout the galaxy. The Erral Rehabilitation Facility was one such institution. Prisoner G-111, an old foe of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan, was better known as Evil Star. The prisoner escaped confinement, trying to flee from his devoted Starlings.