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Review: ‘Starfire’ #1-2

Starfire is an alien warrior princess trying to find someplace on Earth where she can live in peace and help people. After getting some advice from a certain hero in Metropolis, she heads down south to Key West in Florida to start her new life on her own.

Review: Starfire #1-2
Starfire 1Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner; Art by Emanuela Luppachino
Teen (12+)
DC Comics, June-July 2015
32 pgs, $2.99

Starfire is best known to many fans today thanks to the Teen Titans cartoon that ran in the mid 2000s, but her return to comics in the New 52 upset a lot of those fans with her less-than-female-friendly depiction. With their new DCYou initiative, DC reaches out to those fans with a Starfire that is more in line with the one they remember.

Koriand’r, aka Kori, is an alien princess from the planet Tamara. Her planet was attacked, and her older sister, the new ruler after their parents’ death, is forced to send her off into slavery in order to save their world. She escapes and finds her way to Earth. After leaving the superhero team she had been with, she looks for a place to settle down where she can assimilate, at least as much as a woman with orange skin, super strength, and the ability to shoot star bolts from her arms can. She chooses Key West in Florida and meets with the local sheriff, Stella Gomez, just as a hurricane suddenly turns and threatens the island.

Kori is very friendly and outgoing. She comes off as rather naive, as she doesn’t understand human culture. She takes takes people at their word, sometimes literally, which is where a lot of the humor in these issues come from. When she hears things she doesn’t quite understand, a word balloon appears, showing what she thinks is being said. When Stella takes her to sell some precious stones, she is offered “three big ones” for a diamond, and she imagines three elephants. When she asks where she can keep them, Stella tells her in her pocket, and she imagines the three elephants in her pocket. She can seem clueless, but she isn’t dumb.

Starfire 2The “naive alien” characterization might seem cliche, but it works for Starfire. It makes her personality is very similar to her Teen Titans incarnation. The Starfire of the cartoon was upbeat, friendly, and always willing to help. Kori is also. As the hurricane hits the island, she flies around rescuing people and parrots. She even flies out over open water to save Stella’s brother Sol and the couple he went out to help. While these elements dominate, some elements from her original incarnation are present as well. She is very much a free spirit, and rather sensual, but not sexual. There is a kiss and a shower scene, but they are portrayed innocently and played more for laughs.

Starfire is a good balance between the kid-friendly Starfire of the Teen Titans cartoon and the more mature Koriand’r of Red Mask and the Outlaws. Conner and Palmiotti take the best features of both to make a character that anyone teen and up would want to read. Luppachino draws all the characters realistically and uses a bright palette to fit both Kori’s sunny disposition and Sunshine State’s tropical location. These first two issues were fun and full of laughs that might seem silly, but with so many grim and dark stories already permeating the DC Universe, they were a refreshing change, like a ray of sunshine after a storm.

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Lori Henderson About Lori Henderson

Lori Henderson is a mother of two teenage daughters and an avid reader. She blogs about manga at her personal blog Manga Xanadu as well as contributing and editing for Manga Village. She blogs about all things fandom (mainly Doctor Who) at her other personal blog Fangirl Xanadu. She's been at it so for over 5 years now and counting!

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