Tag Archives: Starfire

Wish You Were Here – Where Would Starfire Really Go For a Selfie?

Last week DC Comics released images of various giveaways that it would be releasing in June to help get fans into stores and to buy their latest release under the new 52 banner (and the first post-Convergence.)  Among tour posters for Black Canary’s music and paper masks for popular heroes was a fake postcard featuring Starfire in Key West.  There is a bit of a back story behind the postcard as Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti both have said that they like the city as well, and the fact that it is known for its overall acceptance is something which might draw her to visit there (also Key Lime Pie.)

While the story of her travel to such a place in our solar system is a nice idea, it does raise the idea of where an alien might actually want to visit.  Starfire can survive in outer space unaided, and thus there are really not that many places where she could not travel.  That having been said, what features in our solar system might be truly unique to see and to take a picture in front of?  The idea requires some speculation of course, as what we know of other planets is still pretty obscure, but with the supposition that there is a group of advanced humanoids elsewhere in the universe, there would have to be some basic assumptions.  The first is that they come from a planet which has lots of water, and a lot of land.  Such land would be broken down into all the same identifiable features that we have on Earth, and so much of the surface of the Earth would be pretty normal looking.  Even if particular vistas looked amazing, it would be similar to locations on their own world.  So too does the prevalence of gas giant planets seem to be common enough in other solar systems, at least from what we have seen.  So while Jupiter is a marvel to look at, it probably would not be particularly different than other gas giants in others solar systems.  With the normality of other astronomical and terrain features being pretty common place, what might an alien find different or interesting about the solar system?  Here are a few suggestions.

Saturn’s Rings

1190_1280x1024-wallpaper-cb1425509465When first discovered through a telescope, the rings of Saturn were visible, at least that there were there, if not of what they actually were.  Since the improvement of telescopes it has become evident that Saturn has something special, and those are its rings.  As exploration has continued of the solar system, it has been discovered that other planets also have rings, but none of them compare to Saturn.  It is theorized that Saturn rings were formed as an icy moon was either pulled apart by tidal forces or by it being pulverized in one way or another.  And so while rings on planets are common enough, such spectacular ones perhaps are not.

Mercury’s Weird Terrain

Mercury is fairly devoid of any real interesting features except for one.  Most of its surface is pock-marked by impact craters, and Mercury therefore ends up looking much like the moon.   Its lack of atmosphere has meant that meteors and asteroids which impact it are not broken up before impact, but rather strike with full force.  One such asteroid long ago struck the surface and created a giant crater, but it is not the crater itself which is of note but rather what can be found at its antipode.  The shock waves of the impact traveled through the planet’s surface and converged at the same time on the other side of the planet, creating what scientists refer to only as “weird terrain”, lacking any other explanation for it or for its creation.

A Solar Eclipse

solar-eclipseThe Earth has its share of wonders, but its large canyons, vast deserts and imposing mountain ranges would be fairly common on other planets which are are both tectonically active and which have an abundance of water.  What would be of note to those on Earth is perhaps not its own features, but that of another.  Most scientists agree that the moon is necessary for life on Earth, or at least life as we know it.  Among other reasons the moon helps the Earth maintain its tilted rotation relative to the sun, which allows the Earth to have seasons.  It would thus be a relatively safe assumptions that another planet that had life would have a moon, but our moon is special for a different reason.  Although dwarved by our sun, the moon is the same times smaller as it is in distance from the sun relative to the Earth, which under the proper conditions gives us solar or lunar eclipses.  While other suns and moons might have the conditions for complete or partial eclipses, our solar system with its near perfect match would be something to see for aliens.

The Great Barrier Reef

There are a lot of special animals around the world, and a lot that put on some pretty amazing shows.  Whatever animal life would look like on other planets though, it would be safe to assume that most of them would have some kind of a counterpart.  It would thus be possible to ungulates migrating, or some kind of silk creating creature to have its beautiful webs.  What might not be so normal is the Great Barrier Reef, and other structures built by coral.  Coral is the remainder of what was once a living animal, as the rock like body is left after the animal has died.  Other offspring build directly onto the former and although small, over time the creatures evolve into giant structures.  Although coral reefs are found through the world, there is none more impressive that the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  As a landscape feature, it might be the most unique thing which the Earth has to offer, especially if coral is something which only exists on Earth.

 

Review: Convergence Titans #2

convergence-titans002One of the common themes among Convergence is to give back little pieces to comic fans of what they lost with the onset of the new 52.  Some of these are unfinished stories, and some are characters who have not yet reappeared.  Among the most prominent of these is Lian, the daughter of Roy Harper, who had a fan following during her brief tenure in comics.  Among one of the more controversial decisions by writers in recent years was to kill her off, leading to insanity of her father, but she nonetheless remained at the top of most lists of characters that fans wanted back.

The Titans of the Convergence world are squared off against the Extremists, a group of Villains who had for a time been the main enemies of Justice League Europe, all of whom were facsimiles of major Marvel villains.  The world of Convergence is one which seems to be poorly conceived, with the pre-new 52 heroes being spared beneath a series of domes controlled by Brainiac.  With only a select group capable of surviving heroes must face heroes in order to battle for their own existence, even though the exact mechanics of this system is not yet understood.  The previous issue saw the return of the Titans, or at least a part thereof which featured Donna Troy, Starfire and Roy Harper.  The latter two have seen some success in the pages of Red Hood and the Outlaws, although this series is being rebooted post-Convergence.  Donna Troy only recently reappeared in the pages of Wonder Woman, and her reception there has raised only more controversy.  Here as they battle the Extremists the true battle is underway for the fate of Lian, far from a certainty as even in this continuity she has died.

This issue ends up being an ode to the love of a father for his daughter, and the extent to which he will go to get her back from the dead.  The remainder of the issue is a relatively humdrum effort with a lot of what we have seen before in comics.  The Extremists are out of the 1980s, and the storytelling and action seems to follow along accordingly.  For those that have wanted to see a return of Lian, this might be as good as they are going to get for a while, though with the end of Convergence still up in the air, it remains to be seen exactly how that will play out.  This short two issue Convergence series existed primarily for that purpose and if this comic is to have any value, then it will be to determine the exact fate of this prematurely killed character.

Story: Fabian Nicieza  Art: Ron Wagner 
Story: 7.5  Art: 7.5   Overall: 7.5  Recommendation: Read

Review: Convergence Titans #1

titans001Of all the characters to receive a makeover in the new 52, it is perhaps the original Teen Titans that have fared the worst.  The team was replaced almost completely with newer versions of older characters, and those older characters were left behind in part in the old continuity.  This Convergence title focuses on three DC heroes that have been trapped in Gotham City under the superpower nullifying dome – Donna Troy, Starfire and Arsenal.  The choice of these three is interesting as their histories are full of some controversy already.  Donna Troy had her origin story told and retold numerous times since the post-Crisis Wonder Woman was introduced, to the point that her own character’s history is confusing.  Starfire didn’t live as much controversy until she was introduced in the new 52 as a purely sexual creature (though the writers have backed off from that since) and her fans yearned for a return to the pre-Flashpoint version of the character.  It is perhaps Roy Harper who was the most controversial though, as fans had found a favorite in his daughter Lian, and when it was revealed that she had never existed in the new 52, they got the opposite of what they wanted.

This story focuses mostly on that of Roy, still trying to deal with the death of his daughter.  The heroes have moved on since the imposition of the dome, although Roy is ready for the return of something vile.  They get this return when the Extremists show up on Gotham’s doorstep after being gone for so long.  The Extremists are an interesting footnote in DC history.  They formed one of the main villain groups which fought the Justice League and Justice League Europe, but the group of villains were all loose facsimiles of Marvel villains (Doctor Doom, Doctor Octopus, Magneto, Sabretooth and Dormammu).  Thus while other heroes or anti-heroes from this same Gotham are facing other foes (such as the Zoo Crew) this group of heroes is facing villains from not only a different place, but also kind of from a different company.

The main problem with this (and many other Convergence titles) is that it is hard to see exactly where it is going.  At the same time the concept is not really gripping, and doesn’t really draw the reader in to its world.  It is still interesting to see where this can go, but this interpretation of the cherished and missed characters feels like they have forgotten what made them popular to begin with.  It is after all likely that every single group of characters will prevail against the somewhat random selection of foes it has to face, most of whom are not relevant to modern readers, even those from before Flashpoint.  Therefore this kind of feels like a fluffy but also mostly fun interlude before we find out what exactly is going to happen to these other characters

Story: Fabian Nicieza  Art: Ron Wagner 
Story: 7.7  Art: 7.7   Overall: 7.7  Recommendation: Read

Around the Tubes

Comics are out tomorrow! Yay!  So, what’s everyone getting?  While you decide, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Kotaku – He Asked About Misogyny in Street Fighter, and the Game’s Caretakers Didn’t DodgeIf only those in the comic industry could have answered the question so well.

Underwire – Unemployed Man Is the Unofficial Superhero of Occupy Wall Street – I’ve read the comic and it’s perfect for the movement.

Con Coverage:

Comicvine – Long Beach Comic Con 2011 Cosplay Gallery

Comicvine – LBCC ’11: Marv Wolfman Reacts to Scott Lobdell’s STARFIRE

Around the Tubes Reviews:

CBR – Scalped #53

CBR – The Ultimates #3

Around the Tubes

Lots of news, lots of links to help you through your day.  It’s new comic release day, what’s on your “to buy” list?

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – In Defence Of Starfire And Red Hood And The OutlawsSome very interesting takes on the issue.

Comics Alliance – Gay Archie Comics Character Kevin Keller to Meet His Future Husband In U.S. MilitaryYay the repeal of DADT!

CNN Geekout – Superhero metaphysics – A pretty interesting take and coverage of the new DCU.

ICv2 – New Batman Animated SeriesKatana? Really?

Con Coverage:

Publishers Weekly – APE Spotlights Indie Publishing Spirit

DC – Get Heard at New York Comic-Con – Flame on!

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Lytherus – Bone

ICv2 – Charmed: Season 9 Vol. 2

Blogcritics – Feynman

IGN – Star Wars Omnibus: The Complete Saga

IGN – X-Men: Schism #5

Around the Tubes

It’s Wednesday, and that means new comics!  What’s everyone picking up this week?  While you think about that, here’s the news you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Michele Lee – Dear DC Comics, – A must read about one girl’s reaction to reading Starfire.

Con Coverage:

Bleeding Cool – Warren Ellis Captured Ghosts To Screen During NYCC

IGN – Mega Man & Sonic NYCC Exclusive Covers

Around the Tubes Reviews:

Seattle PI – Blue Estate: Preserves

MTV Geek – Codename Sailor V, vol. 1

MTV Geek – The Homeland Directive

Geeks of Doom – Insurrection V3.6 #1

CBR – Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2

Bleeding Cool – Voodoo #1

Comics Alliance – ComicsAlliance Reviews Every Comic in DC’s New 52: Week 3

52 Reviews, Part 3

So, for the fun of it, I’m going to be collecting all 52 DC #1 issues. And I’m going to review them all. Keep in mind, though, that I’m generally a Marvel fan and, while I’m working may way through DC’s recent big events, I’m only up through the middle of Countdown and I haven’t read any of DC’s non-event comics in a long time, so I’m coming at these stories with a bit of a disadvantage in terms of chronology and character knowledge. Since DC is certainly trying to attract new readers, though, this makes me come at them with a perspective similar to their hypothetical new fans…

Batman #1 (DC) – Maybe DC should just stick to stories about Batman or written by Scott Snyder. They seem to do well with those. I’ve liked all of the Batman issues of DCnU and this one is no exception. Greg Capullo does a great job on the pencils on this one. This story gives us a great intro to many of Batman’s enemies, reaches out to Batman’s wider universe of allies, gives a great nod to his past and leaves us with a great mystery at the end. This is a very good comic.

Story: 10 Art: 9 Overall: 9.5

Birds of Prey #1 (DC) – Unlike some of the other creative teams this week, Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz at least try to balance the “hotness” of their female characters with a good story and clothing that is functional. Sure, they’re still models and there is still some titillation, but the costumes are legit for superheroines and the women are well-written characters in a well-written story.

Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5

Blue Beetle #1 (DC) – So far, this is DC’s best attempt at diversity. There have been a number of other minority characters in the new comics, but they all seem to be colorblind attempts at diversity, with the black characters not being stereotypical, but also not being distinguishable from white characters beyond the visual elements. In this issue, Jaime Reyes is written as a real human being and his Hispanic heritage is not ignored and he doesn’t descend into a characature, either (although a few of the other characters come dangerously close). There is also a great Spanglish joke that was my favorite moment of the week.

Story: 9 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5

Captain Atom #1 (DC) – The art is a bit too loose for my tastes and I’m not sure that I like this particular take on Captain Atom, but J.T. Krul does commit to a particular vision of the character and does a good job of being consistent and creating a coherent narrative and personality for Captain Atom and his supporting cast. Definitely worth a continued look.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Catwoman #1 (DC) – The art by Guillem March is bad enough to sink it (near-Liefeldian body proportion problems mixed with Macfarlane-esque contortions). Tht title of the story is “most of the costumes stay on,” which has to be ironic, since in the three pages before we learn that title, we see five separate panels showing Selina’s bra-covered breasts. The rest of the issue has naked hookers and a throwaway woman who is beaten and killed for no particular reason. The story seems like a man’s revenge fantasy of what a woman would do to a man who had brutalized and killed another woman. Sort of like his heart’s in the right place, but he doesn’t quite understand women. And the concept is undercut by the wall-to-wall TNA and the uncomfortable Batman sex scene. One positive note: through 39 DCnU issues, Catwoman’s contact Lola is the first female character I’m aware of who isn’t skinny. She’s still in skin-tight clothing and is somewhat sexualized, but it’s something

Story: 1 Art: 4 Overall: 2.5

DC Universe Presents #1 (DC) – Another issue where there is a coherent vision for the character and an attempt at creating a style and tone for the series that, while I may not love it, I can appreciate the quality of what is being done. This issue has some interesting things in it, including a possibly unintentional homage to the movie Fallen, with Denzel Washington, that works well.

Story: 7 Art: 7 Overall: 7

Green Lantern Corps #1 (DC) – This issue isn’t perfect, but it’s still very entertaining. The Guy Gardner-John Stewart team-up works well. Artist Fernando Pasarin’s strength appears to be the big, epic shots. In a GL story, there are a lot of those and most of them in this issue are breathtaking. Definitely a series to keep reading. So when I said above that DC is really getting it right on Batman, I’d add the Lantern stuff to that, since I think all of the Lantern issues have been well done, too.

Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5

Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (DC) – Not surprisingly for a Legion comic, there are too many characters here to really grab on to any of them. It’s not a bad issue, it’s just not something that is really interesting. Good, but not great.

Story: 6 Art: 7 Overall: 6.5

Nightwing #1 (DC) – It’s a little confusing at times and the art isn’t my favorite, but it’s very good, if necessarily derivative of Batman comics.

Story: 8 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.75

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 (DC) – This comic is very sexist. It’s all about objectifying Starfire, her having sex with random people in the perfect male fantasy, and spying on her and posting pics of her in a bikini on the Internet without her knowledge. I think Jason Todd and some kind of plot are in there too.

Story: 1 Art: 7 Overall: 4

Supergirl #1 (DC) – The issue is all action and the action is pretty good. The art isn’t great and I keep getting the feeling that if she turned the wrong way, Supergirl would accidentally be bottomless, that’s how skimpy the bottom of her costume is. Also, it seems like DC is relying too much on the “reveal” of a major character guest appearing in another issue, despite it not really being a surprise most of the time. This is at least the fourth or fifth time that Superman or Batman has shown up on the last page of a comic starring someone else. This one does have a lot of potential, though, so I’ll be back.

Story: 7.5 Art: 6.5 Overall: 7

Wonder Woman #1 (DC) – I’ve never cared for Wonder Woman since I’m not a huge mythology fan and I was prepared to really dislike this comic. I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. While this issue has some of the same wardrobe problems and male fantasy takes on what women should be like that other issues this week have, they are minor here compared to other issues and this one is superior because of a very good story. The comic is almost cinematic in its tone and Diana is clearly established as a strong female character, something we can’t say for Catwoman or Starfire.

Story: 9 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.25