Tag Archives: Starfire

Exclusive Preview: Starfire #10

Starfire #10

Written by: Jimmy Palmiotti, Amanda Conner
Art by: Elsa Charretier
Cover by: Amanda Conner
On Sale Date: Mar 9 2016

It’s a girls night out—super-style! Partying in an underground kingdom has never been so weird! And Starfire, Stella and Atlee have an adventure  interrupted when an old enemy makes good on his promise to destroy Atlee.



Around the Tubes

It’s a new week and we’re getting closer to a new year! We’re thinking through our best of 2015 list, but what do you all think should be on?

While you think about that, here’s some comic book news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

The ComiChron – Miller’s Dark Knight returns to top of comic sales charts in November 2015 – A slight improvement for DC.

M Live – Longtime collector to open Grand Rapids comic book store – Great to see new shops open.

AFP – New Dutch graphic novel reveals life with disabled mum – Sounds very interesting.


Around the Tubes Reviews

Batman News – Batman #47

The Rainbow Hub – Constantine the Hellblazer #7

The Rainbow Hub – Detective Comics #47

The Rainbow Hub – Gotham Academy #13

The Rainbow Hub – New Romancer #1

The Rainbow Hub – Starfire #7

CBR – We Stand on Guard #6

Review: Starfire #3

starfire003The DC You imprint has been a slightly confusing one for DC.  On the one hand it has superheroes doing stuff much like they always did, just in a different context, such as with the depowered Superman.  On the other hand, some characters have been thrown into situations that are not entirely superhero like, for instance, Black Canary going on tour as a singer.  The common theme of the new outlook is that making the heroes more approachable to the readers, to take the same changes that have occurred elsewhere in the medium and to apply them in relevant ways to other heroes.  The initial impression of the Starfire series is that little had changed in terms of the character, still making the sexual aspects of her character more important than others, while also kind of wasting her superheroic efforts on Key West.

As the third issue of this series, it is perhaps now easier to see where it is heading.  While the overall impression of this series could still be at least partially described as whimsical, there are also some elements which make it more akin to a typical superhero book.  Although her main enemy in the first issue was a hurricane, there are slowly some more typical threats wandering into Key West, in this case two somewhat major threats that need to be dealt with.  While the story and the dialogue are still handled in a less serious way, these threats also give the story a bit more weight.

For those that are curious about how the DC You direction has affected Starfire, it might be easier to think of the change out of context.  While the series is ostensibly after the events of the Red and the Outlaws series, the reader gets a better appreciation of this series if they think of it as Starfire first having arrived to Earth overall.  It doesn’t make sense from a continuity standpoint, but then again neither do a lot of things under DC You.  The first couple of issue in this series were a bit harder to take, but after this third issue, it is evident that the changes are meant to be a bit over-the-top, and that they are to the benefit of the series.  At the very least this series looks as though it is taking an approach which will make the character a lot more likable and respectable, even if it is done in a less serious way.

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner Art: Emanuela Lupachino 
Story: 8.0  Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Review: Starfire #2

Starfire002Starfire’s first issue came in the wake of a recent string of young female characters who have been given a new direction, with characterization to match.  These younger heroines have been depicted in a similar setting but in a somewhat different way, highlighting what it means to be both young and female, while also not losing the appeal of the superhero.  Although not necessarily a young hero in comics, Starfire is often portrayed as such.  She has been a member of the Teen Titans for most of her publication history, and as that group is associated with youthful characters, it might have made sense to include Starfire in this same new wave that is attempting to change the focus and presumably the readership of comics.  The first issue proved otherwise as Starfire alternated between serious hero versus behavior that would typify a dumb blonde.

This second issue picks up where the last left off, specifically as Key West is under threat of Hurricane Betty.  Although it is a relatively minor problem as opposed to the intergalactic threats that Starfire has faced, it did give a chance to put a more personal look on the character.  The same continues here as Starfire has to rescue a sequence of different characters from the storm as she rushed them to safety, first from land and then from water.

While the representation of the character has improved here, it is apparently still a work in progress.   Starfire got to save some strange residents of Key West, and so doing provided some comedic relief, but equally it was so non sequitur that it broke up the sequence of the story.  The writing team seems to be fascinated with Key West, and while there is nothing wrong with that, the series equally cannot be simply a string of strange characters from Key West that they can dream up.  Starfire as a character deserves more.  This issue represents a step in the direction towards what she should be, but there is still some distance to go.

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner Art: Emanuela Lupachino 
Story: 7.5  Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Read

We Talk Starfire With Ema Lupacchino

Ema Lupacchino is slowly taking the comics art scene by storm. She is making her own mark on some classic heroes, and she is back for her second interview with us, after joining us before to discuss Supergirl. This time she talks about her new ongoing gig for Starfire from DC Comics, whose first issue debuted last Wednesday.

ema000Graphic Policy: Starfire is getting her own series for the first time with you as the series regular artist.  What challenges are there for a character that is so common to so many but has never had to hold her own series before

Ema Lupacchino: We’ve got many challenges here – the most important one to me was to make Kori looking beautiful but not oversexualized as she used to be drawn sometimes.  I tried to make her confident and naive. Then we’ve got to build an all new world around her – the city she’s living in, the new characters and the narration that is a bit different from a mainstream superhero book.

GP: What is it like working with Amanda and Jimmy?

EL: They’re both sweet. This my first time working with them and I feel totally comfortable with the structure of the story and the script. Having a good feeling with the writers is a very important thing and they’re so clear and precise that is not so difficult to emphasize with the emotions and atmosphere that they suggest for each character in each scene.

ema005GP: In our previous interview about Supergirl we discussed some of the personal touches that you put on the character’s appearance to make her more feminine. What have you done for Starfire?

EL: Kori’s beautiful and sexy but I tried to push this feeling away from her head.  It’s like she’s so beautiful and attractive but  she actually  doesn’t know that. This way she’s not conditioned by her appeal, she’s just natural and her being natural is sexy itself. It’s not something  induced by impossible or forced poses of her body screaming “Look how sexy I am!”, neither caused by the size of her breasts. It’s the way she acts, smiles or looks at you. People that pass by should be attracted by the scent of her skin. I want this to be my personal touch on her :)

GP: How much did you have to do with the redesign of her costume, and what motivated the new look?

EL: The new costume was entirely designed by Amanda Conner before I started the book, so I just put it on her as it was. I think it’s a smart look for her costume, and more comfortable for her new life.

GP: Have you been to Key West?

EL: I’ve never been to Key West *sigh* ! It’s a WONDERFUL place and I definitively want to see it one day. I love all the tropical places and the exotic atmosphere, so it’s like a party for me drawing Kori living in Key West. You feel like you’re on vacation all the time!

ema002GP: Key West is a pretty common place to live for all the places that Starfire has been to before. Are we going to see some more exotic locations like outer space?

EL: You’re going to see A LOT in general, not only in terms of places :) but yes. You’ll see more beautiful and exotic places (that really exist!).

GP: The series has a more humorous tone than some other series featuring superheroes. How do you capture this in the drawing?

EL: I don’t know. It just comes natural to me. I’m really focused on the attitude and expressions of the characters – I study emotions and gesture a lot on actors and animated movies so I just try to catch the right expression or pose in a specific scene.

I think I know how to handle emotions more than anything else in a comic book but just because it’s spontaneous and I don’t have to think about it so much. Humor is led by a thin movement or expression and if you fail that, the whole scene loses the right tone.

ema003GP: Starfire’s past in the new 52 is complicated as her time with the Teen Titans is not what it once was. Are there any of the former Titans that you would like to see show up here and get a chance to draw? I think for instance that your take on Wonder Girl would be interesting.

EL: Wonder Girl would be interesting, as much as Beast Boy and Raven. They’re both very interesting characters to see in Key West!

GP: How do you decide on the idea for the cover when you draw both the cover and the inner artwork? What works best to capture the idea of what is inside?

EL: Generally the cover shows what a reader will find in the story. So yes, that’s the way we work on the cover. The editor gives me some information about the main plot for a specific issue and we build the cover illustration around what can be the most important scene of the story. Variant covers can escape this rule and sometimes they have nothing to do at all with the story. When you work on the cover you have to give some information about the story without spoiling it too much.

Strange Comic Trends: Another Pair of 38s

The medium of comics is certainly not without controversy, and increasingly lately in the manner in which it depicts women.  It would seem as though the medium has been going through a pretty rapid change in the past year in terms of how to present its female characters, and this is an indication that the medium as a whole is changing.  It is a necessary change as the demographics of readers if changing, and so what is looked for in a female character these days is much more like solid writing as opposed to a revealing costume.  In the past few years there have been a few different developments which have caused fans to voice their concerns for the direction of the medium and its treatment of its female characters.  For instance the alternate cover for Spider-Woman #1 made a lot of readers wonder if there was ever going to be any change, and the comments about feminism and Wonder Woman caused many to raise their eyebrows.

38s001One of the points in comic history was that of the launch of the new 52.  Fans were promised that new approaches were going to be taken and that characters were going to be revitalized for a modern day treatment.  The result was a bit of a mixed bag, some creators shook up the normal and gave the readers something really new, and some other characters just got costume changes.  There was no bigger flashpoint of any character than surrounded Starfire and her depiction in Red Hood and the Outlaws. While there were aspects of the character which were in-line with what had come before, there was also a backlash over her depiction in this series.  With Jason Todd and Roy Harper as the unapologetic frat boys, Starfire was turned into the dream sorority girl, one that wore almost nothing and solicited sex from strangers.  At one point she was even referred to by her breast size alone (a pair of 38s).  Obviously a lot of fans were a bit taken aback by this new representation of the character as the change in her case was to make her a two dimensional being judged only for her appearance, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what female comic readers wanted.

38s003In the intervening years since the launch of the new 52, there seems to have been a renaissance in the medium, especially with its treatment of female characters as being capable as heroes without revealing their whole bodies to do so.  In the past year there has been this new focus on Silk, Spider-Gwen, Spider-Woman, Batgirl, Ms. Marvel and Olive Silverlock, and it seemed as though the medium was catching up to demographics a lot more quickly than anyone had ever imagined.  It thus makes the new launch of Starfire all the more curious.  She is a little different than what we got during the new 52 relaunch, and while there are a lot of jokes at her expense as a fish out of water as an alien living in Key West, the same jokes also come off a bit as making her seem like a bit of a dumb blonde.  That being the case, the writers even managed to replicate closely enough the description of Starfire as only being her breasts, as when she is trying to arrange to rent a room from two rowdy guys she offers the fact that she has three big ones ($3000) to spend but one of her admirers says that she has only two that he can see (her breasts).  While the character is not treated as lasciviously as in her new 52 relaunch, it would equally seem as though the writers didn’t get the memo about the change underway in the medium, and without a change in outlook, Starfire might find herself left behind once again.


Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! I’ll be spending it checking out Jurassic World, no matter the negative reviews. How will you be spending it? While you decide that, here’s some news and reviews you might have missed.

Around the Tubes

ArtsBeat – For $7.99, You Too Can Be a Marvel Colorist – This is pretty cool.


Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – All Star Section Eight #1

Talking Comics – Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1

CBR – Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1

ICv2 – Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Vol. 1

CBR – Marvel Zombies #1

CBR- Starfire #1

Game Review: DC Comics Deck Building Starfire Promo

starfireThe idea of the promo card has been with the DC Comics Deck Building Game since its onset.  As opposed to Legendary (Marvel’s Deck Building Game) where the characters are played based on entire decks, the main characters in the DC Comics Deck Building are solitary character cards who help determine how the game is played and thus a single character can be introduced to DC with only one card as opposed to the 14 that would be required for Marvel.  As the card is a promo though it is not as easy to acquire.  Although it can be order over the internet, it will go almost as much on a site like eBay as it will for the entire game on Amazon, and therefore it calls into question as to whether this is a good investment or not.

It should be said that the card is one that somewhat skips over the in-game mechanics and for the first time in the series is the main character card that is more dependent on related cards in the deck.  As opposed to character such as Wonder Woman who benefit from a deck which is primarily villains, Starfire does not have as much of an advantage with a particular card type, with the character text giving the following ability “Once during Each of Your Turns, if there are no Super Powers in the line-up then draw a card.”  While this can be a powerful ability, it also forces the character to purchase a lot of super powers in order to keep them off the board.  In an indirect way this is also good for the character, as it is beneficial when the Starfire cards from the Heroes Unite expansion are played together, one of which is a superpower.  Used together in the same turn they can be a powerful combination, and while the main character is not necessary to make use of them, thematically it makes sense as well as the in-game text increasingly the likelihood that these cards are bought.

In the first playthrough with this card she was pitted against another one of the Heroes Unite characters (Red Tornado) and it was a relatively easy victory, even accounting for the draw of the cards.  This means that she is a relatively powerful character as the ability to draw an extra card comes in pretty handy on most turns and as the combination of super powers gives her an additional edge.  As for the price, it is hard to say.  It is unfortunate that Cryptozoic does not make more of these cards available, as Legendary cards are mostly all out there for close to their original prices.  This card was free but has become a lot more, and so the difference in opportunity to acquire it might make it less desirable even it it is fun for in-game play.  In all honesty it is probably not worth the price paid to acquire it though, as Cryptozoic has released so many other main character cards and other with female superheroes.  It is a shame because the character is popular enough, except she is buried here because of her inaccessibility.

Score: 7.8, but 6 for availability.

Review: Starfire #1

starfire001bThere is perhaps no other character in need of a post-new 52 makeover than Starfire.  It was her after all around which so much controversy was focused after the launch of the new 52.  Her “no questions asked” sexual approach and relative willingness to walk around nearly naked was a point of contention for many fans, either the new fans that had come on board for the reboot, or old fans who were being promised something new, and found a lot of the old.  Of course, the background exists for the character to be somewhat open with her sexual matters, but the backlash nonetheless remained.  In the intervening years, and especially in the past year, there has been something of a renaissance for female characters, between approachable reboots/relaunches for Spider-Woman, Batgirl, and Medusa as well as newly introduced characters such as Kamala Khan, Cindy Moon and Olive Silverlock.  With the focus on well written female characters that were built on solid writing as opposed to their appearance, it would seem that the time is right for the same treatment for Starfire.

Thus for the first time in the history of DC Comics publishing, Starfire has been given the chance to headline her own series.  As conceived by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner, the series is one which aims to take a less serious look at the life of a superhero, partially inspired by the Harley Quinn series.  The story finds Kory in Key West, an unlikely location for a superhero to set up shop, but tells her story as she details her life to a police detective who is keen on helping out the superpowered alien.  As the story progresses, there are various chances to learn about the past of the character, as well to introduce the other characters as a storm approaches.

The intention of the series to establish the characters as a fish out of water might be clear, but it is also confusing.  In the wake of so many other well written female character headlining their own series in recent months, Starfire comes off as the equivalent of the “dumb blonde” stereotype, asking questions about things which are apparently obvious while also failing to grasp basic parts of human society (like the need to be clothed.)  It fits with the character’s past, but it doesn’t bode well for her future, at least in this series, as this will soon be buried alongside other titles that have failed to evolve to the changing market for comic readers.

Story: Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner Art: Emanuela Lupachino 
Story: 6.2  Art: 8.0  Overall: 6.2 Recommendation: Pass 

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Starve01Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.


Top Pick: Mike’s Place: A True Story of Love, Blues and Terror in Tel Aviv (First Second) – The graphic novel recounts the true story of a suicide bombing at Mike’s Place, a bar where people of all persuasions get together to enjoy music and beer. It’s beyond moving, and hits you with a punch to the gut. Just an amazing example of using graphic novels to recount real life and history.

Batman #41 (DC Comics) – James Gordon in a robot/mech Batman suit? Yes please! Scott Snyder has been an amazing writer on Batman and it’s sure to look amazing with Greg Capullo on art. The all-new Batman makes his debut! What happens next? This is the new era in Gotham and it looks awesome.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 (Marvel) – They are the elite. The best of the best. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson take Carol Danvers and her team of elite pilots into Secret Wars. It looks awesome. Beyond awesome.

The Disciples #1 (Black Mask Studios) – In the near future, Dagmar, Rick, and Jules, intrepid private eyes/bounty hunters, have been hired by a high ranking Senator to retrieve his teenage daughter who’s run off to join a mysterious religious cult. The latest from Steve Niles and Christopher Mitten.

Starve #1 (Image) – In a world torn apart by starvation and rising water, Chef’s are stars, especially one. This is the story of a popular cooking competition television show, and its star who wants to bring it down.


Top Pick: Gotham Academy #7 (DC Comics) – This title was an unexpected standout before Convergence, and while the crossover might have lost a bit of momentum for the title, it remains to be seen where the series can go from here, especially with the addition of Damian Wayne.

Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1 (Marvel) – Marvel has to get the ball rolling after giving Carol her own movie, but previous attempts have not always gone so well.  With budding superstar writers Kelly Sue DeConnick and Kelly Thompson on board this might be the vehicle to put Carol where she belongs.

Silk #5 (Marvel) –  Flying under most people’s radar is the most engaging of all the Spider-books, and Marvel’s most intriguing Spider-Woman.

Starfire #1 (DC Comics) – Starfire gets her own ongoing series for the first time ever. It will be interesting to see if the series’ less serious tone can stand a chance against other titles.

Starve #1 (Image Comics) – From a near future where humanity is obsessed with celebrity and looser with the laws, a celebrity chef returns to an unexpected challenge.


Constantine the Hellblazer #1 (DC Comics) – I’m going to have to come clean: I never read Hellblazer. I mostly know John Constantine via Swamp Thing and his various guest appearances over the years plus the recent television show which we reviewed the earlier part of. Occult detective/conman/former punk band frontman is a great logline if I ever heard one. He’s just the sort of character I’d enjoy reading (and not only because we have a good amount of music collection overlap and bi-solidarity and whatnot).

So, I can’t wait to check out this series premiere by artist and now writer, Ming Doyle. She’ll be our podcast guest on Monday! Doyle’s created some of the most beautiful and singular art in comics so while I’m a bit sad that there’s someone else on art duties, Riley Rossmo‘s art looks evocative and unique too. Co-writer is James Tynion IV.

1602 Witchunter: Angela #1 (Marvel) – Now here’s an alternate history Secret Wars book I can’t wait to read! It sounds sword and sworcery-ish and a whole lot of fun. Writers Marguerite Bennett, Kieron Gillen and artists Stephanie Hans and Marguerite Sauvage set up what looks to be a lovely package of King James England era heroics. I found the story in the other costume period drama Secret Wars book underwhelming: a faux Medieval themed Young Avengers-y book. But I have faith in these creators to put together something worthy of this stunning cover.

Gotham Academy #7 (DC Comics) – Did you hear? Bruce Wayne’s son Damian is now enrolled in Gotham Academy! He’s going to keep tabs on our misadventuring cohort of rebellious and lovable kids and keep them out of trouble. Or maybe just scowl and act aloof. It’s anyone’s guess!

Jack Kirby: Kamandi Artist Edition (IDW Publishing) – You really love me, right? You know how happy it would make me to get this gorgeously put together compendium of one of Kirby’s later masterpieces? Kamandi is/was “The Last Boy on Earth!” an inspiration for characters like the beloved Finn the Human of Adventure Time. Put it on your gift lists now because it’s going to be beautiful.

Silver Surfer #12 (Marvel) – This series has been fantastical with some of Allred’s most creative art in years. But the series is about to end. The previews make this story look like our heroes are trapped in a dream of some kind. Lots of time and space paradoxes have sprung up of late in this book. I feel like the previews are lampshading Dawn becoming the new Silver Surfer. That would be a pretty wild conclusion!


Top Pick: Ghost Racers #1 (Marvel) – This the title I have been looking forward to since it was first announced, as every Ghost Rider that has ever existed or ever even mentioned now compete against each other against all odds for freedom.

Injection #2 (Image) – When Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey left Marvel’s Moon Knight last year, one could only wonder hat this dynamic duo would be doing next. I can only say they did not disappoint ,  with this series so far, the first issue was a gut punch, the second issue , can only be an uppercut.

Red Hood & Arsenal #1 (DC Comics) – Out of the DC YOU reboot going on at DC, this sounds like one of the more promising titles, as Red Hood has become a fan favorite, now teamed with rogue hero, Arsenal, definitely sounds like a lot of fun, as these two  fight against the underworld of the DC Universe.

Starve #1 (Image) – I have been interested in this series since it was first introduced at Image Expo and Brian Wood has never disappointed since his days working on the landmark, DMZ. A story that sounds like Masterchef meets Survivor, pretty cool.

Weirdworld #1 (Marvel) –  Part of the Secret Wars titles , but written by Jason Aaron of Southern Bastards fame and art by Mike Del Mundo, defintely  one of the more interesting series to crop out of this Marvel event about a new character named Arkon, a medieval warrior type.

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