My thoughts on Starfire by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

I will be very honest here, I’ve only read two issues of this series, but after those two issues alone I couldn’t bring myself to read more.

From a female perspective, the Starfire comic series is a train wreck. The titular character is an alien princess named Koriand’r – shortened to Kori – who is new to Earth. Except she isn’t.

Ah hah... ha... Kori as the sexy bozo who only exists for guys to try and take advantage of.
Ah hah… ha… Kori as the sexy bozo who only exists for guys to try and take advantage of.

Even in the new 52, Starfire had been written as a member of a team in “Red Hood and the Outlaws,” yet this series truly plays up the clueless, innocent princess trope. To be fair, I never got to finish the “Red Hood and the Outlaws” series – I was far too frustrated to continue after issue #15 – but to jump from that to this seems far fetched even for comics.  Unless they reset the universe…again.

Consistently Kori is treated like a piece of meat by men in the comic, who fight over her and make sexual advances while she is none the wiser. She is treated as a cute object of lust, despite being the main character.

Starfire wears very little, though the costume is an improvement from ones she has had in the past. The given justification of the costume is that the character gains her powers from the sun and therefore must expose herself to it. However, this defense is weak at best when there are male characters who also gain their power from the sun (ex. Superman) and still manage to be fully clothed.

In addition to this, Starfire seems to randomly seek out physical attention for no advancement of the plot. For example, in the very first issue, she is seen speaking to a man, then two panels later she’s kissing him. Also in the first issue there is an unnecessary shower scene with a full page length panel of Kori completely nude save some conveniently placed suds. It’s one thing to be free and confident in ones appearance and sexuality, but scenes like that are effectively useless to the plot except to further the characterization of Starfire as a sexy dope.

Beautiful art, beautiful emotion. It's almost enough to make me keep reading. But not really.
Beautiful art, beautiful emotion. It’s almost enough to make me keep reading. But not really.

The only redeeming quality to the series is that the (only) other female supporting character, Sheriff Stella Gomez, is immediately established as a capable character with personality and intelligence. She plays the part of handler for Kori, reining the alien princess in when she makes a mistake and guiding her through the everyday aspects of human life.

It should be noted that the art for the comic – done by Emanuella Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy – is indeed beautiful.  Faces are detailed and consistent, portraying emotions well.  Proportions are good and, despite the comic itself, Kori’s boobs aren’t drawn like vacuum sealed fruit.  So the comic also has that going for it as well.

Despite the strength of Sheriff Gomez as a character and the lovely art, this comic is sexist, insulting, and at best induces an eye roll. I’m fairly certain the tone of the comic was supposed to be silly and funny, but they failed at that as well.

Someone who read the series to date, please tell me it gets better…

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