I’ve been trying a number of the new DC #1s, particularly the ones promising something other than the usual legacy white male hero, but I’ve found some of them unsatisfying. Too many of them are prologue, trying to establish a setup but not giving an accurate taste of what the actual series will be about. Not every #1 has to be an origin issue (or, like Prez, the first half of an origin). A #1 should make me want to come back for more by showing me what the actual series will be like.
That’s why I liked Starfire. It jumps right into its “fish out of water” premise, as the alien princess Kori wants to find a job and a place to live, helped by Sheriff Stella Gomez. I thought the story started somewhat abruptly, until I found out (thanks, Panels) that there was an 8-page digital prologue that establishes Starfire moving to Key West. (The existence of the lead-in should have been mentioned in the comic. However, the sneak peek features a whole bunch of characters — I’m presuming they’re the Outlaws from her former title — I don’t know, so maybe better not to confuse the new readers too quickly.)
Starfire is written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino, and inked by Ray McCarthy. This isn’t the first time Conner and Palmiotti have done this premise; Terra, created in 2007, allowed for a similar take as an alien learning about earth with humor along the way. But since I liked it then, I like it now.
Treating the “big orange Supergirl”, as Gomez tags her, light-heartedly and with a sense of fun helps in lot in redeeming the character from what others have made her in the past (in short, a fantasy pin-up). Her innocence, particularly when it comes to sarcasm and figures of speech, makes for old-fashioned but entertaining humor. I especially like her illustrated thought balloons.
The premise, that Kori is tired of the “superhero game”, matches my feelings, so it’s a pleasure to see her get to use her powers in non-traditional ways — defending herself, getting a better view for the sunset, or rescuing a pet. More is promised, since as happens in Florida, there’s a big storm coming. I’ll be back next issue to see how she handles it. I like this humorous take on a superhero trying to build a life for herself that suits her personality.
This is one of just two “DC You” #1s that I picked up (interestingly enough, the other one is Prez). I’m still on the fence, but it was a fun read, and I’m definitely picking up the second issue to see how it goes. I particularly liked the way they tried to meld the comic and animated versions of her personality into someone who would be recognized by fans of either medium.
I also wondered about the abruptness of the opening. I totally forgot about the prologue, so I’ll have to check that out when I have a chance.
That’s a great observation, that this take on the character is likely more welcoming to cartoon viewers.