With us starting a brand new year it is a good time to take a look at how 2022 can be an even better year for the comic book industry. There are particular things that both Marvel and DC Comics can do to strengthen their respective brands. Whether its elevating characters, better marketing, and other publishing efforts that can all make the comic book industry stronger. With that said I’ll be take a look at different things that can be done by Marvel and DC Comics. To kick things off I am going to call out DC Comics to finally make 2022 where they make Starfire one of their breakout characters.
When it comes to the DC Comics brand there are few as well known as Starfire for many generations. She was a key part in what many believe is one of greatest creative team runs in DC Comics history with Marv Wolfman and George Perez legendary run on Teen Titans. It could even be argued that thanks to her appearance in the Teen Titans animated series, Teen Titans Go, and Titans live-action show Starfire has as much mainstream cache as anyone outside the Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman Family.
But when it comes to the comic books DC Comics has never rarely given Starfire a chance to breakout as an individual character. The only times she got that chance was in her one only ongoing series in 2015 by Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner that lasted 12 issues and co-leading the Justice League Odyssey team with Cyborg towards the end of the New 52/Rebirth Era of DC Comics. Both these comics were excellent examples of how Starfire can be a character that could help strengthen DC Comics catalogue of bankable superheroes.
Unfortunately, more often than not Starfire’s character has been reduced to being one of two things. The first, and most prominent, is her on-again-off-again, friends with benefits relationship she has had with Dick Grayson. The second, while less featured in recent years, is her forever rivalry with her sister Blackfire. Even when given the chance to be in a higher position as the current headmaster of the Teen Titans Academy most of the focus on that current series for her character has been the state of her relationship with Dick Grayson.
Not all hope is lost with what possibilities there are with Starfire as we saw in Teen Titans Academy #8 that when asked about Nightwing by Wally West Starfire showed she is done talking about that relationship. It’s a small moment in the grand scheme of things but is important to Starfire’s character. It at least showed that she even recognizes that she and Nightwing are in one big repetitive cycle
One of the moments that stood out from Starfire’s ongoing series in 2015 was in issue #8 when she said goodbye to Dick Grayson she thought to herself “In order for me to establish my new life, I must stop looking back and move forward.” Now this is a direct reference to at the time Dick Grayson’s super spy period but also being Nightwing and protecting Bludhaven over the years. But the quote is more than just about one part of her life she has had.
This quote I found important for Starfire’s character as it also spoke to a lot of what her character has been reduced to since debuting. She has spent the majority of her history looking back or just staying being known as a Titan. Even when creative teams try to do something new with her character she just never can break free from staying stationary like her contemporaries in Nightwing, Wally West, and Cyborg have been able to do.
This is something that could all be easily remedied for Starfire’s character. Because Starfire is a prominent DC Comics character that has ties to the greater cosmic side of the DC Universe. Her background as former Crown Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran and a tortured past already gives her ties that could explore the cosmic side of the DCU from another perspective. Which is very much needed since we only ever get to see how DCU’s cosmic side normally operates from the Green Lantern and New Gods perspective.
Starfire, as she showed in Justice League Odyssey, brings forth a new way to explore various planets beyond Earth. From her appearance during the New Krypton event that Starfire is one of the characters that can fight on par with Kryptonians. So we know she has great potential to be a powerful figure if allowed to graduate from being a Teen Titan.
DC Comics has shown the ability to elevate characters that have been around a long time, as shown when they did just that with Cyborg and Harley Quinn during the New 52/Rebirth Era. With how DC Comics is spending time exploring the greater cosmic side of their universe Starfire is perfect fit in helping strengthen this publishing effort. There is so much untapped potential already there. And with her being prominently featured in Teen Titans Go and Titans live-action the fans are there for more Starfire content.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content visit our Facebook page, Twitter feed and Instagram. You can catch up with all of Kevin’s thoughts about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter. You can also watch the fun and silly videos Kevin is making over on his TikTok.