In desperate political and social times for the female population of our country, we need support from voices greater than our own. Those voices are not only from real, inspiring women, but also from mainstream entertainment media as well. DC Entertainment can be one of those voices by giving Princess Koriand’r (AKA Starfire) her own series again. She’s the feminist icon our community needs with her positive outlook on sexual freedom, experience in dealing with corrupt politics, standing up for what’s right, and being an extremely powerful woman with a strong sense of morality.

From the Beginning

Koriand’r is an alien from the planet Tamaran with the power to absorb UV radiation. The solar energy grants her enhanced strength, speed, durability, flight, and eventually the ability to project energy blasts called “starbolts.” Kori grew up with a bitter older sister named Komand’r (AKA Blackfire). As an infant, Blackfire contracted a disease that prevented her from absorbing solar energy. The worst part is that, due to her illness, Blackfire cannot be the queen of Tamaran.

When the sisters go to train with Warlords of Okaara, the tension between reaches a breaking point once Blackfire attempts to kill Starfire. As a result, Komand’r was expelled from the program. Blackfire exercises her revenge by betraying her home planet. She reveals information on Tamaran’s defenses to the Citadel, their greatest enemy.

With Tamaran overtaken, Koriand’r ends up a slave thank to her own sister (in STARFIRE, Komand’r surrenders to the Citadel and in order to save Tamaran, leading to her enslavement). As a member of the Citadel tortures her, Kori ends up killing one of her captors. As punishment, Blackfire wants her sister executed. However, before she gets the chance, a race known as the Psions captures them both. The Psions are alien scientists, who experiment on Starfire and Blackfire. Said experiments are what grant Koriand’r her starbolts and restore Blackfire’s ability to absorb ultraviolet energy. Although Komand’r flees, Kori doesn’t receive her sister’s good fortune. However, Kori later manages to escape to Earth, where she joins the Teen Titans.

Starfire And Her Relationships

Starfire is notable for having multiple partners throughout her life. She’s been married twice to two different Tamaranean men. The first being Prince Karras. Kori marries him as part of a peace treaty, but he later dies in battle. The second was General Phy’zzon, whom she was actually in love with. Phy’zzon also perishes in combat.

Starfire’s found her first real relationship on Earth with Dick Grayson. Their courtship was an odd one. They’re known to have a deep physical desire for one another, but there seems to be very little emotional connection between the two despite almost marrying each other. After a battle against the Sons of Trigon in TITANS TOGETHER, Starfire questions if Dick rushed into marriage with her. During the New 52, we see Kori asking Dick if he loves her for the long term, which he answers with a “no.” What’s interesting though is, in KINGDOM COME, Starfire and Dick actually have a child: Mar’i Grayson (AKA Nightstar).

During the New 52 RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS series, Starfire partners with Jason Todd (AKA Red Hood) and Roy Harper (AKA Arsenal). In this series, Kori attempts a romantic relationship with Jason, but they decide to just be friends. Roy and Kori have sex and then end up together, but are forcefully driven apart when she returns to Tamaran.

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STARFIRE #40 page 19. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Starfire’s Positive Outlook on Sexuality

Starfire isn’t afraid to show her body to the world. In most adaptations, she chooses to wear revealing clothing. In STARFIRE we learn that her skin is highly durable, which means she doesn’t need a ton of protective gear. Throughout, she’s known to be comfortable in her own skin. From a feminist perspective, you can see this as promoting body positivity.

In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1, we jump right into Starfire’s sexual desires and how Tamaraneans view romance. Starfire tells Jason that Tamaraneans don’t view humans as more than sights smells. Basically, humans have no value in her eyes. However, we later learn that Tamaraneans can have deep emotional connections.

In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #1 Starfire and Jason have already had sex; however, she casually asks Roy if he wants to sleep with her. At first, Roy thinks Starfire and Jason are an item. Kori quickly shuts the idea down by saying: “I am free to do what I want when I want.” Starfire, in this case, shows female readers that being sexually open is natural and should be accepted. Although this series wasn’t well-received, the idea behind this scene can still be seen as empowering in the proper light.

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STARFIRE #5 page 15. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

She’s A Badass Feminist Character

Starfire shows true strength and individualism throughout RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS. In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #4 and #5, Starfire fights Crux, a villain who wants her dead just for being Tamaranean. During the battle, her powers weaken. Roy comes to her aid, but not in the cliché, damsel-in-distress kind of way. Roy and Jason believe Starfire can take care of herself. They wait for her to return when she can, not worried about her safety. In RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #6, we see how Red Hood and Starfire first met. This issue shows Kori tending to an injured Jason, implying that she saved his life. With Starfire having saved Red Hood, she demonstrates that it’s not just men who can be saviors.

The best example of Starfire’s strength, individualism, leadership, and feminist qualities is in RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #12 where she and Blackfire makeup and go to war for Tamaran, leaving Roy and Jason behind. Normally, it’s the men who go off and take part in the most dangerous battles; yet not in this series. Starfire and Blackfire both show that women can stand up for themselves without needing the help of men.

Starfire As A Figurehead For Young Women

As explained in all the points above, Starfire exemplifies characteristics of an inspirational woman. With her views on sexuality, love, and her general personality all radiate positivity. Even though Starfire is fictional, she can still teach women how to be strong, love ourselves, love who we want to, and do what we want to without shame. These are just some of the reasons why our beloved Tamaranean princess needs a new solo series, especially in these dark social times where white men in power can apparently get away with anything.

Love Kori? Be sure to also read her original standalone series STARFIRE to see our princess kick ass!

3 Comments

  1. Casey

    November 9, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I would like there to include a couple other large parts of her story. She was basically a victim of human trafficking (which would be a great cause to draw attention to and raise awareness on right now.) Despite the trauma, she stayed strong and overcame, and has now chosen to help others. An incredible message to young girls who may have gone through some sort of trauma or hardship, she does not see herself as flawed. Not to mention in the cartoon and 80s comic, her ability to be emotional and act without shame in her sensitivity is also so empowering. Girls ,-people- shouldn’t be ashamed of their emotions. The fact that she’s an alien is also a great way to reach the kids who may feel they don’t fit in too well and feel alone in that.

    Ugh how I would love to write a Starfire series. Or Mari series. Either way.

    Reply

  2. Damien Algire

    Damien Algire

    October 16, 2018 at 9:27 am

    This version of Starfire was an insult to the character and her creators.

    Reply

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