For the first time in her 35 year history, Princess Koriand’r of Tamaran AKA Starfire is the star of her own on-going solo title from the Harley Quinn creative team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.

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Starfire #1 by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Emanuella Lupacchino

The first issue of Starfire kicks off right where DC’s 8-page preview tale left off, with Kori talking to the town sheriff in Key West, Florida. After giving the Sheriff, named Stella, a brief synopsis of her life story, Starfire tells her she wants to live like a normal human. Feeling for her, and perhaps moreso realizing the dangerous extent of Kory’s powers, the sheriff agrees to help Kory get her life in order.

The two set off into town to find Kory somewhere to live and work, all the while bonding. First they go to a pawn shop where Kory sells some jewels she’d accumulated during her space travels, setting her up with some pocket money. Next they go to lunch, where Kory uses a starbolt to defuse a bar fight between two guys who were hitting on her, much to the sheriff’s amusement. After buying Kory some slightly less revealing clothes, the sheriff brings her to a trailer park and assists her with moving in. The sheriff then leaves due to an oncoming weather emergency, warnings of which had been spread throughout the issue so far.

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As the night goes on, the sheriff begins preparing as her coast guard brother has informed her that the storm has evolved into a hurricane. She begins evacuating the island, but the storm strikes quickly. Meanwhile Kory ingratiates herself to her new neighbor and her grandson by finding their pet parrot. The three barricade themselves in their trailer as the storm starts, but the issue ends with the mobile home’s door being ripped off by the storm.

Starfire #1 is a very interesting comic book, in both concept and execution. Conner and Palmiotti have taken the structure and style they use in their Harley Quinn book (short vignettes and set-pieces set up by a caption as opposed to a normal flowing plot) and applied it to Starfire. Using this style, they tell a very non-superheroic tail. Instead of focusing on any type of villain or antagonist, the story focuses on world building. Kory’s new status quo, environment, and supporting cast are introduced through a simple day in the life format. This allows the Kory character to truly become grounded in humanity, a trait the character had been sorely lacking in the New 52.STARF-1-6-00c1b

The writers’ characterization of Starfire is at once familiar and different than any that’s been seen before. It combines the naiveté about humanity seen in the New 52 version, the warm caring spirit of the classic New Teen Titans characterization, and the joyous, bright, and overly emotional disposition of the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon version into one character. This creates a lovable and fun character to read, without over-sexualizing her or dumbing her down as happened in the early days of the New 52. The standout character scene in the book for me is occurs early on, as Kory and Stella are traveling her patrol car. Stella lightly reveals in conversation that she’s named after her late grandmother, and Kory breaks down in tears, leading to Stella breaking down in tears and a nice bonding moment for the two. The book even makes a comical meta-commentary on the early New 52 controversy during Kory and Stella’s clothes shopping trip. The standout character scene in the book for me is occurs early on, as Kory and Stella are traveling in her patrol car.

Artistically, the book is strong. Emanuela Lupacchino’s pencils perfectly compliment the light and bouncy feel of the book, and they effectively communicate the comedy elements of the book.

Starfire #1 is a smashing, if surprising, success. I was initially sceptical of the book using a similar vignette style to Harley Quinn, but Conner and Palmiotti have pulled it off swimmingly and left me wanting more.

Starfire #1: A

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