Starro

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Starro
Brave bold 28.jpg
Starro as seen in Brave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960).
Art by Mike Sekowsky.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBrave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960)
Created byGardner Fox
In-story information
Alter egoStarro
SpeciesAlien
Place of originStar Planet
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
 
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Starro
Brave bold 28.jpg
Starro as seen in Brave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960).
Art by Mike Sekowsky.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBrave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960)
Created byGardner Fox
In-story information
Alter egoStarro
SpeciesAlien
Place of originStar Planet
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains

Starro (a.k.a. Starro the Conqueror) is a fictional supervillain that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Brave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960), and was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky.

Starro is the first villain to face the original Justice League of America. Debuting in the Silver Age of Comic Books, the character has appeared in both comic books and other DC Comics-related products such as animated television series; and trading cards.

Publication history[edit]

The character debuted in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb.-March 1960) in a story called "Starro the Conqueror", which was also the first appearance of the Justice League of America. Starro reappeared in an 11-page Aquaman story in Adventure Comics #451 (May–June 1977) and a two-part story in Justice League of America #189–190 (April–May 1981).

The character returned in an alternate universe story in Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew #1 (March 1982) and appeared briefly in Crisis on Infinite Earths #9 (Dec. 1985).

In the post-Crisis DC universe, Starro appeared in a five-part story in Justice League Europe #24–28 (March–July 1991) and was revamped and reintroduced in JLA Secret Files #1 (Sept. 1997) and JLA #22–23 (Sept. – Oct. 1998). Another version featured in the intercompany crossover JLA/Avengers #1–4 (Sept. 2003 – May 2004); Teen Titans vol. 3, #51–54 (Nov. 2007 – Feb. 2008) and Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps: Secret Files #1 (Feb. 2008) and Booster Gold #13–14 (Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009).

A humanoid version starred in a 13-issue story arc in R.E.B.E.L.S #1–13 (April 2009 – April 2010) and a special "origin" issue in R.E.B.E.L.S Annual #1 (Dec. 2009).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Starro is an intelligent alien lifeform resembling a giant starfish with a central eye and prehensile extremities. In his first appearance, Starro came to Earth and gave his powers to three starfish. One stole and exploded an atom bomb, then absorbed its energy; another kidnapped scientists to absorb their brain power; the last placed the residents of Happy Harbor and Rhode Island under its mental control. The heroes Aquaman, the Flash, Hal Jordan, Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman teamed up to defeat the alien, after defeating his three accomplices. Starro was defeated by coating him with quicklime, which nullified his abilities.[1] A segment of that Starro survived, and regenerated into a complete creature, but was stopped by Aquaman before he was able to renew his plan of conquest.[2]

Starro reappeared to threaten Earth again, having once more regenerated from a small piece of his former body. He took mental control of a young boy who found him while fishing, and subsequently dominated the boy's family, who fed him enough to regenerate his full starfish anatomy. Starro forced them to transport him to New York, where he displayed for the first time his ability to asexually spawn millions of miniature duplicate "spores" of himself, which attach to the faces of humans and render them under his mental control. Starro used these starfish spores to control several members of the Justice League while enslaving the entire population of New York, but was defeated with extreme cold before he could carry his plan to spread his spores across the planet.[3]

When Superman investigates a strange phenomenon causing the citizens of Metropolis to begin acting like apes, he is accidentally transported to an alternate universe and arrives on the parallel Earth called Earth-C. Meeting sentient animals called Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, Superman aids the animal heroes to defeat Starro, who is based on the Earth-C universe's planet Pluto. Superman then takes the defeated Starro back to their original universe.[4]

In a later appearance, Starro convinces Justice League Europe that he is dying and wishes to return to space. Aided by ex-Green Lantern Kilowog, Starro returns to his original ship, which, once repaired, is launched out of Earth's atmosphere. Starro, however, betrays the Justice League when he programs the vessel to explode, freeing Starro from his large body and releasing thousands of his smaller "spore" versions over Western Europe. Assuming control of thousands of humans, Starro seizes power, with several members of Justice League Europe opposing the alien. The team suffers a setback when Starro takes control of the Martian Manhunter, although Starro is finally defeated when Justice League member Ice freezes the original creature.[5]

During the Infinite Crisis, Starro appears as a member of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains.[6]

Starro returns to Earth-C (now called Earth-26) to spark a conflict between aquatic and terran creatures. Despite the efforts of the Zoo Crew, Starro floods the planet and defeats the team. They are then transported off world with the surviving refugees by another animal team, Just'a Lotta Animals. Zoo Crew member Pig Iron apparently sacrifices himself and battles Starro underwater as they escape.[7]

Starro reappears in the Titans Tomorrow storyline as a member of the Sinestro Corps, wielding five power rings and controlling several supervillains. He is destroyed again by a future version of the Flash (although he points out that Starro will eventually regrow again).[8]

In post-Infinite Crisis DC continuity, it was retroactively established that Starro belonged to an entire race of parasites that travel around the universe conquering planets with "motherstars" releasing spores to take mental control of a population. When one such motherstar arrived on the planet Hatorei and enslaved its psychically gifted native humanoids, the race's sole surviving boy manages to take control of an infant starro queen which fuses to his chest, thus empowering him to mentally dominate her entire parasitic race, assuming the name "Starro the Conqueror", himself. Empowered by a huge army of drone soldiers taken from conquered worlds and controlled by starro spores, and led by an elite guard who retain their free will including Astrild Storm-Daughter and Smite, this starfish-fused-humanoid "Starro" conquers entire galaxies and derives power from all those mentally linked by his spores.[9] It was thus retconned that the originally-established Starro who had faced Earth's superheroes several times was merely a "probe" dispatched by this humanoid conqueror.[10]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), Starro appears on the cover of the book titled "Justice League: Gods Among Men" written by David Graves after Darkseid's invasion that introduces the team as the Justice League. The cover is an homage to the classic Brave and the Bold #28 but replacing it with the current incarnation of the League. [11] In Forever Evil a Human possessed Starro is among the villains recruited in the Secret Society.[12]

Other versions[edit]

"It, the Star Conqueror"[edit]

Referring to itself only as "It", a different version of Starro with green skin and a slit pupil takes control of the Flash and the population of Blue Valley using so-called "face-huggers" virtually identical to Starro's spores. Although the JLA intend to intervene, they are advised against doing so by the Spectre, who reveals the alien's intention is to capture and control the heroes and use them to form an army to conquer the galaxy. The JLA request the Spectre temporarily remove their powers—thus eliminating the potential threat they might pose if the plan goes wrong—allowing them to distract "It" while Batman sneaks past "It"'s defences—designed for superhumans rather than normal humans—and disables it with extreme cold.[13] This Starro-like green "It" creature later returns and is revealed to be a scout for several huge versions of the creature, collectively called the "Star Conqueror". Covering entire continents with its giant starfish bodies, "It" psychically enslaves the human race as they sleep. Dream of the Endless aids the JLA, with several members battling the alien in the dreamworld. Another small team of the JLA distract "It" by attacking its physical form. Assisted by a homeless man resisting "It"'s control, the heroes free mankind from the alien's influence. Dream captures the giant "It"s and store the aliens with his other keepsakes.[14] The name "Starro" is never used in this storyline, nor is any connection acknowledged apart from one fleeting reference by the Flash to reading a file that an older incarnation of the JLA had battled "similar creatures" in the past, yet oddly even those characters who were present for said confrontations such as Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Batman and Superman do not make note of any similarity between "It" and Starro. When dissecting one of "It"'s spore-like "face-huggers", Batman discovers that they are "some kind of parasitical machine", with circuitry inside its fleshy outer surface,[15] something inconsistent with the wholly organic Starro.

JLA/Avengers[edit]

In the DC/Marvel Comics crossover JLA/Avengers, another version of Starro battles the alternate universe superhero team the Avengers, when the villain Krona briefly merges two universes, causing various intruders from each universe to appear in the other. Starro appears over New York City in the Marvel Universe, and brainwashes thousands of people, including Avengers team members Quicksilver, She-Hulk, Yellowjacket, Triathlon, and Thor. Quicksilver is set free by the Scarlet Witch and Ms. Marvel, and after explaining that Starro desires order, the Vision comes up with the idea of placing a starfish spawn on the Scarlet Witch's face, which causes Starro to flee when it finds itself unable to cope with her chaos magic.[16]

Future version[edit]

A future version of Starro mentally enthralls the Time Master Rip Hunter, using his time-travelling technology to retroactively conquer Earth. Booster Gold successfully undoes Starro's action, and the creature is also foiled in the future with the assistance of the villain Lady Chronos.[17]

Tiny Titans[edit]

When Aqualad and Lagoon Boy go to "underwater pet club", many Starros are shown to be the "pets" of Star-Spangled Kid. He offers them one, which they decline from, and tells them, "He really likes to be worn on your face". When the rest of the club puts Starros on their faces, Lagoon Boy and Aqualad leave. [18]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Starro is an alien and resembles a giant terran starfish. An asexual creature, Starro is capable of generating clones that act in accordance with the original's will. The clones are parasites by nature, and can attach themselves to a humanoid's face, and subsequently take control of the host's central nervous system, thereby controlling the host. Control of the host is lost once removed from the victim.

The creature is also capable of energy projection; flight; changing colour and has a high degree of invulnerability.

The humanoid "Starro the Conqueror" possesses telepathy great enough to control the Starro alien race, and strength drawn from the victims of the Starro probes.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Packaging[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb.-March 1960)
  2. ^ Adventure Comics #451 (May–June 1977)
  3. ^ Justice League of America #189–190 (April–May 1981)
  4. ^ Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew #1 (March 1982)
  5. ^ Justice League Europe #24–28 (March–July 1991)
  6. ^ Infinite Crisis #7
  7. ^ Captain Carrot and the Final Ark (Oct. 2007)
  8. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3, #51–54 (Nov. 2007 – Feb. 2008); Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps: Secret Files (Feb. 2008)
  9. ^ R.E.B.E.L.S #1–13 (April 2009 – April 2010)
  10. ^ R.E.B.E.L.S Annual #1 (Dec. 2009)
  11. ^ Justice League #9
  12. ^ Forever Evil Vol 1 #1 (November 2013)
  13. ^ JLA Secret Files #1 (Sept. 1997)
  14. ^ JLA #22–23 (Sept. – Oct. 1998)
  15. ^ JLA #23 (Oct. 1998)
  16. ^ JLA/Avengers #1–4 (Sept. 2003 – May 2004)
  17. ^ Booster Gold #13–14 (Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009)
  18. ^ "Tiny Titans"
  19. ^ http://thefwoosh.com/2010/09/comic-con-conversation-mattels-frank-varela-part-i