Starro

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Starro
Brave bold 28.jpg
Starro as seen on the cover of Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb. – March 1960). Art by Mike Sekowsky.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBrave and the Bold #28 (February–March 1960)
Created byGardner Fox
Mike Sekowsky
In-story information
Alter egoStarro
SpeciesStar Conqueror
Place of originStar Planet
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Sinestro Corps
Notable aliasesIt, Starro Spores, Starro Conquerors, Mother Starro
AbilitiesAll versions
  • Mind Control
  • Bio-Fission
  • Size-alteration
  • Energy Absorption & Projection
  • Color Shifting
  • Regeneration

Giant Versions
Sinestro corpsmen
Wears 5 yellow rings

  • Subliminal Messaging
  • Interstellar Flight
  • Mass Consciousness
  • Similarity Manipulation
  • Invulnerability
  • Terra-forming

Humanoid/Jarro Version

  • Mass consciousness
  • Telepathy
  • Superhuman Strength, Endurance, Invulnerability, Longevity, Psionic Empowerment
  • Flight
  • Generation and Conversion of Starro spores

Starro (also known as 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.[1]

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 video games. Starro is set to be the villain of the upcoming DC Extended Universe film The Suicide Squad.

Publication history[edit]

Interior artwork from JLA Secret Files and Origins vol. 1, 1 (September 1997 DC Comics)

The character debuted in The Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb.-March 1960) in a story titled "Starro the Conqueror", which was also the first appearance of the Justice League of America.[2] According to editor Julius Schwartz, the title “Starro the Conqueror" was inspired by a Ray Cummings story, "Tarrano the Conqueror".[3][4] The second appearance of Starro was an 11-page Aquaman story in Adventure Comics #451 (May–June 1977), later a third appearance in 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 and 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).

In post-Infinite Crisis DC continuity, the character appeared in R.E.B.E.L.S #1–13 (April 2009 – April 2010) and R.E.B.E.L.S Annual #1 (Dec. 2009). Another version appears in Forever Evil #1 (Nov. 2013). and a version called a "Genetically Modified Starro" appeared in New Super-Man #4 in 2016.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Starro is an intelligent alien lifeform resembling a giant starfish with a central eye and prehensile extremities. The entity visited Earth and empowered three starfish, the creatures wreaking havoc (exploding an atom bomb and absorbing its energy; kidnapping scientists and absorbing their brain power and placing the residents of Happy Harbor and Rhode Island under mental control) until stopped by heroes Aquaman, Flash (Barry Allen), Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Martian Manhunter, and Wonder Woman. Starro was defeated by coating it with quicklime, which nullified the entity's abilities.[5][6] A segment of that Starro survived, and regenerated into a complete creature, but was stopped by Aquaman before being able to renew its plan of conquest.[7]

Starro eventually reappeared, and forced humans to nurture it until it was able to assume its former proportions. Being able to asexually spawn, Starro created millions of miniature duplicate "spores" of itself, which attached to the faces of the entire population of New York and rendered them under his mental control. Starro used these spores to control several members of the Justice League until defeated by extreme cold.[8] 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 superpowered animals called Captain Carrot and his Amazing Zoo Crew, Superman aids the animal heroes to defeat Starro, who has established a base on the Earth-C universe's version of the planet Pluto. Superman then takes the defeated Starro back to his universe.[9]

Starro later convinces Justice League Europe that it 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 it programs the vessel to explode, freeing Starro from its body and releasing thousands of 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. Starro is finally defeated when Justice League member Ice freezes the original creature.[10]

Referring to itself only as "It", a different version of Starro takes control of the Flash (Wally West) and the population of Blue Valley using spores. Although the JLA intend to intervene, they are advised against doing so by the Spectre (Hal Jordan), 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 may pose—allowing them to distract the entity while Batman disables it with extreme cold.[11] This version returns and is revealed to be a scout for a huge version of the creature called the "Star Conqueror". Covering Europe with its body, the entity psychically enslaves the human race while they sleep. Dream of the Endless aids the JLA, with several members battling the entity in the dreamworld whilst another small team is attacking its physical form. Assisted by a homeless man resisting the entity's control, the heroes free mankind from the alien's influence. Dream captures the Star Conqueror and stores the entity with his other keepsakes.[12]

In the DC/Marvel Comics crossover JLA/Avengers, Starro battles the alternate universe superhero team the Avengers.[13]

During the Infinite Crisis, Starro appears as a member of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains.[14] Starro eventually returns to Earth-C (now called Earth-26) to spark a conflict between aquatic and terrestrial 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.[15] Starro reappears as a member of the Sinestro Corps, wielding five power rings and controlling several supervillains. The entity is destroyed by a future version of the Flash (Bart Allen).[16]

It is eventually revealed that Starro belonged to a race of parasites that conquered planets with "motherstars" that released spores to take mental control of a population. When a motherstar arrived on the planet Hatorei and enslaved its psychically gifted native humanoids, a sole survivor takes control of an infant Starro queen, allowing him to mentally dominate the entire parasitic race. Assuming the name "Starro the Conqueror" the being is empowered by a huge army of drone soldiers controlled by spores, allowing him to conquer entire galaxies.[17] A human possessed by Starro is later seen amongst the villains recruited in the Secret Society.[18]

Jarro[edit]

The Prime Earth version of Starro is recruited to join Team Mystery[19] to protect the universe against the Omega Titans. Convinced of the virtues of heroism by his teammate Martian Manhunter, Starro dies in battle with the Omega Titans.[20]

Batman preserves a tissue sample which grows into a new individual who Batman dubs 'Jarro',[21] raising him as a son and even taking him on as a new Robin (in his dreams).[22]

Other versions[edit]

"Dark Nights: Death Metal"[edit]

In the recesses of the Dark Multiverse there was a Batman who was subsumed into the army of Starro the Conqueror, yet he overtook the villains' motherstar and became an overlord of the Star Conquerors himself. In the radical reformation of the Prime Earth continuity, a Valley of the Starros takes place on its vast terrains, which is in fact a mass coalition of Starro spores both titanic and microscopic living on the back of a gigantic Mother Star Conqueror.[23]

Future version[edit]

A future version of Starro mentally enthralls the Time Master Rip Hunter, using his time-travelling technology to retroactively conquer Earth. With the assistance of the villain Lady Chronos, hero Booster Gold is able to restore the timeline.[24]

"Titans Tomorrow"[edit]

At another point in a future time, a giant Starro spore had been indoctrinated into the Sinestro Corps, wielding five yellow power rings and hosting a number of supervillains pertaining to Livewire, Prometheus and Brimstone among others opposing the "Titans Tomorrows" past counterparts.[25]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Starro is an alien amalgamate conqueror with both a humanoid central mind commanding spores that resemble either giant or small terran starfish. An asexual creature, Starro's spores are 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. Originally the first Starro could transform two earthen starfish into duplicates of itself equal to it in size and power.[26]

Both variants of the parasite are capable of energy absorption/projection; flight; changing color and self regeneration while the larger ones have a high degree of invulnerability as well as Telepathy; the giant Starro possessing much more potent mental capabilities being able to indirectly influence the minds of a potential host race, capable of lulling countless people into an induced slumber and accessing their thoughts via dreams.[27] While another of the original Star Conquerors possessed psychic abilities powerful enough to overwhelm and circumvent the willpower of Hal Jordan to prevent access to his Lantern Ring's abilities.[28] Their size can also vary from being as big as city blocks to larger than a small planetary ocean body, in which case said Starro probe can radically alter the very climate, topography and geography within their vicinity akin to terraforming. A future Starr Conqueror spore eventually comes to weaponize 5 Qwardian power rings on each of its pointed tentacles, the ring can create objects based on the wielder's thoughts but only those fueled by fear instead of willpower. Given the difficulty in their usage, the Starro's capacity to use five at once indicates a mastery of the fear element and its usage in battle, as shown when he personally went up against multiple iterations of titans all at once.[29] The latest version of the Star Conqueror shows how to use its parthenogenesic capabilities to breed microscopic clones of itself, which can be inhaled by potential victims, serving as a catalyst to affect the giant iteration's telepathic abilities.[30]

The humanoid "Starro the Conqueror" possesses telepathy strong enough to control the entire Starro alien race, and possesses immeasurable levels of physical resilience further bolstered by the energies drawn from the victims of his Starro probes. Being physically strong enough to behead the all but invulnerable Despero in single combat, Starro the Conqueror is all but impervious to physical harm much like his larger Starro clones; also akin to said spores the humanoid Starro can reproduce its own Starro clones from the mother Starro on his chest; a unique power of his own making is the ability to convert normal Earth-based starfish into Starro-based spores.

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

  • Starro appeared in an episode of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure animated series.
  • Starro appeared in series set in the DC Animated Universe.
    • Starro made a cameo appearance in the Superman: The Animated Series two-part episode "The Main Man" as one of several creatures held in the Galactic Preserver's private zoo. After Superman and Lobo defeat the Preserver, the former takes the creatures to new habitats in the Fortress of Solitude.
    • Starro appears in the Batman Beyond two-part episode "The Call", voiced by Christopher McDonald via Superman. While in captivity, the alien spent years plotting to take over Earth. After ambushing and taking control of Superman while he was tending its habitat, Starro spent the next several years covertly sabotaging and taking control of the Justice League. However, the alien is foiled by Batman before Aquagirl and Big Barda send Starro back to its home planet.
  • Starro appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson (original form) and by Dee Bradley Baker (Starro Titan). Throughout the episodes "Revenge of the Reach!", "Clash of the Metal Men!", and "The Power of Shazam!", several Starro parasites came to Earth and take control of several of Earth's heroes while the alien's herald, the Faceless Hunter, eliminated anyone who Starro could not possess. In the two-part episode "The Siege of Starro!", the primary Starro launches an invasion with its thralls, but Batman, Booster Gold, Firestorm, B'wana Beast, and Captain Marvel join forces to defeat it and free their allies. In response, the Faceless Hunter kidnaps B'wana Beast and forces him to combine the Starro parasites into one giant Starro. After Batman defeats the Faceless Hunter, B'wana Beast sacrifices himself to separate the Starros.
  • While never named as such, Starro appears in the Young Justice animated series. In the episode "Downtime", Atlantean scientists discover the alien frozen in ice. Black Manta and a group of mercenaries attempt to steal Starro, but are thwarted by Aqualad and Garth. In retaliation, Black Manta destroys Starro before it can be thawed, but a small piece is later recovered and sent to S.T.A.R. Labs to be studied. In the episodes "Misplaced", "Insecurity", and "Usual Suspects", Sportsmaster and the Riddler steal the sample so Professor Ivo, the Brain and Klarion the Witch Boy can infuse with it with technology and magic so their sleeper agent Red Arrow can brainwash the Justice League on Vandal Savage's behalf. Before the Team eventually rescues the League, Savage has six Leaguers attack the planet Rimbor to remove them from Earth during the events of season two. In a flashback depicted in the third season episode "Evolution", several members of Starro's species attempted to attack Earth at the beginning of human history, only to be repelled by Savage. In the present, the Starros use an alien armada in another attempt to conquer Earth, but Savage joins forces with Darkseid to secretly destroy them, believing Earth's heroes could not do so.
  • Starro appears in the animated special Robot Chicken DC Comics Special 2: Villains in Paradise, voiced by Kevin Shinick. This version is a member of Lex Luthor's Legion of Doom. After being flushed by Captain Cold, Starro is exposed to radioactive sewage, returns as a giant, and fights the Justice League and Legion of Doom. Upon seeing the love between Superboy and Lena Luthor, Starro reconsiders massacring his opponents, but is killed by Batman riding a boat made by Green Lantern.
  • Starro appears in the animated series DC Super Hero Girls.

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Packaging[edit]

Starro is featured in Mattel's 2010 line at San Diego Comic-Con. The package (designed by Frank Varela) is a recreation of the original Brave and the Bold #28 cover and features a light and sound display, with each figure in the line possessing a recorded description by Kevin Conroy.[32]

Theme parks[edit]

Starro the Conqueror serves as the main antagonist of the Justice League: Alien Invasion 3D attraction at Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia. A shooting dark ride, the Starro spores possessing people serve as targets for guests to fire upon.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 286. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 328. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
  3. ^ Wells, John (2015). American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 17. ISBN 978-1605490458.
  4. ^ "Tarrano the Conqueror by Ray Cummings". Gutenberg.org. Retrieved October 10, 2019.
  5. ^ Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb.-March 1960)
  6. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  7. ^ Adventure Comics #451 (May–June 1977)
  8. ^ Justice League of America #189–190 (April–May 1981)
  9. ^ Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew #1 (March 1982)
  10. ^ Justice League Europe #24–28 (March–July 1991)
  11. ^ JLA Secret Files #1 (Sept. 1997)
  12. ^ JLA #22–23 (Sept. – Oct. 1998)
  13. ^ JLA/Avengers #1–4 (Sept. 2003 – May 2004)
  14. ^ Infinite Crisis #7 (June 2006)
  15. ^ Captain Carrot and the Final Ark (Oct. 2007)
  16. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3, #51–54 (Nov. 2007 – Feb. 2008); Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps: Secret Files (Feb. 2008)
  17. ^ R.E.B.E.L.S #1–13 (April 2009 – April 2010)
  18. ^ Forever Evil #1 (Nov. 2013)
  19. ^ DC Nation #0 (July 2018)
  20. ^ Justice League: No Justice #3 (July 2018)
  21. ^ Justice League #10 (December 2018)
  22. ^ Justice League #29 (October 2019)
  23. ^ Justice League #54-55 (Sept.-Oct 2020)
  24. ^ Booster Gold #13–14 (Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009)
  25. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #51-54
  26. ^ Brave and the Bold #28 (Feb.-March 1960)
  27. ^ JLA #22–23 (Sept. – Oct. 1998)
  28. ^ Dark Nights: Metal #4 (Feb. 2018)
  29. ^ Teen Titans vol. 3 #53
  30. ^ Justice League #55 (Oct 2020)
  31. ^ Freeman, Molly (March 26, 2021). "The Suicide Squad Trailer Reveals DC Villain Starro & Full Team". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  32. ^ "Comic Con Conversation – Mattel's Frank Varela Part I". The Fwoosh. Archived from the original on 2013-08-02.