You can't judge a book by its cover and apparently you shouldn't judge a character by their first "New 52" appearance. When RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS debuted, Starfire was the center of major controversy. Her purpose, intelligence and...recreational habits were all called into question. It's easy to jump to conclusion but often the best route would be to sit back and be wait to see what happens.
Starfire fans were outraged over the character parading around in a skimpy outfit, having no recollection of Dick Grayson (the love of her life), and for spending some casual time with Roy Harper. Characters don't always wear their hearts on their sleeves. While some of Kori's actions seemed extreme, there was the impression that we weren't being given all the facts. And with issue #6, it turns out that was indeed the case.
Some characters in "The New 52" have gone through some changes but Starfire hasn't completely changed as many feared. We've been seeing more characterization being built throughout these first six issues and the chances are we still haven't seen everything. This issue does give some insight into who Starfire really is. If you haven't read RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #6 yet, you should rush out and check it out because there will be some spoilers below.== TEASER ==
Starfire Has a Brain
Some of the outrage was over Starfire being portrayed as a bit of a bimbo. She seemed a little shallow and uncaring when it came to what was going on around her in the first issue. She followed Jason's instructions and had no concern over anything else. She later asked Roy if he wanted to sleep with her when Roy was under the impression she was "with" Jason. She also mentioned not having any recollection to her former teammates, including Dick Grayson.
What we see is she is intelligent. She manages to save Jason's lives, indicating she has some knowledge in first aid or even human physiology. She's running some heavy duty alien technology which also shows that she has to have an understanding of how it all works. She later shows quite a bit of insight into the way people and the world work.
No Need to Validate her Existence
Often heroes feel the need to prove themselves to the world. As much as Jason would hate to admit it, he's still under the shadow of Batman. We even see a flashback scene between Jason and Dick where Jason clearly felt he was competing with Dick in becoming the next Robin.
Starfire is happy with who she is. She doesn't need to explain herself to others. This can easily give the impression that she doesn't care or is unaware of what's going on. She simply has her priorities straight and doesn't worry what others think or have to say.
This also goes along with what she chooses to wear. She's not really known for wearing a lot of clothing and that's because of the customs from her planet. She wears what's comfortable. Knowing that it's different for humans, she offers Jason some clothing that upset him. He objected to wearing them but she told him that they were just clothes. They couldn't hurt him and shouldn't define who he is.
Starfire Still Cares For Dick Grayson
In the first issue Jason mentions that her race, the Tamaraneans, see humans as sights and smells. He also says they have short attention spans about "all things Earth." We get the idea that she has forgotten everything that happened before and everyone she knew. Dick Grayson was a huge part of her life and we were left wondering if she forgot all about him or didn't care about their past relationship.
On Starfire's ship, she still has several of Dick's outfits. She would have absolutely no need for them but chose not to get rid of them. She may not remember Dick's name but she hasn't forgotten what he meant to her. If the race simply can't hold memories when it comes to Earth things, the fact that she does still have memories of Dick says a lot.
Starfire Doesn't Live in the Past
Too often characters sit around and brood over past events. Starfire has chosen to live in the present. When she explains this to Jason, he replies that it sounds familiar to something Batman had told him about "some sort of Buddhist philosophy."
Because she doesn't get worked up over things that have already happened, that doesn't mean she's an idiot. That doesn't mean that she doesn't care. She didn't have the greatest childhood and her experiences would be enough to drive others down a dark road but that's not her way. Starfire has always remained a positive person.
Jason Wasn't Really "With" Starfire
In the first issue, when Roy sees that Starfire is Jason's back up, he asks if she's with them. Jason replies, "With us, yeah. But yeah, she's been 'with' me." This brought confusion to readers as later she sleeps Roy while Jason is in the next room.
It turns out, Jason and Starfire didn't sleep together. They spent the night talking. You could say they bonded in a way that goes beyond a simple physical act. Jason's words describes her perfectly:
We don't choose our teachers in life. Sometimes they are crazed vigilantes pretending to love us like a son...and other times they take the form of a space kitty who is smarter than anyone gives her credit for.
A Final Note: What About the Kiss?
That's one of the ways Tamaraneans assimilate language and knowledge. When Jason mentioned he wanted to talk, she assumed that would be a way.This isn't the first time she's done it. Way back in 1980's NEW TEEN TITANS #2, that's how she learns English. Too much shouldn't be read into it.
The bigger question is why was Dick protesting so much in assisting her in learning the language?