Five Revelations About Starfire From RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #6

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Posted by G-Man (30641 posts) - - Show Bio

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?

Staff
#1 Posted by Void_Paladin (901 posts) - - Show Bio

I actually really enjoyed this issue.

#2 Edited by Eonidas (9 posts) - - Show Bio

Does anyone else prefer the old Nightwing costume (especially in the flashback) over the new black and red one? Dick needs some blue.

#3 Posted by WildValentine (289 posts) - - Show Bio

Man, Jason's becoming less and less easy to hate. Scott Lobdell is really impressing me and making me feel for his character. His life no longer revolves around why Batman didn't avenge him, which is a bloody breakthrough.

#4 Posted by Ganthetsward20 (687 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eonidas: I like the red costume that dick is wearing-

#5 Posted by Ganthetsward20 (687 posts) - - Show Bio

I felt this was out "point 1" so to speak if this had been our true first issue we would have had a way less hate going on in the beginning, but that probabbly wouldnt have gotten it its views. Now we all have to look back and can see this was planned and we all fell for it. Starfire was always going to be cool like this we just saw her in a skewed way thanks to issue #1 I personally like how surprised this series has made me.

#6 Posted by sinful (149 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see it as planned. More like he gave in.

#7 Posted by knighteagle (22 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally loved the series since issue #1, glad people are finally giving Lobdell some credit. Loving the relationship between Jason and Starfire looking forward to the rest of the series :)

#8 Posted by Knight Train (113 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinful: I agree. He messed up, listened to the criticisms, ret-conned them in, and then pretended they were always going to be that way. Rather clever

#9 Posted by knighteagle (22 posts) - - Show Bio

@Knight Train: not agreeing with you that he did change his original plans, i personally think he went for the shock value on purpose but isnt it a good thing if he did change things, meaning that he and DC Comics are listening to their fans?

#10 Posted by KainScion (2973 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinful: i agree as well. he gave in. he knew he was up sh!t creek without a paddle and he pussied out.

#11 Edited by Grim (2079 posts) - - Show Bio

Seeing as to how this issue has a ton of timeline-establishing situations in it, i doubt any of it was a last second cop-out deal like some of you are implying. There are two revelations about Dick Grayson's past, a nearly full establishment of Starfires life on earth, and the story brings us full circle in the origin of the trio.

Also, the book has been one of the best of the N52. Why on earth would anyone give in to the critics when the book is selling so well? If anything, the controversy has proven good for the book, so it would be stupid to take it away because some people are complaining about something that (lets be logical) is well within Starfire's character, and always has been. Just because they never expanded on it in the 80's doesn't mean Starfire hasn't always been a very accidentally-sexual person. As shown in Tony's article, shes always been rather uninformed and curious about human sexuality. The only reason she was a one man girl in the old days was because there would have been REAL backlash if any comic was portraying a sexually social female.

I'm fairly certain there have been no changes in the planned plot since issue one. Not as a result of the fans complaining anyway. The comics industry openly believes that the negative minority is always the loudest (as in, the few people who dislike something make sooo much noise it SEEMS like the majority dislikes it), and so they rarely listen to the fans when the sales are up. Also, im pretty sure there was confirmation that we would see an explanation for Starfire's actions like the day of issue one.

So no you guys. i dont think this is a deviation from the plan.

#12 Posted by Afro_Warrior (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

@sinful:

I think it was planned. If you go back and look at the interviews he's done on this very site, in response to pretty much all of the criticism of Starfire he has said wait until we get to the Starfire centric issue before you judge her.

#13 Posted by goldenkey (2927 posts) - - Show Bio

one of the better books in the new 52. really impressed with it. It also goes toe to toe with art of ANY book out there. It's great.

#14 Posted by Lvenger (18304 posts) - - Show Bio

I still don't like the costume. It's even more skimpy than Starfire's original costume. This isn't even enough to prove to me that Lobdell's completely improved over the mistakes of the previous issues as to me, nothing can beat Wolfman's interpretation of Starfire. To be honest, I'm glad I'm not reading this book as the past issues haven't been very good. However, this issue does show that Lobdell is making steps in the right direction. Hopefully he'll be able to redeem his past mistakes.

#15 Posted by CrimsonTempest (307 posts) - - Show Bio

I can safely say, this issue matches Batman #6 in terms of importance; its plot really impressed me. My compliments to Mr. Lobdell, now I shall eat a bucket of crow.

#16 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Knight Train: @sinful said:

I don't see it as planned. More like he gave in.

No, you guys are wrong.

http://redhoodsden.blogspot.com/

This was done way back in october. Scott always had plans for this.

#17 Posted by thedeenslist (11 posts) - - Show Bio

I was ready to dump Red Hood until I read issue #3, the last pages with Tim's memory that he chose to forget added some heart and character to the book which it really needed after the first two issues. Now with Starfire's tale here, it's fun to see the dichotomy of these two characters. Kori refusing to be defined by anything but herself and living for the now rather than the past. Goes extremely well in highlighting the contradiction that is Tim's reasons.

#18 Posted by Void_Heart (14 posts) - - Show Bio

star fire needs her own comic

#19 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger: Firstly, he didn't make any mistake.

Secondly, you're missing out on the best book in DC.

#20 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Grim said:

Seeing as to how this issue has a ton of timeline-establishing situations in it, i doubt any of it was a last second cop-out deal like some of you are implying. There are two revelations about Dick Grayson's past, a nearly full establishment of Starfires life on earth, and the story brings us full circle in the origin of the trio.

Also, the book has been one of the best of the N52. Why on earth would anyone give in to the critics when the book is selling so well? If anything, the controversy has proven good for the book, so it would be stupid to take it away because some people are complaining about something that (lets be logical) is well within Starfire's character, and always has been. Just because they never expanded on it in the 80's doesn't mean Starfire hasn't always been a very accidentally-sexual person. As shown in Tony's article, shes always been rather uninformed and curious about human sexuality. The only reason she was a one man girl in the old days was because there would have been REAL backlash if any comic was portraying a sexually social female.

I'm fairly certain there have been no changes in the planned plot since issue one. Not as a result of the fans complaining anyway. The comics industry openly believes that the negative minority is always the loudest (as in, the few people who dislike something make sooo much noise it SEEMS like the majority dislikes it), and so they rarely listen to the fans when the sales are up. Also, im pretty sure there was confirmation that we would see an explanation for Starfire's actions like the day of issue one.

So no you guys. i dont think this is a deviation from the plan.

Agree with this.

#21 Posted by wiski (3 posts) - - Show Bio

To the people saying Lobdell 'gave in' and retconned the changes in, Lobdell had been saying since issue 1 that he had a plan to have an issue explaining the backstory and that people needed to wait and see what happened with character development instead of overreacting.

Of course, a lot of people that liked issue 1 predicted that things would be explained and the people who hated it would just say Lobdell caved in and changed it, so it's no real surprise.

#22 Posted by Eyz (3095 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually starting to warm up to this title. They actually finding a better pace and actually establish the cast now.

#23 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32683 posts) - - Show Bio

I would like to say that Starfire does remember Nightwings name because she said it in issue 3.

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#24 Posted by Lvenger (18304 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: 1. Putting Starfire in a scantily clad costume, making her appear to be a dumb character who did nothing more than follow order, forget her time in the Teen Titans and Dick Grayson along with appearing to sleep around with two men? The first few issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws did not do Starfire any favours.

2. In your opinion. In my opinion, Batman or Action Comics are the best comics of the New 52 but to another person, the best new 52 book could be Animal Man or Captain Atom. It's subjective despite critical reception, what matters is people's own viewpoints. And to me, Red Hood and the Outlaws is one of the worst of the New 52 books.

#25 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32683 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lvenger: So your saying every time you go to the beach and see a girl in a bikin that makes her dumb? also did you not read? she did not sleep withJason
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#26 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger: 1a. She has always been scantily clad costumes and she have been naked so many times.

1b. She was obviously being sarcastic.

1c. She did not sleep with 2 men, read the article if you must.

2. There are obviously lousier books around in the new 52, but since you're pretty much biased against, this, theres no point arguing.

#27 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

"Can't judge a book by it's cover." Can we judge by the first five months of story?

Honestly, I think this book suffered from a severe case of "written for trade."

#28 Posted by Skywarpgold (55 posts) - - Show Bio
#29 Posted by LordRequiem (1309 posts) - - Show Bio

Starfire's a great female character.

#30 Posted by The Stegman (23041 posts) - - Show Bio
I have been saying it would all  Work out since the beginning, but  No one listens to me! BAH!, humans... 
#31 Posted by kennybaese (1096 posts) - - Show Bio

I wonder if they'll rearrange the issues when this comes out in trade to have issue 6 first in an effort to kind of head off the controversy with people who read the book for the first time in trade? Doubtful, but it also wouldn't surprise me a ton.

#32 Posted by DEGRAAF (7870 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the new starfire but her attitude and lack or memory did piss me off bc rather then saying it never happened they were saying it all happened but she doesnt remember any or it. After reading this i would definitely go back to reading this series. It just covers so many questions i thought they would never fully explain.

@Eonidas said:

Does anyone else prefer the old Nightwing costume (especially in the flashback) over the new black and red one? Dick needs some blue.

I would prefer the black and red over the old costume although it doesn't look nearly as bad as when it first came out but i agree i liked the blue and black better

#33 Edited by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@fodigg: What do you mean? Was it decompressed in any way? Because Scott's writings are far from decompressed. If you're saying Avengers are written for trade, that one I understand, but in all of Red Hood's issues, theres always a story in each issue.

#34 Posted by DEGRAAF (7870 posts) - - Show Bio

In the picture with Starfire, Arsenal, and the third person...

Is that a flashback to the original Teen Titans or is that Jason wearing one of Dicks old uniforms? I would guess the latter of the two because i thought Roy was called Red Arrow or something during his TT run but the part that made me think it was a flash back is the change in Starfire's costume. She looks like she is having a memory while she is sniffing the clothes. Im assuming she doesnt realize that that is Roy on the team if she was on a team with him before?

#35 Posted by movieartman (989 posts) - - Show Bio

Comicvine i want to say thank you very much for posting this so the people who hated and badmouthed and continued to badmouth this series even when no longer reading it can see that the books problems (in there opinion) have been Revealed to be false/have been corrected. JUSTICE

#36 Posted by Delphic (1463 posts) - - Show Bio

At first I was a little skeptical, but Starfire was not the reason that I wanted to read this title Jason "was", so that was why I decided to keep reading instead of dropping it. The only person I couldn't stand really was Roy, but in the last issue I felt that even Roy began his 180 to becoming an interesting likable character. After this most recent issue Jason has almost taken a backseat, and is letting the other two shine a little, which is really awesome.

It makes me wonder though if it was Lodbell intention to do what he did. Start out with characters meant to cause skepticism and then when we got a few issues in he makes his reveal that there is more to these characters than we all first thought.

#37 Edited by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare said:

@fodigg: What do you mean? Was it decompressed in any way? Because Scott's writings are far from decompressed. If you're saying Avengers are written for trade, that one I understand, but in all of Red Hood's issues, theres always a story in each issue.

I simply mean that for five issues Scott has been saying "it's not like that, she's actually like this" and talking about character features we didn't really see in the first three issues. That this was the character he wanted to give us was in the first storyline (trade), but he counted on us sticking around to see it (for six months worth of issues!). He should have front-loaded some of that personality in order to not alienate Starfire fans and portray a more rounded character for issue one. I'm sure it reads fine when you sit down and read through all six issues, but not when you're reading issue-to-issue, at least for the first three, which is what I read.

In fact, giving some of that character background up front required more dialogue, you could even make the argument that the first issue wasn't decompressed enough. Too much focus on action and the bro-tastic buddy story of Jason and Roy.

#38 Posted by MetallicMercury (82 posts) - - Show Bio

I love RHATO. I think that people were so overly concerned with Starfire's outfit to really think about how her character was going to develop. This was definitely a big step for the characters.

#39 Posted by Lvenger (18304 posts) - - Show Bio

@sethysquare: 1a. I am fully aware of that but her costume design is even more provactive than it has been in the past. The design of it is completely unsuitable given the possiblity of young readers who might be reading this book.

1b. Why would she need to be sarcastic about that? The fact that Tamareans only remember humans as 'senses' is not something I particularly like about this interpretation of Starfire.

1c. I know she didn't but she gave off that impression in the first issue. It's a disgrace against the character to make it seem like she's sleeping around. The Tamareans pre New 52 were a race who paid more attention to their emotions such as love. In the first issue, it just looked like Starfire was being something that goes against what made her a great character in the first place.

1d. Suicide Squad is another book that's not endearing to me either. Hawk and Dove as well. And I'm not biased at all, it's simply my opinion which differs from other's opinion such as your own.

@spiderbat87: Read the upper points. Of course I don't think that girls wearing bikinis are dumb, that's an absurd notion.

#40 Posted by sethysquare (3843 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lvenger:

1a. She hasn't really be written for young readers to begin with. The way she kisses people and refuse to wear bathing clothes tells it all. Just because NTT had a cartoon aimed for kids doesnt mean shes written for kids. Batman had a cartoon called Brave and the Bold aimed for kids, but why isn't anyone complaining that he had sex with 3 women already in DCnU? Is it cos men can have casual sex but women can't or they'll be labelled a slut?

I do agree that kids should not be reading this book, not to mention most of the batman books that involves slicing faces and decapacitatin heads. I wont even let my niece read Batgirl.

1b. You said about forgetting TT history, I thought you meant that went Roy asked her about her past, she just shrugged it off. In fact in issues 2, 3, 6 theres alot of revelations that she isn't amnesiac. But she does remember people from their sights and smell and I don't see whats wrong with that, shes an alien after all. You can not like the interpretation, but it doesnt make it bad.

1c. She slept with lots of people pre flashpoint. If you have read the book, you'll know the struggles shes been through and how she still cares deeply for Dick. Even so, in issue 1, you can tell that she still cares for Jason and Roy or else, she wouldnt even bother saving them and she had saved their asses more than once.

1d. Suicide Squad has been an extremely fun book. Its sad that you're just basing them off the internet uproar. There are books like Static Shock, Blackhawks and men of war that are much worst in delivery. Also books like Nightwing who pretty much fell flat. Furthermore, its almost universally agreed that Ken Rocafort drew every single panels beautifully. Yeah, you are entitled to your opinion, but if you would actually read them for their own merits, you would discover that it really isn't what you think it is.

#41 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32683 posts) - - Show Bio
@Lvenger: Yea god forbid, a female should actually talk about having sex with some one!!! Call the village elders and have the wench stoned. 
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#42 Posted by save.me.now (207 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't really think this was some masterful move by scott lobdell, unless this issue was in response to fans outrage. This issue made starfire look good, but it still didn't really address my main concern, the memory loss and how it was handled. I never thought her new character was stupid, though I did think the costume was lame, but the memory thing was my main problem; from the way it was first explained to the way it's probably going to be fixed all just seemed like a lame cop-out. But now that I've had some time to cool off I'll at least admit that it's the type of lame cop-out that plenty of other writers would use. Still, I would have to agree that lobdell's starfire shenanigans mostly just hurt the comic, and probably some Kori fans that were reading it. If I wasn't mainly reading the book for Jason, I would have dropped it after issue 2.

#43 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (32683 posts) - - Show Bio
@save.me.now: in issue 3 she says nightwings name so she does remember him
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#44 Posted by CODYSF (2053 posts) - - Show Bio

@Eonidas:

I like the blue one with black but not the 70' style looking one.

#45 Posted by DreamerOfEden (26 posts) - - Show Bio

Reading the first issue of RHatO, I was horribly concerned for Starfire's portrayal. I was afraid her character would be completely desensitized in favor of a fan-pandering sexuality with no other elements to her personality. It is a huge relief to see this Starfire in issue #6, as it pays a huge tribute to the character she was and should be. While I still believe the first issue had some serious problems (in that it gave Starfire a less-than-flattering introduction) and that we should have seen at least some of this Starfire in the beginning issues, I'm willing to give Lobdell his props for correcting the problem, whether he originally planned it or not.

#46 Posted by DreamerOfEden (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@LordRequiem: Agreed!

#47 Posted by feargalr (1153 posts) - - Show Bio

I kinda got from this issue that the teen titans did exist before the current incarnation... Did you guys think that or was that just me??

#48 Posted by DreamerOfEden (26 posts) - - Show Bio

@save.me.now: That's exactly the boat I was in. Jason was my reason for getting the comic. I thought Starfire was a cool bonus (since I'm a fan of hers). If I had been reading the book strictly for Starfire, it would have taken a lot of willpower to stick with it.

#49 Posted by daredevil21134 (10838 posts) - - Show Bio

OUTLAWS 4 LIFE!!!!!

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#50 Posted by WaveMotionCannon (5151 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't care if she had the memory of a goldfish , the books GOOD. The art and story work and drew me in from the first issue. It's supposed to be the NEW52, why are fanboys crying about her not remembering Dick?

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