“Starfire: Alien Princess” – Book One
Writers: Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Artist: Javier Rodríguez
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Review by James Attias
Tales of the Titans #1 Shows us what happens when the team divides to save more people. It also clearly highlights Starfire as a warrior princess!
Let’s fly in…
Kori: Warrior, Princess, Sister… Sandwich Thief
Starfire, Princess of Tamaran, Alien Royalty, with enough power to take on armies. That’s how a DC character handbook might describe her, but how do you see her? This issue focuses on Kori and the struggles she faces, both with her power and her emotions.
This tale focuses on he she’s always classed as an alien, as a princess, as extremely emotional. Of course, she’s all of those things… but also so much more. We fly around space to a neighboring colony of Tamaran to see how her own people see her.
As a single issue story, to show us more of her life outside of the main Titans book by Tom Taylor (reviewed by some handsome nerd).
This actually hits the nail on the head, it’s framed by the team’s life in Titans tower, and how they are adjusting to being a team again, living together again. As well as the people they’ve all become since they joined the Teen Titans.
I was worried, during the Titans Academy run, that DC would turn Starfire into their own version of Storm from the X-Men. Ororo Munroe is overpowered, can win any fight, can do no wrong, can run the school, can lead the X-Men; is feared, loved, and hated. She was also married to the Black Panther for a while and was given waaay too many skills. I like characters who have some vulnerability to them, so when Starfire was leading Titans Academy I didn’t want them to start taking her in that same direction. THIS ISSUE GAVE ME EXACTLY WHAT I WANTED!
It shows us how emotionally vulnerable Kori is, how much she thinks about her past and her sister. We see the awkward/not awkward relationship she has with Oracle, who’s now dating Nightwing (Kori’s well-documented ex-fiancé). I like layers, I like depth. This shows us that with Kori’s many abilities, also come many vulnerabilities. That’s what makes a great character. How dull would Superman books be without Kryptonite, red suns, or magic?
Written in the Stars
The issue was well written and well drawn. The art was very reminiscent of the Darwin Cooke books back in the day (this is extremely high praise). I liked that it wasn’t drawn by the same artist as the main Titans book, as it gave this issue a more personal feel for Starfire.
Where we go next for Princess Kori after this is unclear. She’s a part of the new (Justice League replacing) Titans. Will she have a big role to play in that group, or will she be sidelined? Only time will tell. Since Nightwing, Flash and Cyborg all have their own titles, maybe the others will have a chance to shine a little more in this series.
Tales of the Titans #1 was a great start to this 4 part mini series, showing the individual adventures of the team. I can’t wait for issue 2. Raven’s past returns to haunt her? That’s hardly new, but is always great.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment