State of the Multiverse 27

REBELS Annual 1, the Warlord Starro

I’ve always liked Starro as a villain.

There’s something about a giant mind controlling starfish that you just can’t hold a candle to. My first exposure to him was during my first exposure to the entire DCU, during the CRISIS On Infinite Earths. What a jumping on point eh?

In my early teenage years, I picked up #9 of CRISIS, as Brainiac gathered his army of villains without number to take over three of the five remaining earths. This was my first exposure to that lovable tyrant. In Brainiacs satellite Starro lumbered in the background, appearing again later in the massive battle on Earth-S. That was all I knew, but my curiosity was piqued.

My second exposure was in a back issue of Captain Carrot And His Amazing Zoo Crew. In no way could this be described as impressive, but I immediately loved the series and held them close to my heart ever since. The pathetic and endless puns amused me, small things for small minds I suppose. I very relieved in the climax of Final Crisis as the Zoo Crew were returned to humanoid form – can we have another series please?

Anyway, this appearance really didn’t do Starro any justice, but he rose in my estimation when he managed to con Justice League Europe into assisting one of his invasion attempts. That was my first glimpse of how all-encompassing he promised to be.

Where he really rose to prominence however was (of course) in the capable hands of Grant Morrison in the pages of JLA, where even the Sandman Lord Morpheus himself was forced to get involved. Cold, inhuman, hungry, unstoppable, Grant portrayed Starro in a manner that I don’t think anyway using a giant starfish had accomplished before. This made the appetite of Starro as voracious and implacable as the Borg of Star Trek.

So it was with some dismay that I read in recent issues of REBELS that there is a humanoid warlord in control of the Starros. The Dominion has fallen, and the Gil’Dishpan (who when I first saw them were called Dispan. Dishpan? DISHPAN?!? What the hell sort of name is that? Oooh, watch out, the evil Dishpan is coming for you! Sounds more like a nemesis for Betty and Veronica). Then out of the mists comes this warlord guy.

Fortunately, as revealed in last weeks REBELS Annual, it is not as simple as that, and Starros inhumanity has been preserved.. This warlord is like a cross between Marvel’s Overmind and the Spirit Of Vengeance, the final survivor of a telepathic race so filled with the hate of his entire race for the conqueror Starro that he dominated the group mind. Even so, he is driven for Starros hunger to be everything.

If you haven’t been picking up REBELS, here is space drama to rival the War Of Kings. Oh, and Vril Dox is as manipulative as ever, if maybe a little humbled. If you were a fan of the original L.E.G.I.O.N./R.E.B.E.L.S series, you can’t miss this. Space Opera is doing really well in comics currently, and as readers, we are all the better for it. Keep it coming.

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Darren Burr

A devoted follower of the comics industry and their characters since a child, Darren now plays in many media but always returns to characters in skin-tight costumes beating each other up on the page. Radio host, blogger, fanfic author and producer of You Tube content, Darren idles away his days until his digital conquest of the world is complete.

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