About to be released in theaters (and on American HBO Max) next month, Suicide Squad will bring a new team to face a terrible new threat.
This time, it will be Starro, also Know as Starro The Conqueror, the great Justice League enemy in the comics, who has followed the team since its inception. The great “starfish” is a dangerous opponent despite his appearance, and it seems that James Gunn‘s new film will go deep into his mythology.
And in case you’re not already familiar with this very peculiar figure, we’ve gathered some details on who is Starro in the DC Comics and why you should be excited to see him being adopted. In this article, we discuss his creation, origin, powers, and story and how he could end up being a monumental threat to the DC Comics Extended Universe!
Starro’s Origin in the Comics
Starro was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28, published between February and March 1960. Because he was created in the same comic book where the Justice League first came together, he is considered the group’s first villain – and despite his non-threatening appearance, he gave the heroes a lot of trouble.
However, Starro was never really recognized as a major DC Comics villain – you only have to look at his historical appearances over the years to understand this. The character was “put in the fridge” after his arrival and returned only 17 years later, in the pages of Adventure Comics #451, in a solo Aquaman story. He would then only resurface in 1981 in another Justice League of America story.
Starro is not very interesting in the comics because he doesn’t have much personality despite having pretty menacing powers and monumental size. Luckily, James Gunn may have subverted this element, as he is known for making some of his characters charismatic in his film adaptations, see the Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Over the years, some screenwriters have even tried to work Starro in an exciting way. An unusual and very entertaining case happened after his “heroic” sacrifice in the New 52. Batman ended up saving a piece of Starfish, which grew into Jar. But, the most interesting is that this new figure became a Robin, wearing a costume very similar to other boys who have already assumed the mantle.
Who (or what) is Starro?
Starro is the most famous and powerful member of an ancient alien civilization known only as the Star Conquerors. As their name suggests, they are a race known for their warlike potential, as they travel the cosmos trying to take control of many different planets and worlds by completely controlling the native populations.
All the members of this species have gigantic starfish-shaped bodies, and all have the same powers and abilities. Their tentacles are strong, very well-articulated, and also equipped with the necessary suction cups so that they can cling to any surface. At the center of their body, where the five tentacles meet, is a colossal eye.
Starro’s initial plan was to arrive on Earth and dominate the planet without facing any resistance. However, several heroes confronted him – Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), Martian Manhunter, and The Flash (Barry Allen). Together, the heroes managed to stop the villain and destroy him. However, a part of his body was leftover and regenerated over time.
Over the years, his stories always circled the same topics and plans: he was always trying to take control of Earth, either through the destruction of human life or control of the natives’ minds, but he always met resistance from the heroes. In all, he faced the Justice League several times and some other heroes who were part of the team.
As a great space conqueror, Starro possesses many powers that help him roam space without worrying about danger. He has a very advanced healing factor and can regenerate himself entirely from a small piece of his body. This gift is based on starfish, which have a very advanced cellular regeneration.
In addition, its body is very resistant and able to withstand extreme temperatures. Other abilities include the gift of flight and camouflage. Starro can adapt his body to the colors and textures of his environment, making him disguised, even though he is of monumental size. He can also terraform planets, changing the structure and environment to make them habitable for his species.
However, perhaps his most remarkable ability is mentally controlling any being through his “spores.” He can release these creatures (which are very small starfish similar to him), which stick to the face and body of his victims. Once attached to a host, they “replace” the victim’s wills with Starro‘s own.
With this gift, he can subdue armies and turn his enemies against their allies. Thanks to this, he has been able to control members of the Justice League and several other hero teams over the years. For example, at one point in his history, he was once a member of the Sinestro Corps and used his spores to control Guardians of Oa mentally.
Starro in Suicide Squad
As the film’s own trailers have already revealed, the big villain in Suicide Squad will be Starro. Before these previews, we heard some backstage rumors that the team would face a giant monster and “mind-controlled” soldiers. However, we can already see that he will look very true to the comics, with a blue body and red details.
We still don’t know what the character’s origin will be in the film. In the most recent trailer, Amanda Waller commented that the team’s mission is to go to the island of Corto Maltese and destroy everything related to the “Starfish Project.” This “project” in the name gives the impression he’s being created in a laboratory by scientists and not necessarily a tyrannical alien-like in the comics.
However, we still have to wait to get more details. Backstage photos have shown that the villain’s spores will have the same use as in the comics, attaching themselves to people’s faces and bodies to control their minds. We don’t yet know if other classic powers, such as regeneration and the ability to terraform planets, will be present in the film.
This is the first time the character appears in a DC Comics live-action film. James Gunn himself has not given many details about what we can expect from him. The impression is that the trailers are hiding a lot, and we can only wait for the movie’s release to see what will be done. One way or another, he will certainly give a lot of work to Task Force-X.