Review: ‘Starfire, Volume 1: Welcome Home’ by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti

I grew up on Cartoon Network’s Teen Titans. Well, I say ‘grew up on’, but it’s not as if my love for it has ever died. And like everyone else on planet Earth, I fell madly in love with Starfire. She was beautiful and feminine. She was quirky and smart. And she was a total badass while being empathetic and kind. Like, what’s not to love?

When I found that they were releasing Starfire, Volume 1: Welcome Home, I was crazy excited. Starfire was going to have her own comic. She wasn’t just going to be that girly-girl Titan or Robin’s love-interest. And while she was never just those things to me, I know that she was for others. For me, this release was an opportunity to take an already well loved character and really build on her as an individual.

I later realised that the same team who worked on the New 52’s Harley Quinn, and I’ll admit I was a little disappointed. I didn’t exactly hate it, but I didn’t love it either. Then I heard a lot people’s really negative reviews, and I became a bit nervous.

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But you know what? This didn’t disappoint me at all. I loved it. I loved the way the team decided to characterise her and I loved the art and I loved the storylines. She was just as quirky as she’d always been and just as caring. And yeah, she totally kicked butt.

I also felt like they did a really good job incorporating elements of her backstory and previous stint as a Teen Titan. It felt natural and I think it would’ve been easy enough for a new fan to pick up on the important facts. At the same time, it wasn’t too formulaic or dreary; an old fan reading through it wouldn’t get bored with an overload of old information.

Sure, they went a little overboard with the sexy element, but hey! It’s Starfire! Hasn’t she always been sexy? To be honest, some of my favourite parts of the volume were Starfire failing to rebuff the males showing an interest in her. Even though it was overdone and basically insane, it also felt a little bit relatable. Doesn’t everyone know the struggle of getting rid of someone who’s just a bit too keen on you?

And yeah, they tried a little too hard to pummel that She’s an alien! She doesn’t know about the Earth’s ways! message home, but that’s always been a prominent part of her character too. It got a little old, but there were moments when her confusion was really funny.

Overall, I was super pleased. I thought it was a fun and nostalgic read. There was humour and action and even a little bit of romance. It was everything I wanted this comic to be, and for that I incredibly grateful to the writers and artists who worked on it.

From what I can tell, the new volume is set to come out pretty dang soon (this month, if some sources are to be believed!). And hell yeah, I’m excited. I can’t wait for Dick Grayson to get involved. I’m a little hesitant about the love triangle I sense brewing, but I’ve always loved Starfire and Robin and I’m thrilled at the prospect of them sharing pages once again.

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