Last month, I picked up Starfire 1 with little knowledge of her character and thoroughly enjoyed it. That issue ended with a hurricane hitting the small town she recently moved to, promising to follow up a purely character focused issue with some action. Oh boy is there action in this issue, with all but the last three pages taking place in the middle of the storm.
Starfire 2, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, is probably my favourite comic of the week. Even though Kori spends most of the issue flying around and saving people from the harsh winds, there’s still plenty of room for the character development and humour that made the first issue so delightful. One great character moment is when Starfire’s empathy overrides her common sense and she delays the sheriff’s rescue mission to save a pet bird, by threatening to crash through the SWAT tank’s roof if she doesn’t stop. My personal favourite moment with is the nutjob she rescues from taking a bath. While she carries him to a safe location, he talks about Sun Gods and being embraced by “The Holy One”. Kori’s reaction is priceless.
Even though there are only 3 pages after the storm, there’s a fair amount of character and story development here. Starfire touches on how her powers work to a coastguard worker she rescued. The next development leads to a minor complaint though. In the first issue, she moved into a trailer park and met a normal family. The hurricane destroyed her trailer, making me wonder if there was a point to the trailer in the first place. She’s clearly saddened about it and you feel for her, but she didn’t even have time to settle in. This is a minor complaint and it might just be me, but I would have preferred Starfire to stay there at least a few more issues before she had to move. Also I’m not sure how realistic it is for a “hurricane” to only hit a coastal town for a few hours. Maybe this is ignorance coming from living inland, but don’t hurricanes usually last for days after hitting the coast? The comic calls the storm “Hurricane Betty” so it’s hard to work around. A storm that lasts several hours does serve the story though.
The art by Emanuela Lupacchino is great. The detail in the storm is impressive, with trees swaying in the wind and raindrops bouncing off people. Facial expressions portray a wide range of emotions, be it the terror in civilian’s eyes, Starfire and the sheriff’s determination while rescuing people, or Starfire’s confusion when meeting the nutjob. Her striking a pose while blasting a radio tower off of a vehicle is a nice touch. Like the first issue, my favourite feature of the art is the thought box images whenever Kori hears an Earth expression she’s unfamiliar with. This time however, I won’t spoil those.
Two issues in and I’m hooked on this series, even with my complaints. The writing is fun, the art is fantastic and the cliffhanger promises that Starfire will be fighting a supervillain soon. Since I’m not a Starfire expert I’m not sure if her fans will enjoy this take on the character, but anyone looking for a female-led title to replace the cancelled Supergirl should look no further.