Monday, April 18, 2016

Starfire #11 Review and **SPOILERS**

Sex and the Subterranean City

Written By: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art By: Elsa Charretier, Hi-Fi
Letters By: Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $2.99
On Sale Date: April 13, 2016

**Non-Spoilers and Score At The Bottom**

Did you know there are a lot of people who believe that the Earth is hollow and that a race of humanoids live underneath the planet’s crust? According to Admiral Richard Byrd, a race of big-headed bipeds lived underneath the icy Antarctic shelf, and they told him to tell humanity to stop fucking around with nuclear weapons. This was a hugely-decorated pilot who had made the treacherous journey to the South Pole three times before! According to Byrd, this subterranean race was the source of the disc-shaped UFOs that had just begun to appear in skies all around the world, sent as a dire warning against nukes. And there are people who believe this today, who claim that our retribution is at hand even though we’ve created hazardous materials since that make nuclear weapons look like talcum powder. This has little to do with the issue of Starfire I’m about to review, but it’s sure to be the most entertaining and informative bit of the article. Yeah, it’s one of those issues. Read on if you’re masochistic like that.

Explain It!:

Our Three Amigas: Kori, Stella and Atlee are enjoying some much-deserved rest and relaxation after thwarting an attack by those whatchamacallits at the behest of whatsizname. Now Atlee is gonna show her gal pals how they get down in the underworld of Strata! When they’re not being attacked by assholes, that is. First stop, a dance club where Stella gets so drunk she needs to be carried back to her room by a talking blue hedgehog! He admits that he intended to screw her, but being that he’s a gentlemarsupial and her two super-powered friends are basically in the same room with him, he’s glad to be a good Samaritan. Kori gives him a pat on the head, which makes him ejaculate a bunch of Tribbles that call Atlee and Kori “mama” and make them giggle. Then they all sleep in the same cot, where Stella snores away and Kori and Atlee chatter like a couple of hens. That’s something I should have mentioned at the outset: these ladies can’t stop talking for a fucking second. This thing should have been a picture book, there are so many words per panel. I’ve heard of “girl talk” but this is on the level of something you might experience at Guantanamo Bay.

Back on the surface, Sol is driving around in his pickup truck with Kori’s pet Syl’Khee, which she abandoned almost immediately after it hatched, when the pink caterpillar takes over Sol’s mind and starts driving the truck. After destroying a muscle car with its eye beams, Syl’Khee drives Sol to see his Aunt, with whom I guess he needs to reconcile? I forget. Down in Strata, the girls go to a natural spa that will make them more emotional and loosen their tongues…great, just what this book needed. While under the influence of relaxation, Stella admits to Kori that she doesn’t want her dating Sol because he might hurt him—emotionally or physically—so Kori decides the best thing for her to do is leave. Perhaps exit the series altogether. Maybe even turn up in a post-Rebirth Teen Titans title. That much is implied, but the world is her oyster.

After all this, it’s time for the ladies to return home, so they get into their transparent bathysphere and float up to the surface, chattering the entire goddamned time. It’s the kind of shit that will have you checking to see if your gun is clean, the dialogue is so insipid and incidental. Back in Florida, Atlee admits that she may have miscalculated the time spent in Strata, so that instead of being away for a few days, they were actually away for a week and a half. This means Kori’s lost her job, which I think was working at fake SeaWorld? Whatever it was, it’s just another tie to this life shunted off in time for Kori to make her grand exit, which she is prepared to do until she sees that Fantasy Fest is happening! Fantasy Fest is an event that happens around Halloween in Key West where there’s a lot of nudity and popping of amyl nitrate, so it makes sense that a party animal like Kori would want to stay. Last chance to see a nip slip!

This book exists primarily to pad out the schedule, I guarantee it. I normally don’t like it when reviewers say “nothing happens” in a comic book, but this time I can say: nothing of consequence happens, aside from Kori being pushed into place to divest herself of this life and go on to whatever title post-Rebirth. There is so. Much. Fucking. Dialogue. And almost none of it matters, just endless yakkety yak that I suppose is meant to exhibit what swell buds these women are. The saving grace of this book is the artwork by Elsa Charretier and Hi-Fi, it looks like neon Darwyn Cooke by way of Jack Kirby, and not a bit of that is meant to denigrate the work of Ms. Charretier. I really liked it, and if DC Editorial isn’t beating down her door to draw the next resurrection of Fourth World properties, then they’re slipping. The fact that she’s not involved in this “Kamandi Challenge” thing DC is running next year is a crime.

Bits and Pieces

If you like the incessant back-and-forth chatter of the Gilmore Girls or your typical Brian Michael Bendis comic, then this is the book for you. I hope the letterer got overtime for this issue. Worth crowing about is the wonderful artwork, which has a classic look with a modern twist brought by some vibrant colors. Otherwise, this issue was a snorefest that exists primarily as a bridge to the next and final issue in the series, where we just might see boobies!


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