Sunday, 26 June 2016

Starfire #1 (DC/1976)

Starfire #1 (DC)

David Michelinie (w) Mike Vosburg & Robert Smith (a)

The late seventies were not a good time for DC Comics as they had been surpassed by Marvel as the major comics company and were very obviously struggling. However DC were not quitters and attempted to garner the market by launching a range of titles to try and get their marketshare back.

DC launched a whole range of new formats (the famous "Dollar" comics) and new titles including the short-lived Beowulf, Steve Ditko's Shade the Changing Man and Starfire.

This comic set on a world of humans which was not earth but not explained further was a mix of science fiction and sorcery.  Our tale begins with Starfire being cornered by the Mygors an extra-dimensional race who along with their rivals the Yorg had taken over the planet and were using mankind as pawns in their timeless war.

The Mygors, a brutal race of monsters had originally been brought to this planet to help one side of humanity beat the other. Of course in such an arms race the others called forth the Yorg. Both sets of aliens realised they could take over humanity for their own purposes.

The nightmare world into which Starfire was born.

Destined to be the sexual plaything of Mygor leader Sookaroth, the 18 year old girl makes her escape and is rescued by a priest who teaches her to fight with whom she falls in love with until he is murdered by the Mygors.

Swearing revenge Starfire sets forth to build an army and overthrow the invaders.

There are just eight issues in this series which failed due to low sales but it has the feel of other similar adventures that were all the rage in the seventies. One unusual feature of this heroine is that she is of mixed race rather than the caucasian norm that dominated the "funny books" (as the Americans call them).

The adventures are straightforward enough as she battles the Mygors, the Yarg, the Lightning Lords, and her own men who seem to try and "possess" her until Starfire teaches them the error of their ways.

By issue 7 her group is down to just two followers. I don't have the last edition but the story never finished that's for certain.

With reasonable scripting and art this is a solid book but not one that captured the imagination of enough readers at the time it came out.

Of course the name Starfire is now used by a certain Teen Titan, so there's no chance of a revival. But if you get a chance to pick up this short series it is a pleasant distraction if not exactly one of the greats of comic book lore.


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