Who’s Who Presents – Who’s That? #7: Starfire

For the seventh stellar episode of WHO'S THAT?, Shag and Rob take a look at one of DC's most obscure characters, the outer space heroine STARFIRE! No, not the New Teen Titans heroine! No, not the Russian one, either!

Have a question or comment? Looking for more great content?

Subscribe to the WHO'S WHO PODCAST:

This episode brought to you by InStockTrades. This week’s selections:

This podcast is a proud member of the FIRE AND WATER PODCAST NETWORK:

Thanks for listening! Great Jot!

14 responses to “Who’s Who Presents – Who’s That? #7: Starfire

  1. Oh, man, love this episode more than the others in this series, because in this case I’m thoroughly familiar with the subject matter: back in 1981 or so, I bought the entire 8-issue run blind from the Lone Star Comics catalog for about $2. It wasn’t what I was expecting, but I ended up liking it quite a bit for all of its flaws. Those issues are long gone with my entire original collection, so now I wish someone at DC would reprint this in a nice, reasonably-priced tpb.

    I agree with the praise for Vosburg’s art in this series; indeed, given that four writerswho filed through its meager eight issues, it’s basically the glue that held it together. And while I agree that Bob Smith’s inks in the first issue really make the art there pop, I think Vosburg is one of those rare artists whose work meshes pretty well with Colletta’s inks.
    Otherwise, you can tell that it was a labor of love for Vosburg, which sets it apart from some of the more workman-like art he handed in at both Marvel and DC in the late ’70s and early ’80s that he just did to pick up a paycheck. If you compare this to say, his rather lackluster art in the original She Hulk series, it almost looks like two different artists worked on them. (I’d also recommend checking out Sisterhood of Steel if you can – it’s another case of Vosburg being enthusiastic about the material because the art is quite striking.)

    By the way, I have to note that the genre you guys were looking for to classify this series is sword & planet (considered by some a sub-category and by others a synonym for planetary romance – pioneered by the Barsoomian books by Edgar Rice Burroughs and later the Flash Gordon comic strips).
    And finally, Shag: you gave it your best shot, but nothing beats the panache Rob gives to his annunciation of Ultra the Multi-Alien – and you had to know I’d bring that up here, since you practically dared me to in your listener comments segment of this show…

  2. Great episode guys! Starfire is absolutely a “Who’s that?” for me. Aside from her original Who’s Who entry I have no knowledge of the character.
    Her title’s history of no consistent writer and therefore, lack of direction reminds me of Marvel’s short lived Skull the Slayer. The different writers kept changing things before readers could get an idea of what the book would be about. It’s a mysterious “lost world”… no, it’s a artificially constructed world… the supporting cast is all dead… no, they’re fine…
    It seems like poor Starfire was doomed before she could gain a following.
    One again, I thank you for opening my eyes to another fascinating corner of the DCU.
    Now.. if I can possibly suggest the WWII her Gravedigger from Men if War for a future installment

  3. Well done gentlemen! I read the Starfire comic back in the day and enjoyed it very much. I always liked Mike Vosburg’s art and David Michelinie’s scripts on their other projects. Dagan’s look reminds me of the Puritans, Oliver Cromwell, or V for Vendetta. It’s a tough look to carry off and sadly Mike didn’t stick the landing. Keep up the good work! Love the many podcasts on the Network.

  4. Impressive podcast most impressive. Using the Dragon type and talk software again this time. My keyboard is still on the fritz.Star fire I always liked this character. I ended up doing a fanfiction run with her years ago. Though I played up the sci-fi elements . It was kind of fun and is later used it as an RPG. Though I did turn moon watcher into Dave moon shadow into a cat Human. I liked thump from this book even though he never spoke. I ended up using the character Agu Zeus and changed into maga Zues. This was years ago. Any rate I also have all the issues. Of the actual comic. I do wonder what happened with that alien in the last issue. As much as I hate to admit it she does look better in the green outfit than the costume she was a last issue. Anaconda does seem like a great name for her however. It just doesn’t seem like a normal human name. Alien or otherwise. Maybe if they gave her a first name. Amanda Anaconda? These stores were all self-contained and kind of fun. Though sadly it didn’t have that much use of technology. They did the sword and sorcery well. But, it didn’t skimp on the Tech part. So it wasn’t exactly like he-man. It is interesting that even Elliott S Meggin did an issue of her. Her killing her enemies was kind of cool. But, it did leave a drawback. She didn’t have a continuing foe to fight.

    Sadly, lady Da’jiahn gets stuck in a computer at the end of that story. And Karoleen is killed off in her first appearance. As a sadistic Amazon she was kind of entertaining. And she was kind of the dark side of Star fire. And in her golden armor it kind of worked. It said that this comic did last more issues. She had a good look and the book was kind of entertaining. Though you are probably right a consistent writer would’ve helped. There is kind of cool to see early Tom DeFalco work. TheGroygs were decent enemies. Though the shadow creatures seemed a bit overkill. But it worked for what it was. Adding the eternal Champion to her storyline was kind of goofy in my estimation. Wasn’t really need to connect her to Elric of Melniboné. Which makes the sword the true power and lessons her so meh. I kind of like that homeboy taught her how to fight. And then she became tough. Admittedly the man that taught her did have a goofy outfit. But, is a decent love interest and started for the book. Though he is fringed a bit. After this issue we never hear about him again. In fact during the Eagle heart run it seems like he was positioning moon watcher to be the love interest.

    Granted this smart Alec that kind of looks like Dick Van Dyke with long hair kind of works. Still she never mentions the guy who saved her in the first place and that was her love interest in the first story after he dies. The hassle weird but I think you supposed to look like a knight. The love interest not moon watcher. I missed these issues when they first came out and didn’t hear about them until the very issue of Who’s Who you are talking about. And ended up hunting them down and buying all eight. Mainly for research for the fanfiction I was working on. Though they were pretty fun to read. Maybe Jessica Yu-Li Henwick . Could play her if DC ever made a movie about this character. Or a TV show. Any rate can’t wait to hear the next pod cast.

  5. Another great episode.

    I went through a 70s DC Sword and Sorcery phase a while back, seeking out and devouring Stalker, Beowulf, Claw, and Starfire. I love them all.

    It is sort of sad that the book had so many writers. But Vosberg’s art steadied the ship. And his art work alone is worth the price of admission. Great stuff all around.

    I love this Starfire so much, she took over the Comic Box Commentary once. I reviewed her first issue on Diabolu Frank’s Bloodlines blog. I even got Michelinie to sign the first issue. So I am thrilled you guys liked it as much as I did and covered it here.

    There is only one more thing to say …

    When are you going to cover Dr. Tzin-Tzin??

  6. Credit DC for moving forward with a female superhero who would completely out-sexy their own star – Wonder Woman. These panels clearly illustrate two artists whose visions meshed. They’re also a great example of Colletta being without peer when it came to drawing beautiful women.

  7. Great show guys! I have always been curious about this character, and really enjoyed the BackIssue article you two mentioned. It seems like she had a lot of potential, and I think DC should have maybe found a home for her. Maybe in the back of Warlord or something?

    I agree her original outfit was superior, and a very striking design, but Vosburg definitely has a way with drawing women, so the bikini outfit isn’t bad either (although it defies the laws of phsyics for sure). Rob, I’m glad you put into words what I’ve often thought about Colletta’s inks: He sucks the sex right out of the art, despite working on a lot of romance comics! Beyond that, I think he sucks a certain vitality out of a lot of artist’s work. It’s hard to explain. Even his best work, like on Kirby’s Thor, while actually visually appealing, seems to tame the King’s art. Is it all the scratchy, thin lines, and lack of heavy blacks? I’m not really sure.

    I’m always going to have a soft spot for Koriand’r (early crush thanks to Perez’s artwork, and, Robin’s girlfriend, so sue me), but this Starfire defintiely deserves to be revived somewhere. Would make a great HBO Max series!


  8. Such a great spotlight! You guys did an amazing job diving deeper into this obscure character. It does seem odd that DC kept trying to make different characters with the same name, but I guess this was for trademark/copyright purposes?

    I’m a sucker for these series that were ideas thrown against the wall but DIDN’T stick, like Starfire, Time Warp, and (promoting another F&W show) the Human Fly. Just like the premise of this show, it was fun flipping through Who’s Who as a kid and thinking “Who’s that? How come they aren’t in the comics I read?! I need to know more!”. Though, admittedly, I was more interested in super-heroes/super-villains that I hadn’t seen before, like Blackrock or Night-Slayer (he sounds nice). But your overall impressions of Starfire from this show make me want to hunt down copies of this weird and unfortunately short series.

    Well done again, gentlemen. Keep up the great work! Until next time, I’ll be sitting here wondering…. who’s next? Did I time it right?

  9. Another great episode as always It has even inspired me to go back to the very beginning and start listening to all of the Who’s Who episodes for the third time. I’m not kidding. I work ten hour shifts so I get a chance to listen to about two episodes a shift. Its been a minute since I have looked at the listing in Who’s Who so I couldn’t help but imagine Laura Gemser in the part of Starfire. Please tell me I’m not the only person who sees a 1970’s Italian swords and sci fi flick with Laura as the lead, bad dubbing and lets face it quite a few nude scenes in the same vein as Deathstalker. Thank you for doing the podcast and keep up the commendable work.

  10. Chloe Bennet. That’s who you cast for this.

    Thanks for the deep dive into an intriguing IP, gentlemen. It’s always fun when you podcast together. Given the subject matter and the amazing Vosberg art, though, I don’t think we can call this one sacrificial service on our behalf. Thanks for sharing the joy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *