Friday, September 23, 2011

The Bimbofication of Starfire

For the most part, I have enjoyed DC’s new 52, with the exception of a couple comics that have not sat well with me for various reasons. However, I had not hated any of the comics that have come out, 
until I recently read Red Hood and the Outlaws. Although its depictions of Jason Todd and Roy Harper were generally amusing, the new interpretation of Starfire has made me angrier than Atrocitus. Not only has Starfire become a glorified sex doll, complete with a Crawford-esque beauty mark, but her entire history and personality has essentially been erased.

The first thing we learn about Starfire in this new universe, before we even see her, is her breast size. Then, once we finally see her, that is all we can focus on, because the only thing covering her “38s” are essentially pasties with the magical ability to defy gravity. Shortly afterwards we find out that Starfire has been sleeping with Jason Todd, as he brags to Roy about how she’s “with” him, and quips about his “giant red helmet.” Later in the issue, after several gratuitous scenes of Starfire at the beach, Jason leaves her sight for two seconds so she propositions Roy for sex instead, because “Hell, why shouldn’t she have sex with every man she sees?”

The greatest insult to the character is the revelation that supposedly, “Tamaraneans don’t see humans as much more than sights and smells. And they have a terribly short attention span about all things earth.” Which is to say, Starfire still canonically spent time with the Teen Titans, but she neither remembers her time with them, nor any of the relationships she has formed on earth. This not only completely changes the character for the worse, but spits in the face of Wolfman, Perez, and all the other creators who has developed the character over the years.

I realize that the new 52 is meant to reboot and change a lot of characters, so that DC can move forward and improve their universe. However, changing a character from a strong willed warrior with friends, relationships, and emotions into a brainless bimbo with the mind of a goldfish and the libido of a rabbit is not progress; it’s disgusting. These new #1s are supposed to be appealing to a younger audience, and most young people who know of Starfire remember her from the Teen Titans cartoon, where she was portrayed as an sweet, innocent, naïve girl who cares about her friends and teammates. Presenting Starfire instead as an emotionless sexual deviant who can’t remember the names of her past friends and lovers will clearly drive these fans away. Granted Starfire has always been a sexually charged character, but she would always enter a physical relationship based on an emotional attachment. This however, is no longer the case, as she tells Roy pre-coitus “Love has nothing to do with it.”

Bleeding cool recently reported  that “There were a handful of staff, mostly other women, who believed the writer was trying to equate being a strong woman with being, frankly, a slut.” I’m not sure it I would even give Scott Lobdell that much credit. It seems to me that he decided to make Red Hood and the Outsiders his very own sex and adrenaline fueled fan fic, which worries me because he is essentially handling the entire Teen Titans franchise. Lobdell’s lack of tact, subtlety, and respect makes me worry how he will handle characters like Rose Wilson and Caitlyn Fairchild in Superboy, and has me scared for the horrendous mess that I’m now sure will be Bunker in Teen Titans. With the new 52, DC promised progress with a greater emphasis on strong female characters and creators, but with Scott Lobdell on the helm of 3 books, it seems the company has made a huge mistake, and is taking giant leaps backwards.

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