WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Justice League: No Justice #3
Starro might have been the first villain the Justice League of America ever faced, but he's long been the butt of DC Comics jokes - until Justice League: No Justice. The miniseries acting as prelude to Scott Snyder's run on the mainline Justice League comic has turned Starro into one of DC's greatest heroes.
True, there are plenty of reasons to make fun of Starro. Though he's technically an alien and one of the most powerful telepaths in the universe... Starro looks like a gigantic starfish. It's hard to be too intimated by a villain like this, but DC's No Justice has proved that no one should underestimate it. Well, should have.
No Justice sees various heroes and villains across the DC Universe join together to try to save the world. Designed by Braniac, the four teams of heroes see Starro a member of Team Mystery, which contains Superman and Martian Manhunter among others. Two of DC's heaviest hitters - who ultimately get to witness Starro making the ultimate sacrifice and going out in the most heroic way possible.
The exact specifics of how and why Starro ends up losing it all would requires a lot of explanation and comic book weirdness. The only thing that really needs to be known is that Starro, with the rest of the Justice League's four teams, is trying to save Brainiac's homeworld of Colu from the beings known as the Omega Titans. If the new Justice League can stop the Titans then the entire universe, not just Colu, will be saved.
Inspired by Martian Manhunter (who Starro calls "Marty") the self-proclaimed Starro the Conqueror tries to use his prodigious telepathic powers to save the day. Starro's use of his powers start to turn the battle in the favor of the Justice League. After being told by Brainiac's son that all is lost, things finally seem to be turning around for the Justice League. The hope is short-lived.
Sadly, Starro is ripped apart by one of the Omega Titans. Starro instantly expires as Earth becomes the next target on the Titans' list, with only Green Arrow to defend the world as the last line of defense.
Starro's end is a brutal, if very heroic, one. Yet it's really just a part of the villain's fantastic arc in the No Justice series. No Justice has done wonders (pun a little intended) into making Starro one of the most compelling characters in the DC Universe - period.
No Justice is being written by a team of writers, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson. And even with a pair of new artists (Riley Rossmo and Marcus To) working on No Justice #3, the miniseries has sustained an incredible through line in humanizing and defining Starro's character. He's become much more than the goofy starfish on the cover of Brave and the Bold #28.
No Justice has imbued Starro with a sense of humor, without sacrificing all levels of menace. He's a megalomaniacal control freak... but not without some charm. DC has often been praised for its villains but Starro has never really been considered one of the best, despite his historic status. No Justice changed all that and gave the alien, a stirring redemption arc to boot, without losing any of the villain's inherent weirdness or murderous bodycount.
Starro obviously isn't going to stay gone forever, as the never-ending cycle of comic books will bring the villain back eventually. However, given how excellent Starro was in No Justice, Starro's resurrection will probably happen sooner rather than later.
We'll probably never see Starro in the DCEU as the Justice League's next big villain (the CGI alone to bring Starro to life would be a very tall order). Yet after No Justice, the idea of a cinematic Starro isn't so ridiculous. Warner Bros. should at least consider the possibility that the violent Starro is exactly what the franchise needs.
Justice League: No Justice #3 is now available from DC Comics.