Kori gets fierce in Starfire #6 and gets to unleash her full power set against Kragg, a pretty generic and literal minded bounty hunter, who is on Earth to just get paid by Tamaran. The battle between Kragg and Starfire allows Emanuela Lupaccino to flex her alien action muscles, which have been a little dormant since the epic fights in the final issues of her run on Supergirl. It is the most exciting part of an issue, which seesaws between a tragic flashback featuring Sol spending his last moments with his girlfriend Maria before she died trying to save a boat with the Coast Guard, Starfire freaking about Soren being a killer even if he seemed like a doctor, and the fight against the bounty hunter.
Lupaccino gives readers a harrowing nine panel grid showing each and every murder Soren has committed due to the influence of his brain tumor, which is caused by him using his healing abilities to cure cancer. It’s a sad and bleak moment for what is usually a pretty peppy book. However, writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner opt to leave this big ol’ thread hanging and abruptly switch over to the much less interesting (if more physically formidable) Kragg plot line with the only connection to Soren being Stella Gomez talking about the police investigation of his murders, and Starfire and Sol’s growing, adorable interest in each other at the hospital. A and B (and even C sometimes) plot are an integral part of serial storytelling in both comics and television, but there is not really a through-line between them in Starfire #6.
However, even though Kragg is a poor man’s Lobo in design, character traits, and general ‘tude, he does present an opportunity for Starfire to cut loose and show how powerful she is. She might not understand the sexual nature of “That’s what she said” jokes yet, and metaphors go over her head sometimes, but Starfire can take care of herself in dangerous situation even against a bounty hunter, who has supposedly never lost a bounty and sports a net that has never been broken through. (Starfire busts through in an orange flame burst from colorist Hi-Fi.) Lupaccino gives Starfire a Kryptonian power level while keeping her distinct from Superman and Supergirl with her more fluid kicks and bursts of gold energy.
Palmiotti and Conner also give her incredibly threatening dialogue as she vows to kill Kragg if he hurts the people of Key West, who she has come to know, love, and protect in the first arc of Starfire. And Kori definitely seems to mean it as she throws Kragg around like a rag doll and even cuts him with his own blade before relenting and having an important character morality establishment scene when she says that she doesn’t mean “eye for an eye” literally before banishing him off to space. Starfire is a character, who can become violent when people she love are threatened, but she always looks back at the light before plunging into the abyss. Her transformation from pancake related breakfast chatter to punching aliens in the face seems instantaneous, but is rooted in her personality in what could just be an action
Even if there’s a thematic gap between the Soren and Kragg plots, and Kragg is ultimately a toothless punching bag, Starfire #6 is still a pretty fun comic with the added twist of showing a pissed off Kori. Throw in the awkward romance between her and Sol, Emanuela Lupacchino’s ability to tonally turn on a dime from the bleak violence of Soren’s to the warmth of pancake eating and an alien battle royale, and a cliffhanger featuring a surprise guest star, and Starfire #6 is a solid, if unspectacular story.
Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti
Pencils by Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks by Ray McCarthy
Colors by Hi-Fi
Letters by Tom Napolitano
Logan is a nerdy, bisexual ginger, who recently graduated university with a degree in English Literature and Overanalyzing Comic Books. He loves comics, music (especially New Wave and BritPop), film (especially Quentin Tarantino and Edgar Wright), sports (college football and NBA), TV, mythology, and poetry. Joss Whedon is his master, Kitty Pryde is his favorite superhero, and his current favorite comic is The Wicked + the Divine.