The Suicide Squad: What Is Starro? The Starfish, Explained - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, August 7, 2021

The Suicide Squad: What Is Starro? The Starfish, Explained

[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad.]

If you've already seen James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, you know that its climactic moments see the members of the crew who haven't already died horrific deaths—namely, Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), and Polka-Dot Man (David Dastmalchian)—taking on a gigantic intergalactic starfish monster named Starro the Conqueror. If you haven't seen James Gunn's The Suicide Squad, well, that is pure gibberish. But it happens, and one of the smartest moves Gunn made in crafting the film, which already has a lot going on, is not getting too into the weeds about what the deal with Starro is. He's a big, telepathic starfish who was minding his own damn business floating through space before American astronauts captured him, brought the big guy back to Earth, and (being Americans) conducted three decades of horrific experiments while blaming it on other countries. That's all you really need, but if you're understandably demanding "more Starro," the extraterrestrial echinoderm has a long comics history, dating back to 1960, and it all starts with Aquaman's pufferfish friend named Peter.

RELATED: John Cena and Joel Kinnaman on How James Gunn’s ‘The Suicide Squad’ Takes Surprising Left TurnsWritten by Gardner Fox with pencils by Mike Sekowsky, 1960's The Brave and the Bold #28 opens with Aquaman, blissfully unaware of how hot he'd become 58 years later, receiving an urgent alert from Peter, the pufferfish. This issue marks the first appearance of Starro, who crashlands to Earth and immediately gets down to conquering all life on the planet. The intergalactic entity branches off three separate clones of itself, which set off to detonate atomic bombs and kidnap entire science buildings, all in service of imbuing the main Starro with unimaginable powers of strength and mind-control.

Unfortunately for Starro, the Justice League of America—Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Green Lanter, and Martian Manhunter—promptly show up and beat that ass in arguably the lamest way possible. The Brave and the Bold #28 concludes with the JLA discovering Starro's weakness is the chemical compound quicklime and then dumping several buckets of the calcium oxide on the alien's head, imprisoning him in a hard calcium shell. You hate to see it. But this wasn't the last the world saw of Starro! Throughout the years, DC Comics shaded in the character's background and as many personality traits as you can give an evil ginormous starfish, eventually revealing he is but one of many Star Conquerors, parasites who float through the cosmos enslaving any society they happen upon. Starro, as we know him, is the result of a Star Conqueror landing on the planet Hatorei, populated by psychics; a particularly powerful Hatorei native rebelled and mentally took control of the entire Star Conqueror race, but the process drove him mad. Now inhabiting an enormous starfish shell and hellbent on destroying a few galaxies, he adopted the name Starro the Conqueror.

It's all pretty out-there stuff, but its shading that does add a bit to Gunn's movie. The Suicide Squad leaves you just slightly ambivalent about how you're supposed to feel about Starro. Sure, he stomps his way through a major city, undoubtedly killing hundreds, if not thousands in the process. But he's also been under lock and key for three decades, being brutally poked and prodded by a madman, The Thinker (Peter Capaldi), without mercy. When the film is down in Jotunheim's basements, Starro is a tragic figure, and there's a twinge of sadness to the Squad having to put him down. But knowing that "the conqueror" is less a cute nickname and more of a mission statement, it adds that much heart and heroism to Gunn's story. In saving Corto Maltese, this band of absolute trash human beings—and one absolute trash man-shark—really did save the entire world.

KEEP READING: Margot Robbie and David Dastmalchian Talk 'The Suicide Squad' and Geek Out Over Their Love for 'Metropolis'



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