What They Say:
Main Plot: With most of Earth’s heroes under the control of Starro, Batman and Booster Gold team up with Firestorm, B’wana Beast and Captain Marvel to battle the Faceless Hunter and thwart the invasion of Starro.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
While there are a lot of alien invaders in the DC Comcs world that have tried many times over the decades to take over, one of my personal favorites has always been Starro as it’s born out of the science fiction of the fifties for its first appearance in the Brave and the Bold comics in 1960. It plays to the Invasion of the Body Snatchers angle with a massive starfish shaped alien that devours all that it comes across in its eons long journey across the stars by putting populations under its control until it essentially just dies out from the absorption it uses. Starro’s been making some small motions towards Earth for awhile in the second season of the series because of the sheer number of powered heroes there are there which it finds to be highly intoxicating to take over and absorb as resources.
Starro’s arrival on Earth does come as a surprise overall, enough so that the creature has defeated the vast majority of humanity’s heroes by taking them over as well as a substantial number of regular humans. Batman is only barely saved himself by Booster Gold of all people and the team that he’s able to put together after that isn’t exactly the worlds finest. The team-up does work nicely as he gets Booster to work with him, Captain Marvel, B’wana Beast and Firestorm to try and head off the invasion. The first part of it is more about survival and trying to understand what it is that they’re facing. Like most of the episodes focusing on the larger team efforts, we get a good split here as most of the team heads off into civilian mode to try and understand what’s happening while Batman and B’wana Beast create a diversion while trying to deal with the herald of Starro, a Faceless Hunter.
Considering Starro’s overall importance in the world of comics, it’s definitely one of the villains that deserves the two part storyline here. In fact, I believe this is the only two part storyline in this series over its three seasons to date to do so. It serves up a good storyline as you get to the end of the first episode and things seem like they’re on the right path for it to be wrapped up all at once, but it has a nice twist to it in order to carry it into the second. The apparent defeat of the massive floating Starro only leads us to find that the Faceless Hunter is even more of a threat. With him having betrayed his own world when they proved resistant to Starro’s control, he took advantage of that to become the last of his kind and work for Starro. But he’s had larger plans all along and what’s key to his plan is B’wana Beast of all people.
B’wana Beast is one of those characters that you can write off easily from his origins in the late 60′s with his name, powers and design, but there have been creative re-workings of him and his abilities over the years and that happens here as well. Having the Faceless Hunter wanting to unlock his true potential certainly elevates him here as something more, even as his expressions are largely comical. The episode does go kind of big, both literally and figuratively, with what it does with B’wana and the threat faced by the Faceless Hunter but it’s all appropriately large scale for an alien invasion of this level. The core group from the start of the two parter are definitely key throughout, but they do bring in a few others along the way in the second half to make it even more. Having Aquaman get all arrogant is fun, but the use of the Metal Men was by far my favorite moment since just seem them active and on screen is a real treat.
This two part story is what originally got me into this series after a bout of some seriously campy episodes that didn’t work for me. The use of Starro gave it a big feeling and it worked some interesting characters that you don’t usually see, but also used them in a way that made them more powerful than you’d expect. Not in powers, but in the power of character. What I liked about it in particular, outside of the fun that is Starro, is that it did use Batman well but didn’t let him dominate the whole storyline. He plays a key role and is involved in the significant final battle but he doesn’t run the show constantly. Well, at least not in an up front way. The Siege of Starro is definitely one of the more fun shows that prove once again that it can use the lesser known characters to great extent while still staying true to who they are and their interactions with everyone else. And that it can mix in some great emotion and feeling to it when you least expect it. It really has a lot of the feeling of the sixties with how it does things, playing big and going with it, and that’s got a lot of appeal if you can get into that mindset. The show is just damn fun and this storyline cements it easily.