Episode Title: “The Siege of Starro! Part 1″
Original Air Date: September 17, 2010
This episode features the beginning of the culmination of all the Starro teasers we have gotten so far. Much like the first season built up Equinox via teasers, this season has built up Starro. But we’re only half way through the season, so why bring it to a peak now? Also, I didn’t feel like the show stuck the landing with Equinox last season, so I wonder if they’ll do better this time around. Read on to find out.
The teaser is a voice over montage of villains throughout time, and the heroes that have opposed them. It features Anthro fighting Kru’ll the Eternal, Etrigan the Demon fighting Morgaine le Fey, Jonah Hex and Cinnamon fighting the Royal Flush Gang, the Justice Society of America fighting Per Degaton’s army, and Batman fighting Ra’s al Ghul. It culminates with Guy Gardner and Kilowag facing off against a team of Green Lanterns under Starro’s control, and unfortunately Guy and his big companion fall under the control of Starro as well.
In the Story proper Booster Gold shows up in the Batcave to let Batman know that something significant is soon to happen. Just in case you’re not familiar with the character, Booster Gold is a time traveling and self centered hero, who uses his knowledge of past events to make himself appear more heroic. His data banks can’t quite recall what the event is, but the faceless hunter appears and makes Starro’s invasion plans clear to the Dark Knight. Batman and Booster outmaneuver the hunter in an unremarkable fashion, and Batman deduces that most (if not all) of Earth’s heroes are under the Alien’s control. He sends out a distress signal for any and all free heroes to help face Earth’s would be conqueror.
The heroes that answer the call are the ones who would not seem important in their “civilian” life. Billy Batson, Firestorm’s separated form, and B’wanna beast are all the help left for Bats and Booster. Captain Marvel and Firestorm are a couple of heavy hitters, but B’Wanna beast with his odd powers that I described in my previous review doesn’t seem to be much of an asset to the team. This improvised group go of to confront the other heroes of Earth that are under Starro’s control and the bulk of the episode are action sequences of the heroes doing battle. There are some interesting match ups like Booster fighting Blue Beetle, and B’Wanna facing off against the love of his life, Vixen. Notably absent are Earth’s villains. I think it is reasonable to expect Starro would recognize their abilities and value them as weapons in his conquest. Conversely, it’s reasonable to expect that any “free” villains would be willing to align with Batman to battle Starro and prevent the Earth from being destroyed. I think this is a major plot hole, and a serious missed opportunity for Batman and Joker to work together.
Eventually the heroes realize that the way to beat Starro is to revert to their civilian identities and get the drop on the galactic conqueror. The Faceless Hunter monologues with Batman revealing that Galactus – er- I mean Starro spared the Surfer’s -er- I mean Hunter’s world if he would serve as herald to Galactus -er- I mean Starro and find worlds for the cosmic entity to devour -er- I mean consume. Also Faceless Hunter shows a keen interest in B’Wanna’s odd ball power. After Starro is finally defeated, Hunter absconds with B’Wanna exclaiming that he has the power to destroy worlds more effectively than Starro ever imagined, and the viewer is informed that this story is “to be continued”.
The action and characters in this story are a treat, but I am sorely disappointed that after a teaser about villains throughout history, all the villains are ignored in this episode. Granted, the story is to be continued, so maybe this complaint will be resolved by the events of the next episode, but I’m not holding my breath. Also, with the long, rich history of DC stories (including the first Justice League adventure in which Starro was the bad guy) I am more than a little annoyed that the episode felt the need to borrow so heavily from Marvel’s Galactus lore. On the plus side, my interest is piqued as to how Faceless Hunter is planning to exploit B’Wanna’s power, that is a story element I did not expect. As a stand alone episode this on succeeds on its action, but fails when it comes to story. It is possible the part 2 will redeem the arc as a whole, but we’ll have to wait until next week to find out.