Episode Title: “The Siege of Starro! Part 2”
Original Air Date: September 24, 2010
So this is the conclusion to the Starro story arc that has been building the first half of the season. We also get a glimpse of the origin for one of the characters that has been important to the story, and for the first time one of Batman’s colleagues meets his demise. Does all of this lead to a satisfying conclusion of the events set up so far? Read on to find out.
The teaser gives us a succinct account of B’Wana Beast’s origin story. We meet the jungle themed hero before he has become a superhero standing alone in a wrestling ring in a jungle setting. His opponent appears and is a gorilla wearing the mask that we know becomes B’Wana’s. The gorilla easily defeats the young man, and in his despair of defeat B’Wana goes to drink from a lagoon that contains some radioactive waste. B’wana soon discovers it has granted him gifts, and in a rematch with the gorilla he wins easily and claims the gorilla’s mask for his own, revealing to the viewer that he has grown beast like fangs along the way.
The story proper opens with the mind controlling starfish from the defeated Starro being removed from Earth’s heroes and general populace alike. We also see that in a spaceship in orbit around Earth the Faceless Hunter is holding B’Wana hostage with plans to use is power to conquer the Universe. The heroes on Earth have a brief scuffle with a still mind controlled Aquaman before freeing him, and Batman turns his attention to rescuing B’wana.
Back on the ship B’wana escapes from his bands and breaks out some of his best wrestling moves on Hunter, getting the best of the evil alien early on, but eventually Hunter subdues B’wana and begins his evil plan. The Faceless Hunter uses Beast’s chimera power to combine all the discarded starfish on Earth into a large, powerful humanoid monster. The more the heroes on Earth attack this unholy creation the more powerful it seems to grow. This starfish monster extracts the power from the attacking heroes leaving them as withered versions of what they were before.
Booster Gold is tasked with retrieving Dr. Will Magnus and his Metal Men, with hopes that the android heroes will not be susceptible to the ill effects of the Starfish abominations powers. Unfortunately, Booster finds Magnus still under the control of a face hugging starfish as he orders his Metal Men to attack the time traveling hero. Booster pleas to his ever present, mechanical companion Skeets to try to talk to the androids as the screen fades to black.
The action returns to the Starfish monster and shows hero after hero being rebuffed in their attempts to attack the creature. The Dark Knight himself is caught in the alien chimera’s desolation beam when a portal in the sky opens up and Booster and the Metal Men appear and begin firing on the enemy. The Metal Men all join Voltron style into a large robot calling itself “Alloy, the Mightiest Metal Man of all”. Alloy has some early success in battling the oversized threat to Earth, and Batman is finally free to go into space and rescue B’Wana putting an end to this threat once and for all.
Batman manages to infiltrate Hunter’s ship and engage the red killer in combat. After a bit of a back and forth, Batman uses his patented style of clever trickery to capture Hunter using the alien’s own technology against him. With the bad guy contained, Bats asks B’Wana if he can fix the situation. Beasts knows that this is an opportunity to save Earth as well as the woman he loves, Vixen. B’wana uses all his remaining energy to rip apart the star beast and dies in the process. In the epilogue we see the remaining heroes gathered around a monument erected in memory of B’Wana, and hear the fallen hero in voiceover say, “”I’d do it all over again, in a hummingbird’s heartbeat.”
This was a wonderful conclusion to the story. The exposition into B’Wana’s past was both entertaining and touching, and gave more gravity to the conclusion where B’Wana dies proving that he truly is a great hero. This is the first time that this series has dealt with this sort of emotional gravity and finality, and I do think that it worked really well. This story brought back feelings similar to the ones I felt when reading great comic stories like Crisis on Infinite Earths or Watchmen in which it was necessary to sacrifice a hero in order to defeat the threat at hand. Needless to say, this was far superior to the resolution we were given to season 1’s Equinox story arc, and it has me quite enthusiastic to see what the creators will build for us next.