This review contains spoilers.
Starfire #10 is written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Elsa Charretier and colors by Hi-Fi.
Starfire befriended a woman named Atlee. It was revealed that Atlee was from a city called Strata that exists far below the Earth’s surface. Together, they defeated a chida. Atlee wanted Starfire and Stella to come and visit which they agreed to. Before they arrived, Starfire received her pet known as Syl’Khee and Kori asked Sol to babysit the being. Once the women arrived in Strata, an uprising led by Neala-Tok began.
Starfire has passed out so Stella gets her to medical attention with Aurla. Neala-Tok hopes to become king of Strata but Atlee goes to defend her home against his army. She declares that he and his followers will receive the death penalty for their crimes. She is able to destroy Neala-Tok’s army but he calls a wave of chidas in response.
The radiation of Strata has overloaded Starfire which is why she passed out. However, her body is able to adjust and she wakes up ready to fight. Back on Earth, Syl-Khee puts Sol and Rave in somewhat of a trance that leads to them kissing. Sol freaks out afterward which upsets Rave.
On Strata, Starfire annihilates Neala-Tok and his entire army before passing out again. Aurla says Kori may be in a coma for 32 years which naturally upsets Stella. Atlee and Stella take part in a ceremony to celebrate the people that died in Neala-Tok’s attack and Starfire wakes up. The comic ends with a declaration from Atlee that it’s time to party.
The art and colors in this are beautiful. Everything looks amazing. Visually, this is still one of my favorite books right now.
I love how much of Strata culture we learn in this issue. We learn that they are a peace based society with very little weapons outside of super-powered beings like Atlee. They don’t have a problem with nudity which suits Starfire fine but not so much Stella. And the ceremony for the dead at the end is really sweet. I like how much we get to see in just one story.
The cover by Conner and Paul Mounts depicts a party which, judging from the ending, would be better suited for the next issue. It looks great but I think a depiction of the battle would have been more appropriate for this one.
The brutality of Atlee and Starfire seems a little out of place. Both characters kill a lot of people in this. Granted, they’re not human beings but they are sentient. This book is normally so silly that it was a little jarring for that level of violence from these two light-hearted characters.
The two Starfire comas are fairly ridiculous. The first one is fine and makes perfect sense. Her body would have a different reaction to this atmosphere and I like that the reaction is addressed. However, the part when she passes out again and Aurla says she will be asleep for 32 years only for Starfire to immediately wake up is unnecessary. It created fake drama where it didn’t need to be.
The scene with Sol and Rave is painful. I really didn’t need a love triangle in this and it’s just a waste of time. Love triangles can work but I have to like all three characters and understand the dilemma. Not enough time has been spent on Rave for me to care about her feelings. It feels like just an attempt to give Sol something to do when Starfire and Stella aren’t around.
Unfortunately, I think this is easily the worst issue of the series. There are good aspects but I hated a lot of it. There’s a lot of unnecessary plot elements that I found tedious, Neala-Tok is never an interesting or intimidating villain and it just seems tonally confused in places. As much as I hate to say it because I have loved this series, I recommend skipping this issue.