Hold On! Gimme A Sec

Project Starfish and the villain Starro of the Suicide Squad are explained.

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Trailers for The Suicide Squad have had the sinister writing on the wall for some time now, for eagle-eyed comics fans. There have been sightings of enemy soldiers with odd facial coverings and a huge, tentacle-like foot crushing an automobile. Oh, and there’s a full-body shot of a “kaiju” villain on a monitor screen in the backdrop.
With today’s new video, Amanda Waller clarified the Suicide Squad’s mission: destroy everything related to the enigmatic “Project Starfish.”
That can only mean one thing: Starro the Conqueror from DC Comics.

Who is Starro the Conqueror?

Green Lantern, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, and the Flash battle Starro, a giant starfish with a central eye on the cover of The Brave and the Bold #28 (1960).

Image: Mike Sekowsky, Murphy Anderson, Jack Adler/DC Comics

 

To put it simply, Starro is a big psychic starfish from space with laser-firing tentacles. He was the first villain the Justice League of America faced in 1960’s The Brave and the Bold #28.

At the time, DC Comics was in the midst of modernizing several of its lesser-known characters for a new generation of kids — what we’d call “rebooting” these days. The Justice League was just a post-apocalyptic recreation of DC’s WWII superteam, the Justice Society. Because of the team’s rapid popularity, rival upstart comics publisher Timely Comics decided to create their own superteam, The Fantastic Four, kicking off the Marvel revolution.

So, certainly, the Avengers had Loki, and the Justice League had a big telepathic space starfish.

What is Project Starfish?

A troubled man sits in front of a computer monitor displaying satellite footage of Starro in The Suicide Squad (2021).
Yep. That’s definitely Starro.
Image: Warner Bros. Pictures

 

Project Starfish is most likely a one-of-a-kind creation of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. But, if we had to guess, it could be related to an attempt to weaponize Starro’s creepiest superpower.

What are Starro’s powers?

Starro, as a huge space starfish or Star Conqueror, can fly through large interplanetary distances unaided, fire lasers from the points of his arms, absorb energy (including that of a point blank nuclear bomb), regenerate limbs, and, in certain comics, modify his size to grow bigger or smaller for convenience.

 

Image: Brian Bolland, Anthony Tollin/DC Comics

 

But newer versions of Starro have really emphasized his psychic abilities, making him as much of a cosmic horror monster as a gigantic starfish that can laser you to death. Starro has the ability to create miniature replicas with whom he has a psychic bond, and once those duplicates make contact with another sentient individual, they gain complete control of their mind.

Starro spores can hide under clothing while piloting their hosts and pretend nothing is wrong, but once the jig is up and hiding is no longer an option, you get the classic creepy Starro iconography: dozens of superheroes with a starfish plastered across their heads, its central and unblinking eye staring with alien hatred.

It’s unknown how Starro’s mind control skills will be used in The Suicide Squad, but there are a number of possibilities beyond the fear of a kaiju-sized malicious starfish.

What’s Starro like in DC’s current comics?

 

 

 

Jarro, who is a small blue starfish from space with a pink border and one central eye, shares an embrace with Batman, in Justice League #29, DC Comics (2019).

Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo/DC Comics

I’m happy you inquired. Starro is currently considered dead, however the Justice League was able to save a little polyp of him; a newborn clone of Starro. He was kept in a jar and given the name Jarro.

He believes Batman is his father.

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