Photo: Cinema Blend
Who is Starro, the conqueror in Suicide Squad? Photo: Cinema Blend

The first trailer for James Gunn's The Suicide Squad has finally arrived. And while this new footage focuses more on humor and ultraviolence than actually revealing the plot of the latest DCEU movie, we do learn one important detail. Task Force X is going to have to battle Starro at some point during the course of this misadventure.

Who? Why, Starro the Conqueror, of course. Otherwise known as the very first supervillain the Justice League ever battled and one of the most powerful psychics in the DC Universe. But if you need to brush up on your giant starfish lore, we're here to help. We'll break down the colorful history of this very odd villain and why he's making his live-action debut in a Suicide Squad sequel of all places.

Who is Starro?

Some villains are exactly who and what they appear to be. Starro is a gigantic alien parasite who resembles a starfish. His never-ending thirst for conquest has taken him from one end of the DCU to the other, seeking out worlds to enslave.

Between his enormous size, his prodigious psychic powers, and his ability to spawn millions of spores, Starro is all but an unstoppable force. Fortunately for Earth, the Justice League has always managed to find a way to loosen Starro's suction-cupped grip on the planet. We wouldn't be so optimistic about Amanda Waller's band of D-listers managing the same feat in The Suicide Squad, according to IGN.

Read More: The Suicide Squad: Release Date, First Trailer, Where and How to Watch?

Starro Looks Like A Giant Starfish

Photo: Cinema Blend
Photo: Cinema Blend

You’ve probably figured this out by now from the images that are featured in this article, but Starro’s appearance is notable in that it is a giant intergalactic starfish. Multiple versions of the character have been featured in the pages of DC Comics in the years since he debuted, but that is one aspect that has always remained consistent. The history of the species goes back billions of years, as the species exists to spread across the cosmos and dominate every world that it encounters.

Like a starfish, it has five “arms” that are prehensile tentacles and sees through a single eye that is located in the middle of its body. It has the ability to absorb energy and project it either through its arms or its eye, and can fly, making it a dangerous foe in battle, but there is one power that it possesses in particular that makes it a truly terrifying, world-ending threat.

Starro’s First Appearance Also Marked The Introduction Of The Justice League

The Brave and the Bold #28 is one of the most important in the history of DC Comics. After all, it was the issue that introduced one of the most important teams in the history of comics in general. In the March 1960 issue, characters including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter teamed up for the first time, revealing to readers for the first time the superhero group known as the Justice League Of America. And who was the foe that these powerful protagonists had to team up and defeat? None other than Starro.

Like how Loki was the first enemy faced by The Avengers, the greatest heroes of the DC universe had to work together to try and defeat a deadly foe from another world. And while the Suicide Squad was in no way involved with the fight, it is interesting to note that it was in the same Brave And The Bold series that Robert Kanigher and Ross Andru introduced the original group of soldiers that operated under that name, said Cinema Blend.

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Starro in TV and Games

Given his massive size and unusual appearance, it should probably come as no surprise that Starro has yet to make a proper live-action appearance. To date, we've only seen cameos of and references to this villain on shows like Arrow, The Flash, Smallville, and Powerless. However, Starro does have a long history of appearing in DC's animated projects (both TV series and DVD movies) and video games.

TV: Starro's first TV appearance came in an episode of 1967's The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure. He later popped up in Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Young Justice. However, Starro's biggest role to date has been in Batman: The Brave and the Bold (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) where he becomes the main villain of Season 2.

Games: Starro has served as a boss character in DC games like the Nintendo Wii version of Batman: The Brave and the Bold and DC Universe Online, and has cameoed in games like Injustice: Gods Among Us and Batman: Arkham Knight. Only one game - the MOBA title Infinite Crisis - actually allows gamers to play as Starro.

Starro's Powers and Abilities

Photo: Cinema Blend
Photo: Cinema Blend

Starro has all the strength and durability you'd expect from a kaiju-sized starfish, along with other powers like flight, energy manipulation, and regeneration. So long as some piece of his body survives, Starro will always eventually grow back to full health.

His greatest strength, however, is his psychic talent. Starro is a telepath who can control the minds of others, even powerful heroes like Green Lantern. Starro can also spawn millions of smaller duplicates of himself, which can then attach themselves to his prey and control their bodies so long as they remain bonded. Basically, Starro combines all the worst things about kaiju and the Xenomorphs of the Alien franchise.

Normally, Starro in his full-grown form is several hundred feet tall - enough to knock over buildings and generally wreak havoc on major cities. But in some cases, he's grown large enough to cover entire oceans and terraform planets.

Fortunately for Earth's heroes, Starro has a few weaknesses that are easily exploitable. Often these weaknesses seem to be completely arbitrary plot devices. For example, in his original battle with the Justice League, the team's obligatory, useless sidekick Snapper Carr saves the day because his quicklime-covered body proves immune to Starro's powers. In a later battle, Starro receives a power boost by drawing in polluted water, only for Aquaman to turn the tables by summoning a flood of clean water.

How Starro Fits Into The Suicide Squad

We've finally reached the era where a giant psychic starfish is just par for the course in a big-budget superhero movie. Starro will play a role in The Suicide Squad, though whether he's meant to be the film's main villain or just one foe among many is unclear.

Based on what we know about the plot of The Suicide Squad, Task Force X is sent on a search-and-destroy mission to the politically unstable nation of Corto Maltese. In the comics, Corto Maltese houses a top-secret laboratory/prison called Jotunheim, which houses a number of top-secret experiments and weapons dating back to the Nazis.

We can probably assume a Starro specimen is being kept in the lab. And given that these mercenaries aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the supervillain box, one of them will probably set Starro free by accident. How will a crew of expendable killers with mostly minor super-powers stop a being as powerful as Starro the Conqueror? That should be interesting to see.

Now, what does all this have to do with The Suicide Squad? Our prediction: the squad, consisting of Bloodsport, Peacemaker, Captain Boomerang, Ratcatcher 2, Savant, King Shark, Blackguard, Javelin and Harley Quinn, are dispatched to Corto Maltese to eliminate a threat. Except, the mission turns out to involve a mysterious alien species (Starro) that has multiplied and latched itself onto a number of soldiers it then uses to mount a full-scale attack. The DC Fandome sneak peek showed brief images of soldiers covered in starfish (see below), which obviously bear a striking resemblance to the character’s comic book shenanigans, noted Coming Soon.

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