Koriand'r: 1985 - 2004
The second child of the Royal Family of her homeworld of Tamaran, Princess Koriand’r never expected to sit on the throne of her people; however, a childhood illness robbed Koriand’r’s sister, Komand'r of her natural Tamaranean ability to convert ultraviolet light into flight energy and because of this, their father decided that the crown should pass on to the younger Koriand’r sister, to preserve the strongest possible bloodline. Of course, this upset Komand’r and she attempted to kill her sister in a violent outburst and was thus exiled from her home planet.
Year later, while Koriand’r was attending to matters of state with her father, the king, Komand’r returned in defiance of her exile with her power of flight returned thanks to her new allies that now accompanied her: Apokalypse. With an Apokaliptan emissary known only at the time as Fury at her side, Komand’r gave her father one chance to surrender and when the Tamaranean king refused, Fury dispatched the king’s elite guard while Komand’r personally killed her own father before Koriand’r's very eyes. After this coup, an Apokaliptan vanguard seized Koriand’r and uses her as a hostage, forcing her people to accept Komand’r’s claim to the throne. Of course, once crowned, Komand’r was little more than a mere puppet state of Apokalypse, while Koriand’r was imprisoned aboard an Apokaliptan prison ship that conducted crude experiments on her and other Tamaranean dissenters.
In six years’ time, Koriand’r was the only Tamaranean prisoner aboard the ship, her Royal blood having carried a trait that made her resilient to the experiments that had killed the rest of her people. While passing through Earth’s solar system, the Apokalyptan ship suffered a catastrophic collision with an asteroid. Due to the damage, a number of key systems went offline, Koriand’r was awoken from the stasis sleep she had been in and found herself “supercharged” with ultraviolet light that allowed her to blast her way to an escaped pod in the confusion.
The escape pod was automatically programmed to travel to the nearest habitable planet and thus set a collision course for Earth… and my life.
Starfire: 2005 - 2006
Upon Koriand’r’s invasion of Earth, she crash-landed in Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula. This was in the infancy of the Justice League of America and it was the Martian Manhunter, J'onn J'onzz who had the means to detect the presence of an Apokaliptan escape pod. After J'onn investigated and found no lifeform present, he decided that the risk of a possibly Apokaliptan fugitive on Earth was an urgent matter and called the World’s Greatest Detective to assist in the manhunt… err… alienhunt(?). Batman decided to bring Dick and me along.
I was expecting a few hours of searching, a quick beatdown of some alien scum, and then an overnight stay at some resort with a secluded grotto and some private time with Dick. For crying out loud, I wore a bikini under my bat-suit! But did I get any of that? Nope. What happened instead was three hours of searching before I happened upon Dick locking lips with this floozy. Go figure. Sure, she claimed it was to “learn English”, but if that’s the case, then shouldn’t she be a freakin’ English professor after all the kissing she’s done with him since then?
Anyway, after taking her back to the Hall of Justice, the JLA founder heard of her plight and decided to give her sanctuary for the time being and placed her in the Titans program to allow her to master her newly enhanced powers. The rest of the Titans welcomed her with open arms and I decided not to go to the Tower that summer… in hindsight, probably not my wisest decision because while Koriand’r got a new name (“Starfire”), the love of my friends, and my man, all I got was a bullet in the spine, courtesy of that [expletive] clown!
So, after living it up with the Titans in the Tower for while, Koriand’r began to desire to return to her homeworld to free her people shortly after I awoke from my coma. When Terra “died”, Koriand’r decided to “borrow” (read: steal) J'onn J'onzz's bioship. After another night with Dick in Blüdhaven, Koriand’r put Earth behind her without so much as a goodbye to her friends. Honestly, I had hoped she was gone for good. But of course, I wasn’t going to be that lucky, was I? No… We hadn’t seen the last of the Tamaranean Manstealer.
Starfire: 2006 - Present
So... Koriand'r doesn't remember what happened to her or what she did between her departure from Earth and her return. I would question this if we hadn't learned that Tamaraneans actually have the ability to block memories on demand as a survival mechanism to retain control of their emotionally dependent powers. We have been able to piece together that she left to go free her people, but was unsuccessful and was forced to flee back to Earth.
My personal theory is that her experiences changed her to such a degree that she feared her friends would no longer recognize her and the guilt or sorrow of her failure would compromise her powers, forcing her to quickly block her memories upon entering Earth's atmosphere, effectively returning her to the state she was when she left Earth to begin with.
Since returning to Earth, Koriand'r spared no time in hooking back up with Dick Grayson, returning to her career as a model, and getting an apartment with Donna Troy. Her and Dick dated for a couple years but ultimately they would have a falling out when Koriand'r didn't agree with Dick's desire to go undercover in ARGUS.
In 2006 Koriand'r became pregnant with Dick Grayson's child. There weren't any pregnancy symptoms, except an urge for nesting, which she mistook for a call to liberate her people. When she tried to challenge Komand'r she suddenly started vomiting and was beaten by Komand'r. She was imprisoned and Komand'r took her child, Mar'i. After being saved from death by resistance fighters she led a rebellion, but eventually her forces were crushed. In her last attempt she tried to save her daughter, but the Queen's soldiers pinned them down. Mar'i told her mother to save herself. When she was coming to Earth she decided to forget about it.
After Helena's betrayal she was imprisoned by ARGUS.
Okay... I'll admit it. Koriand'r is very cheerful and sweet... sickeningly so even. Despite having lived on Earth for many years, she is somewhat naive and considerably insecure, but her naivete is not to be mistaken for stupidity. An alien and an outsider, she is still rather new to Earth and its customs. This leads to much confusion for her and others, such as the awkwardness in casually drinking mustard as a beverage, and thinking cotton candy and cotton balls are the same thing.
Presumably due to the method that she used to learn English, Starfire speaks flawed English, often without contractions and misusing idioms (e.g. "Kick the butt!" as opposed to "Kick butt!" or "The mall of shopping" instead of "shopping mall" as well as "lobstery" instead of "crabby"). Additionally, she uses several Tamaranean nouns, such as "bumgorf" (term of endearment towards one's own child), "K'norfka" (parent or guardian), "clorbag valblernelk" (insulting term), "G'lufnog" (bless you; said after one sneezes), and "shlorvak" (dream). She also insists on sharing her own customs with other members of the team (such as providing a crown of raw meat to be worn on one's birthday), but doesn't generally take offense when they don't understand or refuse her.
Koriand'r takes friendship very seriously, and is easily distressed when others, especially her friends, argue or fight. She was arguably the most social of the OG Titans, regularly meditating with Raven, or lifting weights with Cyborg. She can also be particularly indignant to the point of snubbing her teammates when she believes they do not care for her friendship or company. Above all, Starfire wishes to be friends with everyone she meets, and for everyone to get along. This is in part probably, as before coming to Earth, Koriand'r didn't have real friends.
- Tamaranean Physiology: Her alien physiology constantly absorbs ultraviolet radiation and converts it to energy. When she is using her abilities in full force, her hair seems to glow and react like fire. However, this is simply an illusion and is not true fire, nor does it burn.
- Enhanced Strength: Koriand'r is superhumanly strong. The actual threshold varies depending on emotion levels as well as reserves of ultraviolet energy, but typically she exhibits Class II Enhanced Strength, allowing her to lift around 3 tons. When she is feeling 'boundless confidence' she has demonstrated lifting over a hundred times that weight, putting her in the Class VI to Class VII area.
- Enhanced Durability: Koriand'r is incredibly durable, bulletproof to low caliber ammunition, and is resistant to temperatures to the point that she can resist the vacuum of space for short periods of time.
- Enhanced Stamina: Due to her ability to absorb solar radiation, it is nearly impossible for Koriand'r to tire in daylight and has considerable energy reserves that allow her to function at peak levels for several hours even at night or in other environments deprived of solar energy.
- Flight: Koriand'r can use her energy to push herself through the sky. This only works when gravity is affecting her, and she cannot fly unaided in space. While this is a natural ability of all Tamaraneans, Koriand'r's gene-splicing allows her to more efficiently absorb solar radiation and thus can utilize it in such a way to propel herself at faster speeds than other Tamaraneans. Her flight is controlled by feeling a sense of 'unbridled joy' and the maximum speed thus varies dependent on her level of joy. Her highest recorded speed yet is Mach 10 (7,600 MPH) but typically she soars at a comfortable cruising speed at about Mach 1 (760 MPH).
- Linguistic Assimilation: Koriand'r is capable of assimilating other languages through physical contact with another person. She claims this contact must be lip to lip, effectively kissing the person. This ability fades away over time and must be 'replenished' approximately every week or so, depending on how much it is used and the complexity of the language.
- Ultraviolet Energy Projection: As a result of being experimented on, Koriand'r can project bright green-colored energy from her hands, activated by feeling a sense of what she describes as "righteous fury". Her energy attacks produce both thermal energy and highly explosive results on contact. She can augment the effectiveness of her punches by surrounding her hands in energy, and can also use this method to weld or carefully burn through obstacles with contact from her hands. These destructive blasts are called "starbolts" and she also has the power to unleash all her stored energy into a pseudo nova blast. It is suggested to be as hot as the sun itself and so only uses this in dire situations. Koriand'r can project her 'starbolts' at her opponents in a variety of ways. The energy is burning hot and melts or destroys most metal objects and skin. This ability stems from the genetic manipulation Koriand'r was subjected to and is not a natural Tamaranean ability.
- Starbolt Waves: She has also been shown to shoot this energy in the form of waves from her hands.
- Starbolt Shields: She can erect a strong defensive energy barrier and force-field around herself.
- Starblasts: Starfire is also able to shoot her energy in the form of powerful and large blasts from her hands.
- "Starry-Eyed Surprise": After going through the Tamaranean version of puberty, Koriand'r gained the highly useful ability to emit beams of her bright green energy from her eyes. Though not as destructive as her regular starbolts, these beams can be fired continuously in a steady stream, are more precise in direction, and also give her the element of surprise for when her hands are restrained.
- Prehensile Tongue: Koriand'r has a long, strong, and sticky purple tongue which can be used to grab things up to just over a meter away. This tongue is covered in a sticky enzyme known to kill nearly all bacteria, thus allowing Koriand'r to safely eat things that humans would find toxic (and what the tongue doesn't sanitize, her nine stomachs usually filter out).
- Aviation: Koriand'r has demonstrated considerable skill in piloting spacecraft and aircraft of all varieties.
- Firearms: As the princess of Tamaran, a planet that prides itself on its warrior tradition, Koriand'r was taught to use such weapons since birth. However since her gene-splicing, Koriand'r prefers using her own natural energy blasts rather than guns.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat: Koriand'r was taught combat moves as a young girl and continued to train through her imprisonment and beyond. Although trained, she often brutally attacks her opponents with reckless abandon in which she doesn't use her skills.
- Swordsmanship: Koriand'r has been seen using swords on a number of occasions. She prefers using her own fists.
- Azerothian Talismans: Thanks to them she can keep her identity secret.
- Tamaranean Physiology: Though outwardly humanoid in appearance, she has several biological differences, like having nine stomachs. As a result, there are a number of things that affect her in different ways than a human. For example, Koriand'r is allergic to metallic chromium. It gives her flu-like symptoms.
- Emotions: Koriand'r's abilities are tied to her emotional state, and generally can only be triggered when a specific emotion is focused on; because of this, her powers can be weakened or compromised when she is in emotional turmoil, like when she lost her ability to fly due to depression.
- Backfire: Interestingly, Koriand'r is not immune to her own energy blasts.
- Energy Drain: Using her self-sustenance and resistance to extreme temperatures takes a lot of energy so she can't survive forever in space. She also does need to breathe though her self-sustenance can delay that for a while.
- Naivety: Because she is so naive, it is easy for several people to take advantage of or betray her.
- Memory Loss: Tamaraneans apparently have the ability to 'block' memories on demand as a way to enable them to always have access to their abilities. Unfortunately, once they have blocked a particular memory, it can be difficult to retrieve without others around to remind them of what they had blocked. This seems to be the case with many of Koriand'r's memories between 2006 and her return to Earth.
Trivia and Notes
- The escape pod Starfire used to get to earth also carried another prisoner: Despero.
- Starfire joined the Justice League of America in 2006 nominated by The Flash.
- Starfire lost her membership from the Outsiders and Justice League after she went rogue alongside Arsenal and Red Hood.
- Barbara hates Kori because she feels her luck got bad when she landed on Earth; she got shot by the Joker, got crippled and lost the chance to confess her love to Dick because he started dating Kori. Kori on the other side, legitimately likes Babs and considers her a friend... She believes that Babs is just that way with everyone and doesn't really see that they have a problem.
- Kori loves drinking mustard.
- The way Starfire speaks is because she is naive of Earth's customs and language, but she isn't dumb... A little ignorant, but not without intelligence.
- When we first met Koriand'r, her height was 5`6" but she quickly shot up upon reaching full adulthood.
- Tamaraneans are actually descended from catlike creatures.
- Koriand'r has 9 stomachs, which may explain why she eats so much and never gains a pound.
- Koriand'r has a remarkable memory, as demonstrated by her ability to recite Tamaranean poetry that consists of 6000 verses.
- Tamaraneans' folk music consists mostly screaming, which is one of the few 'musical styles' I've seen that Victor Stone cannot tolerate.
- Kori's address is a nod to her first comic book appearance: DC Comics Presents #26, by Marv Wolfman and George Perez in 1980.
- Her Titans costume is based on her costume from Rebirth.
- Her adult costume is based on her costume from Starfire Vol 2.
- Her "Starry-Eyed Surprise" ability is a nod to "Teen Titans" animated series episode "Transformation".