- "Have you come to save me from that madman? Thirty years he's kept me here, tortured me, had his way with me!"
- ―Starro to Task Force X[src]
Starro the Conqueror, or simply Starro, was a gigantic, starfish-like extraterrestrial being imprisoned in Jotunheim in Corto Maltese and the primary subject of Project Starfish. After it was targeted for termination by Task Force X, it went on a rampage across the city, using its girth and mind-controlling spores to cause havoc.
Starro was discovered floating near Earth by American astronauts sometime near the end of the Cold War. They brought it inside the space shuttle, where it released several spores of itself, attaching themselves to the astronauts and controlling their minds.
Imprisoned in Jotunheim
It was ultimately brought to Earth, where the United States government, hoping to weaponize it, made a deal with the government of Corto Maltese to imprison and conduct experiments on it entitled "Project Starfish" in Jotunheim, where it was experimented on by geneticist Gaius Grieves, who dubbed him "Starro the Conqueror".
Due to an explosion on Jotunheim set off by the Task Force X, Starro was able to break out of its containment, killing Grieves and destroying the tower. It then confronts the Corto Maltese military and the Task Force X, releasing hundreds of spores, subjugating much of the military. Continuing its rampage across the civilian population, the Task Force X decides to fight it off. It was then ultimately defeated when Ratcatcher 2 summoned a legion of rats to eat away at its flesh, with help from Harley Quinn, who used Javelin's weapon to break into its eye and allow the rats to attack its internal organs, killing it.
Starro is shown to be harmless prior to its discovery and was a fan of stargazing while in space, only attacking when it was unwillingly taken by the American astronauts. After its capture and during its time within 'Project Starfish', Starro suffered from immense, constant physical and mental torture for 30 years, pleading with Task Force X to save it from "that madman" and brutally dismembered Grieves despite his desperate pleas to spare him.
After being freed, it took its anger out on Corto Maltese, wreaking havoc on Valle Del Mar and enslaving the populace as hosts for its army. As it died, Starro professed that it was perfectly content floating within deep space and staring at the stars in the cosmos.
Powers and abilities
- Superhuman strength: As expected from its large size, Starro has the ability to destroy objects in its path with no effort whatsoever, being able to easily tear the Thinker apart with its tentacles.
- Superhuman durability: Due to its impressive size, Starro has a very dense skin, allowing it to survive deadly attacks that would've killed an ordinary human. It survived Polka-Dot Man's polka dot blast, nearly losing an arm. However, the army of rats was able to eat through its flesh and ultimately kill it.
- "Not progeny, extensions of itself. They take hosts, and those hosts in turn become part of the central being. It feeds on their consciousnesses. Grows larger, more powerful."
- Spore Creation: Starro can asexually spawn thousands of miniature copies or itself from its body. Not true life forms, the spores latch onto the face of human sized prey, eating through the surface tissue until reaching the brain. If not able to find a suitable host within a few seconds, they die.
- Mind Control: Any host infected by the spores become extensions of Starro's own will, their minds devoured and their bodies reduced to little more than zombies under its thrall. Should Starro itself be killed, his absorbed hosts also die.
- Psionic Consumption: In addition to allowing Starro to spread his power, the spores drain the mental energy of their hosts and transmit it back to Starro, providing him with nourishment and allowing him to further increase in size,
- Prehensile Tentacles: Starro has short tentacles within the tips of its arms that allow it to interact with relatively smaller objects, such as grabbing King Shark to throw him aside.
- Adaptation: Starro has shown to quickly adapt to its surroundings, having previously existed in space and adjusting to the oxygen rich atmosphere of Earth with little difficulty.
- Void Survivability: Starro naturally possesses the ability to live and even thrive in the vaccum of space without any discernable atmosphere or nourishment.
This article section is incomplete and requires expansion.
- Gaius Grieves/Thinker † - jailer, former manipulator and victim
- Corto Maltese Armed Forces - former captors
- Amanda Waller
- John Economos
- Task Force X - attempted killers and attempted victims
- Army of rats - killers
Behind the scenes
- In DC Comics, Starro the Conqueror is an starfish-like alien who intends to take over the universe. Its physical appearance is that of a gigantic starfish, containing millions of similar drones that latch onto a host and control its mind. This ability to dominate an entire populace with ease makes it an incredibly dangerous threat, and one of the earliest and greatest enemies of the Justice League of America. Starro was created by Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky, and first appeared in The Brave and the Bold #28.
- Starro in the DC Extended Universe is the third live-action incarnation of the character, after the Starro devices in Smallville and Starro in Powerless.