WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League #29 by Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Bruno Redondo, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, in stores now.
With the "Year of the Villain" unfolding across the DC Universe, the Justice League's battle against the Legion of Doom is looking bleak. The team has already lost Martian Manhunter, just as Lex Luthor has gotten more powerful than ever. Now, the Legion has six of the seven Hidden Forces of the Universe, Luthor is reaching out to every villain on the planet to give them what they want most, and they have Perpetua, the Mother of the Multiverse, on their nefarious side.
But now things have gone from bad to worse. In Justice League #29, we discover that a villain thought dead for some time is actually alive and under the control of the Legion of Doom: Starro the Conqueror.
The evil, mind-controlling giant starfish was last seen in the 2018 miniseries Justice League: No Justice. While Starro has long been a Justice League villain, the character actually joined the superheroes in No Justice to help defeat the cosmic threat of the Omega Titans. Recruited by Brainiac to help in the fight, Starro rapidly became a quirky fan-favorite. Unfortunately, he made the ultimate sacrifice during the battle. Ripped to shreds by an Omega Titan, Starro was survived only by one of his remains. Kept in a jar as he grew back, the aptly named Jarro was adopted by Batman and became the latest Justice League recruit.
Jarro, for all intents and purposes, is a new, heroic character, which meant that the original Starro was effectively dead, killed by the Omega Titans. However, that's no longer the case. In Justice League #29, it's revealed the Legion of Doom also have their own remnant of Starro the Conqueror. Kept in a containment unit at the Legion headquarters is a piece of one of Starro's tentacles, which Brainiac refers to as the real deal -- "the original Starro."
While the tentacle doesn't seem to be sentient yet, Brainiac explains he will regrow in due time. Worse still, the piece is psychically connected to Jarro, which means it already knows how the Justice League intends to fight in the upcoming "Justice/Doom War."
However, the question needs to be asked: When Starro died in No Justice, he was on the cusp of redemption, turning into an unlikely hero instead of a villain. When he regains his real size and sentience, will he once again be a force of evil -- or will some of that redemption have sunk in? If that's the case, then perhaps the Justice League has its own secret weapon hidden inside the Legion of Doom headquarters. They just don't know it yet.