Starfire #4

Last month's surprise re-introduction of the new Terra to the DC Universe was enough of a shock it almost overshadowed the fact that Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and Emanuela Lupacchino's "Starfire" is such a fun series. With that out of the way, though, "Starfire" #4 continues the overall enjoyable nature of this series, as Starfire and Terra continue a superhero team-up readers can only hope will happen on a semi-frequent basis.

What makes "Starfire" #4 work so well is the quickly burgeoning friendship between Starfire and Terra. Even while they're fighting off the Chida monster from last issue, the two clearly enjoy each other's company in a shared-situation manner. They're bonding as much over being superpowered people in Key West as they are liking each other's personalities, and watching them play off of one another is a lot of fun.

More importantly, Conner and Palmiotti continue the slightly silly but sweet tone of "Starfire" in this issue. Watching Stella flip out over everything that's going on while Starfire and Terra embrace her in a group hug is wonderfully over the top, with Stella as the straight man to their slight silliness. Little moments -- like Starfire not going to the catching point because she was so enthralled by Terra's story or the latest in Starfire's pictograms illustrating idiomatic speech -- bring such a charm to this comic that it's hard to put it down without a big smile.

Along those lines, Lupacchino's pencils establish that overall feel. There's a light-hearted nature to the pages, and characters are allowed to look attractive without coming across as exploitative. The action sequences are solid, like the destruction of the Chida, and best of all is Stella's frustration just radiating off of the page as she pulls her hair and screams. It's silly and funny, and it takes the edge off of what could have otherwise come across as harsh or negative.

"Starfire" #4 is by no means great literature, but it isn't and shouldn't try to be. This is a light, fun comic that revels in the tropes of superhero comics without getting caught up in any darkness. There's always room for a sweet-natured comic like "Starfire" and I for one am glad that we have it.

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