The odd-couple friendship between Raven and Starfire of the Titans is one of comics’ greatest friendships, and a new YA graphic novel pays tribute!
An upcoming graphic novel from DC will resurrect a classic Teen Titans friendship: Starfire and Raven’s “odd-couple” relationship. The book, titled I Am Not Starfire, will focus on Starfire and her goth daughter Mandy’s relationship and is written by Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass) with art by Yoshi Yoshitani (Beneath the Moon). It will be in stores in August 2021.
When writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez revamped the Teen Titans for DC in the early 1980s, they not only brought back classic Titans such as Robin and Donna Troy, they created new characters as well, Starfire and Raven among them. The two could not have been more different: Starfire was an alien princess with a bubbly personality and a tendency to run around scantily-clad; Raven was also a child of royalty, the daughter of the demon Trigon, but her personality was the polar opposite of Starfire: moody and brooding. Despite all this, the two found common ground and became friends; this odd-couple pairing helped propel The New Teen Titans into Top 10 sales and critical acclaim. And now DC puts a unique spin on this friendship in I Am Not Starfire.
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Readers are introduced to Mandy, Starfire’s daughter. Decked out in an all-black goth ensemble—more suited for Raven’s daughter than Starfire’s. Mandy lives in her mother’s shadow, something she wishes to escape. She is also an outcast at her school and is planning to disappoint her mother by not going to college. Added up, Mandy sounds like the daughter of the moody and brooding Raven rather than the outgoing and popular Starfire.
Odd couple relationships are a classic trope in movies, TV, and books, and Raven and Starfire’s friendship fits this perfectly. Despite these differences in personality, the two had much in common, each being the child of royalty; they both had been through horrifying traumas as well, giving them even more to bond over. And now DC has brought this pairing back, sort of, in I Am Not Starfire.
Wolfman and Perez’s New Teen Titans was one of the most popular books of the early 1980s and the team dynamics was a huge part of that – Starfire and Raven’s friendship being one of them. This seemingly mismatched pair bonded over family histories and trauma and became one of comics’ classic pairings. Making Starfire’s daughter essentially a young Raven honors the spirit of that friendship. While it is not known if Raven will make an appearance in I Am Not Starfire, no doubt she would approve of Starfire’s daughter Mandy.
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