Yesterday's issue of Dark Nights: Metal brought back Starro the Conqueror, one of DC's longest-running villains and the first foe to have faced the Justice League of America -- but they did so with a twist.
Starro, a giant alien being who looks like a starfish and has incredible psychic powers, has long needed smaller facsimiles of himself -- actually starfish-sized mini-Starros -- to attach to his victims in order to control them.
That is no longer the case; the villain got a power upgrade from Barbatos, and now just needs to be able to make eye contact with his victim (remember, he is not quite like an actual starfish, but instead has a giant, human-looking eye in the middle of his body).
In Metal, Starro uses the new powers to seemingly overwhelm Batman and Superman, who have traveled into the Dark Multiverse in the hopes of defeating Barbatos.
He also boasts a new, cockier, sillier attitude that is somewhat more in line with his Justice League 3000 appearances, but likely a bit jarring for traditional fans.
That change apparently happened off-camera when Starro did battle with Mister Terrific. In an editor's note, the series editor indicates that he doesn't know when that supposedly happens, then asks the writer and artist for help. In a second editor's note, there is a set of heavy metal horns, signed by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo.
Starro the Conqueror is a member of the Hatorei species who used their innate psychic abilities to gain control of a Star Conqueror Motherstar in the distant past and who uses the Starros as his instrument of conquest. He has faced the Justice League over and over again, and in the 31st Century even took over a large chunk of the universe and became a recognized power.
The Metal event continues next week with Hawkman: Found, which plays off the final pages of Dark Nights: Metal #4 with a wild and dark reinvention of the decades-old titular superhero.