Starro the Conqueror, the first enemy faced by the Silver Age Justice League and one of DC's most powerful (and bizarre) alien threats, is rumored to be the villain that will bring together Task Force X for a mission in James Gunn's upcoming film The Suicide Squad. Obviously, DC fans can't wait to see the character appear in live-action...but how many of them remember the last time Starro appeared in live-action? That's right, the character has already turned up...on the small screen. And no, not just as an Easter egg in an Arrowverse episode or something in a fantasy sequence on Doom Patrol.
Starro had a brief but incredibly memorable appearance in the pilot to Powerless, the short-lived NBC sitcom set in the DC Universe and produced by Harley Quinn showrunner Patrick Schumacher. The series, for those who don't remember, was originally pitched as being about an insurance company that operated in the DC Universe, but later morphed into a show about an R&D group at a Wayne Enterprises-owned corporation run by Bruce's Michael Scott-like cousin, Van Wayne (Alan Tudyk).
In the pilot, Starro appears briefly, climbing a building across the street from series lead Emily (Vanessa Hudgens), only to be quickly obliterated and splattered all over Emily's window by what looks like a Green Lantern ring's blast. It's a close call, but Starro might not have even lasted as long on Powerless as Slipknot did in David Ayer's Suicide Squad movie So...coincidence?!
Starro, a character who first appeared in 1960, is a supervillain shaped, as you can see, like a giant, purple starfish with a red eye in its center mass. Starro spawns tiny Starros, which then attach themselves to people's faces, making them mindless drones controlled by the main Starro.
The large Starros are in turn beholden to a gargantuan Mother Star, and communicate amongst themselves psychically throughout the universe as they work to enslave various races and worlds on behalf of the Mother Star.
A frequent opponent of the Justice League, Starro has also had his share of more offbeat stories; in a 2008 tale, a Starro from the future possessed Rip Hunter and sent him back in time to spread Starro spores in the 14th Century; in Howard Porter, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis's Justice League 3000 and Justice League 3001, the titular team had to navigate a section of space where Starro was essetially in unquestioned control; and more recently, writer Scott Snyder has been using "Jarro," a Starro spore raised in a jar by Batman, and who is not evil, in his Justice League and Metal stories.
Suicide Squad is set to hit theaters in 2021. You can't stream Powerless on any subscription service in the United States, but you can buy it on platforms like Vudu, Amazon, and iTunes for about $20 for all ten episodes.