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Our Exclusive First Look at the Book Trailer to DC’s I Am Not Starfire Shows That Good Parental Intentions Don’t Always End Well

“ALL of the colleges?”

Starfire and Mandy

We are just a couple of weeks away before the release of I Am Not Starfire, DC’s upcoming YA graphic novel that focuses on Mandy, Starfire’s daughter. Mandy’s the exact opposite of her bright and dazzling mother, something she’s reminded of every single day. Since she’s the daughter of the infamous Teen Titan there are certain expectations placed on her – on top of regular teenage pressures like “pick a college, you HAVE to go to college.”

Written by Eisner Award-winning author Mariko Tamaki (Harley Quinn Breaking Glass) and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Zatanna and the House of Secrets), the two are bringing us a coming-of-age story about relationships and self-discovery.

We got an exclusive first look at a book trailer to the upcoming graphic novel.

Seventeen-year-old Mandy, daughter of Starfire, is NOT like her mother. Starfire is gorgeous, tall, sparkly, and a hero. Mandy is NOT a sparkly superhero. Mandy has no powers, is a kid who dyes her hair black, and hates everyone but her best friend Lincoln. To Starfire, who is from another planet, Mandy seems like an alien, like some distant angry light-years away moon.

And it’s possible Mandy is even more distant lately, ever since she walked out on her S.A.T.s. Which, yeah, her mom doesn’t know.

Everyone thinks Mandy needs to go to college and become whoever you become at college, but Mandy has other plans. Mandy’s big plan is that she’s going to move to France and…do whatever people do in France. But then everything changes when she gets partnered with Claire for a school project. Mandy likes Claire (even if she denies it, heartily and intensely). A lot.

How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when you don’t know what that is? How do you become the person you’re supposed to be when the only thing you’re sure of is what you’re not?

When someone from Starfire’s past arrives, Mandy must make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything to save her mom. I am Not Starfire is a story about teenagers and/as aliens; about knowing where you come from and where you are going; and about mothers. 

Along with the trailer we also got an excerpt from the graphic novel. The excerpt focuses on Mandy’s relationship with Starfire, who is the kind of glamorous mom that walks around the house in an, admittedly, fabulous robe. She’s excited to present Mandy with a literal basket full of college applications, unaware of the anxiety her daughter’s feeling about the whole thing.

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What I like about these pages is that it’s clear that Starfire isn’t purposely making things difficult for Mandy. She’s clearly trying – in her cute, very Starfire way (“Perhaps you wish for the egg rolls?” LOL, oh Starfire) It’s just not what Mandy’s interested in, but Mandy doesn’t know how to go about telling her mother that. Starfire has an idea about what Mandy’s life should be, and when your mom is the symbol of pure optimism, it’s hard to tell her no.

Starfire and Mandy aren’t malicious toward the other, they just don’t know how to express their feelings. I’m sure the appearance of a certain evil aunt will push them in the right direction (though I suspect that Mandy’s going to think Blackfire is kinda cool at first) It looks like this is the first time Mandy’s ever met that side of her family and I’m wondering if Starfire has even told her about Blackfire and Tamaran. Talk about an awkward family reunion.

Despite the inevitable grand scale of things, like Mandy having to fight for the throne of Tamaran, this very much feels like the kind of graphic novel that discusses relatable issues via space battles and superpowers. 

I Am Not Starfire is available for pre-order now. The graphic novel will be released on July 27.

(Image: Yoshi Yoshitani/courtesy of DC)

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Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)