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DC’s Starfire Has a Plus-Size, Goth, Queer Teen Daughter and I’m So in Love With This Concept

Mandy's about to be my favorite teen character of 2021.

Oh, ya darn kids who like to rebel against your sunshine parents and crush on cute girls. Such is the case with the upcoming graphic novel I Am Not Starfire by New York Times bestselling author, Mariko Tamaki (Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass), and artist Yoshi Yoshitani (Beneath the Moon, Zatanna and the House of Secrets) whose art portfolio is way too gorgeous to try and sum up in one post.

Here’s what the official DC YA graphic novel will be about, according to the Bleeding Cool article Tamaki shared on Twitter:

Seventeen-year-old Mandy Koriand’r is not her mother. Daughter of Starfire and high school outcast, Mandy is constantly trying to get out from under the shadow of her bright, bubbly, scantily clad, and famous mother. Dyeing her bright orange hair black and sticking close to her best friend, Lincoln, Mandy spends her days at school avoiding Teen Titans superfans and trying to hide her feelings for the gorgeous, popular, and perfect Claire. And while Mandy usually avoids spending too much time with her alien mother, she’s been particularly quiet as she’s keeping one major secret from her: Mandy walked out of her S.A.T.

While Mandy continues to tell Lincoln her plans of moving to France to escape the family spotlight and not go to college, she secretly hides a fear of not knowing her identity outside of just being the daughter of a superhero and who she will become. But when she is partnered with Claire to work on a school project, their friendship develops into something more and a self-confidence unknown to Mandy begins to bloom. Claire seems to like Mandy for being Mandy, not the daughter of Starfire.

But when someone from Starfire’s past comes to disrupt Mandy’s future, Mandy must finally make a choice: give up before the battle has even begun, or step into the unknown and risk everything. I Am Not Starfire is a story about mother-daughter relationships, embracing where you come from while finding your own identity, and learning to be unafraid of failing, if it was even failing in the first place.

This. Is. My. JAM!

I’m immediately in love with this chubby goth look. I’m on record saying that I grew up wanting to embrace that goth aesthetic but had zero options as a plus-size teen in the 90s. So yeah, this girl? Speaks to my missed opportunities from back in the day.

And, since I’m a transparent ass disaster bi, I’m all for this LGBTQ+ angle. Like … more YA with this, please!

Also, something about a kid trying their damndest to not only differentiate themselves from their parents, but from the stardom their parents bring, speaks to me. I’m one of those people who wonder about the hero family from the perspective of the person who’s exhausted of it, not because of the battles, but because of things like “Teen Titans superfans,” especially since Mandy is the child of Starfire and not a Teen Titan herself.

Mandy has to deal with her mother’s popularity, which has nothing to do with her but would absolutely interfere with her day. That makes it sound like it’s more than just an “ugh when my mom smiles dandelions bloom” kind of tension. Mandy’s goth look seems to serve multiple purposes: combating that bright orange hair she was born with in order to distance herself from her mother, distance herself from the fandom her mother generates, and, well, maybe she just likes it.

I’m curious to see how Starfire deals with this. There’s no word on who Mandy’s father is, or if he’ll even come up. If it’s Robin, for example, that would create an interesting dynamic since Robin is moodier than Starfire. I feel like Mandy would vibe more with him and curse the fact that her eyes glow green. I’m expecting that, no matter who the father is, Starfire’s gonna be making some calls to Raven for advice. I bet Mandy loves Auntie Raven, maybe they meditate together, or go shopping, yeah, they definitely go shopping.

I’m interested in seeing a superhero, especially one who’s normally positive, being perplexed with parenthood.  That’s not to say that I don’t want any action, and I’m fairly certain that “someone” from Starfire’s past is gonna need a boss battle, I’m just intrigued with extraordinary people struggling to come to terms with issues us regular folks deal with every day.

I Am Not Starfire is scheduled for release in August 2021.

(Image: DC Comics)

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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)