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Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer's Starro Pitch

The following was originally posted on Evan Dorkin's LiveJournal on January 28, 2006, click here for original post.

Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer's Starro Pitch

Subject: Failures in Freelancing Part 5

Time: 7:22 am.

This is another plot pitch from the Superman animated series, which was also a strike-out with the comic series editors when I tried to sell it to them as a two-parter or giant-sized annual. I seemed to have been the only one who liked this bit, the ending is 50's monster movie cornball, but I think it works in context (it is a giant monster story) and I thought this would have made for a fun story with a lot of cameos and action, a lot of visuals and a larger scale than the usual episode/issue. Maybe there was too much going on, maybe it just doesn't work. ANyway, here's another swing and miss:

INVASION!

CHARACTERS

Starro the Conqueror

Supergirl

Brainiac

Luthor

Practically the entire cast of the show

The skies above Metropolis turn red and cloudy, the heavens roil eerily -- no one has ever seen weather like this before. Superman takes to the skies to check the phenomena out --and disappears. Metropolis watches the skies in anticipation and some dread, as do the staff of the Planet.

Suddenly the heavens open up and it begins to rain --only not water, but repulsive, grayish blue starfish-like creatures with spiraling, bloodshot singular eyes. The starfish rain down all over the panicked city, smashing through buildings and windows and cars. Worse yet, the creatures are attaching themselves over the faces of people and animals, taking control of their hosts and turning them onto their fellow humans.

At the Planet, phones, faxes, transmissions and e-mail all scream lurid details of creatures from space and Metropolis citizens turning on one another. Perry tries to calm everyone, reminding them they deal with facts, and that while events of late have bee strange, so far they don't have hard facts. Perry turns to the window, and his speech is interrupted as a starfish smashes through the glass and attaches to the chief's face. The staff is horrified as White turns and attacks Jimmy. The others subdue Perry but cannot remove the creature. Reports come in from all over the city...the populace is being taken over by these creatures, and there's rioting and fighting in the streets.

We then see the effect on the city -calls to the police go unheeded as Turpin and Sawyer and a few cops find themselves trapped in their precinct by a bevy of mind-controlled officers.

Amidst the terror and panic, the source of the attack becomes known. The skies darken, the colors deepen, and a gigantic, otherworldly version of the small starfish slowly lowers itself towards the spires of Metropolis --this is Starro, conqueror of worlds.

But defending this world are several people in the wake of Superman's disappearance --one being Supergirl, who'd been coming to visit Superman. Members of the police and local military not under control fight as well, as do members of STAR labs. The others aren't so heroic --Luthor has marshaled his resources to fight the invader (even while he readies an evacuation plan for himself and Mercy), as has Brainiac and possibly other villainous cast members, who realize that Starro is everyone's enemy. At the same time, there is room to bring in several other DC Universe guest stars who could reach ground zero quickly, such as Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern, etc.

As they attempt to repel Starro and his invasion force, Brainiac tells Supergirl that he's calculated that if undefeated, Starro will have conquered the Earth within three days.

We learn that Starro is a legend Supergirl had heard as a child -one she had thought was told to frighten unsleeping children. Starro tells her this is not so --in flashback we see his time-tested methods for subjugating planets --his starfish land and turn the populace against one another, while he dispatches any major threats or armies. After exhausting a planet for food and energy, he leaves it a wasteland. Starro is a monstrous parasite, unwilling to live without draining others. He has destroyed every system he has touched --and fully expects to do the same on Earth.

As if to underscore that point, a massive creature made up of hundreds of starfish lands from the sky and attacks Brainiac and Supergirl, et al. After a vicious battle, they smash the starfish exoskeleton away to reveal Superman underneath, still possessed by the battalion of creatures needed to maintain control. Brainiac and Supergirl manage to free an exhausted Superman, who recounts his being waylaid by an advance group of the parasites - after tearing initial multitudes of them from his body he succumbed, and the swarm enveloped him and took possession.

With Superman in the fray, they begin to pound away at Starro --but the Starfish is powerful, and the battle for Metropolis rages on, in the precinct, in the streets, and in the air. Finally, the fight with Starro takes them to the Metropolis zoo --where curiously, Starro becomes stymied --and attacking starfish become hesitant and then powerless, dropping dead to the ground. Superman realizes that it happened near the dolphin tanks --and Brainiac surmises that the dolphins language emits sound waves that effectively interrupt the control impulse Starro has over his minions.

Somehow the effect is reproduced on a large scale --either by Brainiac, or maybe they get Aquaman's help with a passel of dolphins, or STAR jerry-rigs something, but they cut the starfish off from Starro, releasing their captors, killing the starfish, and weakening Starro, who is sent packing from Earth.

The truce ends afterward, as the one-time allies break ranks and return to their roles, whether to rebuild Metropolis or plot against it in the future. For now, the city, and the Earth, is safe once again.