Titans Makes a Deep-Cut Reference to a Spider-Man's Firestar – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The latest episode of Titans contains a sly shout-out to a classic character from the Spider-Man mythos.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Titans Season 3, Episode 7, “51%,” available now on HBO Max.
Created by George Pérez and Marv Wolfman, Koriand’r/Starfire is one of the founding members of Titans titular team and a key player in the show’s events. And while Titans Season 3 has made clear the team is more in the public eye than ever, the latest episode of the series, “51%,” sees a villain mistaking her for a deep-cut Spider-Man character.
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In “51%,” Komand’r/Blackfire and Starfire head to the house of Valeska Nox, one of Gotham’s crime bosses. After bloodying her bodyguard’s nose, Blackfire and Starfire confront Nox in the kitchen. However, before Koriand’r can identify herself, Nox notes she recognizes her from TV, saying, “Fire-star or something, right?”
Created by Dennis Marks, Dan Spiegle, Christy Marx, John Romita Sr. and Rick Hoberg, Angelica Jones/Firestar first appeared in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. The character, who is one of Marvel’s mutants and has fire-based powers, essentially just exists because the production couldn’t get the rights to the Human Torch. In the show, she serves as a potential love interest for both Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Bobby Drake/Iceman. She later made her way to the main Marvel Universe continuity.
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It’s not totally clear if the reference here is intentional. Despite a number of notable differences, Starfire and Firestar have fairly similar powers and their names are incredibly close. As such, they’re sometimes confused. However, the subtitles for “51%” on HBO Max use a hyphen for Fire-star, which perfectly matches the original spelling used in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. So while this could definitely be a coincidence, there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that it isn’t and that Titans is, in fact, making a sly nod to a classic Spider-Man character.
Even if this is a reference, it in no way implies Marvel Comics or any of its characters are part of the Titans Universe. Instead, Nox calling Starfire by the wrong name is likely just a subtle joke about people having made the mistake in the past. Plus, it characterizes Nox — who almost certainly knows the hero’s name is Starfire — as fearless in the face of danger, which plays an important role in the “51%.”
The first seven episodes of Titans Season 3 are available now on HBO Max. Episode 8 releases Sept. 16.
KEEP READING: Titans Season 3 Is a Major Step Up For the Series
L.D. Nolan is the Features Team Lead at CBR. Prior to writing online, he worked in academia. He’s currently trying to work his way through a pile of unread books that threatens to come crashing down, burying everything he loves and cares about, including his cat. You can find him on Twitter @LD_Nolan.


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