You probably don’t recognize the superhero Star-Blossom. She’s never been in a movie adaptation, TV series, video game, cartoon. In fact, up until this week, she’d only appeared in one 10-page story in 2016’s Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special.
And yet, when DC Comics revealed that Star Blossom’s creators, Gail Simone and Colleen Doran, would returned to pen the character’s second ever story, fans of the Battling Amazon rejoiced. Peony McGill, is a young, black, aspiring superhero with the power to control flowers, and a lot of folks who’re interested in seeing her again.
With Star-Blossom’s return in this week’s 96-page anthology issue, Wonder Woman #750, Polygon chatted with Simone and Duran about revisiting their breakout character. And once you’re done reading their responses, you can read four pages of their new Star-Blossom story, courtesy of DC Comics.
Polygon: It seems like readers really got attached to Star-Blossom, just from one short story. Have you seen that enthusiasm as well, or is it just my Tumblr feed?
Gail Simone: Oh, my gosh, no, Star-Blossom exploded. The [social media] threads showing scenes from that story have gotten many hundreds of thousands of views, to the point where even top people at DC suddenly were asking about the character, and that’s not normally something that is taken heavily into consideration. There was kind of a “what’s happening here?” thing, which is lovely. DC was very supportive and lovely. Particularly for a story where she only appears on a few pages total.
But yeah, there’s cosplayers, fan art, I can’t remember the last time I saw essentially a cameo character get this kind of reaction. It’s lovely.
Colleen Doran: That enthusiasm is all over. It rained joy on Twitter. It was quite unexpected and so welcome, we were all absolutely delighted with the outpouring of love for Star-Blossom! Threads neared a million responses, it was extraordinary! I’ve never seen anything like it! People were making their own toys of her because DC doesn’t have any toys! It was an amazing response to a character that had appeared in only one short story!
Why do you think Star-Blossom is so beloved by her fans?
Gail Simone: I think there’s an optimism there, a joy to Peony (her real name, she doesn’t have a secret identity), that people responded to… there’s so much cynicism and grey mist in comics and the world. I think it’s a pleasure to have someone who loves so freely and cares so deeply.
And if I may, there is another behind-the-scenes thing that leaked out onto the page. When I was growing up, Colleen Doran was simply a hero to me; she wrote, she drew, she published, and she fought against the darkness no matter what the cost. I adored her. It was intimidating even to say HELLO to her, years later. Then we got this assignment and I thought, here I am, working with this goddess, this hero of mine… it was a very Star-Blossom/Wonder Woman moment, and I think that informed the story.
AND she has the power of flowers, which I would take over claws or heat vision any day.
Colleen Doran: [Peony] is just a joy. We had only one goal when we created her: to make a happy, positive, fun girl hero who had a great attachment to Wonder Woman. And these are dark times, people need that light. I didn’t realize just how much they would respond to light until Star-Blossom turned it on!
She was especially fun for me because I’ve been an avid gardener with a lifelong love of flowers, so sitting around drawing a character with flower power is my idea of a good day.