Titans: What Happens To Starfire's Powers (Is Blackfire A Villain?)

Warning! SPOILERS for Titans season 3, episode 10 "Trouble Water."

Titans has once again left fans scratching their heads when it comes to the rival sisters from Tamaran, but what really happened to Starfire’s powers in the episode “Troubled Water”, and is Blackfire really the supervillain she appears to be? The HBO Max series originally introduced Starfire’s (or Kory Ander’s) sister as a major foil at the end of season 2 with the revelation that she had murdered her parents and seized the throne of her home world Tamaran. However, there appears to have been a major creative shift in the period between seasons, as showrunners opted to instead run with Jason Todd’s transformation into Red Hood as the primary storyline in season 3, making some very unexpected changes to Blackfire’s character and backstory as a result. 

Kory received a few changes in between seasons as well. It was made clear that she was losing her abilities during the final battle against Deathstroke and Cadmus Labs in San Francisco, but when season 3 finally arrived she was back to roasting bad guys at seemingly full strength with no explanation provided. When she mysteriously began having nightmarish visions and waking up in trances with no control of her faculties, Gar somewhat hesitantly helped her track the source of the problem, finding and releasing Blackfire from a secret government containment facility that—apparently—had captured her upon arrival on Earth. Blackfire has spent the remainder of the season rebuilding her relationship with her sister and even managed to gain back enough trust to join the Titans, new super suit and all. 

Related: Why Batman Attempts To Take His Own Life In Titans Season 3

Just as Blackfire was settling in as a member of the team, the show’s writers pulled the rug out from under the whole thing. During the season 3 episode “Troubled Water”, the Titans attempt to turn themselves in to the GCPD as a show of good faith after being framed by Scarecrow, who somehow managed to hack into every screen in Gotham and accuse the group of poisoning the city’s water supply. Blackfire is shot and injured when their surrender attempt turns into a violent shoutout between the Titans and the police. After escaping to a secluded area, Kory attempts to heal her sister but in the process Blackfire somehow siphons all of her powers. Of course, the now completely powerless Kory immediately accuses her sister of plotting this from the very beginning despite Blackfire’s claims that she has no idea what happened, throwing all their hard work and progress out the window. 

Whether Kory, and indeed Titans fans alike, can actually trust Blackfire is an interesting question. She was clearly introduced to the series with the idea of her being a villain. Virtually every incarnation of her character—from her introduction in New Teen Titans to Justice League Odyssey to Teen Titans Go! and beyond—has depicted her as the villain. On the other hand, Blackfire did seem genuinely confused as to why she was stealing her sister’s powers as it was happening. Her very sudden turn and willingness to abandon the Titans mid-combat also flies in the face of a seemingly genuinely relationship formed between her and Superboy, as well as Blackfire’s character-defining revelation that not only did she kill her parents out of self-defense, but it was actually Kory’s refusal to return to Tamaran that caused her to do so. 

With three episodes remaining in the season, one of the Titans’ greatest weapons is seemingly out of commission ahead of an impending end-game battle against Red Hood and Scarecrow at the conclusion of Titans season 3. While this opens the door to Blackfire potentially saving the day and fully committing herself to the cause, it seems just as likely that Koriand’r may have pushed her sister over the edge by refusing to accept her sincerity, despite how hard she has worked to prove herself thus far. 

Next: Titans: Why Scarecrow Could've Already Poisoned Dick & Barbara

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