|First appearance||Teen Titans #18 (December 1968)|
|Created by||Len Wein (writer)|
Marv Wolfman (writer)
Bill Draut (artist)
|Alter ego||Leonid Konstantinovitch Kovar|
|Team affiliations||Teen Titans|
Red Star (Russian: Kрасная Звезда, romanized: Krasnaya Zvezda, Leonid Konstantinovitch Kovar), formerly named Starfire (Звездный Огонь, Zvezdnyy Ogon'), is a fictional Russian superhero in the DC Universe.
A former member of the Teen Titans, Red Star first appeared under the name Starfire in Teen Titans #18 (Dec. 1968) and was created by Len Wein, Marv Wolfman and Bill Draut.
While still a young teenager, Leonid Kovar and his father Konstantin (an archaeologist) investigate a spaceship that has crashed into the Yenisei River; during their investigation the ship explodes. It imbues Leonid with energy and gives him super-strength, speed, and pyrokinesis. Being a Russian patriot who believes in communism, he offers his services to his country and becomes the first official Russian superhero in the DC Universe, taking the name Starfire. He does not reappear until The New Teen Titans #18 in 1982. A new character named Starfire is on the team at this point, and Leonid subsequently changes his codename to "Red Star". He is one of the heroes that assemble to fight the Villain War in Crisis on Infinite Earths, although his politics cause friction with both Hawk and Negative Woman, a Soviet defector.
In The New Titans (vol. 2) #76 (1991), Red Star joins the Teen Titans. After two years, Red Star leaves the Titans with Pantha and Baby Wildebeest to form a family. They eventually move to the Soviet locale called 'Science City'.
He is not seen again until the JLA/Titans miniseries in 1999. He makes a few minor appearances over the next few years and is featured in Infinite Crisis #4, in which he is frozen solid by Superboy-Prime after witnessing the brutal murder of Pantha and Baby Wildebeest. In the Infinite Crisis hardback collection, he is seen several hours later at a mass for fallen heroes.
He joins the Titans during the one year jump, but leaves the team for unknown reasons. He helps them in their search for Raven. Since his last appearance he has stopped an invasion of Russia by the aliens from his origin, and been appointed State Protector. He is now based in a ship similar to the one that exploded, hovering over Moscow.
Red Star later greets Tim Drake, a former teammate of his during the one year jump, when he comes to Russia for a meeting with Viktor Mikalek, a powerful business tycoon with suspected ties to the criminal organization known as the Society. When the meeting is interrupted by a vengeful female vigilante named Promise, Red Star intervenes and rescues Mikalek. After finding Tim in the midst of a discussion with Promise, Red Star mistakenly believes that they are working together, only for Tim to reveal Mikalek's dealings with the Society. Red Star claims that he is well aware of Mikalek's criminal activities, and states that they are a necessary evil needed to rescue Russia's failing economy from total collapse. He attacks Tim, who breaks into Red Star's alien ship and discovers a stockpile of nuclear warheads. Following an adventure in the Undernet, Red Robin is allowed to leave.
During the final battle between the Teen Titans and Superboy-Prime's Legion of Doom, Red Star and a group of other former Titans arrive to help turn the tide. He attacks Prime himself, angrily blaming him for the death of his family. Although he does manage to hurt Prime, Red Star is quickly overpowered by the villain, but is rescued by the other Titans.
In the Watchmen sequel Doomsday Clock, Red Star is seen on TV coming out of retirement to serve the people of Russia as a member of the "People's Heroes" alongside other Soviet themed metahumans like Lady Flash of Blue Trinity, and leader Mikhail Arkadin/Pozhar.
Red Star is empowered by unknown alien energies that have caused chain reactions within his molecular structure, altering his physical abilities and reflexes. Over time, these abilities have changed and he has developed from merely having augmented strength and speed to being equipped with an array of different powers.
Red Star's abilities include superhuman strength, speed, invulnerability, and endurance. Red Star can also morph into a form that is composed of fire-like energy that allows him to form and redirect energies as well. It seems his powers have the same effect on Kryptonians as his namesake, as he uses them against Superboy-Prime during the Sinestro Corps War.
In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Red Star is a member of the H.I.V.E. council. He voted for innocent civilians to live in Western Europe between Aquaman and Wonder Woman before using nuclear weapons to end the war.
Red Star features prominently in the Teen Titans episode "Snowblind", voiced by Jason Marsden. He assists Starfire during a mission in Russia and quickly becomes a friend and ally to her and the Titans. The origin of Red Star's powers is explained via flashback as one nearly identical to that of Marvel Comics's Captain America, wherein a lowly yet patriotic citizen is recruited to a secret government project led by Professor Chang to be transformed into a supersoldier. He is one of the few superheroes in the series to be acknowledged by his real name, being addressed as "Captain Kovar" by Raskov, a former General suggested to be in charge of the program. Red Star is granted superior strength, stamina, and the ability to generate radiation thanks to the government experiment. He lacks control over his radiation, which builds up in proportion to his emotional state. For this reason, Red Star has been living in voluntary exile in an abandoned Siberian nuclear power plant, where he uses the facilities to funnel his excess radiation into liquid capsules whenever the energy builds up too much. A leakage in the containment unit made the radiation melt up the snow outside which seeped into a pond, where it eventually created a plasma monster which wreaks havoc on the surrounding settlements, acting out Red Star's latent resentments. Red Star gets blamed for the creature's actions, partly because of the destruction he had inadvertently caused when his powers went berserk the first time. Red Star spends a lot of time with Starfire during the episode. Encouraged by Starfire to embrace his powers instead of fighting them back, Red Star fights the creature and destroys it by pumping it full of an overdose of radioactive energy. However, this causes energy within his body to rise to uncontrollable levels, leading him to ask Starfire to take him into space, where his power is released in a gigantic explosion. Before his departure, the Titans make Red Star an honorary member, and his people (who previously shunned and feared him) now see him as a hero. Red Star reappears alive in "Titans Together" along with Starfire and Bumblebee in the headquarters of the Brotherhood of Evil to help the Titans fight the assembled supervillains. How he survived the outburst of his energy is never explained, though his newly acquired flight ability would allow him to return easily after the explosion. He also acquired the ability to create fire from his hands, like his comic book counterpart.
Red Star's father, Konstantin Kovar, is mentioned in season four of Arrow episode "Lost in the Flood" as a Russian criminal and dictator by Taiana Venediktov who rules her village Krasnoyarsk. After Oliver mortally wounds her due to Khushu idol corruption, she requests him to take him down before dying, which Oliver promises as depicted in "Schism". He appears in the season 5 flashbacks as the main antagonist, portrayed by Dolph Lundgren. Oliver goes to Russia to join the ranks of the Bratva in order to infiltrate his criminal organization, with help from his friend and ally Anatoly Knyazev. He meets him when Oliver was sent to destroy his casino before the capture. He has a connection with corrupt Bratva captain Ishmael Gregor who takes Oliver back to Bratva. Konstantin plans to overthrow the Russian government and return Russia to its former glory and destroy the Bratva in the process. To do this, he meets with businessman and Oliver's future nemesis Malcolm Merlyn to buy sarin gas and kill all members of the Russian government and military in his casino. He also kills Taiana's mother and servant Galina for betrayal. He unleashes the gas, but is prevented by Oliver, Anatoly and his Bratva men. Oliver gives him a deadly blow, but he survives aided by his men and Malcolm in recovering from injury. Kovar later finds out that Oliver goes to Lian Yu for an arranged fake rescue made by Anatoly and captures him. He injects the interrogation drug chemical "Red Star" in him to make him relieve his worst moments in his life and leaves him in his Lian Yu prison cell with a gun. In season five finale, "Lian Yu", Oliver escapes the prison, kills Kovar and his men before setting his own rescue as depicted in "Pilot".
Mark Antony Krupa played Leonid's father Konstantin Kovar in the pilot episode of Titans. He is killed by Starfire after trying to shoot her during an argument. Afterwards, she takes a picture of Rachel Roth (Raven) from his desk and sets out to find her.