A Golden Age of Heroes protected the world for decades. Ten Years Ago that Golden Age ended.
Spoiler Level: High
Starman, Dr. Mid-Nite, Wildcat and Hourman were heroes of the Justice Society of America. Ten years ago on Christmas Eve they met their demise at the hands of the Injustice Society whose members included The Wizard, Icicle, Solomon Grundy and Brainwave. Starman’s sidekick, Stripesy, takes the mortally wounded hero and escapes the carnage in a flying car. Before dying, Starman tells Stripesy (Luke Wilson) the Justice Society must survive…the torch must be passed just not by him. Elsewhere, near Hollywood, five year old Courtney holds a present from her dad and eagerly awaits for him to come home.
Ten Years Later…Courtney packs the unopened present with the rest of her things which are then loaded up along with the rest of the contents of the house on the Action Movers Van (yes, a nod to Action Comics complete with the same font). Step father Patrick (Stripesy) is moving the family to Blue Valley, Wisconsin…much to Courtney’s dismay. Later, Pat sneaks down to the basement of the new house and goes through a suitcase full of old JSA files. He unfolds a map with Blue Valley circled.
The next day: Angst ridden young girl’s first day at new school–check. Meets the Mean Girls who may or may not let her in their clique–check. Has to sit at the Loser’s table in the cafeteria–check. Brooding Young Male: check. Embarrassing Cafeteria Incident–check. While sitting at the cafeteria table for “Singles” (aka Losers), Courtney introduces herself and is greeted back by a friendly young girl named Beth while another girl and The Brooding Young Male ignore her. Then the Athletes/Bullies show up and bully the unnamed girl and Courtney stands up to them. She pushes one back and he bumps into a cafeteria worker causing a mess and getting Courtney sent to detention. Sitting a few feet away from her is Brooding Young Male.
Courtney is an excellent gymnast. When she asks to join the gymnastics class she’s told it’s been cut and she should join the cheerleaders which The Mean Mean Girl controls and that was her boyfriend Courtney pushed.
At dinner Courtney tells Pat he’s not her father and storms off. Later she goes down to the basement where she comes across the JSA files. Then she finds a newspaper clipping with the headline “Star Spangled Kid And Stripsey Defeat Dr. Weird” along with a photo of Starman and Stripsey. Since Stripesy wears just a striped shirt you could buy from Walmart and no mask for a costume, Courtney recognizes Pat. She also comes across Starman’s costume. While she snoops she hears a rattling coming from behind her and turns around to find an oblong crate glowing. She opens the crate up and finds Starman’s staff.
The staff lights up when Courtney holds it. The staff appears to have it’s own personality and it drags her outside where she uses the powerful weapon to do gymnastics! While Courtney is holding the staff it suddenly takes off flying, eventually landing her at a local drive in where the Bullies are doing there bullying so Courtney decides to teach them a lesson and uses the staff to deflate the tires on their car. They catch her doing it and Courtney, wearing a bandanna, gets into a fight with the Bullies that ends with her unintentionally blowing their car to smithereens. Returning home with the staff she runs right into Pat. He tells her the Cosmic Staff (as it’s called) is very temperamental and needs to be put back in the crate. It’s only supposed to work for Starman. Courtney puts 2 and 2 together and thinks Starman is her father which Pat denies.
One of the bullies–few people get identified in this episode–tries to explain how the car got destroyed to his father who we recognize as Brainwave. Back at the Dugan house, Pat gives an abbreviated story of the Star Spangled Kid (later Starman) and Stripesy to Court who pokes fun at the names, especially Pat’s Stripesy. Brainwave calls someone named Jordan and tells him Starman is back. That night the Cosmic Staff pulls Courtney out of bed and they fly across the city straight into a confrontation with Brainwave. In her attempt to escape the conflict, Courtney runs…straight into a giant robot!
Stargirl bucks the DCEU brand of dark and gritty and vulgar super hero shows in favor of a cute and family friendly show. Brec Bassinger easily fills the role of the spunky teenage girl with daddy issues. It’s a perfect show for younger audiences parents probably wouldn’t want watching the more R rated/TV-Ma shows like Titans, Doom Patrol and some of the Marvel Netflix series. Stargirl is so much lighter in tone than any super hero show we have gotten recently. However, it’s cuteness could make it less interesting to the usual audience that DCEU has been playing to.
This is the third incarnation of Stargirl on TV. Originally, The CW attempted a backdoor pilot for The Justice League on Smallville featuring Clark Kent, Green Arrow, Impulse, Aquaman and Cyborg which wasn’t brought to series. Then they tried their hand at The Justice Society on Smallville where we get Stargirl’s first appearance.
That JSA would’ve had Stargirl, Dr. Fate, Green Arrow and Hawkman. The JLA and JSA episodes of Smallville are generally regarded as the best in the series. In the JSA episodes we see Stargirl received the Cosmic Staff from Starman before he is killed by Icicle…. so the new Stargirl show kinda follows this same scenario. After passing on both spin offs The CW went a different route in going with a solo Green Arrow series titled simply Arrow and featuring a new Green Arrow in Stephen Amell and the Arrowverse was born spinning off 4 more series in the years to come (although Supergirl was not originally a part of the Arrowverse till The CW picked it up after CBS cancelled it).
Stargirl made her official debut in the Arrowverse in an episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and were stationed in the World War 2 era. While it may be loosely inferred that Stargirl #3 is part of the Arrowverse, it seems to be the consensus that it is set on Earth 9 (at least I think that’s the number, it was always hard to keep up for me) with Titans which was spared during Crisis On Infinite Earths.The reason Stargirl and the reruns of Swamp Thing are appearing on The CW is because The CW is really hurting for shows during the pandemic. So you have to look at Stargirl in the same way Supergirl was viewed before Crisis…this is occurring on a different Earth that shows like The Flash. Another thing is Stargirl on The CW is 11 minutes shorter than it is on DCEU which is fixed at 42 minutes like all the network series. Ergo you might not have seen some of the stuff I mentioned above if you watch Stargirl on The CW.
Stargirl's pilot reminds us of how fun super hero comics used to be before "dark and gritty" became the norm. And it has arrived at the perfect time when the country needs something lighter and a new hero to give us hope. So stayed tuned for a giant robot and watch Stargirl reform a new Justice Society. Next up: S.T.R.I.P.E.
Stargirl: Dark and Gritty Traded In For Spunky Family Friendly
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Acting - 9/109/10
Music - 8/108/10
Production - 8/108/10
User Review( votes)