The First Appearance Of Jade On Stargirl Brings My Favorite Green Lantern To Live Action
As a kid, I had eight issues of Infinity Inc., a 1980s series with the second generation of Earth-2/Golden Age DC Heroes. I didn’t understand any of it, really, but I was so fascinated by the characters. These characters were the same pool Geoff Johns drew from when he created Stargirl. My favorite Infinity Inc. character was…well, Mr. Bones. But after him, I loved the Green Lantern twins: Jade and Obsidian. On the latest Stargirl, we get the first appearance in live action of Jade, as played by Ysa Penarejo. She’s not technically a Green Lantern, at least with the little blue guys. She is the daughter of Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern whose powers worked differently. In Stargirl, the live action Jade gets to have her ring and internal power, too. And we didn’t get enough of her.
The remaining members of the Injustice Society are skulking around Blue Valley, not really being much of a threat. In fact, this episode continues what the Stargirl “Summer School” premiere episode started. There’s not much going on, at least not much that needs a superhero to fix. Instead, the focus remains on the new Justice Society of America, specifically Brec Bessinger’s Courtney Whitmore.
Despite emerging from the Stargirl season 1 finale victorious, this episode focuses on something that Courtney lost. If you feel like she’s acting out of character, you’re supposed to. It seems like while the Summer School season of Stargirl is meant to move the story and team forward, we’re not going to do it at the expense of seeing Courtney struggle to fit into her role as both a hero and team leader.
Spoilers to follow
Why I am Pumped to See the First Appearance of Jade in Live Action on Stargirl
Image via CW
If I am being completely honest, outside of John Stewart, I’ve never been particularly fond of Green Lantern. Yet, as a kid, I adored Jade in the Infinity Inc. books. Rather than goofy shapes and giant hands, Jade’s usage of her powers was more natural. Plus, the fact that she turned into a green-skinned woman with green hair just seemed cooler than donning a ring and a domino mask. I didn’t appreciate her story, however, until later. In the comics, she was the daughter of Alan Scott’s Green Lantern and one of his rogues, who eventually went straight. She and her twin were separated, but they came together and then showed up on the doorstep of the Justice Society to confront their father and get on the team.
Obviously, that’s not the direction they are going with in this show. No, the first appearance in live action for Jade has her squaring off with Stargirl. Sure, the fight was basically over at the start of this episode, but the battle waged on until the final act. But, we’ll get to that. Unfortunately, Ysa Penarejo is just a guest-star, so by the end of the episode she was gone. She’ll be back, but her dynamic with the team and with Courtney was great. Adding a new character to the group, especially as a kind of foil to Courtney, is what the series needs. (At least until the super-powered ass-kicking starts.)
Still, I think we’re going to eventually get to see Jade in her full green-skin glory, complete with a comics-accurate costume. One thing Stargirl has been excellent about is fully committing to comics-style costumes. None of their gear is leather or tactical looking, it’s all gloriously goofy. And this goes double for when her brother Todd shows up and becomes Obsidian.
Courtney and Her Abandonment Issues Make for Good Emotional Drama
From the Stargirl series premiere, part of the charm of this show was how “good” Courtney is. She’s never an awful teenager, and her capacity for compassion is what makes her a good star-spangled hero. Stargirl could be, like Superman and Steve Rogers, the kind of character that serves as a moral “true north.” Yet, even so, this doesn’t mean she has to be perfect. Her jealousy of Jade is not just a tension-building character flaw, it fits with who she is.
The scene in the garage where Courtney tries to apologize while saying that Jade “has everything” is particularly good. All Courtney sees is that Jade is a true legacy JSA member. She doesn’t even consider that Jade’s father is dead, she grew up in a group home, and has nowhere to go. Meanwhile, Courtney is living in blissful privilege, with a loving family, nice home, and with all of the things Jade seems to want.
As I’ve said before, CW series are essentially just morality plays for kids ages 12-18. Yet, this sort of issue is one that we all can relate to, and having it laid out with very little subtext isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Genre stories, comic book ones especially, provide an excellent space to tell stories kids can relate to. Sure, they have the literal pressure of saving the world on their shoulders, but who among us didn’t think our problems at ages 12-18 weren’t Earth-shattering? Stargirl remains a wholesome show about super-powered kids, even if those super-powers aren’t front and center in the story.
Stargirl debuts new episodes Tuesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on The CW.
What did you think of the first live action appearance for Jade on Stargirl? Did you like the character? Are you missing the super-fights? Share your thoughts, reviews, and theories about what’s to come in the comments below.
Featured image via CW
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.