Stargirl Series Premiere Brings Global Super-Conflict to Small Town America
When it comes to superheroes, Stargirl isn’t exactly a household name. The character, created by Geoff Johns to honor his late sister, ties back to the earliest legacy of DC Comics. The Stargirl series premiere carries on this legacy, while charting a new course for the characters in the modern-day. Even this is an old concept made new. Many of the to-be-introduced characters in the series come from Infinity Inc., a spiritual sequel team to the Justice Society of America. This comic series, published in the 1980s, was meant to modernize the World War II-era heroes as DC Comics writers first had to contend with their legacy heroes aging. However, along with this epic superhero legacy, Stargirl also seems to be, as all good genre stories are, a story about family.
Unlike the rest of the DC series that air on the CW, Stargirl is its own thing. In the finale for the Crisis On Infinite Earths event, we saw the cast of Stargirl on (the new) Earth-2. This tracks with the comics, as the JSA was on Earth-2 (both pre- and post-Crisis in the comics). The characters we are going to see in this series are characters first introduced to add some diversity to the DC superhero roster.
The Stargirl series premiere is a delightful origin story, full of interesting characters audiences can relate to. More than a decade into the new golden age of superheroes (on TV and in movies), the addition of a new generation of young, unfamiliar heroes might be exactly what we need to help keep these storied concepts fresh and relevant.
Who’s Who In the Stargirl Series Premiere
Image via Warner Bros. Television
Brec Bassinger plays Courtney Whitmore, who we fans are meant to assume is the daughter of Joel McHale’s Sylvester Pemberton, also known as Starman. As we reported earlier, Starman’s signature weapon the Cosmic Staff is sentient in this version of the story. And it chooses Courtney to be its new partner in (fighting) crime. Luke Wilson plays Pat Dugan, formerly known as “Stripesy,” Starman’s sidekick. He’s also Courtney’s new stepfather, and he seems to be unaware of her connection to his former partner. (Though, the smart money suggests this is a lie.)
In the kind of coincidence that only happens in comic books, the new home for Courtney and her family is also where major supervillains made their home. Christopher James Baker plays Brainwave, a telepathic and telekinetic villain who is mostly responsible for the death of the Justice Society of America on this version of Earth-2. So, while this series takes place in a sleepy Nebraska town and not a major city, it’s going to be the hub for super-antics of likely global proportions.
We also briefly meet some future members of the new Injustice Society, the group Stargirl will form. We see Anjelika Washington as Beth Chapel, Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Martinez, and Cameron Gellman as Rick Tyler.
What to Expect From the Next Dozen Episodes of Stargirl
Image via Warner Bros. Television
As the first episode is only an hour long, we don’t see Stargirl suit up in her hero outfit. Yet, we do see her bond with the Cosmic Staff and experiment with it. As a gymnast, Courtney already has some of the skills she’ll need for superheroing. We also get a brief look at S.T.R.I.P.E., a robot Pat Dugan designed to help him fight bad guys. So, it’s a safe bet that much of this season will be about Stargirl learning to use her powers, uncovering the legacy of the JSA, and facing down the villains who took out their predecessors.
Unlike many of the CW superhero shows, this will probably be far more serialized. Given that the setting is small-town Nebraska, there are likely few muggers or bank robbers or other traditional comic book villains. So, instead of a crusade to fight crime, the Injustice Society will form to fight a very specific threat. It also means that the bad guys are probably going to win a lot.
Whatever the storytellers have in store for us, we’re excited to see where this series goes. The series has a vibrant cast full of new and familiar faces, with an exciting concept and great production value. Our guess is that Stargirl represents another hit for DC, CW, and Greg Berlanti.
New episodes of Stargirl premiere Mondays on DC Universe and Tuesdays on the CW.
Featured image via Warner Bros. Television
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.