This post contains spoilers. If you’ve never watched, planning to watch, or haven’t yet finished watching Stargirl, leave this post alone.
Who would’ve thought we’d ever get a show about one of the oldest superheroes and villains in comic-book history? Don’t answer that, I know most of you did.
Stargirl in its first season gives us just that, with a twist. Sure, we’re introduced to the original JSA but they’re not the central focus on the story. The season definitely ends with a band leaving us drooling over more. Oh, and like any other superhero comic adaptation, it’s jammed with easter eggs.
Season 1 Review
The past and present day
The story takes place in Earth 2, courtesy of Crisis on Infinite Earths’ reveal. The Justice Society of America (JSA) has been defeated by their evil counterparts, the Injustice Society of America (ISA). Well, defeated is weak of a word to describe the massacre that is the opening scene of the first episode. Green Lantern seems to be in mid-blast-off with someone, Wildcat is launched to his death, Jay Garrick’s helmet is on the floor without its owner, Dr. Mid-nite is absorbed by a dark shady hand, Hour man is Wingardium Leviosa-ed and slammed to the ground, and Starman is pierced with an Icicle by Icicle. The only one who seemed to leave the battlefield unscathed is Stripsy, Starman’s sidekick.
The JSA is no more, all the members are presumed dead.
Fast forward to the present day, and Stripesy (Pat Dugan) is Courtney Whitemore’s stepdad. Courtney finds Starman’s cosmic staff in their basement and the magical object chooses her as its next wielder; we have the birth of Stargirl.
A new hero’s journey and the birth of a new JSA
Courtney presumes that Starman is her dad (he dies on the same night he left her and her mom, Christmas eve) and goes on this quest to take up his mantle. With the much reluctant help of her stepfather, his cautious guidance, and a lot of her very own teenage recklessness, she quickly gets in conflict with the living members of the ISA. Feeling overwhelmed and in need of backup, she recruits a couple of her high school misfits.
Yolanda Montez becomes the new Wildcat, Rex Tyler takes over his dad’s hourglass and becomes the new Hour man, and Beth Chapel takes on Dr. Mid-Nite’s glasses to becomes the new Dr. Mid-Nite. Obviously, they’re misfits for a reason and each one of them is introduced with a compelling back story driving their motives to join the new young JSA (which feels like a cheap knock off of Young Justice, or is it just me?). It’s safe to say that those same backstories lead to major developments and subplots that may pave the way for character arcs in the coming season.
A magnifying glass on legacies
The show’s main focus seems to be shifting towards the offsprings of past superheroes and supervillains with the introduction of
- Henry, Brainwave’s son: has the same powers as his father
- Cindy, Dragon king’s daughter: known in the comics as Shiv. Multiple powers, wolverine-like.
- Cameron, Icicle’s son: known mainly in the comics as Icicle Jr.
- Joey, the Wizard’s son: killed.
- Artemis, Sportsmaster and Tigress’ daughter: an athletic prodigy, known in the comics as the next Tigress.
- Isaac, the Fiddler’s son: known in the comics as the Fiddler
Only Henry and Cindy are given important roles in the first season, with Henry being killed by his dad (father of the year nominee).
While our young heroes win the grueling fight against the ISA in an epic showdown, the finale leaves much room for speculation about the ISA’s remaining kids’ future (Cindy, Isaac, Artemis, and Cameron). Cindy is obviously a supervillain in training, while the others’ orientation is unclear. None of the ISA members are shown to be lethally wounded, except for the dragon king but he has a habit of surviving, and Brainwave whose throat was slit open by Yolanda.
The last scene as I mentioned earlier, leaves so much room for speculations. Shade is introduced, Shiv looks like she’s about to summon Eclipso, and Sylvester Pemberton is alive.
I’ll start with the one thing that’s on everybody’s mind: we basically have the first DC show that isn’t primarily for mature audience and is filled with doom and gloom. While Titans provided us with a take on younger superheroes, Stargirl setting is much more lighthearted; high school.
Thankfully, the show wasted no time on high school dramas and was laser focused on its theme. Fillers weren’t shoved down our throats and every episode paved the way for its successor.
The CGI for the first episode was magnificent. You can tell that the producers invested so much on it. Even throughout the show, the CGI was pretty cool (Icicle looked dope). My only issue was with Grundy’s appearance. Hard pass. I’ll take Gotham’s Grundy (Butch Gilzean) any day.
Predictions for Season 2
The finale ending scene left us in shock with the reveal of Sylvester Pemberton’s (Starman) survival. In the comics, Starman’s death is permanent (even though no death is permanent in comic books). Why is he back now? After the ISA almost took control of most of the United States’ adult minds? It could be that he was hiding and recovering but why hasn’t he contacted Stripesy in 10 years?
In one of the comic book storylines, Sylvester retired from being a superhero and went on to reclaim his inheritance (his father’s business) from his nephew who happens to be corrupt and running an evil organization called Strike Force. In that same storyline, he patched things up with pat and became Sky man. Or can he just be a post-crisis Sylvester? After Crisis on Infinite Earths, only one earth remained, Earth-Prime. He could well be a Sylvester who wasn’t killed by the ISA.
Taken a closer look at the comics, he never was Starman. He started off as the star-spangled kid with the group “the Seven Knights of Victory” and later on changed his name to Skyman after the original Starman gave him the Cosmic Converter Belt. So, since the role of Starman has been filled by Stargirl, the producers may introduce him later as Skyman.
There is one crazy theory posted on Reddit by the user “u/EmperorJoker” as he actually predicted, 3 months ago, that Sylvester was alive. His theory implies Pemberton selling out the JSA and teaming up with Brainwave behind Icicle’s back. It seems a little far-fetched but hey, it wouldn’t be the first incredulous theory that turned into reality.
The shade is first introduced in the opening scene of the show. He engulfs Dr. Mid-Nite in a giant dark hand dragging him into the shadows. Later on, in the first ISA meeting, they refer to him as a traitor. It could be that they’re accusing him of treason simply because he refused to attend or go along with their master plan and not because he literally betrayed them. So, what role will he play in season 2?
He was first created back in 1942 by Gardner Fox and E.E. Hibbard as a Flash (Jay Garrick, not Barry Allen) villain. This initial version wasn’t that powerful. He could wield the shadows using a cane. In other words, knock off his cane and he’s just an ordinary man. It wasn’t until 1994 in the Starman comics that Shade was revised, adjusted, and given a new backstory with mythical elements. His powers were no longer tied to a cane but to a realm called the Shadowlands. His powers are called Umbrakenesis.
The shade is known in the comics to have a soft spot for Opal city. He’s also sometimes villain, sometimes hero; he operates on his own accord.
Obviously, we won’t be seeing hero Shade right off the bat. The buildup in the last part of the finale is meant to be a villainous introduction. Maybe, he will end up headbutting with Eclipso and will turn to help Courtney the way he helped legacy Starman, Jack Knight, in the comics?
Personally, I didn’t know who the heck Eclipso was until I looked him up, then I saw a picture of him drawn on a card from an old game called Marvel’s Trading Cards Game (one of my all-time favorite superhero and card games EVER!)
Anyway, we see Cindy rummaging through what’s left of the Wizards’ belongings in what seems to be a storage room and finding a box containing a gem/diamond. “I see you in there, Eclipso,” she said with an evil chuckle.
The diamond is called “the heart of darkness”, an ancient tool used by Darkseid himself against those who opposed him. Eclipso, the embodiment of the wrath of God, is entrapped within it for doing too good of a job (that’s gotta infuriate anyone). He was the predecessor of the Spectre, God’s spirit of vengeance, and more powerful. We’ve all seen how powerful the Spectre is in Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now, imagine how powerful Eclipso is. Oh, he can duke it out with Superman and win, in case you’re having a tough time making a call.
But anyway, in the comics the wrath of God kills both Yolanda and Beth fairly quickly. Yolanda’s cousin, Alex Montez (who’s depicted as her brother in the TV show) tries to control Eclipso and claim revenge but he fails and ends up killing himself.
Based on that, we can speculate that Eclipso is going to have a run around possessing multiple characters in the next season, seeing that he feeds off people’s hatred and darkness. His first host will probably be Cindy, who’s hate of Stargirl is unmatchable. Possessing Alex would imply killing Yolanda in the next season, which is highly unlikely. Why would they kill a new-generation hero after one season?
There’s also the possibility of seeing The Shade and Eclipso headbutting together since the two share bad blood in the comics in the storyline The Rise of Eclipso. This scenario would imply the introduction of Jade and Obsidian, Alan Scott’s (Green Lantern) children.
The other members of the JSA
The opening scene shows us Wildcat, Dr. Mid-nite, and Starman dying. Hourman is later killed by Grundy. And well, Sylvester Pemberton seems to be alive. However, during the battle, we notice Green ray beams emanating from the rooftop of the battlefield indicating Green Lantern’s presence. The camera also zooms in on Jay Garrick’s helmet so, we know at some point the Flash was involved but we don’t know how he was taken down or anything his fate.
Also, the scene gives no Easter eggs or mentions of Dr. Fate, Johnny Thunder, Sandman, Hawk Man, and Hawk Girl.
We know that Courtney has the JSA’s artifacts and costumes. The lantern is still operational as well as the pen. So, let’s talk about each artifact and how it connects to certain Heroes coming to the second season.
First, Thunderbolt’s pink pen. In the comics, Jay Garrick gives the pen to Jakeem Williams, a foul-mouthed kid with a rough upbringing. In episode 4 “Wildcat”, Mike mentions that he wants to bring his friend Jakeem over for dinner. Boom, we’ve already gotten the groundwork for his introduction. Since Courtney put the pen on her desk, Jakeem could easily come in possession of it by accident.
Then we have the Green Lantern. In episode 5 “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite”, Pat finds a flashing lantern in Courtney’s closet. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll be back per se, but we can have his kids arrive on the scene. Jade and Obsidian play a role in Eclipso’s storyline “The Rise of Eclipso”. So, we’ve got that to look for.
Last but not least, we have Jay Garrick’s helmet. The shade’s first-ever introduction was as a Flash villain. With The shade being confirmed as a villain for season 2, the scarlet speedster can make a return to butt heads with his old foe.
There were no hints or indication for Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Hawk Girl, and Sandman to make appearances so far. We’ll just have to wait for season 2’s trailer and see.
Let us know down in the comments of your thoughts on season 1 and if you have any other predictions we might’ve missed for season 2.