Stargirl—Season 1

stargirl season 1 poster review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun and light, different than a lot of the Arrowverse series

Tone might not fit for some viewers

stargirl season 1 title card review episode guide

Take flight!

Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) hates her life right now.  Her mother Barbara (Amy Smart) has remarried a man named Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), and she now has a stepbrother named Mike (Trae Romano).  To add insult to injury, Courtney is being uprooted and moved from Los Angeles to her mother’s hometown of Blue Valley, Nebraska.  Courtney is about to find out that Pat has his own secrets.  Discovering the Cosmic Rod, Courtney learns Pat was part of the ill-fated Justice Society of America and that the Injustice Society that killed them might be hiding in Blue Valley.  Courtney’s about to enter the world of superheroes whether Pat likes it or not!

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Welcome Stargirl and her pet robot S.T.R.I.P.E.

Stargirl—Season 1 is a WB and DC Comics TV series.  Premiering on the DC Universe streaming service (now defunct), the series also aired on the CW.  The show received positive reviews and was featured in the Arrowverse crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

I was a big fan of Geoff Johns’ Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. comic when it was released and read the whole series as it premiered (Courtney was based on Johns real sister Courtney who died in a plane crash in 1996).  I was never as big of a fan of when Johns rolled the series into his JSA series (with Courtney taking over the Cosmic Rod), but the character was still fun and had a lot of variety.  Stargirl—Season 1 captures the fun of Johns initial run while still getting into some of the better aspects of the JSA run.

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Can the Justice Society rise again?

Like the JSA series, the series has a lot of fun with history.  Due to “comic book time” and the fact that most of the potential audience wouldn’t know the characters from JSA, the series has to soften the comic book history a bit.  Not unlike Watchmen, the JSA is anchored in the past and a new generation rises to replace them.  What is odd is that the JSA was originally set during World War II and here, they are set in 2010…so it seems like there would be a lot more information, knowledge, and celebrity surrounding the JSA and their demise.  Most of the characters know the JSA when they are mentioned, but it feels like a quick search of Pat Dugan could find pictures of him as Stripesy (since he didn’t wear a mask)…add to that in 2010 Dr. Mid-Nite had tech that rivaled the best security technology (you would think there would have been some “catch-up”).

This part of the story has to be largely ignored, and like most comic book series with secret identities, you have to just accept that people don’t notice stuff (like all the weird stuff happening a one-street town like Blue Valley right after the new girl and her family moved in from California).  It doesn’t seem like the Injustice Society tries very hard to determine who Stargirl could be.

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It’s Dragon King! Quit calling me Killer Croc!!!

What the series does do is that it has fun.  It feels like a blend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets an Arrowverse show meets something like Eerie, Indiana.  It is quirky and loaded with quirky characters who feel like they do fit in the world created.  The characters can sit in the lunchroom and have pretty vocal conversations about being superheroes without any notice and everyone seems to have a secret in the small town.  It is very soap opera and very comic book based in that sense.

The series largely feels anchored by Brec Bassinger who is a likeable young actor.  She is teamed smartly with Luke Wilson who actually fits well in the dad role (I don’t know if I saw him like that before since I always picture him as the 20 or 30 something goofball like his brother).  I also like most of the supporting cast but primarily Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, and Cameron Gellman as the “JSA”.  The villains are a bit more “comic book” than I’d like, but only in the sense that I wish they had done more to expand some of their origins like they did with Brainwave played by Christopher James Baker.

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More Solomon Grundy please

The series looks quite good, and it does help you understand how the Cosmic Rod works better than the comic book (with the Cosmic Rod almost being a separate supporting character).  The film puts the characters in classic costumes and just accepts that it might look a little goofy, but it still feels right due to the tone of the series.  I wish that the series had featured a bit more of Solomon Grundy (as a favorite of mine), but I assume that he will return…and maybe it will explore the Starman comic book series portrayal of him.

Stargirl was a lot of fun.  It was light and not as heavy handed as series like Arrow which often tries too hard for gritty (while still combining it with bright colored costumes).  I look forward to seeing where the show goes from here.  With the collapses of the DC Universe streaming network, Stargirl will find its primary home on the CW (where it probably should have been all along).  Shine on Stargirl!!!

Stargirl—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

stargirl season 1 episode 1 pilot brec bassinger cosmic rod

“Pilot”

1.1       Pilot Release Date:  05/18/20

The Justice Society of America was slaughtered by the Injustice Society of America.  Ten years have passed since the fall of the JSA, and Pat “Stripesy” Dugan (Luke Wilson) has remarried and moving with his wife Barbara (Amy Smart), son Mike (Trae Romano), and stepdaughter Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) to quiet Nebraska town of Blue Valley to start a new life.  When Courtney finds the Cosmic Rod of Starman (Joel McHale), Courtney learns that Duncan has a few secrets of his own.  With the Cosmic Rod somehow attracted to her, Courtney is about to find out what it is like to be a superhero and that Blue Valley has its own secrets…like Henry “Brainwave” King Sr. (Christopher James Baker) of the Injustice Society!

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“S.T.R.I.P.E.”

1.2       S.T.R.I.P.E. Release Date:  05/25/20

Brainwave is in Blue Valley and hunting for Stargirl.  With his family in potential danger, Pat realizes he needs to speed up the production of his robot defender.  With Pat in a big battle with Courtney over her decision to adopt Sylvester’s Cosmic Staff, Pat questions if Courtney could be right about her father’s identity.  A new Starman means new troubles, and the Injustice Society might have to get involved.

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“Icicle”

1.3       Icicle Release Date:  06/01/20

Jordan Mahkent (Neil Jackson) has come to Blue Valley to clean up the mess left by Brainwave and his attempt to stop the new “Stargirl”.  Courtney tries to adjust to her new school and tries to befriend Joey Zarick (Will Deusner) and Cameron Mahkent (Hunter Sansone) while coming to the defense of student outcast Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal).  Against Pat’s wishes, Stargirl goes to confront the Icicle…and the encounter leads to tragedy.  Courtney sets out to recruit a new JSA and needs to find help to do it.

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“Wildcat”

1.4       Wildcat Release Date:  06/08/20

Joey Zarick and his father’s deaths have sparked Courtney to realize she will need more help in stopping the Injustice Society and avenging her father.  When she realizes that Yolanda could be the perfect Wildcat, she learns of the dispute between Yolanda and Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) over Henry King Jr. (Jake Austin Walker) that led to her public shaming.  Revealing her secret to Yolanda, Courtney and the new Wildcat set out to find who is in the Injustice Society by getting a look at the hospital records of Henry King Sr.  A warning from Denise Zarick (Cynthia Evans) to Pat about the dangers of Blue Valley might be more accurate than Pat though.

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“Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite”

1.5       Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite Release Date:  06/15/20

As Courtney continues her quest to create a new Justice Society, Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) discovery of Courtney and Yolanda’s plans lead her to stumble upon the goggles of Dr. Mid-Nite (Henry Thomas).  Town bad boy Rick Harris (Cameron Gellman) lives with his abusive uncle Matt (Adam Aalderks), and Courtney and Pat learn that Rick might not be the person he says he is.  Icicle continues the plans for the Injustice Society, and works to make Project:  New America a reality.

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“The Justice Society”

1.6       The Justice Society Release Date:  06/22/20

Pat knows about Courtney’s project to “resurrect” the JSA, and he isn’t happy about it.  With orders to retrieve Hourman, Wildcat, and Dr. Mid-Nite’s equipment, Courtney learns that her new friends aren’t very willing to give it up.  Pat tries to talk to Rick about his father and reveals the secret of his journal to him.  When Beth learns of the plans of the Gambler (Eric Goins), Courtney discovers she might have to go along with the team in the hopes of stopping him…but Sportsmaster (Neil Hopkins) and Tigress (Joy Osmanski) might have something to say about that.

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“Shiv—Part 1”

1.7       Shiv—Part 1 Release Date:  06/29/20

Pat agrees to take the new JSA on with the stipulation that they train more…something that Courtney sees no logic in doing.  Henry Jr. finds something is progressively getting wrong with him.  Mike and Courtney clash over Pat’s interest in doing things with her, but a trip by Barbara to do a project for the American Dream out of town could be their chance to mend their differences.  When Courtney learns about the death of Cindy’s mother, Courtney decides to try to befriend her…but this backfires when Cindy sets out to hunt Stargirl as Shiv…and a new hero might arise!

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“Shiv—Part 2”

1.8       Shiv—Part 2 Release Date:  07/06/20

Courtney’s attempts to prove that Principal Bowin (Hina X. Khan) is the Fiddler has landed her in the hospital with Pat threatening to tell Barbara all about the new JSA.  With Courtney’s realization that Cindy is somehow tied to the Injustice Society, Rick, Yolanda, and Beth go undercover…and Pat finds himself pulled along.  Henry discovers his father’s secret and finds that the apple might not have fallen far from the tree.  With Shiv gunning for a position in the Injustice Society, Stargirl and the JSA might be in more danger than ever.

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“Brainwave”

1.9       Brainwave Release Date:  07/13/20

Henry Jr.’s powers have been unleashed and now he’s learning how his father originally developed his powers.  Having connected with Henry during her fight with Shiv, Courtney questions if Henry could change and help the new JSA…against the heavy objection of Yolanda.  A surprise dinner involving Barbara’s boss Jordan and Cameron puts Pat and Courtney on their tails as potential members of the Injustice Society.

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“Brainwave Jr.”

1.10     Brainwave Jr. Release Date:  07/20/20

Barbara knows Pat and Courtney’s secret, and she’s not happy about it.  Denying that Starman is Courtney’s father, Barbara has threatened to move out, and Pat and Barbara’s marriage could be over…which could mean the end of the new JSA!  With time running out, the new JSA teams with Henry to recover the Cosmic Rod when it is stolen leading the JSA into a battle that they might not come out of alive.

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“Shining Knight”

1.11     Shining Knight Release Date:  07/27/20

The janitor Justin (Mark Ashworth) fights the memory loss he has been suffering and when he locates Pat, Pat realizes that he is his old ally the Shining Knight who worked with him as a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.  Yolanda, Rick, and Beth try to cope with Henry’s death as Courtney faces an existential crisis when her real father (Geoff Stults) returns.  Jordan’s plan to include Barbara in the Project:  New America hits a snag when he learns Barbara knows his identity.

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“Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.—Part 1”

1.12     Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.—Part 1 Release Date:  08/03/20

Pat, Barbara, Courtney, and Mike are targeted for assassination by Sportsmaster and Tigress forcing the JSA to retreat.  With the Injustice Society’s master plan coming to fruition, Rick, Barbara, Courtney, Pat, Mike, Beth, Rick, and Yolanda must discover what the Injustice Society is planning and stop them before it is too late.

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“Stars and S.T.R.I.PE.—Part 2”

1.13     Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.—Part 2 Release Date:  08/10/20

Project:  New America has launched, and the JSA knows what the Injustice Society is planning and what it will cost the world.  With the clock ticking down, the JSA raids the Blue Valley base of the Injustice Society in a fight to the finish to stop the Injustice Society before they unleash a force that could kill millions.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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