Stargirl: The Complete First Season (blu-ray TV series review).

In many respects, ‘Stargirl’ follows some aspects of the Earth-2 DC Universe mythology. Starman’s cosmic staff is passed onto someone else. The main difference is at the cost of the lives of the Justice Society Of America with the Injustice League with only Stripsey/Pat Dugan (actor Luke Wilson) being the survivor, mostly because he was late and told by his boss, Starman, not to come. As it is, he becomes custodian of the  cosmic staff and goes into retirement.

10 years later with a son in tow he is married to Barbara Whitmore (actress Amy Smart) who has a 15 year-old daughter Courtney Whitmore (actress Brec Bassiner) and they have just moved from California back to Blue Valley, Nebraska. Things come full circle when Courtney discovers her father might have been Starman under a different name and is blood-related. It’s all a matter of joining the dots and on her way to becoming Stargirl when the cosmic staff links up with her.

There’s still a matter of the Injustice League out there who killed the JSA and you have to wonder why they went into retirement themselves. I mean, they have no obstacles to their own desires so why stop and go covert? Oddly, with the second episode where she seriously damages Mindwave, there is a strong reminder just how much of a deux ex machina the cosmic staff is. You would also have to ask how technically savvy Pat is to build and hide a giant robot when his expertise is cars, even if it has teething problems.

Sensibly, Courtney knows she can’t do things alone and Pat doesn’t show much in the way of leadership qualities other than safety and protection of his step-daughter. To that end, collecting the artefacts left by the original JSA, she starts to develop her own team with Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal) becoming Wildcat, Beth Chapel (actress Anjelika Washington) becoming Dr. Midnight and Rick Tyler (actor Cameron Gellman) as Hourman. The latter the only one with a proven blood relation to his father. Courtney’s linage is a bit more vague. Shame she doesn’t know what to say you to the pink pen as it would be interesting to see what a digital Thunderbolt would look like.

The one thing problematical with having a secret identity is not to be readily recognised out of costume. Courtney’s hair style is far too distinctive and it would take an absolute idiot not to recognise her. It could have been balanced better had we seen more pupils with a similar hair style at the least.

In some respects, calling the series ‘Stargirl’ is a bit of a misnomer as she develops a new Justice Society making it a team series. Then again, there are examples like ‘Buffy’ out there showing that contrast and, technically, DC Comics on TV already has two team shows. Even so, it does seem an odd choice to go with.

The cosmic staff follows the tradition of giving DC super-heroes too powerful a weapon making Stargirl far more powerful than her new team, who are ever more dependent on their predecessors costumes for their abilities. It also appears that none of them are metahumans, ignoring something that has now been firmly established in the comicbooks. The Injustice League certainly has its measure of metahumans and are certainly formidable. Their children, at least if we use Henry King Jr. (actor Jake Austin Walker) aka Mindwave II as an example, tend to come over as immature and not trusted. Then again, they have evil manipulative parents who some of them don’t even care for them, so what should you expect?

Without going too spoiler, the deaths in the final episode would probably have given the original JSA nervous breakdowns because it breaks the super-hero edict of not killing. The real problem is would you let people prepared to brainwash quarter of the American population to their way of thinking get away with it? If they were imprisoned and got out, they would only continue with their scheme.

There is also no mention of any police force or federal agency doing any investigating before or after, so who would they report the crime to or be believed. In that respect, playing for keeps is probably the only way. These acts are also carried out by teenagers and there is no moralising afterwards, just a Christmas meal and a shame this wasn’t explored.

It does make you wonder where the series can go from here. After all, the Injustice League was top of the list for being dangerous and they spent several years incognito prepping for this plan. There are some clues laid down for what happens next and I suspect that only when lockdowns end will ‘Stargirl’ get back on track.

GF Willmetts

June 2021

(pub: Warner’s, 2020. Region Free 3 blu-ray disks 567 minutes 13 * 43 minute episodes. Price: I pulled my copy for £11.99 (UK) . ASIN: B08LG7YRXH)

cast: Brec Bassinger, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, Trae Romano, Luke Wilson and Amy Smart

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Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Stargirl: The Complete First Season (blu-ray TV series review).

  • Thank you for the reminder of this series – it wandered across my inbox when it came out but I was sidetracked by the film (unrelated but with the same title and released in the same year… ) and then just forgot about it. (Odd, since I enjoyed the James Robinson run in the comic.) Move it back up the list!

    On the superhero/secret identity thing – I have always felt that the comics Oliver Queen’s beard was so distinctive that surely no one ever thought he wasn’t Green Arrow… (At least the recent tv Arrow’s scruff is a current trend and doesn’t really stand out!

    Thanks again for the Stargirl reminder!

    • Hello Julian
      Oh, I agree about secret identities. Ollie Queen is a giveaway. So is anyone with sidekicks. Considering the number of Robins Batman has had as sidekicks, how can anyone not make the connection to Bruce Wayne.



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