Why you should watch DC’s Stargirl

By August 14, 2020 Comics, TV

The cast of Stargirl had a very brief cameo at the tail end of the Arrowverse’s latest crossover, ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’. In the UK, however, we’ve not seen anything of the show since. Thankfully, the entire series will be included with Amazon Prime Video on the 21st of August and we warmly recommend to absolutely everyone.

While Doom Patrol had its over the top violence in places and almost continuous cursing throughout the show, Stargirl is a very different affair. Stargirl is very much aimed at “older kids”, but could easily be watched, with adult supervision, with children of any age. If your kids liked ‘Shazam!’, Stargirl is easily a logical step forward into the deeper DC Universe.

DC’s own Geoff Johns, who held the title of CCO and president for over eight years, is the showrunner, lead writer and an executive producer on the new show, having worked on almost all DC movies and television shows in the last decade or so. Stargirl is Courtney Whitmore, a character of Johns’ own creation and based closely on his real life sister Courtney, who died tragically in the TWA Flight 800 disaster of 1996.

Brec Bassinger (School of Rock, All Night) plays Stargirl, previously played by Britt Irvin in Smallville and Sarah Grey in Legends of Tomorrow, and is joined by a rich and diverse cast, notably Luke Wilson as Courtney’s step father, Joel McHale in a brief appearance as Starman before his death in the opening story, and Manchester’s own Mark Ashworth as the mysterious “Justin”.

Fans of the rich universe of DC Comics will appreciate some extreme deep cuts getting solid mentions or appearances. The Seven Soldiers of Victory feature and the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott, is heavily hinted at multiple times. The show revolves around the Justice Society of America and in the Injustice Society, and opens with Solomon Grundy of all characters. The more casual fan will appreciate the accessibility of the huge roster of characters. Each is introduced carefully and with consideration to fans of superheros unfamiliar with the JSA. I have watched the full show with my twin seven year olds, and even they had no issue remembering who is who despite this show being very much a ‘team’ affair. Eagle-eyed fans of the comics will spot many easter-eggs and subtle plot points early on that pay off later in the season, and probably identify some characters before they are revealed fully.

The first episode starts ten years ago, showing an epic battle between the Justice Society of America and Injustice Society, resulting in Starman’s death. Back in the present day, high school student Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) is forced to move to Nebraska by her mother (Amy Smart) to ‘live happily ever’ after with her new stepdad and secretly retired JSA member/Starman’s sidekick Stripsey, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) and his son Mike Dugan (Trae Romano). Courtney, at first, doesn’t get on too well with Pat, seeing him as a replacement of her own father who went missing ten years ago, but the pair soon bond. All is not how it seems, however, as the quiet town appears to be the new home for Injustice Society members and their children, and these bad guys are seemingly coming out of retirement.

Courtney happens to come across the ‘Cosmic Staff’, the weapon of Starman, in Pat’s luggage. The staff has been inactive for a decade, but adopts Courtney as its new user. Courtney wastes no time at all in dubbing herself Stargirl, and recruits classmates to join her new JSA roster to take down the villains once and for all.

The highlight of the entire series, it has to be said, is the final episode. Multiple plot threads are neatly tied up with some utter bomb shells to keep audiences very excited for the second season. A ‘post credit scene’ of sorts is a real game changer and the second season looks extremely promising. The show has some concerned as, in America, it was aired weekly on the streaming service ‘DC Universe’, then the following day on the CW. Naturally, the ‘DCU’ shows we’ve had to date (Titans, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing) have been very high budget with Stargirl being absolutely no exception. The CGI surpasses many silver screen summer blockbusters and Luke Wilson can’t have been cheap. WarnerMedia recently announced, though, that for its second season Stargirl will be moving from ‘DCU’ to being on the CW. This could mean a longer season, more akin to shows such as Arrow and The Flash, but with the move, potentially less flashy CGI.

Stargirl will be available to stream in the UK exclusively on Amazon Prime on the 21st of August, next Friday.

 

Words: Graeme Small

 

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