DC’s Stargirl S1 E1 Review: Stargirl

The DC Universe has now kicked off its next live-action series, DC’s Stargirl. It launches during unprecedented times where the other series are being put on hold because of the world’s current situation. It will be featured on both the DC Universe streaming service as well as The CW. Stargirl follows Courtney Whitmore a high school sophomore attempting to inspire an unlikely group of young heroes to stop villains from the past.

This is a reimagination of Stargirl as well as the first superhero team of the Justice Society of America. The focus will be on Stargirl who was created by Geoff Johns back in 1999, inspired by his late sister who tragically died in a plane explosion in 1996. She made her first appearance in DC Comics’ Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #0 in July of 1999 by Johns and Lee Moder. She has since become a valued member of the Justice League United.

Stargirl is not as obscure as a character as some people may think. She was has been featured on many live-action and animated DC series. For example, in Justice League Unlimited, Smallville, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Legends of Tomorrow and Justice League Action. It will be interesting to see if this series will help raise her popularity as she is a great character.

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Stargirl stars Brec Bassinger as the lead role of Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl. The series also stars Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan aka Stripesy, Amy Smart as Barbara Whitmore, Trae Romano as Mike Dugan, Christopher James Baker as Dr. Henry King, and Jake Austin Walker as Henry King Jr. We will get into more of the cast as they become more relevant in the series week to week.

The first episode titled Stargirl introduces us to not only Courtney Whitmore but also a post-Justice Society of America world. The episode opens up with a battle between the Justice Society and the Injustice Society. Unfortunately, most of the classic heroes have fallen and Stripesy or Pat is just in time to see the fall of Starman, played by Joel McHale. It would be up to Pat to find the next worthy wielder of his Cosmic Staff.

The series then fast-forwards ten years later. Here we find Pat now married with Courtney’s mom and moving them to Blue Valley, Nebraska, something that Courtney is very visibly against. We watch as Courtney struggles to settle into the town and her new school. One evening she discovers some of Pat’s things that include moments of his time with The Justice Society of America as well as the powerful Cosmic Staff, which seems to have a mind of its own.

ALSO SEE: DC UNIVERSE’S STARGIRL GETS AN OFFICIAL TRAILER

The staff seems to have an affinity for her as it takes her to into town, where thanks to her gymnastics background can put together some nifty moves. While out she runs into some of the local bullies from her high school. She decides to get some revenge and vandalize one of their cars. It’s here where she discovers some of the staff’s powers as it helps her fight them off and even destroy one of their cars.

Upon her arrival home she Pat has already found out that she had gone through his things. Pat tells her about the dangers of the staff and the history of Star Man’s death. As well as the fact that the staff should only work for Star Man. This leads to Courtney believing that Star Man was her father and that is why he never showed up that Christmas night. As she tries to confront her mom about it, she tells Courtney that the only man that has been there for them was Pat.

That car that Courtney blew up belonged to Dr. Henry King, played by Christopher James Baker, who as a member of the Injustice Society was known as Brainwave. This leads to him contacting Jordan Mahkent, played by Neil Jackson, aka Icicle, the villain that killed Starman. He tells him that there is a new Star Man and that he came after his son. Icicle tells him to do nothing and that it would be sorted out soon. But like any villain, he ignores the order and puts on his Brainwave outfit to search out this new Star Man.

ALSO SEE: DC UNIVERSE’S STARGIRL CASTS THREE MEMBERS OF THEIR INJUSTICE SOCIETY

That same evening, the Cosmic Staff takes Courtney back into town so that they can practice their moves together. Unfortunately while flying in the air, she is attacked by Brainwave and forced into a tire warehouse. Using his telepathic powers he tries to get information out of her. The staff then goes into action and helps her dodge an onslaught of tires being thrown at her in a great visual sequence. The staff then whips a blast of energy that seems to send Brainwave away for the time being. As Courtney tries to make her escape, she runs into a large robot. This is one that DC fans can easily recognize as S.T.R.I.P.E. who is being piloted by Pat.

I thought this was a solid start to the Stargirl series. It was a great idea to move this over to The CW to get as much exposure as possible. Courtney’s feelings and actions are those that a lot of kids and teenagers can empathize with as they happen all the time. The feelings of abandonment from a parent. The difficulties of having to adjust to a parent finding a new spouse. The culture shock of having to move from a large city to a small town. The challenges in trying to fit into a new school. Also the consequences of leaping before you look, especially when dealing with something as powerful as the Cosmic Staff.

ALSO SEE: DC UNIVERSE’S STARGIRL WILL ALSO AIR ON THE CW

I am happy with the changes Johns made to this series in comparison with the original Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. book. In the comic book, she starts with a horrible attitude towards Pat. It’s only kept at bay because of the secrets that they don’t want Courtney’s mom to find out. Also in the book, she steals the Cosmic Converter Belt, not the staff. All her actions are her own. In the series, she is pushed into action by the staff, something that to me makes a little more sense.

It will be interesting to see the relationship between Pat and Courtney develop, as it already seems a lot more amiable. Especially as she starts to talk to him more and learn about his past. The pairing of Wilson and Bassinger is great, Wilson plays a great step-father trying his best. I enjoyed the first sighting of S.T.R.I.P.E. and am glad that this episode didn’t rush into putting Courtney into a costume. I think that this is going to be a great series for the whole family to watch week to week.

Stargirl is written by Johns who also serves as an executive producer along with Greg Berlanti, Melissa Carter, Greg Beeman, and Sarah Schechter. This particular episode was directed by Gen Winter.

What are your thoughts on tonight’s CW debut of Stargirl? Let us know in the comment section below!

You can check out DC Universe’s Stargirl weekly on The CW and the DC Universe streaming service.

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