DC’s latest show Stargirl opens immediately with some impressive scope and big stakes. The Justice Society of America are under attack by the Injustice Society and things are not going their way! Meanwhile Stripesy (Luke Wilson) races to save Starman and the J.S.A. Upon arrival he is horrified at what he finds. Soon the J.S.A. and Joel McHale’s Starman are now more and evil has triumphed.
Then we skip forward ten years where we are introduced to the idealistic Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger). Created by Geoff Johns, Courtney/Stargirl is a very personal project for him as she was inspired by his late sister who was killed in a plane crash in 1996. In fact when Courtney is packing, viewers get a glimpse of her life in California thanks to her gymnastics trophies and photos she has pinned on her bulletin board. Among those photos was a very special one: a photograph of the late Courtney Johns. Bassinger herself took to Twitter during the show’s broadcast to share a better look at the touching tribute, calling it “the best, most important Easter egg in this entire first season.” Johns is executive producer for the show and wrote the first two episodes.
— Brec Bassinger (@Brecbassinger) May 20, 2020
Whilst unpacking from her move to Blue Valley, Nebraska (which itself appears to be too creepily nice), Courtney discovers Starman’s Cosmic Staff in the personal effects of her new stepdad Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson). The staff responds to her so she resolves to become her own kind of hero, with help from Pat.
Stargirl has action, spectacle and story and a whole weird town to explore. Whilst some characters at first appear generic stereotypes there is clearly something going on under the surface. You get a feeling you have been shown more than you realise. All this is punctuated by smart and snappy dialogue that is both entertaining and fits the characters delivering it.
One thing I enjoyed was Courtney attempting to keep up with the cosmic staff rather than having a quick montage to master her powers. Johns knows heroes need to earn their place in order to make them more identifiable to the audience and I feel we will get this from Courtney (and Pat) as the show develops.
Verdict: 8/10 A bigger budget and bigger heart than the rest of the Arrowverse. Stargirl could develop into a huge player in the TV Superhero market.