Stargirl is a new show that continues to impress me by avoiding many of the pitfalls shows struggle with in the early episodes. In the pilot, we learned that the Justice Society of America was wiped out, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) learned that her step-father Pat (Luke Wilson) was a sidekick to a superhero named Starman, who may or may not be her father). Years ago, Starman and the rest of the Justice Society were wiped out by a league of super villains, with only Jim escaping. The family’s move back to Nebraska apparently awakened Starman’s cosmic staff (which turns Courtney into Stargirl) and the bad guys. As the episode ended, Brainwave was set on figuring out Stargirl’s identity, and vice verse.
The pilot established Brainwave as a dangerous opposing force bent on locating Courtney. Many shows would stretch out the storyline over a half a season, but to its credit, Stargirl moves this plot point along at a good pace.
New shows often take a few episodes for the writers to feel comfortable with the characters and to establish a rapport between them. Stargirl has already managed to create an authentic camaraderie between Pat and Courtney and they are the source of this episodes humor. This episode really grows their relationship and the actors work well together. I continue to like Courtney’s mom (Amy Smart), but I hope she is given some depth and more to do in future episodes. This episode also gave more insight into the interrelationships between the supporting characters that made the show feel more like a ‘comic book universe,’ which is a good thing in my opinion.
The Stargirl pilot set the bar pretty high for special effects, and the quality continues in episode two. Pat’s giant robot is an impressive bit of CGI and there is a great fight scene in the second half of the episode. The pilot did a nice job of establishing Courtney’s gymnastics background, which makes some of her fight scenes feel authentic. I continue to be impressed with the cosmic staff. While it was more the case in the pilot, the staff is effectively given a personality and it is almost its own character.
Two episodes in and I have a good sense of where Stargirl fits in the Arrowverse continuum tone wise – It takes itself less seriously than Arrow but it less ridiculous than Legends of Tomorrow. It has serious stakes but retains a lighthearted vibe that places it closest to Flash. The first two episodes have laid a strong foundation for a superhero show.
This episode will debut on Monday, May 25th.
Check back next week for my thoughts on the 3rd episode of the series.
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