Review by C.J. Bunce
One of the best superhero series yet returned Tuesday, as Stargirl begins a new season on the CW network. After the city of superheroes was blown apart in last season’s finale, viewers will catch up with Brec Bassinger’s Courtney Whitmore aka Stargirl as she tries to lead a new generation of Justice Society of America superheroes. But is it meant to be? Yvette Monreal’s Wildcat is reeling from killing Brainwave, justifiably or not. Cameron Gellman’s Hourman is trying to track down Solomon Grundy. And Anjelika Washington’s Beth Chapel continues her turn as the saddest character on TV, now losing her relationship with her parents even more, plus Charlie, the cyber entity that no longer knows her. Worst of all, it’s the end of the school year and Courtney finds she’s stuck in summer school.
With all the bad going on for the members of the new JSA, writer Geoff Johns & Co. peppers this week’s second season premiere with a lot of potential. Joel McHale’s Starman looks to be on his way back to find his former partner, Luke Wilson’s Pat Dugan (Courtney’s step-dad). Pat has a strange new partner in his auto shop, King Orba’s Zeek, who looks like he will give Pat (and viewers) plenty to keep busy with this season. The Mahkent grandparents are back, with all their sinister lingering. And Meg DeLacy’s villainous Cindy Burman aka Shiv looks to have found a talisman that will allow her to rebuild the circle of villains headquartered in the school’s basement, with a twist to one of her target members that will bring viewers back for next week’s episode.
Even more promising is opening up the world of the Lanterns from the pages of the comic books, beginning with one of the Green Lanterns–Ysa Penarejo’s Jennie aka Jade, daughter of one of the lesser known Lanterns, Alan Scott. But we barely get to meet her in this episode.
Luke Wilson’s trademark “aw, shucks” approach completely sealed the chemistry between the seemingly his odd crimefighting duo with Courtney, and Bassinger firmly knows her character now. The series with a heart still shows promise, but darker, supernatural elements are hinted at, which hopefully won’t make Stargirl like every other superhero series running. Washington’s Beth Chapel needs some serious work fast. Even if she is being primed for a villain, she’s being written too hopeless to be able to resurrect her into some kind of valuable character.
If, like us, you best view of live-action superhero adaptations includes Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Captain America: The First Avenger, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ant-Man, Thor: Ragnarok, and DC’s Shazam!, it looks like you’ll want to see what lies ahead this season in Stargirl.
A brilliant first season with a promising sophomore season now underway, Stargirl is back with new episodes airing Tuesday nights on the CW network.