Director – Rob Hardy
Writer – James Dale Robinson
The new generation of the JSA starts here. Courtney’s recruitment drive for new members began in earnest this week, with the first key member suiting up. Armed with an array of costumes and weapons from last week, her first choice is none other than Yolanda Montez, aka Wildcat. Comic book fans would know that this was always going to be the case, with the character having being around since the mid 80’s, but the path to the cowl certainly felt authentic and avoided feeling contrived.
Exploring the backstory of Yolanda this week was a clever move, as we learnt what led to her being unfairly ostracised by her piers and her ashamed family. A victim of a situation that is all too prevalent in modern day society, this bright, popular girl found her life ruined by the selfish actions of others. The performance of Yvette Monreal was excellent, as she conveyed a broken teenager that has had her confidence and self worth taken from her, but her fighting spirit is still there, needing a catalyst to bring it to the fore once more. Despite the signposting of her boxing prowess, the selection of Yolanda seemed logical from Courtney’s point of view. What was very interesting was the costume’s almost sentient nature. In an interesting twist from the comic lore, Ted Grant’s old costume adapted to her physique and imbued her with Wildcat’s abilities. I think this is an acceptable deviation from the comics as it allows previously unexceptional teenagers to suit up and be superheroes. It will be interesting to see if the same path is followed when the new Dr Mid-Nite and Hourman join the fray next week…
All heroes need adversaries, so of course the machinations of the Injustice Society were given some of the spotlight this week too. The intriguing Dragon King made his onscreen debut and added a layer of nastiness to the proceedings. Masked and shrouded in mystery, it remains to be seen whether his reptilian visage will get an airing, but for now, less is more. An evil character on the page, his sadistic experiments should play a key part in Mahkent’s nefarious plans for a “New America”. With the different generations being a key theme in this show, it stands to reason that this Lizard-face will have a child enrolled at Blue Valley High. Keep an eye on Cindy, the rotten cheerleader captain and all round bad apple…
Luke Wilson’s Pat Dugan took more of a back seat this week in terms of screen time, but still had a key part to play. Through his interactions with Denise Zarick, grieving over the loss of her husband and son, one gets the feeling that Pat is going to get closer to the conspiracy in the town. I am a fan of Wilson’s interpretation of the character, as he is the right mixture of humble and stoic, with a layer of heroism lay just below the surface. I am looking forward to seeing him come face to face with the members of the Injustice Society, as he confronts the ghosts of his past from that fateful night depicted at the very start of the series. It will also be fun once he discovers that a new JSA is forming, how will he handle a bunch of kids at once?!
Overall, this was another really good episode of Stargirl. Whilst the overall narrative line wasn’t advanced greatly, the introduction of a key JSA member made for good television. As the new line up takes shape, the season should be all lined up for a great battle, mirroring the start of the show that depicted the events of 10 years prior. I just hope we do get Thunderbolt onscreen, released from the pen that seems to be his vessel at this time. Didn’t Mike say his friend Jakeem was coming round for dinner?…….