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Justice Society of America: Stargirl Builds Towards New Teen Superheroes

by Conor O'Brien

As DC’s Stargirl has progressed, more local Blue Valley teens have gradually become involved in the Justice Society of America and superhero world. Here’s a look at where this is all leading.

Stargirl is only five episodes into its first season and the major plot lines of the series are already falling into place. It all started in the pilot episode with Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) learning about Starman, the mostly deceased Justice Society of America and the Cosmic Staff. Reluctantly aided by her stepfather, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), the growth of a new DCTV hero has already begun in recent weeks.

Of course, Courtney is still only a teenager. Especially with Pat not fully onboard, she cannot undertake this great responsibility by herself. She needs to recruit trusted allies to help her. This has all been building towards creating a brand new Justice Society of America in small town Blue Valley, Nebraska.

Courtney and her newfound friends – Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal), Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) and Rick Harris/Tyler (Cameron Gellman), had no connection to one another. Stargirl, in part, tells the somewhat familiar story of misfits coming together. However, this is combined with the ever- present tension and danger that comes with being in the Justice Society of America.

There are two very specific creative choices that Stargirl could have made, but did not. The first would be to jump straight into New JSA action and reveal the origins through flashbacks. Instead, the formation is told in real-time, present day. Additionally, the other characters could have been expanded upon early on, rather than a gradual unravelling of their personalities in subsequent episodes.

From a personal standpoint, I believe that the correct choice was made in both instances. The audience almost goes along on the journey with Courtney, as she recruits more people into the new Justice Society of America. There’s more of an emotional resonance and bond with the character.

Stargirl also allows the chance for the fans to get to know each character individually, rather than as a collective. We meet Yolanda Montez before she’s Wildcat, Beth Chapel before she’s Dr. Mid-Nite and Rick Harris (Tyler) before he becomes Hourman, in his father’s footsteps. For that reason, there’s more of an investment in these journeys, too.

As a viewer, it would be very interesting to watch Courtney, Yolanda, Beth and Rick further become and fully embody these new superhero personas. This is far more satisfying than starting at the finish line, as it were. It would be easy to just put on a costume. Actually embracing Stargirl, Wildcat, Dr. Mid-Nite and Hourman is the natural next step so the foursome can fully realise their potential.

At time of writing, Stargirl has 8 episodes remaining to air in season 1. We can only guess where Geoff Johns and his team will take the story next.

Stargirl airs on DC Universe and The CW.

Follow writer Conor O’Brien on Twitter – @CourageousConor

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