Warner TV is launching “Stargirl” tonight, its new DC series worn by Brec Bassinger and Luke Wilson. This old school superheroic drama, which evokes the Golden Age of comics and highlights the Justice Society of America, is it worth a detour?
What is it about ?
As she tries to adjust to her new life in Blue Valley, a small town in Nebraska, Courtney Whitmore, a smart, athletic, and empathetic teenager, discovers that her stepfather, Pat, is hiding a secret: he is the former sidekick of the superhero Starman, leader of the Justice Society of America killed ten years ago by the Injustice Society of America. A revelation that will push her to take up the torch – and the scepter – of Starman under the identity of Stargirl. And to gather around her a new generation of superheroes in order to fight against the villains who came back from the past.
Every Monday at 8:55 p.m. on Warner TV from January 11 and available on demand
Who is it with?
To play the heroine of Stargirl, Warner Bros. Television and the DC Universe platform called on the 21-year-old actress Brec Bassinger, little known to the general public until then despite a leading role in the series Bella and the Bulldogs and a more recent appearance in the film 47 Meters Down: Uncaged. In front of her, viewers will easily recognize Luke Wilson (The Tenenbaum Family, The Revenge of a Blonde, Motel) as Pat, Courtney’s stepfather, while Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect, Road Trip, Felicity) plays the teenager’s mother. Finally, ET fans will be happy to reunite with Henry Thomas in the recurring role of Charles McNider, aka Doctor Mid-Nite, a former member of the Justice Society of America.
Well worth a look ?
Launched in May 2020 on DC Universe, Stargirl could be the pleasant superheroic surprise that we weren’t expecting. Far from the dark and tortured side of Titans, or the multiple universes sometimes “a bit” complicated of the Arrowverse made in CW (although the last crossover to date between Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Batwoman, and Legends of Tomorrow has taught us that it takes place on one of the many Earths parallel to that of Oliver Queen and Barry Allen), this new series stands out as a more general public alternative, which is aimed at the whole family and will also satisfy fans of funny and intelligent teen series, as well as die-hard DC superhero fans who will be happy to see Stargirl pay homage to the Golden Age of comics. Period when, during the 1940s, the Justice Society of America (JSA), a sort of ancestor of the Justice League imagined by Gardner Fox, made its first appearance on paper in issue 3 of All-Star Comics.
Fun, rhythmic, and rich in twists and turns, the 13 episodes that constitute the first season of Stargirl are a real breath of fresh air, which are based above all on the notions of inheritance and the transfer of power. We obviously think of the origin stories of Spider-Man (on the big screen) or Flash (on television), but also of Smallville for the side of a small town lost in the middle of nowhere and the initiatory journey that Courtney undertakes, torn between her need to save the world, her family, and her “normal” teenage life. As the villains of the Injustice Society of America (ISA) resurface one by one, led by the dreaded Icicle (Neil Jackson), Courtney, who has figured out that Starman was her father, will take over the torch of the late leader of the JSA and gather around her a band of marginal high school students to form a new Justice Society of America capable of preventing the worst from happening. The beginning of a fight between Good and Evil, but also between old villains and new superheroes, which constitutes the common thread of Stargirl, who has the good idea to propose a totally soap opera plot that grabs us from the start pilot to never let go (unlike many series of the DC team which had, all too often, resorted to the well-worn formula of the monster of the week).
Beyond its old-school atmosphere, which even in its soundtrack and its epic and good-natured side evokes the cinema of the 80s of Spielberg, Zemeckis, or Joe Dante, the series of Geoff Johns (already at the origin of the Stargirl comics) amazes mainly thanks to its gallery of cartoony characters, which we take a real pleasure to see developed and deepened over the course of this first season which explores the first steps of Courtney’s budding acolytes as much as the past members of the Injustice Society of America, who hide behind their nefarious motives not always so evil motives. Carried by a Brec Bassinger surprisingly charisma, pep’s, and emotion (because the series also knows how to touch us when it comes to the consequences not always measured of its heroine a little too hot-headed), the cast of this new series DC is also doing overall with honors. And the chemistry between Bassinger and Luke Wilson, palpable both in family scenes and in moments when the Stargirl-STRIPE duo comes into action, is without a doubt what the superhero drama does best.
Despite a certain lack of originality that could be blamed on her, it would be a real shame to sulk her pleasure in front of Stargirl who, with her successful special effects and beautifully choreographed fight scenes, has little to envy the films of superheroes who flood our screens year after year. These first 13 episodes distill enough mysteries and surprises to keep us going and the finale leaves the door open to many evolutions in season 2 that we are already eager to discover. Hoping that the switch from DC Universe to the CW (which was already broadcasting season 1 in the second window but was not the main channel of the series) will not have negative consequences in terms of budgets or creative choices on the continuation of the adventures of Stargirl, Wildcat, Hourman, and the others.