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All is Bright and Charming in DC’s Latest Superhero Series ‘Stargirl’ – Review

DC Universe is back at it again with new original programming for DC superhero fans everywhere. Taking centre stage this time this time is the bright and charming Stargirl. The series based on the comic character of the same name comes to us from the minds of creator Geoff Johns and executive producer Greg Berlanti. This show has all of the markings of a Berlanti superhero production, but Stargirl is a refreshing homage to the good-old fashion superhero-ing of the Golden Age.

Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) is a sweet and kind teenage girl who is uprooted from her small but comfortable California life with her mother Barbara (Amy Smart), to Blue Valley, Nevada. Her mother recently married Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) and with the marriage, the Whitmores and Dugans become an instant family, complete with an annoying little brother (Trae Romano) and a dog.

Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore a.k.a. Stargirl (Courtesy of DC Universe)

In the first few episodes, we learn a great deal about Courtney’s character. She is kind and brave, quickly making herself open to ridicule and ostracism when she comes to the defence of a bullied girl. Therefore, even before Courtney makes her fateful encounter with Starman’s cosmic staff, you see why Courtney is worthy of being a superhero – she has a heart of gold. 

The show kickstarts with a flashback 10 years prior to Courtney moving to Blue Valley. We meet the Justice Society of America, as they are massacred by the Injustice Society of America. Here is where some of DC’s classic golden age heroes are taken down one by one, including Starman (Joel McHale). Pat, Starman’s sidekick, promises Starman that he will continue the work of the JSA, and someday the person worthy of the staff will appear. Of course, as fate would have it Pat’s new stepdaughter is the one who is worthy. Together they will have to set aside their strained relationship and work together to rid Blue Valley of what remains of the Injustice Society.

(Courtesy of DC Universe)

This show is overwrought with a cheery disposition, a stark contrast to Arrow which kickstarted this new age of TV superhero shows for Warner Bros. Courtney is a protagonist that almost constantly has a smile on her face or is eager to fight for good, and for a little selfish reason that manifests itself in the least helpful ways throughout the show. Nonetheless, she is a hero that takes action immediately, even before a costume is made or her connection with the staff is solidified. Brec Bassinger dazzles as our lead, and with the entire show on her shoulders, she proves to be a very capable lead actress.

The show takes it’s time to unfold, with key players slowly being introduced and hinted at. The first few episodes do an excellent job weaving the web of connection between each and every hero, villain, and eventual sidekick. This lays the groundwork to foreshadow the epic battle that will soon take place to save Blue Valley and America as a whole. DC has quite the winner here, as Stargirl leans into the aesthetic and feel of the era that these heroes were made famous in. From the vintage cars to the old-fashioned manners of its characters, Stargirl has us reliving the golden age of comic books through a modern lens. If the first few episodes are any indication of how the whole series will play out, then DC fans have quite the treat ahead of them.

The series premiere of Stargirl is May 18.

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