08th Jun2020

‘Stargirl 1×03: Icicle’ Review

by Jason Brigger

Stars: Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Amy Smart, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Trae Romano, Christopher Baker, Neil Jackson | Created by Geoff Johns

Eight years ago, Jordan/Icicle’s wife, Christine (Amanda Lavassani), is on her deathbed with an unknown sickness and doesn’t have much time to live. After saying goodbye to their son, Jordan vows to make the world pay for what it has done to his wife. His wife is just as warped as her husband as she makes him promise to fulfill the mission and not let anyone stop him from their master plan. It’s a little twist on the villain vowing revenge for their significant other as his wife seems to be the mastermind for whatever is their devious plan.

Henry Jr. is keeping a mindful watch over his comatose father, aka Brainwave, at the local medical facility when Jordan arrives to check on his boss. After realizing Brainwave is in worse shape than originally thought, Jordan makes a call to William Zarcik (Joe Knezevich), a local politician and a supervillain (aren’t they the same?) that has a flair for magic. At least a magician is still better than a fiddler.

Jordan meets up with William and reminds him of the vow they took to avenge Jordan’s wife and punish all the people that exposed her to a toxin that caused her death. Jordan alludes to the fact that he has travelled the country murdering the majority of the people but he needs William, aka the Wizard, to finish his plan. And with that, Jordan declares himself in charge of the Injustice Society of America.

Courtney doesn’t just have to deal with supervillains, she also has to navigate the trials of high school. William’s son, Joey (Wil Deusner), who is also an amateur magician, goes to Courtney’s school and she meets him while he is practicing in the halls of the high school in preparation of the school’s talent show. After Courtney lies about the card trick in order to make Joey feel better about his talent, she makes her way to her locker just in time to see a fellow student has the word “Slut” written on her locker.

Courtney offers to help the student, Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), wipe off the derogatory word from the locker but the student ignores her and walks away. Later when two teenage girls confront Yolanda and start slut-shaming her, Courtney steps in to even the playing field. The bullies leave and again Yolanda tells Courtney to stay out of it or the bullies will make it worse. Courtney eventually finds out that the student’s ex-boyfriend, Cameron (Hunter Sansone), is the person responsible for writing the inappropriate word on the locker. I’m guessing Courtney has a plan to get even with Cameron and that is the reason she starts to flirt with him.

Jordan isn’t just taking over the Injustice Society, he’s also the new boss at Courtney’s mother’s company, American Dream. The goal of the company is to make a safe world for the children of the future and to rebuild the small towns of America, both residential and commercial properties. Obviously, there are more sinister motives for the American Dream company other than revamping the downtown of Blue Valley, but the idea of a corporate company destroying America, one small town at a time, is an interesting take on the concept.

Icicle sends a warning to Stargirl as he freezes the grass in the shape of a star, which Courtney sees on her way home from school. Courtney is a little too excited to be called out by a supervillain and wants revenge as she thinks he is the villain that killed her father. Pat tells her to calm down as this is obviously a trap. Courtney tells Pat she is going with or without him, which leads to Pat suiting up to protect her.

When they arrive at the park, the frozen star is gone but Icicle is there! Stripe is frozen so Stargirl is on her own against him. She doesn’t last long against a well-established villain and is only saved when Stripe fires his robotic fist at Icicle, sending him flying to the conveniently placed bridge next to them.

The school bus, with Joey and Beth onboard, is travelling down the same bridge, which is now iced over, courtesy of Icicle. The bus veers out of control, smashing the guardrails, but before it can fall in the river below, a now thawed out Stripe flies in and catches the bus, delivering it to safety. Not everyone is safe though as Joey’s deck of cards spill out onto the bridge and when he attempts to pick them up, a truck travelling the opposite way slides on ice, striking and killing Courtney’s classmate. That got dark quick.

William returns home and tells his wife the devasting news of their son but instead of consoling each other, he runs upstairs to their safe and grabs his magical wand. He races to Jordan’s house, bursting through the door and asking Jordan if he killed his son on purpose. Jordan doesn’t have time for this and freezes William to death, in front of Jordan’s own parents. One would think this would be a no-no, but Jordan’s parents are just as evil and agree to clean up the mess. Later on, we find out that Cameron, the bully who slut-shamed his ex-girlfriend, Yolanda, is actually Jordan’s son. What is wrong with this town?!

Courtney is devastated by Joey’s death and blames herself. Pat, ever the good parent, takes her to the secret base of the Justice Society of America in order to show her all the founding members of the team. He explains that every member was killed by Icicle and the rest of the Injustice Society and maybe Pat and Courtney are in over their heads. Courtney, ever the optimist, doesn’t believe that and decides to even up the sides by creating a new Justice Society of America to stop Icicle and his friends. It’s a wonderful scene that emphasizes that every decision has a repercussion and while Pat is afraid of Courtney getting hurt, he knows they must form a team in order to save everyone.

Easter Eggs:

  • Doctor Mid-Nite’s owl! When Courtney and Pat are at the Justice Society’s base, Doctor Mid-Nite’s owl makes an appearance. The owl is the Doctor’s sidekick in the comic books and in the series, he sits, waiting for his master to return, unbeknownst to him that the Doctor is dead. I love how the series continues to honor the comic book origins while still putting a modern twist on it.

One Good Thing:

  • Courtney. The character of Courtney continues to be well written and likeable. She sticks up for the underdog but not to make herself look better, but because she honestly cares. Whether it’s to make Joey look like a true magician in front of his classmates or telling the bullies that slut-shaming hurts every girl, she comes across a just a good person trying to make the world better, which is the true definition of a hero. When you watch the series, it makes sense why this girl wants to be a superhero and why it’s so important to her to succeed.

Grade: B (Good)

We may only be three episodes into the series, but Icicle is leaps and bounds better than the first two episodes. There is potential in Jordan/Icicle’s company destroying Blue Valley from the inside out and the character is much more threatening than Brainwave. Stargirl losing in her first fight with a supervillain is a nice surprise and will make her redemption story that much stronger. There was a lot that happened this week and while this episode wasn’t as quirky or humorous as the prior episodes, it made for the strongest episode yet.

You can catch Jason Brigger on the geek-centric podcast, The History of Bad Ideas, as new episodes are released every week at www.nerdly.co.uk or subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. You can listen to their latest episode right here.
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