29th Jun2020

‘Stargirl 1×06: Justice Society’ 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

Episode six of Stargirl gives the feeling that the origin story of Stargirl and her new teammates is over and the true story of the new Justice Society is finally taking off. The series has done well with at least making the origin stories fun because, let’s be real, most origin stories are pretty bland, but it’s nice to get to the point where more interesting stories can develop.

This episode introduces us to Lawrence Crock (Neil Hopkins) and Blue Valley High’s physical education teacher, Paula Brooks (Joy Osmanski), a super-powered couple that lives and dies by their daughter’s, Artemis (Stella Smith), ability in football. When Artemis is benched for punching a fellow teammate after a late football hit, her parents meet up with the football coach and murder him. Based on a conversation later with Icicle, this isn’t the first time they have murdered a coach that dares bench their precious daughter.

Later that night, when Paula and Lawrence are burying the football coach’s body, Jordan/Icicle arrives and summons the couple back into the employment as bodyguards of the Injustice Society, as their supervillain alter-egos, the Sportsmaster and Tigress. It seems the Gambler has no actual superpowers other than being a good computer hacker and he needs protection as he attempts to hack into the government’s satellites.

Courtney is at a crossroads in her early superhero life as Pat has found the remaining Justice Society gadgets, including the Green Lantern(!), in her room and orders her to stop forming a new team and to bring the gadgets back. Courtney attempts to convince Pat that while Beth, Yolanda and Rick are young and inexperienced, they are destined to become a new Justice Society. She has a point because the suits are superpowered, not the people in them so it’s not like they need as much training, and Rick is the original Hourman’s son and should take up the mantle.

Pat’s confidence has taken a hit recently as Courtney blatantly ignores his warnings that being a superhero takes hard work and is dangerous. His confidence takes another hit when he confronts Rick and asks for the hourglass back. Rick refuses to give the hourglass back and mocks Pat for not being able to stop the Injustice Society when he had a chance and being nothing more than the original Starman’s lackey.

Its apparent that becoming superheroes has changed Beth and Yolanda’s lives for the better. Yolanda is gaining her confidence back that she lost after her private photos were released and the lonely Beth now has a best friend in the form of Chuck, the AI in Dr. Mid-Nite’s googles. It may not be the typical friendship, but it works for Beth. Courtney realizes she won’t be able to get the costumes or superhero gadgets back from her new friends and a part of her doesn’t want to take the items back.

Chuck interrupts an impromptu gathering of the new Justice Society with information that the Gambler is up to his evil ways at Empire Enterprises and despite Courtney’s disapproval, Beth, Yolanda and Rick all out vote her and decide to stop him. After suiting up and arriving at Empire Enterprises, the new team runs into the Gambler’s bodyguards, the Sportsmaster and Tigress. The team, despite Stargirl’s plan, splits up (NO!) and Hourman and Stargirl take on Sportsmaster while Wildcat and Dr. Mid-Nite chase after Tigress.

The inexperience of the team is evident as Hourman, despite his super strength, is easily defeated by Sportsmaster and his assortment of sporting goods…no, I’m not kidding. He literally hits hockey pucks, baseballs, footballs, etc. at his enemies. It’s so ridiculous and over-the-top, that I actually like it.

It’s better than Tigress’ superpower of, um, a crossbow? Oh, and she has agility…I think. Anyway, she has just as much ease with Wildcat and Dr. Mid-Nite, but once they start working as a team, and S.T.R.I.P.E. shows up, the tide begins to turn. It doesn’t matter though as the Gambler has succeeded in stealing the codes to the satellites and the trio escape before the Justice Society can claim victory.

After returning to their new base, Pat’s autobody shop, Courtney thanks Pat for watching out for them and showing up when he did. She begins to understand why Pat was worried about them and tried to dissuade her from this life but she says she can’t stop now as her team depends on her. Pat, realizing he can either help make them better or watch them get hurt, decides to become their Yoda and mentor. It’s about time Pat!

Easter Eggs:

  • Movies Galore Blue Valley’s movie theater features several films that are based on DC’s comic books. Strange Adventures, a reference to the comic book series that was centered mostly in science fiction, is playing in Blue Valley as well as Prez, the Unknown Soldier and GI Robot, which are all refences to several older comic book series.

One Good Thing:

  • Jordan/Icicle and his son. We know that Jordan, his parents, and his son are not the typical family but this episode goes beyond the typical “supervillain family is evil” trope. The episode follows Jordan and his son as they cope on a difficult day, their deceased wife and mother’s birthday. From Jordan reaching his arm over to his wife’s side of the bed and finding emptiness to taking his son out to dinner and having the waitress, trying to being nice, overhearing about a birthday and bringing a cake with a candle to their table until she is told whose birthday it really is, the episode is one of the best I have seen in showing the human side to a series’ villain. The sub-plot with Jordan and his son is heartbreaking and realistic, which is a drastic change to any other storyline in Starman.

Grade: C+ (Above Average)

This episode, like many in the series so far, is neither good nor bad, but is still enjoyable. Stargirl is starting to find its “groove” and is slowly getting better each week. That’s not to say the series is bad in any way, it’s just…different. Each episode flies by in terms of time and the cast adds much enjoyment to their characters but there is not sense of urgency yet. We really don’t know what the Injustice Society’s master plan is and how it relates to the satellites or why Blue Valley is a haven for superpowered beings.

On the flip side, this episode may be the jumpstart the series needs as there was more action in this episode than the last several and Pat seems to finally accept his fate that he needs to train Courtney and her new team or else, any injury or death will be on his shoulders. Overall, this week was a stronger episode, especially with Jordan coping with his deceased wife’s birthday, and the series continues to move forward in a positive way.

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.

One Response to “‘Stargirl 1×06: Justice Society’ Review”

  • Fred A Cleaver

    Hi.

    My first experience with your web site. I was watching Green Lantern on HBO and went to IMDB to check the cast. There I also found a link to your review of the 80th Anniversary of GL, and here I am.

    As a comic fan of the 60s and 70, golden age characters were a rare and exciting treat. When I heard Star Girl was going to revive the JSA I was intrigued.

    I slogged thru the first few episodes, unimpressed. Finally stopped watching. Then saw a review that made it sound like real JSA revival characters in addition to Star Girl were being featured (finally),

    Watched the 6th episode and was pleased.

    When they go to re-runs, I’ll watch the episodes I missed.

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