The CW hit series returns for Season 3 and proves it has the goods to stay in the game reigniting the DC Comics “Golden Age” of heroes in primetime, while a new series of books prepares to hit newsstands!
She’s a star! Going into its Third Season on The CW Brec Bassinger continues to shine as the titular heroine in the superhero adventure series DC’s Stargirl which made it’s fall debut this week. With the network’s primetime landscape sizing down, many of the DC Comics adaptations have largely made up the line-up since Greg Berlanti’s Arrow-verse a decade later the network appears to have shaken things up and retooled its thinking. Many of the super-series that have secured top numbers for The CW have been canceled, and with The Flash announcing that its upcoming Ninth Season will be it's last, audiences are wondering, has the “Modern Age of Heroes” in primetime come to its end?
Perhaps it might, which is why the time is ripe for attention to turn to the “Golden Age” of heroes. Before there was a Justice League, there were the frontline fighters who secured our democracy and fought valiantly alongside the Allies in WWII. The heroes united under the banner of the Justice Society and heralded the “Golden Age”. In the primetime multiverse, teenager Courtney Whitmore (Bassinger) inherits the Cosmic Staff, a weapon of unprecedented power that wields energy, that once belonged to the hero known as Starman. Courtney’s step-father Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) once served as a confidant to Starman and the rest of the JSA, and now mentors the new young all-stars that are assuming the legacy and are led by Stargirl!
In the series premiere season, Courtney was determined to learn to wield the power of the staff and defend her new home, Blue Valley from the Injustice League, the fierce arch enemies of the JSA, and in the second season, she found herself forging closer alliances with her newfound friends while facing one of the JSA’s most sinister adversaries from its past. That battle came with its share of consequences, but Stargirl and the new JSA emerged from the wreckage closer than ever before. Now they are faced with new challenges and more complicated opposition, as the group tries to forgive and embrace former foes coming into their ranks.
Something Wicked This Way…
Series creator and DC Comics legend Geoff Johns has taken to branding each season of the series with an overall arching theme. In Season Two, Stargirl and the JSA faced off against the villainy of Eclipso! That season was called “Summer School” and now with the teenagers starting a new year at Blue Valley High and the JSA dynamic further evolving, Season Three is appropriately entitled “Frenemies”. In Chapter One: The Murder, the arrival of one of the JSA’s foes, the Gambler (Eric Goins) is in search of his daughter Rebecca Sharpe (who was introduced as the metahuman Hazard in Season Four of The Flash).
In another interesting turn of events the original Starman, Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale) has also resurfaced, having suddenly been resurrected from the dead. Concerned that he may be back to reclaim his title and control of the Cosmic Staff, Courtney agrees to share the power while Sylvester decides he will train Stargirl, calling her “the future”. With Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) now part of the team, having a one-time supervillain on the roster is not sitting well with Wildcat (Yvette Monreal) and Hourman (Cameron Gellman), while Dr. Mid-Nite (Anjelika Washington) tries to keep the peace. It doesn’t help that when the JSA stumbles upon a murder scene, Shiv (DeLacy) is standing over the body!
The dramatic climax is setting in motion the tense murder mystery that will have (hopefully) unravel during the course of Season Three and with the JSA on the case, they may have their hands full. Undoubtedly, the return of Sylvester will cause some chaos, especially given that their new neighbors, The Crocks, were once members of the ISA. Pat is keeping a close eye on them, especially given that they have petitioned that their daughter Artemis be made a member of the JSA — and is currently running around Blue Valley as a vigilante! With so many elements coming together, the series going into its new season has never felt more vibrant, its cast never more relevant.
Part of the charm of DC’s Stargirl is wrapped in its elaboration of The Golden Age characters of DC Comics, a period of profound significance in the imprint’s legacy. Soon the Golden Age will also be in the spotlight on the big screen with Black Adam debuts in theaters worldwide. Many of the original Justice Society of America members will be on full display, in a story ripped from the pages of the books and authored by Geoff Johns. The writer’s affinity for the JSA led to a very successful run of books, that also benefitted from the introduction of Stargirl, which is the connective tissue between the classic heroes and their contemporary counterparts.
Stargirl is also deeply personal to Johns, who based Courtney Whitmore in memory of his sister who died when she was a teenager. Johns admitted that the casting of Brec Bassinger in the role was extremely serendipitous — the actress reminded him very much of his sister and also embodied many of the qualities that make Courtney resonate as a heroine. The Golden Age Heroes will be very much on everyone’s radar this fall as Johns returns to DC to inspire a new run of both Justice Society of America and a brand-new Stargirl Limited Series. Fans will certainly be watching with great interest, as a New Age, a “new” Golden Age is evidently coming alive!
DC’s STARGIRL | starring Brec Bassinger, Luke Wilson, Yvette Monreal, Anjelika Washington, Cameron Gellman, and Amy Smart | Season Three “Frenemies” premieres new episodes every Wednesday night at 8 PM on The CW.