What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DC’s Stargirl “Icicle”! For anyone who was still on the fence about this show, I believe that the second episode put a lot of worries at ease for the time being. We got our introduction to Courtney as she got her call to action, and we got a proper introduction to Pat as he realized there is much more to him than simply playing the role of sidekick. Both of them got to where they needed to be for the reality of this situation to sink in.
Now let’s start off with the one thing I had to get off of my chest. When they first introduced the Injustice Society of America (ISA), I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at yet another DC ice villain. As most of us know, DC has so many of these villains, and sometimes when you have seen one, you have seen them all. I didn’t know what to expect from Icicle because he is one of the more old school villains, and even my knowledge of things JSA related is limited. So here I was taken back by how well he was written. If there’s one thing I have to admit, I was not impressed by Gotham’s Freeze, Flash’s Killer Frost, or even the villain side of Captain Cold. All of these powerful villains, and there was nothing but hesitation to go to that dark place you know they are capable of going to. Stagirl is the first show to break the mold and go there with Icicle. This guy is supposed to be the big bad, and the example he gave to make that statement is one that will leave a lasting impression. A villain who has killed heroes is capable of doing worse for much less.
The focus on Wizard was nothing to overlook either. I thought his story would be more of a slowburn, but I couldn’t argue with the choice to just jump right into his story. The one villain who got a bit too accustomed to a normal life to go back. That kind of attitude was always going to become an obstacle. By the end of the episode, how this was approached turned into a chilling series of scenes since there is no happy ending to expect from that either.
After last week’s episode, it was a bit of a surprise by how we moved forward with Courtney and Pat. You would have thought that Pat had given in to the stubbornness of Courtney, yet here we were with them at odds again about how to proceed. Courtney on one hand is still young and naive about the world she has stepped into, but at the same time she has the courage to do something about something that has to be dealt with in the town. Then you have Pat who is still reluctant about continuing a fight that all of his friends lost. Both sides you could understand, and I was glad that they weren’t really pushing us to have to pick a side. These are the growing pains that have to be experienced when new heroes, and even those stepping back into the game have to go through.
Regardless, this leading to Pat being more upfront about a more formal introduction to the JSA was a great takeaway. I love a show like this that isn’t afraid to really get into the backstory of well-established heroes. Some things are just fun to point out that you know as a comic fan. That was one of those scenes and I think I speak for most when I say I’m thankful they were not cheap about the quality to the inside of the JSA mansion. Neither were they cheap about the JSA’s equipment.
That aside, Barbara’s story seems to be the one that’s going to be the slowburn. Not in a bad way either. So far things are a tad predictable when it comes to her making waves at her job, though it was a good choice that it ended up being her new boss Jordan Mahkent (Icicle). Obviously this is going to put her in the middle of some danger down the road, but at the very least this keeps her in a role of relevance. Not to mention this keeps us connected to the town. Speaking of slowburns, I suppose we should also talk about Courtney’s school life. They seem to be playing it safe for the most part here, and I do appreciate this. Obviously it matters that Courtney is going to find these new recruits within the school, though also don’t want to spend too much time on things which you know will be painful to see rehashed. Such things like the bullying which may hit differently depending on the viewer.
Once more I found myself thankful that at the end of the day this is more of a DC Universe series than a CW series. The greatest worry with a series like this was the idea that it would be like any other teen series that was filled with drama and cliche. Yet in a matter of three episodes they have proven that that is not going to be Stargirl. They set the tone quickly, and had no problem reminding us consistently that this is not one of those where they will pull punches. When I talk about the young hero experience? I mean that in the new sense of the term. Meaning these heroes who have all the determination and motivation to find legitimacy, but have to overcome everything that is real about this world. The danger this brings to your personal life, to your family, not to mention the innocents who can lose their lives because you couldn’t be where you needed to be when they needed you most.
As I said above, a villain who has killed heroes is capable of doing worse for much less. In other words, yeah, that did happen. DC’s Stargirl “Icicle” gave us every reason to believe that this villain right here is endgame for Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E.. They now know that they have the full attention of the ISA, and that there are consequences to not being ready for the lengths these villains will go to in order to stomp out threats to their plans.