***MINOR SPOILER REVIEW***
What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DC’s Stargirl “Wildcat”! The new hero treatment is not just something people say. It is an experience. One which defines what these heroes on the rise stand for. Do you crumble under the weight and reality of what it means to work in the hero business? Or you do find your conviction to move forward with determination to do better? This episode represents what it means when that tragedy gives you more reason to fight back.
With this week being the hunt for the first recruit, I’m glad that it was Yolanda. For as little as we have seen from within the walls of the school. Getting to know Yolanda and what happened to her was the best entry point to get a clear picture. From the start of this episode, they just jumped right into it. Perfect girl, a happy and supportive family, she had good things going for her. All it took was making that one choice, and someone taking advantage of what consequences that choice could have for her in the wrong hands. The whole scene was gutwrenching, because the high school experience is not pretty. Especially when you are the one being broken by that experience. No one says kids are monsters without a good reason.
All of this made Courtney’s efforts that much more commendable. It was one thing to just be that student trying to do the right thing, but another thing to go the distance when you really understand why you are trying to lift that person up. The big thing for me was seeing how Courtney was going to approach the idea of recruiting someone. You can’t just walk up to someone and expect that they will be open to the idea of being a superhero, or that they can keep a secret to do so. I could roll with her approach to bringing Yolanda into the fold because she was also attempting to help someone who really needed a friend as much as she did herself.
Now obviously there was going to be some training montage, and I found myself humored by how they handled it. Not goofy like Shazam, but they went down the checklist to to see firsthand what Wildcat is capable of. How they even made themselves aware of his powers was the fun bit. You would not have expected where their source of information came from. Aside from that, it was good to know that again the budget exists to even make Wildcat’s powers look legit.
Something I loved about this episode was the real world experience that we got from Yolanda’s situation. Some will look at her situation and quickly think that they are trying to be preachy. However, that is far from the case. In the worst case scenario this is something that does happen to kids, and it does damage their progress if they have plans for their future. However, at the end of the day this is something which even grown adults get themselves caught up in more than they should. To an adult, they should know what can go wrong when you send nudes to someone who you think you have a complete trust in. Even if this was three months after what happened, through Yolanda we came to understand what this does to you mentally and emotionally. You lose that fire you once had, the ability to have faith in people like you had before. Behind that anger in her eyes was a girl who was suffering because she had everything, and then it was gone. As I said, it happens, and it can be devastating being a kid like Yolanda who represented the model student.
In turn, this created a unique story that we don’t get nearly enough in superhero stories. For Yolanda, becoming Wildcat was an opportunity for her to regain her confidence. It takes confidence to step outside of your comfort zone and attempt something this daring. To take on the mantle of a hero who has done great things, and believe that you have it in you do make something of that power too. This too was her taking back some sort of control in her life. If her enemies and family won’t allow it? It was up to her to take that bold step forward. In this unique situation, that just so happened to require answering the call to action.
Beyond this, I was glad to see them push some other factors which tend to play into the success of a young superhero on the rise. It doesn’t stop at losing someone in the fight, or the training montage. Sometimes it can be something as small as making sure that you create a distinction between the person behind the mask, and what the person becomes wearing the mask.
This just left a small bit which involved Pat and the ISA. Nothing big happened for either, but you could see where things are getting serious for the ISA now that they have someone trying to interfere in their plans. And you could see where Pat might begin to tighten his belt, because it’s not hard to see he is still afraid of stepping up to be more than the sidekick he once was. By the end of the episode, there was a takeaway from both sides, and progression is the name of the game.
DC’s Stargirl “Wildcat” was a wildly emotional episode, leading up to the reintroduction of a new hero. This is what we tend to miss from some of the other DC shows. Specifically the Arrowverse shows. You can give viewers drama, but don’t drown them in it. Leave a light at the end of the tunnel that reminds them of what it means to be a hero. To answer the call when you are even at your lowest.