***MINOR SPOILER REVIEW***
What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DC’s Stargirl “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite”! “Wildcat” was a wildly emotional episode, leading up to the reintroduction of a new hero. The story continues as this week Courtney looks for her next recruits to join the new Justice Society of America. This time around looking for the new Hourman and Doctor Mid-Nite in fellow outcast classmates Beth Chapel and Rick Tyler.
Where last week we got to know Yalonda’s story, this week they gave us Rex’s. I have to say, this show knows how to roll with the punches. This time around they pulled no punches jumping into a superhero scenario we don’t quite see too often. The one where the kid with superhero parents is orphaned, and left with a not so happy life growing up. This was a huge contrast form the kind of life Courtney lived. She had one parent who loved her, and now a step-father and step-brother who make her feel like she has a real family. Though Rex has none of that. Forced to believe his parents died of some unfortunate tragedy, left with a guardian who blames him for wasted opportunities. It was easy to understand why this kid was so full of anger. He wasn’t just that stereotypical kid who’s the bad boy just because.
What we knew was that he wasn’t going to be easy getting through to. It actually gave me chills for the fact that you don’t know the outcome of putting power in the hands of someone broken. This isn’t the same case where Yolanda was able to embrace a whole new side of her. Rex is the definition of someone unstable. So what happens when power is put in the hands of someone without a sense of responsibility to anyone but himself? The answer to that again is what gave me the chills. So much could have gone wrong if Courtney and company weren’t able to handle things the way they did.
Once more this was also much better than some of the drama we would get from the CW shows. So far they are on the right track, and need to continue prioritizing quality interactions, over cliche.
As for Beth, it wasn’t sunshine and rainbows for her either. There wasn’t anything tragic or unfortunate like with the others, but you could still experience something familiar from her story. Sometimes becoming a superhero can simply be a means of self-improvement. For Beth, that could mean something as simple as fitting in and finding connections. Since the start of the series, they have made it known that she struggles connecting with anyone her age outside of her parents or other adults. This week they threw her right into the fire when it came to putting in the work to make new friends.
That aside, you had to appreciate the effort they put into offering us a hero who doesn’t need to rely on combat expertise. One of the biggest misconceptions for these heroes is that everyone must be battle capable. How Beth interacted with the goggles proved otherwise. In fact, I think a group like this greatly benefits from someone who feeds them information they couldn’t get anywhere else. Pat isn’t always going to be there, and this was the best response to that reality.
Speaking of Pat, he does make some progress on his end towards learning which ISA members may be in Blue Valley. I only wish that we could see more fire from him in the process. For now I will let it slide, because right now they do give you the impression that the intention is to push Pat to a point where he is more take-charge, and less walking on eggshells like a sidekick would.
There was other small developments with the villains ongoing in the background despite the main objective being superhero recruitment. There was a treat here and there, though nothing significant. Though at the same time nothing to overlook either. Something is always better than nothing. Especially when with each passing week we are getting a bit more of an understanding as to what the ISA is putting together in this town. They clearly have their claws dug deep in everything that unfolds here.
All in all, DC’s Stargirl “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” was another episode which they knocked out of the park. This is excellent storytelling here, and they are setting the bar for what we should expect when investing in young superhero stories. Their stories are no lighter, and they are no darker. It’s just another experience that is full of twists and turns.