“S.T.R.I.P.E.” firmly establishes that Stargirl will be a show about legacies

Pat Dugan, Courtney Witmore’s soft-spoken step-father, leaps into the action wearing his homemade mech suit, S.T.R.I.P.E., as Brainwave makes it his mission to find out who the new hero possessing the cosmic staff is.

I really respect the pace that this series is setting. With most superhero shows, a storyline about a bad guy hunting down a hero would be stretched into at least half a season. With Stargirl, it’s done in two episodes and it still feels like there’s a wealth of potential in the narrative.

What’s more, the introduction of S.T.R.I.P.E. and a comic-accurate costume for Stargirl in only the second episode? Has DC television been reading my letters?

You can really tell that Geoff Johns loving hand is guiding this program. I know that the character of Courtney is important to him and you can really tell that he’s not messing around with her. Sure, we’ve got The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow out there, but Stargirl really feels like the first genuine comic book television series based on an actual comic book that feels like a comic book and doesn’t feel ashamed of what it is. Geoff Johns is proud of his creation, he loves his creation, and he wants to properly introduce his creation to a wider audience. No one is trying to give it a “unique spin,” no one is trying to put a contemporary look to anything… it is what it is and, so far, it’s pitch perfect entertainment.

I’ll even say that Luke Wilson, who I complained about last week, actually seemed like he wanted to be there during this episode. I’m sorry, but I think that the guy has always been a weak actor. At least he seems like he’s trying now.

I will also say that, for a television series, the S.T.R.I.P.E. suit looks really good. The daytime scenes do make it look a little like a toy, but given what it is and the tone of the series, I’m happy to let it slide.

What I like about this series is that they are setting it up to be a story about legacies. The older generation giving way to the new with the older generation serving as mentors. Granted, I would have liked some of the older JSA to have survived to fill that generational role as the Injustice Society is doing for their children, but maybe that’s the whole point of Pat being on the show in the first place… to not only fill the mentorship role but to also have his relationship with Courtney take center stage and be more important to the series.

In any case, this series remains a load of fun. A bright, shiny example of what a live action comic book series can be in the middle of a field of brooding and colorless palates where joy goes to die. I want this series to remain gun. Please, Geoff… let it be fun!

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