‘Stargirl’ deconstructs itself with “Icicle,” but is it too early for that?

I’ve praised Stargirl for being bright, colorful, cheerful, and unabashedly in love with being a comic book adventure. When you look at it alongside other television series about other superheroes, seeing a show go with the light and bright fun of superheroing rather than a subdued and grim real-world setting is so refreshing and fun.

However, with its last episode, Stargirl has subverted its formula and introduced some real-world problems and consequences. Normally, that’s not a problem… I’m all for it, but I fear that it’s happening way too soon and that we’re in danger of heading down a darker path that I’m really not keen on going.

So, with Brainwave in a coma, Icicle comes out of retirement to kill the new wielder of the cosmic staff. Courtney is only too eager to answer this challenge and, in the scuffle, a nice and charming kid we were just introduced to dies.

The scene packs a lot of emotional punch. In a way, it’s like waking up from a fun dream and realising you’re an hour late to work. Fun and brightness is over… darkness takes its place.

Now, as I said, the scene and the subsequent scenes that follow are very well done. Pat takes Courtney to the old JSA Headquarters in an attempt to talk her down from her superheroing by showing her the artifacts that the old Justice Society left over after they were all murdered, but, with a broken heart, she sees it as encouragement… that she and others could take up the mantle and continue the fight.

“A kid died, so we have to stop!” Pat tells her.

“A kid died, so we can’t stop!” Courtney replies.

As I said, it’s very well done and does manage to keep Stargirl‘s trademark optimism.

I also really enjoy how the show is humanizing the Injustice Society too. The Sorcerer and Icicle are given some stellar scenes that make more than simple moustache-twirling villans. Heck, at one point, you really see the Sorcerer as someone who’s not that bad of a guy… past murders notwithstanding.

The fight choreography is a little janky and the special effects don’t hold up quite as well in the daylight. I also don’t understand why Courtney couldn’t fly over and assist with the bus on the bridge as having her there watching from a distance seemed more of a plot contrivance so that the kid could get killed.

All in all, it was a good episode. I feel like the characters are more human here than they have been, but I fear that this dramatic turn is bringing an unnecessary darkness into this world and it’s just too soon for that right now. Please continue to be fun.

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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