The Best Superhero TV Show Debuts Today on Blu-ray: DC's Stargirl, The Complete First Season

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Stargirl Season 1 BD

The best thing to happen to CW superhero shows was obtaining the license to rebroadcast episodes of STARGIRL the day after premiering on the DC Universe streaming services. The show, shepherded by character creator Geoff Johns, became immediately recognized as one of the best translations of comic-to-tube in decades.

STARGIRL follows the adventures of Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), a high-school softmore who has moved to Blue Valley, Nevada with her stepdad Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), her mother Barbara (Amy Smart), and her new stepbrother, Mike (Trae Romano). What she doesn't know is that her new stepdad used to run with a crowd of super heroes known as the Justice Society of America -- specifically, he was the sidekick Stripesy to Starman (formerly the Star-Spangled Kid) -- and that he still has Starman's Cosmic Staff packed away in a crate in the basement. However, when the Staff mysteriously awakens, and reponds to Courtney's presence, it's the start of her own adventures as Stargirl.

Believing that the original Starman is her long-lost father, Courtney's flights in this mid-western small town coincidentally uncover the hidden presence of a league of super villains -- the Injustice Society, the same team that destroyed the Justice Society ten years prior. The criminal members have inserted themselves into community as respected leaders -- physicians, high school principals, etc. Suddenly, an amateur superhero finds herself pitted against deadly and experienced foes like Icicle (Neil Jackson), Sportsmaster (Neil Hopkins), Tigress (Joy Osmanski), Dragon King (Nelson Lee), Brainwave (Christopher James Baker), and others. What's more, these villains from yesterday have sired the next generation, giving way to new powered characters like Brainwave Jr. (Jake Austin Walker) and Shiv (Meg DeLacy) -- who attend school with Courtney in their civilian identies.

Combatting these foes is going to require allies and teamwork. Against Pat's wishes, Courtney recruits her new friends to take over the names -- and equipment -- of the former Justice Society, passing on the mantle of Wildcat to Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal), Dr. Mid-Nite to Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington), and Hourman to Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman), who turns out to be the son of the first Hourman. Realizing Courtney is going to proceed with this dangerous plan, Pat agrees to train the team -- and suits back up again himself, this time operating a giant mecha suit made from classic automobile parts. But how long can stepfather and stepdaughter continue a masked crusade while keeping Courtney's mother and Pat's son in the dark for their own safety? And should they?

STARGIRL stands out above all the other "Arrowverse" series on the network. The events of STARGIRL take place on an alternate Earth (Earth Two), while the main shows all believe the "multiverse" has been obliterated, post the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. But it's not the lack of crossover interaction that makes this show different (crossovers will come in time -- Stargirl's first appearance was as a teaser at the end of CoIE). It's the overall optimism and positivity that give this show an entirely different gestalt. The color palette is brighter, the tone is more thoughtful, and the delivery is muc more appealing for family viewing. There's a classic era vibe to the whole thing that makes it accessable to viewers unfamiliar with the concept -- while also filled with Easter eggs to excite the longtime fans. Hints have been dropped that we may see the Golden Age Green Lantern, as well as a new master of the Thunderbold genie. The costumes look like comic book costumes, not leather or armor, which gives the whole thing a look as though it dropped right out of a four-color panel.

This series has had our full support since it debuted, and this Blu-ray release comes with our highest recommendation.

The Complete First Season

Disc One Disc Two Disc Three

01. Stargirl
02. S.T.R.I.P.E.
03. Icicle
04. Wildcat

05. Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite
06. The Justice Society
07. Shiv Part One
08. Shiv Part Two
09. Brainwave

10. Brainwave Jr.
11. Shining Knight
12. Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One
13. Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two

 

Grade: 
5.0 / 5.0