Celebrating the 40th anniversary of Return of the Jedi

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Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
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Superman's Pal

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 5,822
Subj: Ep 11 "Shining Knight"
Posted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 at 11:12:57 pm EDT (Viewed 932 times)
Reply Subj: CW's Stargirl "Pilot"
Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 at 08:23:55 pm EDT (Viewed 891 times)

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I’m a bit behind, this show premiered a couple of months ago and there was a thread on the DC Universe board about it, but since it’s a JSA-centric show I thought it belonged on this board.

I just watched the first episode and plan to watch the rest, I guess 8 episodes are currently out and there are going to be 13 this season.

I guess I’m old school so it’s odd to think that the JSA only came and went 10 years ago, as the opening title card tells us. So they existed post-2000 not in the 1940s. Another reason why that’s weird is that the show begins in what looks like the real world, but if superheroes are a part of normal everyday life here you would think it might be a little bit different. Like when they did the JSA on Smallville they had to say that they were a forgotten team that operated in secret decades ago and no one ever knew about them. But this is coming in after like 10 years of CW shows so I guess they figure you’re on board with the superhero premise or you’re not.

We start right in the thick of things with the JSA battling the ISA (Injustice Society). They don’t bother to introduce everyone or their gimmick, looks like the ISA is being led by the Wizard or Brainwave. Where did the giant black hand come from, was that Karkull? I think the lady with the braid was GA Huntress? The guy with the hockey mask must have been Sportsmaster. For some reason the big hero of the JSA is Starman, Sylvester Pemberton rather than Dr. Fate or Green Lantern. The entire JSA gets killed except for Starman who is rescued by his sidekick Stripesy in the Star Rocket Racer, I presume. They crash shortly after and Starman dies in Stripesy’s arms telling him to pass on the Cosmic Staff “but not to you, you’re not a hero” he says. Unless that’s a ‘tough love’ way of trying to motivate him, it’s kind of a dick thing to say.

Now we cut to present day Blue Valley, Nebraska where Stripesy AKA Pat Dugan has moved his family; his son Mike, his wife Barbara and stepdaughter Courtney. They don’t know he used to be a superhero but it’s not long before Courtney stumbles across his secret. The Cosmic Staff in this version is sentient, I guess, and chooses Courtney as its new champion. I’m not sure why it needs a champion since it has a mind of its own and can move on its own, mostly dragging her along.

They didn’t name every character we saw but I’m assuming the girl she meets in the ‘loser’s club’ at school, Beth, is going to be Dr. Midnight, the Latina girl Wildcat, and the mopey guy Hourman II. Pat sets up an auto shop and gets a visit from a nearby gym owner Larry “Crusher” Crock, yep that’s the Sportsmaster. The bullies at school are lead by a ginger who must be Brainwave Jr. since his father turns out to be Brainwave.

Courtney goes from hating her stepdad to partnering up with him pretty quick, by the end of the first episode. Kind of played out that storyline from the comic fast. She ends up being drawn to a confrontation with Brainwave but suddenly Pat shows up in his giant robot suit S.T.R.I.P.E. to help out, and: cliffhanger.

It was okay. Meshing Star-Spangled Kid and Starman into one character doesn’t really matter, nor skipping Jack Knight and giving the Staff version to Sylvester (instead of the rod or belt), just details. I don’t like how clueless Pat seems, I don’t like how the JSA treat him like he’s not one of the heroes just because he’s a sidekick or how Sylvester told him he wasn’t a hero.

There was no real character motivation for Courtney to start a hero’s journey, she just finds the poorly hidden staff and starts playing around with it. And it has super duper extra powers that will do a lot of the heavy lifting for her which makes her a little less heroic, I think.

Good costumes, effects, mostly good acting. I wish it the best, I hope it’s good. I don’t care if it crosses over with the Arrowverse.

S01E11 “Shining Knight”

Some of the others here on the board talked about decompression, and boy I sure felt it this episode.

We start off with a tease of learning about Justin, the Shining Knight, but he has amnesia so he can't tell us much. We wait for him to meet up with Stripesy, the one person he remembers, so that he can get his memories back. When he does meet Stripesy, the memories do not come back, at least not much. We get no origin of Justin at least not in flashback form, like we got with Brainwave. Instead Justin just says King Arthur was done with Excalibur so he gave it to me. Okay. I was hoping to see Justin suit up as a hero, maybe as the final shot of the episode leading into the two-part season finale. But no, they are saving that for later. If ever.

Rick, Beth, and Yolanda do basically nothing in this episode. No sign of Sportsmaster, Tigress, Dragon King or Cindy (Shiv). Brainwave confronts Icicle about the New America project. Mostly he says he knows Stargirl's identity so they should kill her; after all, Brainwave killed his own wife and son to be part of the ISA. Icicle says no, and Brainwave says … we'll talk about it later. Always later. Got to pad out this already short season?

Courtney can't get the Cosmic Staff to light up anymore and she decides that's happening because it found out she's not Starman's daughter, although it started that behavior before it found out? She only finds out when her bio-dad shows up and they spend most of the episode skipping school to have some bonding time. After spending about half the episode building up what a nice dad he could be, he turns out to only be visiting to wring some money out of poor Court. The only real value of this red-herring story is that Pat gets to knock the guy out (should have taken the locket back) and Court gets her confidence back, which she wouldn't have lost, if Dad hadn't showed up? Making this a pointless filler episode.

If anyone binges this show, this is one skippable episode.

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