A sweet, goofy student/magician in training was hit by a truck in this week’s episode of Stargirl, “Icicle.”
Episode three refused to pull punches which, in turn, made for incredibly moving and shocking storytelling. From the opening scene (while not as good as Guardians Of The Galaxy, was still moving in its own right) to the murder of both The Wizard and his son at the hands of the titular villain, death followed Jordan Mahkent in every scene.
Visually, Icicle’s design is extremely striking. While he’s no Victor Fries, this member of the Injustice Society of America has been the series’ best villain yet, topping even Brainwave (although I do eagerly anticipate the telepath’s return). The way he engages with Barbara Whitmore is so unsettlingly polite and professional, yet simultaneously threatening. The man behind the frosty supervillain is actor Neil Jackson, who I learned is most known for his role as Marcus Van Sciver on Blade: The Series. A long lost gem that features one of the only references to Moon Knight in a live-action Marvel property that I just so happened to acquire from Value Village for 25 cents just last year. God I miss thrifting.
What I don’t miss is the days where I thought Green Lantern wasn’t going to be a part of this show, because guess who stole Alan Scott’s Lantern along with a bunch of JSA equipment? That’s right, our All-American hero herself; the one, the only Stargirl! (Ha! I bet you thought I was going to get lost on a tangent about Blade: The Series, A Syfy original that featured Sticky Fingaz as the second actor to play Blade, taking the torch from Wesley Snipes. Tell me, how does it feel to be wrong?) All I ask is that this series provide viewers with a better Green Lantern story than Martin Campbell gave us in 2011. Low hanging fruit, I know.
Jokes aside, the episode “Icicle” did a fantastic job fleshing out the JSA and the ISA, without revealing too much about their history. Icicle shares a line with The Wizard about how he has vowed to fight injustice and this casts the team’s name in a new light. At first, I believed that “Injustice Society of America” was simply an uninventive evil version of “Justice Society of America,” but now I see that the difference in name speaks to their ideology more than anything else.
Icicle is a murderer and objectively evil, but he believes that he’s fighting injustice. His deadly rationalization means that even when he kills his own teammate, Wizard, he expresses no remorse. Perhaps that’s the true purpose of The American Dream/”Project: New America:” to create a more perfect union by punishing the unjust.
It’s Icicle’s wrathful mission that sends a brokenhearted Courtney and her stepfather Pat to the old JSA headquarters. The relics of the past haunt and frighten Pat, but they stir up the courage and bravery that makes Stargirl special and it gives her the idea to create a new Justice Society of America. WIthout over-explaining, here’s all I’ll say. JSA fans, if you’re not watching this series, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Except for the Spectre crowd, as usual DC has forgotten about us.
Stargirl’s storyline is fairly standard fare and continued setup for her legacy JSA team and, as always, it’s fairly charming. The music is bubbly, the high school drama is tropey but not cliche, and the acting is at least as good as a classic Nickelodeon sitcom. The action scenes with her and S.T.R.I.P.E. weren’t exactly revolutionary but I wasn’t disappointed either. Combat has been a weak spot for this series so far but, at the very least, I think you’ll enjoy watching Icicle do battle with Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E.
“Icicle” was a huge success for the titular villain and a moderate success in all other departments. I’m eagerly anticipating the release of next week’s episode “Wildcat.” There was some really interesting setup for a dynamic and potential love triangle with Icicle’s son, Stargirl, and Yolanda, AKA the soon to be legacy Wildcat. As a fan of Ted Grant and Tom Bronson, I’m excited to see the mantle of Wildcat explored on a genuinely high caliber series.
Have you enjoyed Stargirl so far? Are you excited for next week’s episode “Wildcat?” Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!