Welcome! If you need a handy recap before Stargirl Season 2 drops on The CW Network, we’ve got you covered with our full story recap with everything you need to know if you don’t fancy plunging back into this 13 episode series.
After the excellent Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing, Stargirl is the latest bright spark to come from the executive producers in charge of some of the DC Universe’s hottest properties.
Stargirl may have been an easy one to pass up on first glance, but there’s actually a solid story at the heart of this. There’s also some pretty big twists toward the end too.
Anyway, let’s begin.
JSA VS ISA Round 1
We begin in the past with young Courtney Whitmore saying goodbye to her Father, who leaves on the eve of Christmas, never to return. Courtney’s Father Sam Kurtis, as we soon come to learn later on in the season, is merely a grifter and not actually Starman like Courtney believes.
Joined by best friend Pat and a handful of other heroes, he’s actually part of an illustrious group of superheroes known simply as the Justice Society of America (JSA).
The mansion they reside at comes under attack from the Injustice Society of America (ISA), who are led by the diabolical Brainwave and his right-hand man Icicle. In the ensuing skirmish, the JSA are completely decimated. The pièce de résistance for them being Starman impaled by Icicle and left for dead.
In his dying breath, Starman tells Pat to keep hold of his Cosmic Staff and keep it safe until a worthy successor can rise up and rebuild the Justice Society.
A New Beginning
This brings us nicely along to our current story, which takes place 10 years later. Courtney Whitmore is in school now, along with her little brother Mike and her Mother, Barbara. She’s actually married to Pat, who upends the family and moves them across to Blue Valley.
Unbeknownst to them, the ISA are actually hiding out in this very same town too, led by Henry Sr and Jordan (Brainwave and Icicle respectively.)
After school, Courtney finds Starman’s Cosmic Staff in the family basement. After destroying Henry Jr’s car, she realizes she has superpowers. However, Courtney is inexperienced and woefully naïve. An early encounter with Brainwave goes horribly wrong, prompting the arrive of Pat to show in a giant robot suit known simply as S.T.R.I.P.E.
Recruiting The Team
The first half of the show then settles down a little. Courtney deals with teen drama quips and episodic dramatic spikes alongside learning how to be a better superhero.
Courtney soon recruits fellow student Yolanda as the new Wildcat, where the two sneak into the hospital to spy on Henry Sr., hoping to find the other ISA members hiding out too.
They bite off more than they can chew though upon learning that their principal, Anaya Bowin, is one of the ISA and has powers involving her violin.
Another member to join Courtney and Yolanda is class geek Beth. She ends up becoming the spiritual successor to Doctor Mid-Nite while another boy from school, Rick, turns out to be the infamous Hourman’s son – and thus another hero for their team.
Resurrection of the ISA
While this is going on, the ISA continue to work on Project: New America, which we learn more about later on in the story. Their front is that it’ll help reduce global warming and essentially bring about a new utopia for America. The truth is, it’s going to do this by killing 25 million people.
For now, Icicle is sent out on a recruitment drive. One of the new members brought in is Dr Ito aka. Dragon King, a brilliant scientist who agrees to join their ranks.
Unfortunately the ISA ranks run deep at school, with football coaches Lawrence “Crusher” Crock and Paula Brooks revealed to be Sportsmaster and Tigress in disguise. The ISA’s real coup de grâce though is Henry Jr, who’s instrumental to Project: New America as his telekinesis powers develop.
With Brainwave stuck in a coma until late on in the story, the ISA intend to use Henry Jr’s newfound powers to control a large portion of America and bring them under their command. However, this cold war soon turns red hot when Courtney discovers who Icicle actually is. It’s even more alarming given Barbara has been working closely with him at work!
The Dragon King’s Lair
While searching for clues, our high school gang discover that mean girl Cindy Burman is actually the Dragon King’s daughter. They also learn that her basement is actually the front to Dragon King’s secret lair.
The group split up, with Rick and Beth heading off together and finding none other than Solomon Grundy captured behind a cage.
Courtney and the others enter Dragon King’s main chamber and finds themselves surrounded. Thankfully, all three use their powers to thwart the goons. It’s not enough to stave off Dragon King though who eventually goes toe to toe with Courtney. As she gets her staff back, thanks in part to Yolanda, they manage to stop Dr Ito.
Rushing to safety, Henry Jr sacrifices himself to save the others and goes toe to toe with his Father. Here, Brainwave admits the horrible truth to his son. He was the one who killed Merri and upon learning this, he proceeds to bury his son under a pile of rubble. As the JSA watch on in stunned silence, Henry Jr. is declared dead.
After the skirmish, Brainwave reveals Courtney’s identity to Icicle and deduces Pat is Stripesy. Icicle hacks into Barbara’s computer and finds that she has been looking into Starman’s death and knows his identity; he orders Brainwave to kill Courtney’s entire family.
JSA VS ISA Round 2
The big fight then gets underway as Project: New America begins. With Pat’s help, Rick deciphers his father’s journal and discovers a complete map of the ISA’s underground lair.
As they do, Beth hacks into the ISA computers, thanks to her AI companion, and learns about the ramifications of Project: New America.
During the final fight, Sportsmaster and Tigress are defeated while an escaped Cindy kills her Father, adopting his persona for herself.
Sharpe releases Grundy, who subsequently beats down S.T.R.I.P.E. All looks lost until Hourman uses his powers to stop Grundy. Instead of killing him though, Hourman takes the noble approach and lets him live and escape. It’s a great character arc, especially given Rick’s earlier intent on exacting revenge no matter what.
The losses continue as Yolanda kills Brainwave after he disguises himself as Henry Jr.
Realizing that his time is up, The Gambler deletes everything that could incriminate him and slips away. We haven’t mentioned him much in this story recap but he could well be important to season 2. High-tailing it away is probably a good move on his part, especially given Courtney destroys the satellite and stops Project: New America in its tracks.
With his plan lost, Jordan snatches up Barbara and takes her to the roof. He tries desperately to have her see his vision but she turns away from him, calling the man insane. As the fight reaches its crescendo, Jordan turns to ice and looks set to kill Courtney. Suddenly, a car smashes into Jordan – it’s Mike!
With the threat quelled for now, Justin leaves Blue Valley, on the move and looking for old soldiers – along with his trusted steed.
Prepping for Season 2
Although the battle is over, the war is far from done. A strange man sits in the shadows of the ISA headquarters watching the news. As he does, smoke curls up like tendrils and engulfs the picture on the wall. That picture shows all of the ISA, with himself as one of the main players.
Cindy meanwhile finds a strange diamond in the basement and smiles. “I found you… Eclipso.”
Six weeks pass and an epilogue changes everything. We cut to California with a man out looking for Pat. That man? Sylvester Pemberton aka. Starman.
So that’s the entire story of Stargirl Season 1 in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here – including more intricate details surrounding Jordan’s tragic backstory, Brainwave’s amnesia and our heroes losing faith, but hopefully this is enough to get you up to scratch for season 2.
What did you think of Stargirl’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!