Top 10: Stargirl Season Two Characters by Jerry Whitworth
With the recent finale for the first season of Stargirl, the stage has been set for the second season exclusively on the CW with teases for * * * S P O I L E R S * * * the Shade, Eclipso, and the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The two-part “Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E.” seeing Dragon King, Icicle, and Brainwave seemingly dead, Solomon Grundy missing, Sportsmaster and Tigress defeated, and the Gambler in the wind, we’re undoubtedly getting new foes, new heroes, and likely a new direction. With this in mind, lets take a look at what characters could be on the horizon when the show returns.
Earth’s protector against magical threats, Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson, son of archaeologist Sven Nelson who discovered the tomb of Nabu the Wise in the Valley of Ur. When a poisonous gas released from the tomb killed Sven, a revived Nabu took pity on young Kent and made him his apprentice in the mystic arts. After twenty years of study, Nabu gifted his pupil his mystical artifacts including the Cloak of Destiny, Amulet of Anubis, and the Helmet of Fate to aid him in his new life going out into the world. Nelson’s travels brought him to Alexandria, Egypt where he met and fell in love with Inza Cramer. Wotan, ancient foe of Nabu, used this development to try and get at Nelson through Cramer which only strengthened the couple’s bond (eventually leading to marriage). Inevitably, the couple passed due to the machinations of the villain Extant leaving the hero’s vestments to pass to several others. Eric and Linda Strauss, Jared Stevens, Hector Hall (reincarnated son of Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the body of Hawk and Dove’s son), Kent V. Nelson (Kent Nelson’s grandnephew), and Khalid Nassour (another grandnephew of Kent Nelson) all inherited the mantle of Fate for a time. Any of these inheritors could serve the role of Dr. Fate in Stargirl.
On the short list of the Justice Society’s most notable members, Hawkman likely sits at the top with his appearance in every issue of All-Star Comics which featured the Justice Society of America’s earliest adventures. The modern day reincarnation of Egyptian Prince Khufu, archaeologist Carter Hall crossed paths with his reincarnated love Chay-Ara (in the body of Shiera Sanders) when their ancient foe Hath-Set (in the body of Dr. Anton Hastor) who cursed them with reincarnation nearly killed her again in the modern age. Donning an ancient ninth metal belt that allows flight and a headpiece in the image of the Hawk-God Anubis (along with oversized wings on a harness), Hall became Hawkman and hunted Hastor down. Soon, Sanders joined him as Hawkgirl and Hawkman helped found the Justice Society, becoming their most often served chairperson. In terms of Stargirl, there are a number of options available to them to proceed. With regard to Carter Hall himself, as only ten years passed between the death of the JSA and the start of the series, it’s unlikely his reincarnated self will emerge (unless they introduce some shenanigans not unlike what they did in “The Return of Hawkman” where a ritual brought him back fully grown). This could mean his son Hector Hall, who was the Silver Scarab and later Dr. Fate in the comics, could assume the mantle. There is also Northwind, a Feitheran/human hybrid adopted by the Hawks, that could step into the role.
As the Shade and Eclipso emerged in the Stargirl first season finale, it seems likely the coming season will tackle the “Princes of Darkness” storyline. Therein, an alliance between Eclipso, Lord of Chaos Mordru, and Green Lantern’s son Obsidian moved to conquer Earth with the Justice Society of America (and some aid from the Shade) bringing an end to their ambitions. The arc was built upon decades of continuity that included Eclipso’s murder of several JSA members, Mordru’s attempt to subvert the power of Doctor Fate, the Shade’s redemption with the help of Starman Jack Knight, and Obsidian’s trauma as brought on by years of abuse at the hands of his adopted father. Pairing down a great deal of this for the sake of the show, odds are good Obsidian will be introduced but under the influence of Ian Karkull. A scientist and archaeologist, Karkull uncovered the secrets of the lost city of Ragnor to become a self-styled god of darkness. Over the course of a confrontation between Karkull and the Justice Society, the heroes were saturated in the villain’s dark energies. For Green Lantern, this manifested in his son Todd Rice acquiring Karkull’s abilities which he used to become the hero Obsidian. However, Obsidian’s years of trauma resulted in him seeking out Karkull to unleash the Shadowlands, the source of their dark power, onto the Earth. Considering the darkness theme at the end of Stargirl‘s season and tease of the Green Lantern, Obsidian has a high likelihood of appearing which all but means the appearance of Ian Karkull.
Daughter of heroes Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle, Jesse Quick inherited abilities from both of her parents but typically modelled her hero persona after her father. When the Justice Society of America returned from their imprisonment in Limbo, Quick became a steadfast ally to the group before becoming a fixture in the Flash family of speedsters (inheriting the mantle of the Flash for a brief time). When the Justice Society reformed with younger people who inherited the mantles of past members, Quick joined and eventually married teammate Hourman (Rick Tyler). In several interviews, Stargirl co-showrunner Geoff Johns has made no secret that he holds the Flash and Green Lantern in high regards toward the JSA and that their legacies would be touched upon within the show. With this in mind, chances are high Jesse Quick will find her way to the series. The question only becomes how soon.
Largely introduced in the pages of JLA in what was something of a pilot for the future JSA series, J.J. Thunder is Jakeem Johnny Williams, a teenager living in Keystone City inadvertently given a pen containing the powerful Thunderbolt genie Yz. Previously partnered with Justice Society of America founder Johnny Thunder, Yz is capable of remarkable magical powers able to fulfill almost any wish of its master. With Yz, Williams became a hero and member of the new Justice Society, developing a close friendship with teammate Stargirl. Given the prominent display of the Thunderbolt pen during the events of the first season of Stargirl, there’s no doubt it will play a role in the show’s future.
Daughter of Green Lantern Alan Scott and supervillain the Thorn, Jade grew up as Jennifer-Lynn Hayden in a loving adopted family unaware of her biological parents. When she learned of her adoption, she tracked down her twin brother Todd Rice, uncovered their biological parents’ identities, and given they both bore incredible powers, tried to join the Justice Society (only to instead form Infinity, Inc. with other offspring of the Society’s members). Inheriting her father’s Starheart power, Jade is able to create constructs of pure energy whose only weakness is wood. Later, she learned she also inherited her mother’s ability to control plants. Jade became a fixture of the super hero community, teaming with new Green Lantern Kyle Rayner (becoming oft times lovers) to reform the Green Lantern Corps and later joined the Justice League. With the prominent display of the Green Lantern power battery in Stargirl and Geoff Johns aforementioned comments regarding the Flash and Green Lantern, Jade is undoubtedly on her way to joining the show.
Daughter of supervillains Sportsmaster and Huntress, Artemis Crock followed in her parents nefarious footsteps as the assassin Tigress. A founding member of Injustice Unlimited, Artemis has fought three generations of the Justice Society and married fellow teammate Icicle with whom they share a daughter. Artemis has already appeared in Stargirl portrayed by Stella Smith as a classmate of Stargirl and her friends. Her parents keeping their villainous personas a secret from their daughter at the behest of their leader, the couple wanted to recruit their daughter for their work but were rejected. With Sportsmaster and Tigress defeated at the end of the first season finale and Shiv seemingly assembling her own allies, it’s likely Artemis could pick up her mother’s crossbow in the second season.
A legacy of villains in the DC Universe, Icicle has typically been a member of the Mahkent family. For Stargirl, Jordan Mahkent played the part of Icicle and leader of the Injustice Society. During the first season finale, it appeared he was murdered by Stargirl’s stepbrother Mike Dugan. However, Jordan’s son Cameron (played by Hunter Sansone) is a classmate of Stargirl as well as her love interest. Having seemingly inherited his father’s powers, the loss of his father (after already having lost his mother) could go toward motivation to take up his family’s frosty mantle.
The world’s leading expert in solar power, Dr. Bruce Gordon ventured to Diablo Island in the South Pacific to photograph a solar eclipse. Fearing Gordon would steal their sun god, the natives sent the witch doctor Mophir to stop him. Armed with his tribe’s sacred black stone, Mophir cut Gordon with the stone before falling to his death from the cliff they were perched atop. Lifting the stone as the eclipse took place, Gordon became cursed to transform into the entity Eclipso when under the veil of darkness. Eclipso faced a myriad of heroes (notably Green Lantern Hal Jordan), so far as at one point a team of heroes called the Shadow Fighters were assembled to combat him. Justice Society allies Wildcat Yolanda Montez and Dr. Midnight Beth Chapel among them, Eclipso slaughtered the team. Wildcat’s cousin Alex Montez sought revenge for her death by turning his own body into a prison to enslave Eclipso. When an alliance formed between Obsidian, Mordru, and Eclipso as the Princes of Darkness to take over Earth, the Justice Society stopped them and Alex enacted his plan. For a time, he was a hero only for Eclipso to eventually assert control. Retroactively, Eclipso was made to be the nemesis of JSA member the Spectre as a fallen angel of vengeance trapped in a black jewel mined from Apokolips called the Heart of Darkness. In the Stargirl season one finale, Shiv rooted through the Wizard’s possessions to uncover Eclipso’s black diamond. Jonathan Blanco portrayed Alex Montez in Stargirl‘s first season.
Emerging as a thief with a cane that could control darkness who faced off with the Flash, the Shade was recruited as a member of the Injustice Society to combat the Justice Society and Justice League. Retroactively in the pages of James Robinson’s Starman, the character was re-imagined as an immortal English gentleman named Richard Swift who was able to tap into a dimension of darkness called the Shadowlands and control its energies. Swift became an anti-hero through the decades aiding the likes of Scalphunter and Captain X until his nemesis Simon Culp merged with him, turning him into the villainous Shade. Swift’s personality fought unknowingly against Culp’s influence until the Shade’s friendship with Starman Jack Knight lead to Swift exorcising his foe. Back in control, the Shade became an oft times ally to Earth’s heroes including aiding the Justice Society against the Princes of Darkness. For Stargirl, the Shade participated in the execution of the Justice Society but later betrayed the Injustice Society. Following the failure of Project New America, he emerged in the ISA’s hideout and mused to himself about Icicle’s defeat.
Honorable mentions: Atom Smasher, Sandman, Mr. Terrific, Mordru, Johnny Sorrow, Fury, Hazard, Psycho-Pirate, Mist, Harlequin, Cyclone, and the Spectre.