In an awful year, there was Stargirl. A TV show isn't enough to save the world, but for 13 weeks, Stargirl was a welcome respite from, you know, everything.
Armed with warm settings, fun characters, and throwback Silver Age aesthetics, Stargirl was a reminder of our optimistic past and hope for times ahead. It was easy to believe a superhero could still solve the world's problems, even for just an hour.
While the final episode lands the narrative plane with shocking ease, there are still a lot of questions and loose threads that Season 2 — confirmed weeks ago by lead Brec Bassinger — will have to address. Here are three questions we're still asking after the big Stargirl season finale.
Warning: Major spoilers for Stargirl Season 1 and the finale, "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two" ahead.
3. Who is the next leader of the ISA?
The final episode teased the arrival of two relatively obscure DC villains, including one that was dead in DC canon long before Stargirl creator Geoff Johns started his career.
Shade (not to be confused with the superhero Shade), a shadowy figure who lurked behind the Injustice Society; and Eclipso, kept in a crystal and unearthed by Shiv (Meg DeLacey).
Who is Shade?
A Dickensian villain dating back to 1942 in Flash Comics — he was originally an enemy to Jay Garrick, the first Flash — Shade is assuming a prominent role in Season 2 of Stargirl.
Real name Richard Swift, Shade has the power of shadow manipulation. He can travel great distances in a short time and is virtually immortal. Shade made his live-action debut in a Season 3 episode of The Flash, but was thwarted within his one and only episode.
Based on the Stargirl finale, we can deduce that Shade will likely take over as the "new" leader of the Injustice Society, which is in shambles after Icicle's plan for Project New America went belly-up. But will Shade actually take over the ISA? Or will he encounter problems in the other big villain reveal, Eclipso?
Who is Eclipso?
A demonic entity who is the incarnation of God's wrath, Eclipso is another immortal with nigh omnipotence and superpowers ranging from spirit possession, energy projection, and weather manipulation. He really can do it all, which makes him a threat that Blue Valley could never suspect.
In Stargirl, Eclipso is kept in a crystal, known in the comics as the "Heart of Darkness." Anyone who touches the Heart of Darkness can succumb to Eclipso's control, which is why it's dangerous that Shiv purposefully sought the Heart of Darkness and ended the episode gazing directly into it.
It is obvious Shiv wants Eclipso's power to take control of the ISA (now that her father the Dragon King is dead) and to defeat her nemesis, Stargirl. But in Season 2, there is bound to be conflict when Shiv inevitably loses control to Eclipso. Given Shiv's personality, we can expect a showdown between possessor and vessel. Who will win?
An extra wrinkle to Eclipso is his own relationship to Yolanda (aka, Wildcat). In the comics, Yolanda's cousin Alex Montez seeks revenge for Yolanda's death by summoning Eclipso.But eventually, Alex and Eclipso come to butt heads, and Alex commits suicide in order to prevent Eclipso from controlling him any further.
While that is a bit dark for a sunny show like Stargirl, fans should expect Shiv's deal with a rather literal devil to go up in flames. And speaking of Yolanda...
2. How has Yolanda changed?
Most of the heroes in Stargirl walk away unscathed. Rick has made peace with his parents' death in sparing Solomon Grundy. Beth gained more new friends than she could have imagined, and we definitely haven't seen the last of her goggles' A.I., Chuck. But what about Yolanda?
Still shaken by the loss of Henry, we see that her revenge murder of Henry Sr., the real Brain Wave, has traumatized Yolanda. She is now a murderer, and she is struggling to live with that guilt — even though she did it to save the world.
In a recent interview with TVLine, Geoff Johns confirmed that Yolanda's lingering feelings will be explored in Season 2.
"That’s going to be a big part of Season 2, her struggle with that," Johns said. "You see it when they’re sitting on the bleachers ... she is sitting a bit distant from the other kids. She’s lost in her own world, thinking about what she has done. That’s definitely something that will play a major role going into Season 2 — how is she going to deal with what she’s done? It’s not just, 'Oh, she took out a villain.' It’s, 'Oh, she killed somebody.' Rick was ready to [kill someone], and she was not."
1. How is Starman alive?
Arguably the biggest jaw-dropper of Stargirl Season 1 was the "return" of Starman. At the very end of the finale, the former Starman, Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale) arrives in Pat Dugan's old apartment in North Hollywood, having missed his sidekick by several months.
What the what? That's right. Despite pulling the rug under us weeks ago, Stargirl reveals that Courtney's predecessor is in fact alive, and didn't die on Christmas night by the Injustice Society ten years ago. But how? And what does Starman want with Pat?
It's those questions we'll have to keep asking ourselves as we wait for Season 2, whenever that happens.
Stargirl is confirmed for a Season 2. It does not yet have a release date.