The Justice Society is back! DC’s Stargirl has kicked off its second season, and I didn’t realize how much I missed the JSA until I saw their faces again. One of my favorite things about Stargirl is how seriously they play the Easter egg game. Season one was jam packed with them (who could forget seeing Jay Garrick’s helmet and Alan Scott’s signature lantern?). I was hopeful that season two would continue that same momentum and I wasn’t disappointed. Here’s some of the cool stuff I caught during the Stargirl season two premiere, from the birth of a terrifying new villain to a potential thunderous new ally to a small, sweet tribute to a legendary superhero director…
- The season opens with a tense conversation between a mother and daughter. The end credits identify the mother as Myra McNider. In the comics Charles McNider was a bachelor, but he did have a secretary named Myra Mason who first appeared in All-American Comics #25 (reprinted in Justice League of America #95). Their arrangement was peculiar. When they weren’t treating patients, McNider would dictate Doctor Mid-Nite’s adventures to Myra, and she would sell the scripts to comic companies. How many blind physicians can say they wrote comic books in their spare time?
- Raise your hand if that little boy creeped you out. He introduced himself as Bruce, a reference to Bruce Gordon, Eclipso’s most iconic human host. Dr. Bruce Gordon was a scientist before he became corrupted by Eclipso. Gordon first appeared in House of Secrets #61, the same comic that introduced readers to Eclipso.
- As the camera pans through downtown Blue Valley, the marquee at the local movie theater is advertising a film called “The Adventures of Mark Merlin.” Mark Merlin was a magician detective who first appeared in House of Secrets #23. After some supernatural shenanigans, Merlin was reincarnated in the body of Prince Ra-Man. Speaking of House of Secrets…
- As the Justice Society argue about the frequency of their patrols, they pass Sportsmaster’s old gym, which is now closed because Crusher is in jail. If you look carefully at the storefront window, you’ll see a sign that says, “Coming Soon, The House of Secrets.” The sign is even designed to look like the logo of DC’s classic horror anthology. Since House of Secrets was the series that introduced Eclipso, the sign can almost be read as a warning about the villain’s impending arrival. For a better look at the sign, here’s a picture of me posing next to it during my last trip to Dallas, Georgia aka Blue Valley, Nebraska. What can I say, I take Easter egg hunting seriously!
- During the basement scene, Courtney mentions multiple classic DC villains, including Per Degaton (first appearance All-Star Comics #35), Blackbriar Thorn (first appearance DC Comics Presents #66), Baron Blitzkrieg (first appearance World’s Finest #246) and Gentlemen Ghost (first appearance Flash Comics #88).
- A Blue Valley News article mentions that the local Taco Whiz has been vandalized. This never would’ve happened if Wonder Woman was still working there. That’s right, the Amazonian princess took an entry level job at Taco Whiz in 1993’s Wonder Woman #73. Don’t judge, not everyone has Bruce Wayne’s wallet…and who doesn’t like tacos?
- Pat tells Mike that his buddy Jakeem will be taking over his paper route during their summer vacation. Jakeem Williams first appeared in Kingdom Come #1, before making his mainstream continuity debut with a cameo in 1997’s Flash #134. Jakeem’s life changed when he came into possession of the Thunderbolt and fought alongside the Justice Society as Jakeem Thunder. This gives us a bit of a hint over what direction the season might be going in. After all, the Thunderbolt will be showing up, and Jakeem has been cast…hmm…
- The local newspaper and Mr. and Mrs. Chapel’s divorce papers both contain references to Donner County. Donner County is named after Richard Donner, the legendary filmmaker who directed Superman: The Movie. Donner also served as Geoff Johns’ mentor, helping the Stargirl creator get his start in the entertainment industry.
- Feeling remorse for killing Brainwave, Yolanda seeks solace by attending confession with Father Thomas. The priest is named after Roy Thomas, longtime Justice Society writer and creator of many of the characters in this show, including Yolanda. When he calls her “my child” he isn’t kidding.
- This episode introduces us to Harold Sherman, Blue Valley High’s new principal. Principal Sherman regularly butted heads with Courtney during the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. series and he was eventually revealed to be an evil robot. The principal-bot was destroyed, and a human version of Principal Sherman was recently seen in Stargirl Spring Break Special #1. So far, the television version of Sherman doesn’t appear to be an android, but considering the fact that their last principal was a fiddle playing murderer, I won’t rule anything out.
- While Principal Sherman was having his awkward parent conference, I noticed a diploma from Civic City. The Justice Society, the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy all operated out of Civic City during the Golden Age of Comics.
- Sylvester’s hunt for Pat takes him to a diner where he questions a waitress named Maggie. Pat’s ex-wife Maggie Shaw was first mentioned in Infinity Inc. #11 and was briefly seen in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #9. Maggie’s marriage to Pat was brief and she quickly lost patience with Mike, sending him to military school. If you listen to the radio during the scene, it reveals that they’re in Nevada, a subtle continuity touch as Infinity Inc. #11 established that this was where Pat and Maggie had settled down prior to their divorce. I’m telling you all, every detail is well thought out!
- Courtney can be seen combing through a dossier on the Thinker, a villainous tactician who first appeared in 1943’s All-Flash #12 and was recently seen in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad. If you zoom in on the dossier, you’ll see that it’s packed with references, including a written account of a battle between the Flash and the Thinker. There’s also a reference to Plateau City, an obscure location that was only seen in 1966’s Justice League of America #43. Now that’s a deep cut! According to the dossier, Plateau City is located in Wentworth County, which most likely an homage to John B. Wentworth, co-creator of Johnny Thunder and the Thunderbolt.
- After closing the Thinker’s dossier, Courtney opens a Blue Valley High yearbook. The yearbook is filled with names of departed students (RIP Joey Zarick), classmates from the original Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic, and various crew members.
- Courtney’s investigation is interrupted by a home intruder. This is our introduction to Jennifer-Lynn Hayden, also known as Jade! First appearing in All-Star Squadron #25, Jade is the daughter of the original Green Lantern Alan Scott. It looks like she wants her father’s old lantern back, which should make the next episode interesting.
- The episode concludes with the return of Cindy! The fearsome Shiv is holding a folder labelled Injustice Unlimited. First appearing in Infinity Inc. #34, Injustice Unlimited was a new and improved version of the Injustice Society. It looks like Cindy is looking for new members, and Mike Dugan is on her list. Keep your claws away from our sweet boy, Cindy!
That’s a lot of Easter eggs, and we’re only one episode into the season. With Eclipso, Shade, Thunderbolt, Jade, Jay Garrick and more, these next few months are going to be a roller coaster, so strap in and enjoy the ride.
DC’s Stargirl airs at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more on Courtney’s adventures with the JSA? Check out our official DC’s Stargirl series page!
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com. When he’s not hunting for Easter eggs in DC’s Stargirl, he’s…well, hunting for them in The Suicide Squad. Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.