It’s been a busy week in the Stargirl casting office, as the much-anticipated new DC Universe series announced not one, not two, but four new characters for the series. Even better, we think they might be familiar to you…especially if you’re a fan of the Justice Society.
Let’s look at the announcements one by one, shall we?
First off (and previously announced here on DCComics.com) we have Joel McHale. The star of Community and The Soup is joining the cast of Stargirl in the role of Starman. And yes, Twitter, we know that’s not actually an image of Starman. It’s the Star-Spangled Kid, and we’re using it because Stargirl’s take on Starman is actually Sylvester Pemberton—who’s traditionally been the Star-Spangled Kid. However, judging by the series description of Pemberton’s Starman, he won’t be much different than the staff-wielding character we know and love:
Joel McHale plays rich socialite Sylvester Pemberton, aka Starman. A courageous and confident Super Hero, Starman is a member of the Justice Society of America—DC’s original Super Hero team, which first appeared in ALL STAR COMICS #3 in 1940. Starman wields a mysterious anti-gravity weapon called the Cosmic Staff. His longtime partner is his sidekick, Stripesy, better known as Courtney Whitmore’s stepfather, Pat Dugan.
So, what can you get done in an hour? Apparently, if you’re SWAT star Lou Ferigno Jr., the answer to that question is a whole heckuva lot. Ferigno Jr. has been cast in the role of Hourman—the hood-wearing hero who only possesses his abilities for one hour at a time. There have been a few different men to use the Hourman moniker over the years, but Ferigno will be playing Rex Tyler, who’s the most famous of the bunch. Here’s the show’s description of the character:
Lou Ferrigno Jr. (SWAT) takes on the role of master chemist and adrenaline junkie Rex Tyler, aka Hourman. A thrill-seeking Super Hero with the ability to manifest super-strength one hour a day, Hourman is a founding member of the Justice Society of America. He struggles with balancing his life as a hero and father.
And yes, if it wasn’t fully obvious, Ferigno Jr. is the son of The Incredible Hulk’s Lou Ferigno, making the Ferigno family the coolest DC/Marvel crossover in recent memory.
Actor Brian Stapf has had recurring roles on shows like The Walking Dead, Valor and The Purge, so he clearly knows how to handle himself in a fight (at least onscreen). Which makes him a pretty solid choice for the role of Ted Grant, AKA Wildcat, the famous ex-prizefighter who will eventually retire from the JSA and go on to train heroes like Black Canary. Grant’s largely a non-powered member of the JSA—his contribution comes from his skill at martial arts and his peak physical conditioning, all traits that it sounds like the show will maintain:
Brian Stapf (The Walking Dead) is former heavyweight champion Ted Grant, aka Wildcat. A founding member of the Justice Society of America, Wildcat may get knocked down, but he always stands back up. A champ through and through, Wildcat’s as good a trainer as he is a fighter.
Finally, there’s Doctor Mid-Nite, the brilliant surgeon with a penchant for darkness. He’ll be played by none other than Henry Thomas of The Haunting of Hill House and E.T. fame. Like the rest of the heroes on Stargirl’s Justice Society, there has been more than one person to operate under the Doctor Mid-Nite name throughout the years, but Thomas will be playing the first—Charles McNider. According to the show’s description of McNider, the character’s background in medicine is very much intact, but they’re playing coy about whether he’ll be blinded and only able to see in darkness, like he traditionally has been in the comics.
Henry Thomas (The Haunting of Hill House) plays introspective surgeon Dr. Charles McNider, aka Dr. Mid-Nite. A brilliant and forward-thinking medical pioneer, Dr. Mid-Nite is a founding member of the Justice Society of America. With his trusty owl, he acts as the team’s resident doctor and detective.
We should note that the casting announcements specify that these are all the “Golden Age” versions of the characters, which is a significant detail. While the show’s description makes it clear that the Justice Society is going to be a core part of what we’ll see on Stargirl when it debuts next year, these aren’t the heroes that Stargirl is going to be fighting alongside—at least not with any regularity. Rather these are the heroes that her stepfather, Pat Dugan, assisted when he was operating as Starman’s assistant, Stripesy. As fans know, Courtney Whitmore became Stargirl after she discovered Sylvester Pemberton’s costume and tools among her stepfather’s things.
So, will we be seeing the Golden Age JSA in flashbacks? Or will they be interacting with Courtney and Pat in the present day? Maybe a bit of both? We don’t know yet, but with this cast onboard, consider us hungry for some Justice!
Stargirl debuts exclusively on DC Universe in 2019. Make sure you’re good and subscribed before then so you don’t miss a moment of it!