Courtney Whitmore may have thwarted the Injustice Society’s plan to mindwipe much of the United States at the end of her acclaimed first season, but the sinister team of villains is far from done…and may be picking up some powerful allies when the DCTV series returns next year.
First up, British actor Jonathan Cake has been cast in the role of the Shade, a long-running DC character who has functioned as both a hero and villain at times. However, lately he seems he’s returned to his evil roots, both in comics and on TV.
Stargirl describes their Shade as a classic antihero from DC Comics who wields magical shadow powers. The Shade is an English immortal, described as tall and slim with an elegant 19th Century way to his speech and manners. He masks the horrors he’s experienced and people he’s lost in all the time alive with wry, witty retorts and a false sense that nothing really matters.
It’s fitting that the Shade would make his way to Stargirl as he’s long been affiliated with the Injustice Society and with Courtney’s predecessor, Starman. However, he was originally introduced as a Flash villain back in 1942’s Flash Comics #33 and indeed made an appearance on The CW’s The Flash during the show’s third season. This original Shade was little more than a flamboyant, super-powered thief, but after 1994’s Zero Hour event, the Shade was reenvisioned as a Victorian Era English gentleman who endured a mysterious tragedy that killed over 100 people while wiping his own memory clean. Eventually he’d go on to discover that he was immortal, and like the previous version of the Shade, possessed the ability to control shadows.
And yet, we suspect it’s the second newly cast villain who will prove to be the real challenge for Stargirl and her team. Actor Nick Tarabay will be playing the role of Eclipso in season 2, meaning that if Courtney thought people were acting strange around Blue Valley last season, things are about to get a whole lot worse.
Stargirl’s Eclipso is described as physically imposing and frightening. Eclipso is an ancient entity of corruption and vengeance. Brimming with a cold, terrifying darkness, he exploits the flaws of others, reveling in the impure and sinful, sadistically feeding off the dark side of humanity.
Both villains were teased in Stargirl’s season 1 finale, and Eclipso’s nod included his infamous black diamond—the Heart of Darkness—suggesting that it will play a role in the series as well. In post-Crisis comics, Eclipso was imprisoned in the Heart of Darkness, which was eventually shattered, allowing the powerful entity to possess anyone who had one of the shards and who held hatred in their heart (and really, who isn’t feeling anger and resentment right now?). Even worse, the possession could be spread by simply looking at the face of someone who was already possessed, meaning that once Eclipso has taken control of one person, it’s only a quick matter of time before he has control of everyone around them. Cities, states, countries…if no one puts a stop to him, there are no limits to the number of people he can possess.
Tarabay’s role is described as a series regular, while Cake is recurring, meaning we’ll be seeing them both plenty when Stargirl’s second season debuts. Interestingly, both actors have appeared in small roles within The CW’s Arrowverse. Tarabay—who’s probably best known for his recent role on The Expanse—made several appearances as Captain Boomerang on Arrow, while Cake made a pair of appearances as Blackbeard in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s third season. However, their Stargirl roles will easily be their most prominent DC roles so far.
Of course, while the appearance of these two villains is great news for us fans, it’s bound to be pretty frightening for Courtney! What do you think? Is she up for the challenge? Do you think the Shade will stay a villain? And how much damage will be wrought by Eclipso? He’s battled the entire Justice League…will the newly reformed Justice Society stand any chance at all?
Stargirl's debut season can now be streamed in full on DC Universe and The CW website or app. For more on Courtney and her battle to save Blue Valley, check out our official Stargirl page here on DCComics.com.