Courtney Whitmore promised she would rebuild the Justice Society -- and this week she delivered! In the latest episode of DC Universe’s Stargirl, Courtney recruited Yolanda Montez to become the next Wildcat, and helped the depressed girl regain her confidence. Did anybody else love Yolanda’s smile at the end? It’s just another reason why Stargirl is currently the heart and soul of the DC Universe. This episode also had it’s fair share of deep cuts and comic book lore, so let’s breakdown all the Easter eggs in “Wildcat.”
This episode was written by James Robinson, whose work served as a heavy inspiration for the series. Although it was originally released as a DC Elseworlds story, James Robinson’s The Golden Age limited series revitalized many of the classic Justice Society characters, including Starman. Robinson’s next major project was the 1990s Starman comic, which dealt with Jack and Ted Knight, and the Cosmic Staff. The series set the table for Courtney’s debut in S.T.A.R.S and Stripe, and is a must read.
This week we met Yolanda’s parents, Juan and Maria, along with her brother Alex. These characters were all introduced back in writer Roy Thomas’s Infinity Inc. run. Maria was first seen in Infinity Inc. #26, while her husband and son made their debut in Infinity Inc. #30. In the comics, Alex was named Jose, and he was just as devoted to his sister as he was in this episode. Check out Infinity Inc. Annual #2 for a fun story where Yolanda catches Jose ditching school. By the way, you might have noticed a photo of a boxer on Yolanda’s nightstand. Could that be Ted Grant, her comic book godfather,? Or perhaps her father Juan, who was once a heavyweight rival to Grant?
Mike took a break from stanning Pop-Tarts to tell his family his buddy Jakeem was coming over for dinner. This is a reference to Jakeem Williams, a character who would become an important part of Justice Society lore. He made his first appearance in Kingdom Come #1, before making his main continuity debut in 1997’s Flash #134. We won’t give away what Jakeem’s role in the Justice Society is, but Courtney should probably keep her pens away from her brother’s friends. Let’s say you want to learn more and aren’t afraid of spoilers; then we’d recommend you check out 1998’s JLA #26. It’s so cool.
When Mike visits Zeek’s junkyard to purchase some scraps, Zeek tells him the exhaust pipe will cost $19.99. This is a reference to the year S.T.A.R.S. and Stripe debuted.
THE DRAGON KING
This week we met another villain who's been pulling the strings for Blue Valley’s elite, and he was creepy! This version of the Dragon King is a combination of two different villains with similar backgrounds. He has the appearance of the first Dragon King, an Eastern mad scientist who served the Nazi party during World War II. This Dragon King made his debut in All-Star Squadron #4, but became an obscure and forgotten character until he was revived for the S.T.A.R.S. and Stripe series. Jordan refers to Dragon King as Doctor Ito, who was another Eastern scientist that served Hitler during World War II. Doctor Ito made his first appearance in 1943’s Action Comics #56, where he took on the hero known as Americommando. We’ve never seen Ito and Dragon King in the same place at the same time, so it’s possible that like their screen versions, they are one and the same person.
THROWING SOME WICKED SHADE
For weeks, fans have been speculating as to Shade’s presence in the series, especially after a black shadow was seen overpowering Doctor Mid-Nite in the pilot episode. This week, Dragon King confirmed that Shade was a former member of the Injustice Society, until he betrayed them. The Shade was introduced back in 1942’s Flash Comics #33. He’s a villain who can manipulate darkness, and during his first appearance he used those abilities to remove all light from Keystone City. In 1994, James Robinson revamped the villain during his Starman run, giving him a steampunk makeover, and a more morally ambiguous personality. Although he was still a villain, and did work as a hired killer, he considered Opal City his home, and went to great lengths to protect it. He even served as a mentor and ally to Jack Knight during his time as Starman.
If you’re an Easter egg hunter like we are, then you probably hit pause a lot while Courtney was scrolling through Wildcat’s Wikipedia entry. We were surprised to see that Wildcat’s war on the Manfredi drug cartel was mentioned, because that’s a deep cut. Manfredi was the name of a criminal Wildcat and Batman took on in The Brave and the Bold #110. The entry also talks about Wildcat’s rivalry with Tigress, which dates back to the Golden Age. Tigress, who called herself Huntress at the time, first tangled with Wildcat in Sensation Comics #68. Their relationship was similar to the one Batman and Catwoman had in the Golden Age, minus the romantic feelings.
This isn’t an Easter egg, but we just love the scene where Mike discovers the toaster isn’t working. That moment resonated for every viewer who had a smug little brother growing up. Watch that scene again and look at the horror on his face. Then listen to the way he screams to his father for help. His expression is priceless. Poor Mike, we get the feeling he’s not use to facing challenges. Maybe his buddy Jakeem can cheer him up.
PANEL TO SCREEN