Stargirl – Summer School: Chapter Three review – S2 E3

Summer School’s third chapter provided a little old school Justice Society fun as well as establishing the complex duel nature of The Shade.

Stargirl can’t ever do enough flashbacks with the JSA. This time, Stripesy compares notes on being left behind with Johnny Thunder (Ethan Embrey, The Walking Dead). Johnny knows the JSA just tolerates him because he has control of the most powerful JSAer in the Thunderbolt. That proves somewhat accurate as Wildcat (Brian Stapf) calls him — and Thunderbolt — along since the ISA brought out Solomon Grundy.

A similar situation plays out in modern times as Mike desperately wants in on the family fun with Courtney and Pat, but he doesn’t have any powers. Or control over some amazing tech…until he borrows a pen from Courtney’s room and starts getting prompted to say “So Cool.” This is the magic words to unleash the Thunderbolt (Jim Gaffigan) and he’s in full neon pink glory thanks to some tremendous looking effects.

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The effects team really did a great job with T-bolt with the random lightning crackles and the semi-translucent nature of his body. Mike learns the Thunderbolt takes commands far too literally so specifics is the name of the game.

After tackling some neighborhood bullies, Mike tells Courtney and Yolanda he’s the JSA’s new member.

Given the unique family nature of the JSA, Mike joining the family wouldn’t be great. It would create another Black Lightning scenario where just one member of a family didn’t have powers. And Mike isn’t exactly the hero type. That’s probably why Cindy has him pegged Mike as a member of her new Injustice Society.


The Shade pays Barbara a visit looking for a very specific box from The Wizard’s stash. He doesn’t hide being a creeper at all and seems to relish in making her uncomfortable.

Pat briefs the junior JSA on The Shade. Beth wants to get justice for the man that killed Dr. Mid-Nite while Rick is just amped to punch someone out. Mike wants in on the action to Pat’s chagrin, but with a little encouragement from Courtney, he allows Mike to find Shade’s location. After that, he’s got to stay behind. That’s gonna go well since it’s very well established Courtney and Mike are very obedient children.

stargirl - summer school chapter three review -yolanda, beth, rick, courtney and mike

The Shade was expecting them and invites them to join him at the table for tea. Jonathan Cake is capturing the pompous and mysterious nature of The Shade very well establishing him as a true wild card this season. While it’s a solid question, Shade doesn’t want to tell them why he’s in Blue Valley.

Mike charges in and tries to have Thunderbolt blasts Shade, but that goes badly for all of the JSA. In fairness, Shade didn’t instigate anything and they busted in on him while he tried to stay cool and polite.

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Rather than going the spoiled brat routine, Mike owns up to messing up, saying he thought the Thunderbolt was his ticket into the JSA but now he wishes it were in better hands. And presto! It’s on the desk of Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson), playing video games. Brunson won’t be showing up in many episodes this season, but will return so it’s likely Thunderbolt will be back in time for the season finale.

Barb says she and Mike are part of the team. Wonder if the folks who get upset about Iris saying “we’re The Flash” will be upset about this declaration. Barb was able to track down the inventory of The Wizard’s gear and told Pat a diamond was missing. Thankfully, Pat’s not a clueless hero and immediately realizes that’s Eclipso’s diamond and that means very bad news.

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In another mini-epilogue, Beth tells Rick about her parent’s pending divorce. It’s always nice to see the other team members interact so it’s not just Courtney and one of the JSA. The Chuck A.I. does start to come back online just long enough to issue a warning that Eclipso’s here. That was nice and ominous.

Meanwhile, Shade is looking over Blue Valley and utters” He’s gonna kill those children.” The writers have definitely done an excellent job of building up Eclipso as a major threat. That’s another episode down and the season is still holding strong. Stargirl’s quality remains at a surprisingly high level and it’s impressive the series hasn’t had an outright bad episode so far.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: The CW

Check out Jakeem Thunder’s arrival in the JSA with JSA Omnibus Vol. 2 on Amazon.