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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Stargirl Season 1 Episode 4: Wildcat

June 10th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

I know that as a fan, of comics, movies, TV shows, games, etc., that I’m not always going to get what I want. Nor will everything I watch live up to my expectations. Even the best shows and franchises that are out there will have “bad beats”. But I honestly can say that after watching the latest Stargirl episode, “Wildcat”, that I feel…insulted.

And not for the reason you might be thinking. It’s not because Yolanda Montez is a “bad character” donning the garb of Wildcat. I actually appreciate the show finally diving into what has made her a recluse and picked on throughout school. No, I’m not mad about that. I’m insulted by how they portray Wildcat the character. Not Yolanda (well technically her but not what I mean), but Ted Grant.

Ted Grant is one of the most important characters in DC Comics history, because not only is he a former member of the JSA, he trained Black Canary and Batman (among others) and he did it all without powers. In fact, the only “powers” he had was a “nine lives” spell that would bring him back to life and keep him youthful. And many continuities don’t even use that spell because Ted is so epic beyond it. He’s a master in hand-to-hand combat and can take on people twice his size, twice his power, half his age and so on. He’s peak human and he can beat people without any true powers.

Yet within the first few seconds of Yolanda taking on the Wildcat costume, everything that was Wildcat…was turned into something else. In short, Wildcat became Black Panther. A suit that “can fit any user”, have “razor sharp claws that can slice through metal”, “always landing on his feet”, and all of this came from a Wikipedia page! Are you kidding me???

Now, just to make sure that I wasn’t putting my foot in my mouth, I looked up the OTHER Wildcat’s in DC Comics history. Which includes Yolanda Montez, who in the comics is his goddaughter. She has powers somewhat similar to these, but the catch was that she was a metahuman!

It just makes me mad that DC Comics despite ALL the series that have been live-action and had the chance to show the one true Wildcat…fail at every opportunity. Smallville only referenced him, Arrow did a knockoff version who died when he “donned the garb again”, and Stargirl kills him first (that we see) in the pilot and then makes him Black Panther in abilities and his suit. #NotMyWildcat.

Now, getting to Yolanda, this one is particularly…tricky to talk about. I’m in my 30’s, and thus was in high school before the age of cell phones being full-on mini-computers that can do anything. Sending photos via text was a luxury in my day. Yes, I’m old, deal with it.

Using the “risque photos” storyline to take her from “the popular and outgoing kid” to the “broken and blacklisted teenager” was a bold move to take. And parts of her storyline was well handled like the scenes where she was popular and her whole family loved her and then she was an outcast in her own home when the event happened. But some of the other bits weren’t so smoothly handled. Courtney’s handling of the situation and Yolanda’s space certainly didn’t help these moments.

Case in point, after their first “adventure”, Yolanda says she “needs to be me again” before being Wildcat. She leaves, blasts her parents for treating her like dirt (which I liked) and then when she gets to her room Courtney has already been there and dropped off the costume saying, “I can’t do this alone!”

Um…don’t you remember what JUST happened? You’re putting your own drive to make the JSA again (which is still stupid storyline wise) over a girl who was broken and is trying to get back to a place where she feels good again. And then Yolanda is like, “yeah, ok, I’m in.” You couldn’t have done that before?

Again, I get that Stargirl is going for more of a “campy teen drama” in ways that the other Arrowverse shows can’t because of their age range. But there’s a limit on how far it can go before being unbearable. Courtney’s character is so pushy and downright obnoxious at times that it’s hard to like her at points when she thinks she knows everything…and she openly admits to Yolanda that she hasn’t been trained!

It’s freaking hilarious that I came into this series fearing Luke Wilson’s role in it, and yet he’s one of the best characters! Pat is at least believable! And him finding out about Wizard’s wife dying will no doubt push him to try and stop the ISA, and THAT is believable.

Also, the Dragon King’s arrival was very interesting. I look forward to seeing his “machine”, and the name drop of Shade is very curious. Also, anyone pickup that Matt’s friend is Jakeem? As in Jakeem Thunder? Someone’s getting a lightning bolt…

In the end, “Wildcat” took very liberal use of a classic character to fit a new mold and while Yolanda herself is at least more interesting than Courtney…that’s not saying much. And next week, two more “JSA kids” are coming to the fold and I fear it’s not going to get much better.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!