'Stargirl' Episode 6: The CW show uses recurring trope of bad parenting and lonely childhoods to further story
Traumatic and lonely childhoods seems to be the stepping stone to becoming superheroes in 'Stargirl'
It's not often that you get to hear about superheroes and villains who grew up in safe and secure households. Many have been propelled by devastating tragedy to take up the life that they chose, be it Batman, Superman, the Flash, Joker and probably most of those hailing from the DC and Marvel legions. They've either seen their families die in front of them or had negligent parents, grown up with cold and unfeeling guardians or had diabolic parents. These traumas warped many of them and changed their worldview and pushed them down the path of darkness while others decided to make life better for themselves, as well as for others.
In 'Stargirl', we get to see several teens, who are not having the best years, to put it politely. Come to think of it, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) seems to be the happier and one of the luckier ones as her relationship with her step-father Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) is steadily improving, after the initial angst and bitterness of her mother remarrying and moving to a different city. The others are not so lucky.
Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal) was a victim of revenge porn and was humiliated in front of the entire school. This had an adverse impact on her relationship with her parents, not to mention the detrimental effect on her normally vibrant personality. From being cheery and outgoing, Yolanda became an outcast at school, as well as at home. Rather than understanding their own daughter, her parents chose to have strict control over her lifestyle and grounded her permanently at home. Yolanda lost herself and just became a shadow of her former self. After Courtney hands the Wildcat suit over to her, Yolanda feels that she has her life back. When she tries to tearfully explain to her parents to understand and give her a second chance, they cast her aside again. And so, the only real family Yolanda has is now the Justice Society of America.
Rick Tyler aka Hourman (Cameron Gellman) has a grim tale to tell. His parents were killed in a car accident or so he was led to believe for nine years. His abusive uncle Matt raised him and so he grew into an angry and bitter human being. It didn't help matters worse when he found out that his parents were actually murdered by Solomon Grundy. Fuelled by the desire for revenge, Rick joins the JSA and has no intention of following any of the rules. On the other hand, there's lonely Beth Chapel, who is just happy to have found some friends, as her parents are too busy for her.
Take a look at the offsprings of the villains. Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) has been intimidating and a bully to his son all his life. It's only Icicle, (Neil Jackman) who has a fondness for his son and that seems to be the show's only way of humanizing him.
These warped, troubled, lonely and even traumatic childhoods always seem to be the ideal premise to be a superhero. Just a question, why does one need to be put through an incredible amount of adversity for them to learn how to become a hero? It seems to be the foundation and stepping stone for practically every hero, or in the case of the villains, a justification they need.
'Stargirl' airs on The CW, Tuesdays at 8 pm.