‘Stargirl’ is getting ready to shine on DC Universe and The CW next week, and now these new character portraits give fans a better glimpse at two of the supporting cast members– Doctor Midnight/Mid-Nite and Hourman. As part of the series’ storyline, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), the newly christened Stargirl, will assemble a new version of the Justice Society of America. The original superhero squad was wiped out by the Injustice Society of America, who are still around and continue to pose a threat to humanity, but Courtney’s new high school peers will join her crusade to stop them.
Laura Jean Shannon was in charge of designing the costumes for ‘Stargirl’, and she is well-prepared, designed costumes for the first ‘Iron Man’, Amazon’s ‘The Boys’, and prior DC Universe shows ‘Titans’ and ‘Doom Patrol’, and The CW’s ‘Black Lightning’. Below, Shannon discusses her approach to Doctor Midnight and Hourman.
Anjelika Washington portrays the new Doctor Midnight, Beth Chapel.
According to Shannon:
“Doctor Mid-Nite was full of opportunities for designing fun details into the suit and all of its accessories. Gloves made of customized leather hold pouches and pockets for potions and healing salves. Goggles that supply tactical knowledge to the wearer integrate into the rest of the Golden era-inspired updated design. Made for our petite bundle of positive energy, played by the effervescent Anjelika Washington! Our amazing tailor shop collaborated with Creative Character Engineering to dial in each of the integrated details to then get a final paint job from our talented Textile Artists, adding dimension and flair.”
The original Dr. Mid-Nite was Charles McNider, a blind surgeon who could see perfectly at night and wore goggles that allowed him to see in the daytime as well. He debuted in 1941. In 1985, Elizabeth “Beth” Chapel was introduced as a modern replacement. Whereas McNider spelled his super name “Mid-Nite,” Chapel spelled hers “Midnight.”
Chapel was blinded by an explosion, but used McNider’s discoveries to see and adopted his super identity and role. Visually designed by Todd McFarlane, Chapel’s costume did not resemble McNider’s black, red, and green uniform. Instead, Chapel’s was a mix of black and yellow with loose “bell” sleeves and a visor instead of goggles.
Beth Chapel was killed in action in the old comic book continuity, but she was restored in the recent “Rebirth” crossover storyline. While she was dead, she was replaced by a third Dr. Mid-Nite, Pieter Cross, whose suit more closely resembled McNider’s. In the newer comics, Beth Chapel has adopted a more traditional uniform, which is evident in the design for ‘Stargirl’.
Henry Thomas will appear as the original Dr. Mid-Nite.
Shannon discussed Gellman’s look, saying:
“Classic Superhero pedigree was the driving force behind our bronzed super-strong Hourman. We focused on staying true to the comics and his portrayal through the years while adding a modern take for our new generation of heroes. Cameron Gellman transforms into a modern-day angsty teen trying to find his way through his newfound powers vested upon him in a suit that holds more than a little pertinent history for his character.”
In the comics, Rex Tyler was a chemist who invented a pill called “Miraclo” that granted him super strength for one hour. Over time, this lead to a dependency on the drug, a trait that was unfortunately passed down to Rick.
Rick Tyler debuted around the same time as Beth Chapel and the new Wildcat, Yolanda Montez (played by Yvette Monreal on ‘Stargirl’). Like Chapel, Rick Tyler’s original suit was designed by Todd McFarlane and bore no resemblance to his father’s yellow and black hooded uniform. Rick’s original suit was the… uh… bold color scheme of purple and red.
Due to his addiction to Miraclo and a battle with leukemia, Rick Tyler’s career as Hourman was relatively short-lived. For a period of time, an android from the 853rd century operated in the present as a third Hourman, but later, Rick Tyler figured out how to activate his powers without the drug and he returned to the superhero life, now wearing a suit that more closely resembled his father’s.
In the trailers for ‘Stargirl’, it does not appear that Gellman’s Hourman takes a pill. Rather, he taps the hourglass on his chest to activate his powers, so maybe the show will sidestep the addiction angle.
You can catch Washington and Gellman in action when ‘Stargirl’ premieres next week starting on DC Universe on Monday, May 18, and then on The CW the next day, on Tuesday, May 19.