WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Shiv, Part One,” the latest episode of Stargirl.
Stargirl’s nemesis Shiv has officially arrived on the DC Universe series.
“Shiv, Part One” opened a window into Cindy Burman’s life, only to reveal she is the daughter of the Dragon King — and knows it. Unlike the children of the other Injustice Society members, Cindy was raised with full knowledge of her father’s identity and team affiliation. What’s more, he experimented on her, which has resulted in a few superpowers of her very own.
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Cindy is also a skilled chemist, like her father. She offered a glimpse at this talent during class, when she was partnered up with Courtney for an in-class experiment. When Courtney pointed out that Cindy hadn’t looked at the directions, Cindy scoffed. “This is child’s play. I literally did this as a child,” she said. Courtney pointed out that that was unusual, so Cindy continued, “Not when your dad is a chemist and leaves the cupboards unlocked, on purpose. We did science experiments for fun.”
When she returned home from school, Cindy terrorized her stepmother by threatening to tell her father she had disobeyed his strict rules. Then, she went to find the Dragon King, who was working in one of the underground tunnels where the Injustice Society holds it meetings. She demanded to join the ISA, in part because she was bored and also because she felt she had no one to talk to. Dragon King immediately brushed her off and said she wasn’t ready.
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In response, Cindy held out her hand and a blade emerged from her wrist, like Wolverine’s claws. She turned and brutally killed one of her father’s drones. This got Dragon King’s attention, but not the kind she desired. “It takes two weeks to condition them,” he reprimanded her. “Two weeks of work wasted, and for what? It’s like you’ve learned nothing from your mother’s death.”
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That gave her pause. “I was young, okay? That was a mistake,” she insisted, with the implication that she was the one who killed her own mother.
“I gave you powers to protect you, not enhance your tantrums,” Dragon King hissed. He followed her across the room as she strode towards an alcove, where her signature red-and-green costume hung on the wall. He forbade her from touching it, but she didn’t listen; she simply took the staff and beat another drone to death with it.
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During this scene, she also revealed that dating Henry King Jr. was part of the ISA’s plan. After all, the villains need Brainwave’s telepathy in order to enact their New America scheme, but he is currently in a coma. As a result, they hope Henry will develop his father’s powers, so that they can use him instead. However, Cindy insisted Henry was powerless (which, as we recently learned, is not entirely true) and asked to break up with him.
Dragon King shot her down, this time with a warning. “Don’t take this out on your stepmother again. I don’t have time to prepare another,” he said, stroking her face even as she flinched away. “You are my greatest experiment, dear child.”
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Later, Cindy returned to Dragon King’s chamber in a moment of distress, after Courtney cancelled their plans to hang out during the homecoming dance. She didn’t find him there, but discovered Stargirl wandering the ISA’s tunnels. To prove her worth to her father, she put on her Shiv costume and went to kill Stargirl once and for all.
Shiv’s battle with Stargirl took them into the school gym. Along the way, she revealed several abilities and skills, such as enhanced strength and fight training. At one point, she even took a full blast from the Cosmic Staff straight to the face, which revealed metal plating underneath her skin. The wound healed within seconds, which indicates a healing factor as well.
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By the end, Shiv got the upper hand and knocked Stargirl to the floor. She went to deal the killing blow, but Justin the Janitor emerged just in time to knock her away with his sword. She collapsed on the floor beside Stargirl, stunned until Pat came running to the rescue. Unfortunately, Pat called out Courtney’s name as Shiv scrambled to get away, which suggests Cindy now knows Stargirl’s alter ego.
The promo for next week’s episode, “Shiv, Part Two,” hammers that home as well, since Cindy pays Courtney a visit at her home. This spells trouble for Courtney and the new Justice Society of America, but Cindy probably won’t rush to tell her father the truth about Stargirl. After all, she wants to prove herself to the ISA, so she will likely try to stop Stargirl and the JSA on her own.
DC Universe’s Stargirl stars Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore (Stargirl) and Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan (S.T.R.I.P.E.). The series airs Monday on DC Universe and Tuesdays on The CW at 8 pm ET/PT.
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About The Author
Meagan Damore has served as a CBR Editor since January 2015, though she got her start as a staff reviewer in 2013. She discovered comics thanks to the plethora of movies and television she grew up with, like Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man, the original X-Men film trilogy, X-Men: Evolution and Justice League Unlimited. She picked up her first comic in high school and fell instantly in love with the medium. Later, she took her love for pop culture with her to college, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts from Suffolk University and a Masters Degree in Literature from University of Massachusetts Boston. She loves to apply her education to her work writing editorials and conducting interviews. You can catch her writing on Agents of SHIELD, the Arrowverse and more right here on CBR.
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