DC's Stargirl: The ISA's Project New America Explained

All season on DC's Stargirl, while Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) was learning the ropes of super heroics and putting together her Justice Society of America the bad guys she sought to take down, the Injustice Society of America, were working to bring their master plan to life. While clues as to the nature of Project New America painted a chilling picture of the ISA's plans to make America "better", tonight's penultimate episode of the season revealed exactly what the ISA was hoping to accomplish -- and it is almost something most heroes would want to support. Almost.

Spoilers for this week's episode of DC's Stargirl, "Stars & S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One," below.

With time running out before Project New America goes online and with the ISA looking to kill Courtney and her entire family to keep them out of the way, the JSA gets a massively lucky break. Rick (Cameron Gellman) manages to crack his father's code which, in turn, allows Beth (Anjelika Washington) to use her Doctor Mid-Nite goggles and reveal a map of the ISA's intricate tunnel system under Blue Valley -- as well as reveal the synaptic amplifier machine that Brainwave will use to brainwash people. After coming up with a strategy that sends some of the team to physically deal with the ISA, Beth and Barbara (Amy Smart) sneak into The American Dream where they try to hack into the ISA's operation.

When they get in, they discover that the ISA's Project New America actually seeks to do something good, albeit through brainwashing. The plan is to reprogram around 100 million people into believing in and supporting what the ISA calls "The New Constitution", part of their whole new country smack in the center of the United States. What's in "The New Constitution"? A lot of positive things, such as embracing of green energy, fighting global warming, ending discrimination of all sorts -- race, religion, sexual orientation, all of it -- and they even have a plan for universal healthcare so that everyone is taken care of. It sounds like a utopia, which at first confuses even the JSA. The "bad guys" are trying to make a safe, secure, and fair world, so much so that Hourman even wonders briefly if they're on the right side.

dc stargirl project new america
(Photo: The CW)

Sounds too good to be true and as the heroes soon discover, it is. While all of the aims of "The New Constitution" are intended to benefit society, they come at a terrible cost. It turns out that the process of brainwashing would kill 25 percent of those impacted. Those whose minds were too strong or who were too strong-willed would be killed horribly by the brainwashing process. Stargirl quickly does the math on things and that's 25 million people dead all in the name of a "perfect" America -- and that number is only an estimate.

The idea that "perfecting" America has such a high cost but that the ISA is willing to go forward with it anyway fits right in with what Icicle actor Neil Jackson told ComicBook.com earlier in the season, that Icicle believes he's doing the right thing even if it comes at a high and terrible price.

"And in talking to Geoff [Johns, showrunner] about all of that, what it meant for me is, we talked about it, it was very easy for a Icicle to be angry, to be vitriolic, to want to burn the world down, but leading into the fact that he's cold and he's Icicle, I love the fact that he's just sad," Jackson said. "I talked about, wanting to paint the character with this blue hue, of just like, he's just deeply, deeply sad. And I wanted to play every single scene with that sense of sadness. And he doesn't want to do this. He doesn't want to create this plan. He doesn't want to have to kill people. It's born out of the fact that the world is broken, and he believes that he is the only one with the strength of character to be able to change the world for the better. So, he sees himself as a hero, an anti-hero, born out of this tragedy."

"And nothing can get in the way of that plan. Nothing can get in the way of him achieving his promise to his wife," he continued. "And if that means people die, then people die, because the plan is bigger than that. And so once it was all put through that prism, he may seem incredibly menacing, but I see him as this, anti-hero with a very, very vitriolic plan, that he's set in place, that ultimately is for the betterment of mankind. I mean, one of the things we talked about when we were doing it is, likening him to Thanos, in the Avengers series. Thanos doesn't see himself as a villain, he sees himself as a hero, and he believes that by wiping out 50% indiscriminately of the universe's population, that everybody else would be slightly better. He thinks he's doing a good thing, even though everybody else hates him for it. And that is exactly what Jordan feels. He believes is doing the right thing, even though people might hate him for it. Ultimately, they'll realize that he was the hero."

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DC's Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8/7 on The CW. New episodes debut Mondays on DC Universe.

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