DC's Stargirl has finally seen the new Justice Society together and, as of this week, the team is getting their own villain to face as Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) becomes more than just a high school bully and becomes Shiv. Now that the team has a villain more their own age -- and one that seriously injured Stargirl when the pair faced off in "Shiv Part One" -- the team is going to need each other now more than ever to take on not only the bad guys of the past but their own generation of villain as well.
One of the heroes that will be instrumental in facing down the Injustice Society is Yolanda Montez/Wildcat. Played by Yvette Monreal, Yolanda is not only Courtney's first JSA recruit and first friend, but she brings athleticism and a sense of loyalty to the still developing team of heroes that are becoming, in a sense, much more like a family for her. ComicBook.com recently sat down with Monreal to talk about Yolanda, the evolution of her character into Wildcat, what the arrival of Shiv means for the heroes, as well as what it was like working with Lea Thompson, who directed this week's "Shiv Part One". We even touched on how the fans have been teaching Monreal a bit about comics, too.
Read on for our interview with Monreal and get caught up on all things Wildcat!
ComicBook.com: Can I just say it's been so good to see Yolanda smile on Stargirl?
Yvette Monreal: Thank you, I appreciate that. It's been a rough few, three months. You know? She's gone through a lot and now she finally has the family of the JSA who accept her and who respect her. She's finding this new found self. So it's really great.prevnext
When we initially see Yolanda get that Wildcat suit, she's reluctant and reserved. But now we get to see her fully embrace, not only the suit, but the legacy that she's charged with, now that she knows more about Ted Grant. What's the transformation been like for Yolanda?
The transformation has been really great for her; like a rebirth. Sorry. It's a rebirth for Yolanda Montez. She's been stuck in this depression state for so long and she's been rejected by her family and her peers. So the fact that she is approached by Courtney Whitmore and she has this new suit in her life that's made her feel all kinds of things, made her feel these feelings that she missed. It makes her go back into her real life and take matters into her own hands. And I think it's just really important for her because it's bringing back the old Yolanda Montez, you know what I mean?
It's a rebirth for her.prevnext
I know last week's episode, "The Justice Society", we got to see Wildcat fight for the first time. And while the fight overall didn't go particularly well for the heroes, Yolanda particularly did a pretty good job of holding her own. What would you say you Yolanda's greatest strength is and her greatest weakness as Wildcat.
I think her biggest strength right now what helped her get through that is her athletic ability. I think the fact that she follows boxing so much and she's a huge boxing athlete, you know, she goes in, she wakes up in the morning, does boxing at school does boxing I think that's her biggest strength and I think her biggest weakness is Henry Jr.prevnext
And one of the things we see this week, particular, in Shiv Part One, is that Henry Jr. is kind of struggling to come into his own powers. And we got a tease of that a few episodes back when he heard Yolanda's thoughts. Do you think there's any room for Yolanda to forgive Henry Jr.?
I don't see it happening, me as the audience viewer. I don't see it happening, but Yolanda is a person of faith and religion. And I think forgiveness is, even though her parents don't show it that often, forgiveness is a big part of her religion. So I think there's room for it. I don't know if it's going to happen, but it's definitely... Never say never, kind of thing.prevnext
Also, this week in, "Shiv Part One", we see the team finally actually getting some real training and trying to come together, but even that doesn't really go to plan. What can you tell us about Yolanda's role on the team as it kind of forms together and really develops its teamwork?
Well, Courtney is my best friend right now and I think loyalty is a big factor for Wildcat. I think Courtney has to show this...I don't know the word for it, but she just shows so much loyalty towards her where it's like, "I'm going to give that back, because I haven't seen that from anybody".
Yeah, a loyal part of the team, and I have Courtney's back and it's kind of one of the backbones of it. I think we all have a huge part in it though, because we need each other to make it what it is. Everyone has a huge part in it. So Beth is the brains, Rick is the strength, Courtney is almost like the mom, the nurturing part, and then I have the athletic ability and the loyalty there.
And you murdered that toaster that time, which was a great scene.
Oh, I murdered that toaster like no other.prevnext
One of the things I think is really interesting is that, this week's episode is kind of a part one of two. And we don't really get to see most of the young JSA interact too much with Cindy. But we definitely are getting to see a preview of, "Hey, now they have their own villain; she's becoming Shiv". What can you tease a little bit about what it's going to be like for the JSA to have their own villain?
Well, we're going to have to put a stop to it. It's going to be crazy. I don't want to say too much, but the fact that Shiv, I mean, Cindy Burman is getting tired of playing these games and tired of just being in med school. And she doesn't give a crap about any of it; she just wants to be one of the head leaders of the ISA. So, I think that's going to be a really big problem because, even though she's more of a veteran than us, than the JSA, she's been taught since a child, she doesn't have her head on right. She kind of just wants to go after people without having a strategy. So this is going to be really big in the next episode. There are going to be some confrontations and we're going to need to put an end to it.
I am very excited to see it. It's going to be a lot of fun.
I'm scared. I'm just kidding. No, I'm just pretending to be an audience viewer, even though I know what's coming.
I think the audience, when they see some of that, is going to be like, "Whoa!". Because the show really does go there. It goes to those consequences that we don't usually get to see in superhero television.
And I was actually so bummed out that... Okay, because I watched the seventh episode last night because it came out on the DC Universe. The cliffhanger actually shocked me. I was like, "No. What? Oh, my God!". So now I see how everyone else feels. It's just like a movie that ended and it's like, "Wait, hold on. No, there needs to be more". You just don't want it to ever end.
It's kind of fun to get that experience too, to see that because, again, the show is letting us see real consequences and they're also making us wait for what happens after, which is kind of how real life is. Something happens and you have to wait to see how it plays out. So it's really interesting to see the show pull that parallel in the superhero space, 'cause you don't see that every day.
Yeah. I love it. They're doing amazing job. And obviously, our creator is insanely passionate and put so much heart into it. And I think that's a really big difference in our show. He's just gung-ho about making the right comic book references and just staying true, which is like, I wouldn't want it any other way. You know what I mean?
You're taking this rich source material and you're making it new and fresh while also being very authentic. I think a lot of people are recognizing it as well.
I see the fan reactions online a lot, when I watch.
How has that felt for you, to see how fans are responding both to the show and to your character?
You know, I do read, I do see their reactions and I do see... A lot of people are making references on my helmet! You know what's so funny, though? These first four episodes, the helmet actually was a little big on me. Isn't that funny? But I didn't know how it was supposed to be. So I just went with it, but they ended up putting a little piece of foam on my head so that I can see better.
But yeah, I read everything. I read all the reactions. I'm super interested. I want to make sure that we're giving people what they want and they're happy with it because, obviously we put so much effort into this show that, if they're not liking it, obviously it's going to hurt. But yeah, I love, love, love seeing the fan reactions, especially the diehard ones who would see the comic book references and who are just following and they find little Easter eggs. I think that's the best feeling. Cause they end up teaching me a little bit of things that I didn't even know I missed. You know?prevnext
There's a scene in, I think it's the opening part of, "Shiv Part One", where we see Yolanda happy dancing with that helmet. Where did that come from? Was that something that was scripted or is that something you guys kind of improvised? Because that was absolutely adorable. And I think it encapsulates everything you need to know about Yolanda at that point.
Oh, my gosh. I love that! I love that you are pointing this out. It was actually our amazing and wonderful director, Lea Thompson, who comes from being an actress... she is an actress herself and she's directing. So she was the one, she was the brains behind that beauty of it all. So yeah. She just made us do different things and played around with different things and it was all her, it was all her I hope she comes back.
What was it like working with her?0comments
It was amazing! Oh my gosh, she's one of my favorites. I really hope she comes back because, being an actor and now directing, she didn't know how to speak to us. And she knew how to resonate with us in a way where it didn't feel like we didn't know where we were doing. 'Cause there are directors sometimes, they're like, "Hey, do that a little bit more happy or do that a little bit more mad". But what are you trying to get? That's our question. But what, specifically, are you trying to get from me? Like what feeling? So she knew exactly how to do that and transcribe everything. So, I don't know. She was my favorite.
DC's Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8/7 on The CW. New episodes debut Mondays on DC Universe.prev