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You know, you might laugh at those red and white stripes that I wore, but people looked at those instead of my face. We had costumes for a reason: to protect our families.
Pat in "S.T.R.I.P.E."

Patrick "Pat" Dugan is a main character in The CW and DC Universe series Stargirl.

Pat Dugan is a gifted mechanic with a penchant for helping others. He once went by the less-than-inspired superhero name of Stripesy, serving as the sidekick to a young hero known as the Star-Spangled-Kid, later known as Starman. Pat was also an important member of the legendary Justice Society of America.

Today, Pat has left his sidekick life behind him. When his new step-daughter, Courtney Whitmore, discovers Pat's secret past and takes on Starman's legacy to become Stargirl, Pat is forced to come out of retirement and once again become a sidekick — to his step-daughter — this time piloting a fifteen-foot robot called S.T.R.I.P.E.. He becomes a mentor for the modern day Justice Society of America, helping them defeat enemies, navigate hardships, and become powerful heroes and people alike.


Pat's father was a mechanic in the army who worked on tanks. His work required their family to move around a lot, especially when Pat was a teenager. Every year or two they had to pack up and move to a new place. The constant moving never allowed Pat to form lasting friendships, so he grew close to his father and regarded him as his best friend. At some point Pat followed in his father's footsteps and joined the army.

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When Pat was twenty he was hired by the Pemberton family to serve as their mechanic and driver. He befriended the Pemberton's fifteen-year-old son, Sylvester. One day, Sylvester put on a mask to stop criminals that were threatening his parents, and Pat helped him in his endeavor. Their partnership eventually turned to friendship with Sylvester and Pat extending their crime-fighting antics to superheroism. Sylvester went as the masked hero, Star-Spangled Kid. Pat served as Sylvester's sidekick and guardian, Stripesy. His less-than-inspired superhero name of Stripesy was due to his striped outfit and highlighted Sylvester's alias as the Star-Spangled Kid. He served as the sidekick to Sylvester's teenage alias, Star-Spangled-Kid. The duo's antics caught the attention of the media, specifically Civic City News when they defeated a villain named Doctor Weerd.

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At the beginning of their crime-fighting days, Pat and Sylvester joined the underappreciated group known as the Seven Soldiers of Victory. They followed the leadership of Shining Knight with Pat growing close to the Shining Knight. The group later encountered the reptilian villain known as Dragon King. The Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy helped the Seven Soldiers of Victory stop Dragon King from destroying New York. They even saved the world once. Once Dragon King went into hiding, the Soldiers disbanded and lost contact with one another.

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A few years later, Sylvester found the cosmic staff and began using it in his times as a superhero. He reinvented himself as the adult superhero Starman, though Pat still operated as his sidekick Stripesy. Sylvester was recruited into the Justice Society of America, an elite team of superheroes that gained much media attention. Sylvester brought Pat into the JSA and the team became very close. Pat served as the team's sidekick and took care of their artifacts and kept their suits clean. He was a valued and important member of the JSA. Pat eventually married a woman named Maggie Shaw, and they had a son together, Mike. When Mike was three or four years old, she was so strung out that she left him at a soup kitchen. Pat found Mike and took him, leaving Maggie behind. They never truly spoke about her again.

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On Christmas Eve, 2010, the Injustice Society lured the JSA into a battle in an abandoned California mansion. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the battle was a trap as the ISA planned to eliminate the JSA so they could further a secret agenda. The JSA was defeated by the time Pat, who was absent from the battle for a majority of the time, arrived. He rushed to Starman's aid in the hopes of saving his friends. He witnessed the deaths Wildcat and many others, along with the alleged death of Dr. Midnite. He attempted to escape with a fatally wounded Starman, who died later that night.

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Pat kept Starman's staff safe and retired from his sidekick days. He ensured the rest of the JSA's artifacts and suits were safely stored in the JSA headquarters. Pat still wanted revenge on the ISA and offered to help his fellow JSA member, Rex Tyler, who had also survived the battle. Rex declined his help, even turning down Pat's new armored robot. Nine years ago, in 2011, Rex changed his mind and sent Pat all of his research including his journal.

Two years ago, Pat followed Rex's research to Blue Valley, Nebraska. During this visit to Blue Valley, Pat met Barbara Whitmore at Richie's Diner while they were both visiting Blue Valley. They ordered the same food - a corn dog and banana split. They had an instant connection and were married a few years later. After accepting a job in Blue Valley, Barbara, Pat, his son Mike, and stepdaughter Courtney, moved from California to Blue Valley.


Season 1[]

On Christmas Eve 2010, Pat Dugan witnessed his superhero team the Justice Society of America be killed during a battle against the Injustice Society of America. He tried to reach his best friend Sylvester Pemberton, who went by the moniker Starman, but was nearly killed by The Wizard. Pat's efforts were futile in saving Starman, as the hero was impaled with a shard of ice thrown by Icicle. After they fled the scene, Sylvester made Pat promise that the JSA would live on while someone with honor and strength carrying the Cosmic Staff. He thanked Pat for being a good friend and died in Pat's arms.

In the present day, Pat is the father of Mike Dugan, the newly-wedded husband of Barbara Whitmore, and the step-father of Courtney Whitmore. He is excited for the move even though Courtney pushes away his help or attempts at bonding. It isn't until Courtney finds boxes of superhero paraphernalia in Pat’s things that she begins to think of him as a non-annoyance. She learns from a series of photographs that Pat was a hero named Stripesey, the famed Starman’s sidekick, and a member of the Justice Society of America. She also finds a magical staff that glows in her presence and takes her on an adventure. She is confronted by a worried Pat who tells her about his life as a sidekick, and that his best friend Starman, Sylvester Pemberton, was murdered during a fight. He explains that the staff only ever worked for Starman, prompting Courtney to see a resemblance between her father and Starman. Now believing that she is Starman’s daughter and that this is her destiny, she convinces Pat to help her be a hero, though he refuses as she needs to be safe and being a superhero is anything but safe.

Courtney ignores his warnings and her mother's claims that Pat is the only man who has ever been there for them, and takes flight with the staff once again. She encounters danger when she is confronted by ISA member Brainwave, and barely escapes with her life. When she escapes she encounters a giant robot piloted by Pat, ready to take her home.[1] He tries to reason with her over the ISA members, explaining that Brainwave is incredibly dangerous and Pat never would have moved them to Blue Valley if he knew a member was here. He presses that the ISA were responsible for the deaths of JSA members and dozens of innocent lives, though Courtney is adamant in wanting real answers. He explains that one member of the JSA lived, Hourman, and Pat followed Hourman to Blue Valley which is when he met Barbara. Before Hourman was murdered, Pat built the robot to help Hourman fight against the ISA and get justice, but Hourman rejected him. When Courtney makes it clear that she isn't going to sit on the sidelines like he did, Pat launches himself into preparing for a battle by ensuring S.T.R.I.P.E. is ready. He also purchases a membership at Ripped City.

Courtney puts herself in danger when Brainwave confronts her and demands the staff in exchange for him sparing her family's lives. Pat goes in her place to fight Brainwave and is nearly defeated when Courtney appears, donning a suit and the Cosmic Staff. Together, Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. are able to defeat Brainwave when an accidental collision with the staff renders him comatose.[2]

Season 2[]

In the months since the destruction of the ISA, Pat adjusts his now calm life with Barbara. He plans a family vacation to take a break from the superhero world, as Courtney's obsession with finding any supervillain has consumed her life. Mike, on the other hand, desperately wants to be a member of the JSA and begin his superhero training. Pat breaks the news of their cabin trip to Courtney, telling her specifically that she can't bring her staff or have any JSA-related contact. She and Mike protest the vacation, but Pat and Barbara are adamant in their decision - which Buddy agrees with. With the matter settled, Pat asks junkyard owner Zeek to watch over The Pit Stop while he's away. Zeek inquires what is beyond the "employees only" door, but Pat brushes it off as nothing Zeek needs to worry about. The men shake hands over their new agreement. Pat is called into Blue Valley High School by the new principal to discuss Courtney's schooling and recent behavior.[3]

Road Trip[]

For a more detailed recap of the Whitmore-Dugan family trip, please see Road Trip.

Courtney, Pat, Barbara, Mike, and Buddy head out on their family vacation that was previously thwarted by Courtney's summer schooling. They travel across the country to Yellowstone National Park, and on the way Courtney wields the Cosmic Staff on her trip, saving a convenience store owner from a robber. They settle down at a camp site, with Pat and Courtney heading out on a hike. The find a dead animal corpse, but are interrupted by a man calling himself Pat's archenemy. After a moment, Pat recognizes him as The Needler. Needler comments on Pat's youthful appearance as opposed to his own, which has been tainted by prison. The pair prepares for a fight, though Needler is only looking to give his thanks to Pat.

He wants to thank Pat for putting him on the right course to finding Melanie and his new life. Courtney finds it wonderful wile Pat is skeptic. They hear a commotion where a bear is about to kill the boy scouts by pushing them over a cliff. Courtney uses the staff to distract the bear, wile Needler sends needles into its arm. Pat realizes the bear is protecting its cubs. Courtney stuns the bear while Pat tries to get the kids clear. A boy slips on the rocks but Pat saves him just in time, though he goes over the cliff himself. Courtney saves him using the staff while Needler tries to protect the scouts from the bear. They lock eyes as he insists no one wants to hurt her or her cubs, so the bear passes.

The trio hikes as Needler compliments Pat for training Courtney so well, though he brushes it off as her being self-taught with the help of the staff. Needler insists that he should take the compliment and be proud, which Pat is - of both Courtney and Needler. Needler meant that Pat should be proud of himself too, as Courtney isn't the only one who shines a light. Needler heads off into the woods while Courtney and Pat decide to see more on the way ahead. That evening, Courtney flies above the mountains on the Cosmic Staff while Pat watches happily.

Season 3[]

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Pat and the rest of the Whitmore-Dugan family return from their road trip to Yellowstone National Park. They arrive to a gleeful Sylvester Pemberton who greets them as the Starfam. He asks how the trip was, getting three different answers. He comments on Pat's facial hair, joking that he left home a boy and came back a man. Mike isn't thrilled about it, earning a sideways look for Sylvester, as facial hair is a man's birthright. He'll understand when he starts shaving. Mike argues that shaves, but Sylvester doesn't believe him. Barbara goes into the kitchen and remarks on him fixing everything, including the new expensive marble countertop. He knows a house needs to earn his keep. Pat had that on his list, confusing Courtney and Mike who didn't know he had a list.

He finds Courtney standing alone on the porch and joins her, asking what's wrong. He thought she was happy that Sylvester is here, and she is, but he put a lot of hard work into building a display case for the staff right next to his bed. He was talking about the bond he has with staff, which makes her insecure. Pat thinks that's exactly why Sylvester can show her how to do things with it that he can't. There's a real opportunity for her to learn directly from him, as he really knows what he's doing. While he teaches her how to be a better Stargirl, Pat will help him navigate his life post-Starman. The sound of a lawn mower whirring off catches their attention. Paula and Larry wave vibrantly from their lawn, welcoming them home. Paula grins as she tells Pat to tell Barbara they have to go get coffee together. Pat promises he will as Barbara will be thrilled. He and Courtney quickly retreat into the house as he mutters that she won't be thrilled.

Once inside, he locks the front door which confounds her. He's locking the door but she laments that they have to learn to trust them, unlocking it. He's incredulous and thinks she's kidding at first, relocking the door. They're not their enemies anymore. He knows she's very trusting which is a great quality, but when it co comes to people like that, she has to be very careful. She thinks they can make a difference in the world by helping the bad guys break good. If they can learn to trust each, not only would they be better people for it, but no matter what evil comes their way next, they'll be on the same side like they were against Eclipso, making them unstoppable. The doorbell rings and Pat goes to open the door. Courtney reminds him it's locked. When he opens the door they see Steve Sharpe standing on their porch, greeting them cheerfully. He's come to make amends and even brought their mail.

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The trio sits in the living room as they discuss why Steve is back. He assures them he isn't here for trouble. He wants to follow the example that others in his ilk have set forth. Pat calmly breaks the news that Steve isn't given the chances that others are, as he didn't help them defeat Eclipso. Instead, he ran from everyone and went into hiding. Steve heard about that, but has a change of heart now. He found a birth certificate for a daughter he never knew he had, as her mother put her up for adoption. He wants to be better for Becky. He has no delusions of being a role model like Pat, but he can apologize to those he's wronged and become a productive member of the community. If his daughter ever wants a relationship with him, he'll be worthy. This matters to him because his father abandoned him, and he doesn't want his daughter to go through life thinking he abandoned her. He wants her to know he loves her. This sentiment hits home for Courtney.

Pat wakes up the next morning to the sound of a disturbance in his kitchen. He walks down to find Crusher making juices with a new juicer. He questions what Larry is doing there, and the man cheerfully says he's making breakfast. What he's actually doing is trespassing, a remark Crusher ignores. He gives Pat the juice he made to help boost his testosterone. Pat's testosterone is fine and he's good without the juice. Crusher gets straight the point - what the putz was doing here yesterday. He wonders why Pat and the kid didn't lock Gambler up, to which Pat explains they're dealing with it. Crusher pushes that the Kentucky-fried felon is not to be trusted. No matter what he says, he's only ever been in this life for the money. That's all he cares about. Courtney comes downstairs, confused. Pat tells Courtney that Crusher broke in, but the man dismisses the claim as the door was unlocked. He's trying to get her old man back into the program. He cuts off Pat to say the juicer is on them, so is the first protein powder, and hopes to see him at Ripped City which is having a grand reopening. He playfully fights with Pat, laughing at Pat's claim that he almost killed Crusher the last time they fought. When Crusher leaves, Pat looks to Court; they have to start locking the doors.

That afternoon, Pat shows Sylvester The Pit Stop, S.T.R.I.P.E., and the updated Rocket Racker. Sylvester remarks that what he did with the Rocket Racer was unbelievable, but the robot is spectacular. If the rest of the JSA were alive to see this, they'd be begging him to sit at the table. Pat admits he put a lot of work into it. Sylvester thinks he deserves more recognition, wanting to see what it can do. He wants to see it fly for told times' sake. Pat agrees so Sylvester plans to grab the staff, which takes Pat by surprise, though Sylvester reasons that it's the only way he'll keep up with the robot. He then cuts off Pat by thanking him for giving him a place to stay and make him feel welcome. To see him with his family, succeeding and happy, makes Sylvester happy too. Warmed by the sentiment, Pat thanks his friend. The pair than take to the skies in an adventure of Starman and S.T.R.I.P.E..

They stumble into the Whitmore-Dugan house late at night, gushing over their adventures of saving a crashing plane. Courtney realizes Sylvester took the staff, as Barbara critiques Pat for being out way past dinner. Sylvester just wanted to see Stripesy's tech in action, recapping the big plane that S.T.R.I.P.E. caught. Barbara presses that he told Courtney he wouldn't be Starman anymore. Cosmo warbles sadly, with Sylvester lowering his head. He apologizes to Court, who tells her what he did saving a place is amazing, really. He gives her the staff and apologizes for causing trouble. He goes back to the basement as Pat prepares for dinner.

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Once things settle for the night and Courtney heads off to lead the JSA in a new recon mission, Pat and Sylvester sit on the front steps to have a beer. He thinks it's amazing that Courtney got both of them back in the game. Pat thinks he has a second chance. Sylvester wonders if it's like the Crocks, The Shade, Dragon King's daughter, or The Gambler. Courtney thinks they should get a second chance and her heart hasn't steered them wrong yet. Sylvester isn't saying she's wrong, but those are predators they're dealing with, every one of them. Even so, they toast to second chances. Sylvester remarks that Pat is his sidekick again as they're back to being Starman nd Stripesy. Pat's just been going by S.T.R.I.P.E. lately, recapping the acronym, though Sylvester ignores him. He then remarks that the mustache is great, which makes Pat happy.[4]

Courtney, Yolanda, Beth, Rick, Pat, and Sylvester meet at The Pit Stop. Courtney tells him that someone murdered The Gambler. Pat asks who would have the motive to do that. Sylvester glibly says it could be anyone who ever met him, which is exactly why Rick doesn't care. Courtney reminds him that a man is dead, and there's a killer out there. Rick and Yolanda still think Cindy Burman did it, as she was standing over his body. She was, but Cindy told them she didn't do it. Yolanda exclaims that the case is closed then, a sentiment Courtney ignores. Cindy went to investigate when she learned The Gambler's old gang was back together. When she showed up, she found the trailer destroyed and The Gambler dead. Sylvester reminds Courtney that she was holding a gun, but Cindy said she saw the gun, picked it up, and it accidentally went off.

Beth tells everyone that the goggles couldn't find a bullet hole anywhere. Rick tells her that doesn't mean Cindy didn't kill him, and they exchange looks. Sylvester surmises that whoever twisted that trailer into a pretzel had to be as strong as Solomon Grundy. Rick is sure Grundy's dead, while Yolanda repeats that Cindy is strong. She's a walking science experiment, who knows what else she's done to change herself. Courtney argues that she isn't that strong, and that Dragon King changed her, and he's dead. Rick adds that it's only because Cindy killed him. He adds that if Courtney thought she was innocent she would be at this meeting. Courtney quickly tells Pat about the missing laptop, which still hasn't come back online yet, and that Cindy didn't have it. If they find the laptop they can find the killer. Sylvester is guessing it was one of The Gambler's former colleagues from the Injustice Society that they're hoping to reform. The fact is, it wasn't until The Gambler came back to Blue Valley that he was murdered, making the former villains all suspects, including Cindy Burman.

The next morning, Pat checks on Courtney who will be late for school unless she gets a move on. He sees her somber expression and asks if she's okay. She's read The Gambler's letter to his daughter a dozen times since last night. He didn't expect anyone to see this except her. Courtney really thinks he was trying to be better. He wrote about his regrets, how he wanted to know her. Courtney would have given anything to have her dad say half the things in this letter to her. She knows the others don't care that The Gambler died, but she does. After they find his killer, she's going to find Becky, and give her the letter. Pat thinks it's a great day and a plan. Sylvester wants to question some of The Gambler's old colleagues, so they'll see what they can find out while she's at school. She can't help but smile at his support, and he nudges her gently before leaving her room.

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Pat and Sylvester head to Richie Rock's Diner to talk with Richard Swift. They stand in front of Richard. Sylvester needs to ask him some questions, sitting on the edge of the booth. Pat tries to slide in next to him, but Sylvester doesn't budge. Pat tells him he needs more room and Sylvester slowly moves over a little, letting him on the booth. Sylvester asks where Richard was last night, and the man knows he's referring to Sharpe. He saw the man yesterday, though well before he died. Pat asks where he saw Sharpe, with Sylvester eerily adding that if he lies to them he'll regret it. Richard saw him in this very booth, where they had a rather unpleasant exchange. Later on, he thought better of it, so he went to see him. In a flashback, Richard stands in Sharpe's trailer. He's willing to let the past go. To someone like him, the past is everything. Sharpe would be eternally grateful if they could reset the backgammon board. Richard nods - this is a time of new beginnings for everyone.

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Sylvester doesn't believe that's how things went. In a flashback to his version of events, Richard plainly says he's going to kill him. Then, Sharpe cowers in fear as he holds his hands out in defense, quivering meekly. In the present, Richard looks at them in disgust, wanting to be credited with a little subtlety. Sylvester rolls his eyes, since Richard wears a top hat. If Richard was going to kill The Gambler, or Sylvester for that matter, he'd say something far more eloquent. Something like he's going to snuff out his little glow stick and him, the big, ineffectual, dolt. Sylvester lunges forward, grabbing Richard by the collar. The dishes clang on the table, the patrons gasping. Pat grabs Sylvester's hands, trying to pry him off. Sylvester warns that this isn't over, and Richard smirks that it never is. He releases Richard and tells Pat to move out of the booth, stalking out the door. Pat apologizes to Richard and the rest of the diner on his way out.

Once on the crosswalks, Sylvester demands to know what Pat was doing in there. He's the sidekick, which means Sylvester asks the questions and takes the lead. Pat is taken aback. That's not how it's going to work anymore. He knows this town, and the bull-in-a-china-shop thing, isn't going to get him very far. Sylvester snaps that The Shade is a murderer who killed the JSA. Pat argues this is Blue Valley, a small town, and Sylvester scared those people. They're just in there trying to enjoy a cheeseburger. Sylvester turns around for a moment and when he turns back, expresses remorse for his actions. He thanks Pat for steering him in the right direction. He just has to cool off now, walking away from his friend.

Pat comes home to find Barbara and Paula attempting to bake, his kitchen now a mess. He looks at the scene curiously. Barbara points to Pat, who is the real baker. He nods slowly then asks if Courtney's here. Barbara tells him that Courtney's at school, but his quiet demeanor makes her sink, asking if she isn't at school.

Once Courtney and Sylvester return to the Whitmore-Dugan home, Barbara and Pat scold them for their little rendezvous. Pat scolds him for taking her out of school and attacking The Shade. Sylvester went to apologize and things got out of hand. Seeing The Shade at the diner, at his house, that took him back. Shade was the one that told him that the key to stopping Eclipso was to kill Bruce Gordon. He took that to the JSA and they killed a man in cold blood. He's not running away from that. But it all started with The Shade. The JSA broke up, only to get back together, still broken, to take on the ISA. Shade played a role, but it's not himself that Sylvester's really mad at. He's mad at himself for killing the Justice Society. He asks why he got to come back. He questions why he is here and not them. He swells with emotion as he admits to missing them. He softly apologizes and leaves the room. Pat, Barbara, and Courtney watch him go with sympathetic expressions.[5]

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In the morning, Courtney makes a big breakfast for the family. Barbara is happy by the meal, asking what the special occasion is. Courtney claims there is none, but Mike thinks she's still kissing up for ditching school. Pat remarks that it looks great and thanks her. She smiles that she learned from the best. As the family sits for their waffles, Courtney jumps back to what's important. They know The Shade was at the diner when The Gambler was killed, which puts them back at square one. They know the killer has incredible strength and that The Gambler was stabbed in the heart with something, which is why there was so much blood. Barbara stops drinking her juice and puts it back on the table. It's a little too much murder talk in the morning for her liking. Mike shrugs it off as he grabs a waffle - it doesn't bother him. Barbara asks if Sylvester is coming up, but Pat tells everyone he went on a walk to find balance, and get to know the real Blue Valley. Mike snorts that he's going to be disappointed. Pat disagrees, because Blue Valley is the perfect place to hit the old reset button. If someone can't find balance here in the heartland, he doesn't think they can find it anywhere. Mike asks if he works for the chamber of commerce. Crusher, Paula, and Artemis Crock arrive suddenly. Crusher agrees with Pat - balance is important, starting with a balanced breakfast. He throws away the waffles as that stuff will kill him. Artemis cheerfully greets Courtney, presenting Quinoa and tofu bowls alongside Paula, who knows Barbara will love it. Larry tells everyone to pull up a chair as the whole family's on the program now. They join the family, ignoring the awkward tension that arises. Larry pulls Mike and Pat into a three-way hug and tells Mike to dig in. The boy laughs nervously and Larry stares him down, repeating for him to dig in.

Over at The Pit Stop, Pat welds pieces for S.T.R.I.P.E. as Sylvester reads job ads out of the newspaper. Zeek chimes in that his second cousin has a pig farm - he could put a good word in for Sylvester. The man thanks him, but questions how this is difficult. He's just as employable as the other JSA members were. Pat hesitates, since Dr. Mid-Nite was a surgeon, which Sylvester finds icky, Hourman was chemist or lab nerd as Sylvester chimes, and the Green Lantern ran a broadcasting company. Sylvester thinks the entertainment business has a lot of headaches. Zeek asks for his family history. For himself, his granddad raised him in his salvage yard, so all he wanted to do was take broken stuff and make it work again. All Sylvester's parents gave him was a chip on his shoulder. They treated him and his sister like props to show off to their snooty friends. That's why he loved being Starman, because he wasn't a prop, but served a purpose as somebody important. Without that, he's nobody. The men quickly refute that theory as he is somebody. He's Starman. Zeek tells him that he he went to live with his grandparents after he was born. His mother dropped him off one day and told them "he cries too loud" and he never saw her again. His granddad passed along a thing or two. One thing he taught Zeek was how quick someone will write off a good thing. If someone doesn't work the way they want it to, they toss it away. They thing it's "junk" but it's not - junk is junk, but salvage is an opportunity to turn it into something new. Sylvester listens intently then quickly apologizes. He can get self-absorbed, asking if Zeek is still talking about car parts, or if it was a metaphor about him. Zeek tells him to figure it out. Pat tells him not to worry as they're going to get Sylvester on a good career path, a great job, all he has to do is keep a good attitude.

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That night, Rick arrives late to the Pit Stop, something Pat points out. He apologizes as he had a flat. He looks up at Courtney who stands on the balcony with Yolanda and Beth. He asks if they're going after the Crocks. Courtney and Pat are going to talk to them, give them a chance to explain. They're just waiting for Cindy. Her phone rings with a call from Mike that shocks her. He tells her that Sylvester went after the Crocks alone. The team sends S.T.R.I.P.E., who arrives at the intense battle in the parking lot of Bell's Market. The staff swells with energy and Sylvester is about to release a blast when S.T.R.I.P.E. lands on the ground - the fight is over. Sylvester keeps the staff pointed at S.T.R.I.P.E., who steps forward to stand in front of the Crock's. He tells Sylvester to walk away.

The Crock's and Whitmore-Dugan's assemble at the Whitmore-Dugan House, where Paula cracks Larry's shoulder into place. The Gambler was blackmailing them, that part is true. But they didn't kill him. They wanted to, but they stayed strong. He was blackmailing them for ISA crimes they didn't commit. Stuff other members didn't without them. They're dead now so they wouldn't have a chance in hell of proving their innocence. Pat reminds them that they're not all the innocence. Larry agrees as they're guilty of plenty of things. The admission makes the couple chuckle. Some of the crimes they even went to jail for. Truth be told, they wouldn't even be sitting there with their freedom if it weren't for a legal loophole. Pat thinks some people, like Sylvester, might call that just a little but unfair. Larry doesn't care what he says, as the guy is a freaking lunatic. Paula intervenes, as regardless, they couldn't risk going back to prisons, so they paid Sharpe. Courtney references the payments stopping two months ago.

They admit the putz stopped blackmailing them. He didn't say why and they thought he was playing a new angle, then, he paid them back right before he died. Barbara brings them ice packs, while Courtney realizes Sharpe really was trying to be better. Paula and Larry didn't realize that until after he was killed. Larry wants to get everything on the table, admitting he did pay Steve a visit the day he was murdered. When Sharpe showed up in Blue Valley spouting off his "turning over a new life" jambalaya jive talk, Larry didn't buy any of it. He figured he came back to start blackmailing them again so he drove out to his trailer to have a little talk with him. But he left before he did something stupid. Barbara asks why they didn't tell them this before. He admits he was trying to protect them from any unnecessary heat. Paula apologizes to Barbara, as they should have been honest with her. The last time they went to prison it nearly destroyed their family, not to mentioned the food - so many carbs. She asks that Barbara please believe her. They would never make the same mistake twice. Whoever killed Sharpe, it wasn't them. The front door opens and Sylvester was in with Cosmo. He sees the group and glares at them, heading to the basement. Pat excuses himself.

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He follows Sylvester to the basement, instantly being chastised for stepping on front of Sylvester like that. He accuses Pat of choosing to protect them over him. He angrily reminds Pat that he's Sylvester sidekick, not theirs. Pat is nobody's sidekick, earning a snap remark in return. Pat presses that he's his friend, always has been. The Crocks didn't kill Gambler, and even if they had, this isn't the way to deal with things. Sylvester questions if he knows how to deal with things, angrily shouting that he let half the villains that killed their friends move in next door. Pat doesn't destroy everything around them because it sends the wrong message. Sylvester angrily asks who he's sending the wrong message to. Pat, concerned, admits it's to Courtney. When the staff first lit up for Courtney, she thought it was because Sylvester was her father. The reveal surprises Sylvester, and he questions why she would think that. Pat explains that Courtney's real father disappeared the same Christmas Eve that the JSA died.

For her to think that her father's a superhero who sacrificed his life saving the world, that was a hell of a lot easier than knowing that it was just some guy that didn't love her and hit the road. Sylvester processes the information then softens, asking what happened to the guy. Pat doesn't know. He showed up in Blue Valley last year to get this locket that he'd given to her when she was a little girl, because it was worth some money. It also happened to be the thing that she cared the most about. So she gave it to him, he took it, and he left. Sylvester sits down with a sight, asking what Pat did. He knocked the man on his ass, which Sylvester thinks is good, though Pat's not proud of it. But that pain it'll never leave her, and that's why they gotta be there for her. Sylvester can't just be a friend to Courtney - he has to be like a father. She put him on a pedestal since she first picked up the staff. Whether Sylvester likes it or not, he has a responsibility to set an example to Courtney and all these kids. Not just to be a better man, but to be the Starman he set out to be. Sylvester doesn't know who he set out to be. He just feels like a crazy person now who blows up grocery stores. He doesn't even have his costume anymore. Pat reminds him that a costume doesn't make the man, but Sylvester thinks it's a start, and Pat agrees.

The next evening, Pat works on sewing Sylvester a new suit, unaware when Mike peaks his head into the room. He sees his father working and closes the door over again. Pat finishes the suit and looks at it proudly. He gets up from his chair.[6]

When Sylvester is attacked, Cosmo brings Courtney to his unconscious body. Once at the hospital, Courtney, Pat and Dr. Chapel have a conversation about the attack. Sylvester is unresponsive, but stable. He has large contusions across his body, and in his back, a puncture wound much similar to that of The Gambler's fatal wound through the heart. Dr. Chapel isn't sure what caused the puncture. Pat concludes the police won't blame this on a freak tornado. Dr. Chapel already reported his injuries with those consistent with a hit and run. She picks up on their shiftiness, asking if it was the right thing to do. Pat remarks that the police will be looking for a driver. Courtney suggests she should have said that he hit a tree. Bridget's confusion pushes Courtney to admit that it worked for her before. Pat assures Bridget they'll take care of it. Bridget reflects on her and James getting so caught up in it all, being proud of Beth for being Dr. Mid-Nite. She didn't realize there's a cost to it. She then leaves to call Beth.

Courtney asks Pat why Sylvester went out there alone without telling anyone. He expresses that it’s just Sylvester, and how he does things. She questions why he didn't take the staff. Pat remarks that it wasn't his turn to be Starman, and that he was trying to do the right thing. Courtney asks if it was. Pat hopes they'll know more when he wakes up. She curls up in the chair, fighting back tears. Once Sylvester wakes up, Pat enters the room and says he called someone who can help with that. Charles McNider then enters the room and greets Sylvester, remarking it's nice to see him again. Sylvester greets him as "doc".

304 SC (70)

Once Sylvester is discharged, Pat and Sylvester walk down to the basement and Pat tells Sylvester how his bed sheets are clean and that his fridge was restocked. Sylvester asks with what and Pat admits it's juice only Dr. McNider said to avoid alcohol. Sylvester sarcastically replies that the day keeps getting better. He immediately notices the staff isn't in its display case and asks where Courtney and the others went, learning they went looking for his attacker. He's upset the kids are cleaning up his mess, but Pat assures him there's no mess. He's never been ambushed in all his years. Then he comes to this little town and gets his ass kicked, taking a pained seat on a cooler. Pat reminds him that Blue Valley isn't like every other community. Sylvester thinks Courtney was doing well here until he came along and made her share the staff instead of doing the dignified thing, which is moving on like McNider, who's a doctor with a wife and kid. Sylvester doesn't have a family or a career. Pat cheers him up by saying he chose a career that involves protecting other people, not something everyone would make the choice to do. Pat laments that Sylvester does have a family, who are all right here. Sylvester brings up Pat telling him to be a better Starman. These last few days have him questioning if he should even be Starman anymore. Pat calls him a legend.

The next day, Sylvester and Pat watch an old movie in the Whitmore-Dugan basement, reciting the lines from heart. They banter over who says which character's lines. Larry calls out "knock, knock" from upstairs, surprising the men. He emerges down the steps, remarking that the door was open. Pat questions what he's doing as Sylvester gets to his feet, calling the staff to him. Larry heard what happened - that Sylvester was sucker punched. It wasn't them, which Sylvester knows as they don't hit that hard. Larry retorts that they hit plenty hard. Sylvester asks what he wants. Larry announces he’s brought by a neighborly sixer, thinking he might need it. Pat remarks that while it's really nice of him, the Doc said no alcohol. Larry used to knock back a few when Sylvester would kick his ass. He's man enough to admit that back in the day, when he and his wife pulled a day, Starman was the last one they'd want to see. His right hook's a killer. He cheers them and leaves the beer on the table. After a moment, Sylvester offers a beer to Larry, tossing it to the man. Pat tells him they're watching "Josey Wales", offering him a seat with them. Larry chugs the beer in one swig, crushes the can against his forehead, and proclaims that he's in.

By nightfall, Sylvester drinks a beer on the porch when Pat joins him. Sylvester needed air, which Pat understands. Crusher's doing one-armed push-ups to work off the carbs, thinking Pat's still down there. Sylvester calls Crusher a maniac, which makes Pat laugh as Crusher calls Sylvester the same thing. A look from his friend makes Pat correct that it's not funny, because he's right, Crusher is crazy. He asks if Sylvester's feeling better. He's not feeling as great as he did back when he first got the staff from Ted. Those were unforgettable times. He wonders if there's anything sadder than an old man clinging to his Glory Days. Even bad guys like Crock have moved on, which is why he's thinking of leaving Starman where he was great - in the past, once and for all. Since he got here all he's done is screw up. Pat admits he's made some mistakes, had some transgressions, listing them off until Sylvester interrupts. Watching Sylvester screw up has finally made Courtney realize the importance of balance in her life. Sylvester smirks that he's glad he could be a bad example. Pat thinks he can be a good one - to Courtney and all the kids. Sylvester ponders if he could be a mentor like Pat. The man heads inside for a minute and returns with a box, telling Sylvester to check it out. Sylvester slowly opens the box and holds up the top of a newly crafted Starman suit. Sylvester still isn't sure, though Pat laments that if he isn't retiring yet, neither is Sylvester. Finally, he agrees to do this.[7]

Courtney comes home that evening and leans against the front door, smiling widely, sighing in content. Pat rounds the corner and greets her, asking why she's smiling. She just had a good day is all, though nothing specific happened. She asks for dinner but he's not sure. Her mom's at work and he just dropped Mike off at Jakeem's. She assures him that's fine as she can find something to eat. She starts walking past him, but he stops her by asking if she's not going to ask for an update. She asks him for one, though he first mentions he's been trying to call her and Yolanda. She surmises she must not have heard her phone. He reveals that Sylvester, Yolanda, and Rick went down to the tunnels to look for clues of Dragon King being alive, but so far, have found nothing. She makes sure he took the staff and he did. She's glad and he asks what she's going to do now. Since Sylvester's leading the JSA at the moment and they haven't heard anything from them yet, she's got homework to do. She starts into the kitchen as Pat awkwardly walks off.

In the morning, Pat walks into the kitchen and cheerfully greets Sylvester and Mike, asking who wants an omelet. Barbara and Courtney walk in, giving each other a hug. They discuss how things went with the kids last night, learning Sylvester came up empty handed with no Dragon King. Sylvester plans to find one of his hidden labs across the country, which is news to Courtney. Sylvester explains that he and The Crimson Avenger tracked them back in the day. There's one south of them he wants to check out. As he talks, Courtney keeps checking her phone and smiling. Sylvester knows she missed out on the tunnels, so he offers to wait until after school if she wants to come check them out herself. She's good as they've got it covered. She grabs an orange and tells everyone to enjoy the waffles, walking out happily. Pat corrects that they're having omelets. Sylvester wonders if Courtney knows the difference.

305 SC (95)

For lunch, and Barbara enjoy a meal together at Richie Rock's Diner. Maria brings them their food and Pat thanks her. She tells him to tell Zeek she said hello, which confuses him. She gives Pat a wink as she walks away. Barbara, however, is just happy to have a lunch date in the middle of the week. They should do this more often and he absentmindedly agrees. She asks what has him so distracted. He admits that it's Courtney, as she hasn't been herself lately. He's sure Barbara's noticed it too. Barbara starts to laugh which confuses Pat, who wonders if its an inside joke or something. She smiles that Courtney has a crush on someone, though she doesn't know who. She's sure Courtney will tell them eventually. This is what they wanted for her, to just be a normal teenager once in a while.

As Pat thinks on the reveal, Crusher and Paula slide into the booth, greeting their friends. He's pleased to see Pat eating sweet potato fries, which are a good source of Omega-3s. Pat sarcastically tells him to have a seat and make themselves at home. Crusher ignores him, as he and Paula have taken a page out of their do-gooder handbook. Paula admits they're doing their own investigation into Steven Sharpe's murder. They started by interrogating everyone he owed money to, which is a whole lot of people with motive to whack him. He adds they dangled them off a tall building to get answers. Paula sees Barbara's disapproving face and quickly shakes her head as Larry elaborates. They weren't the only one the putz paid back before he died. In fact, he paid them all page. She thought it was impossible for a degenerate like Sharpe to truly change, but they're thinking maybe he did. Pat praises them for investigating that angle, and while he can't condone their tactics, does appreciate their dedication. But their work is done. The couple insists they aren't done, and are going to help him solve this thing. Pat suggests they have other important things to do, like checking in with their parole officers and cholesterol levels. Crusher sternly says their levels are pristine. He quickly adds there's a weird bonus to being heroes, making Paula laugh. It's kind of super-charged their lives in the bedroom. The couple giggles and begins making out, which unnerves Barbara and Pat, who call for the check.

That night, Pat checks on Courtney, who isn't home. Buddy looks up from the bed and Pat ruffles his head as a greeting.[8]

In the morning, Mike juices fruits and veggies in the kitchen, which surprises Barbara and Pat. He remarks that Mike's making a mess and that it looks like a farmer's market, while Barbara asks where it all came from. It came from the Crocks. When Mike got up for his route, they were in the kitchen messing around. Barbara is proud of him for being healthy. The Crocks took his cereal and the doughnuts, with Pat adding how Crusher came in yesterday to throw away his light beer. Mike tells Pat to stand up for his house. Barbara knows Crusher and Paula are a bit much, but they do have good habits. It would be good if some of them rubbed off on the family. Pat's just under the impression they were trying to help them be better people. Sylvester comes up from the basement, sighing over his late night, as he found no sign of Dragon King. He feels like he's on a wild-goose chase. Mike clarifies that it isn't Dragon King, but Sylvester isn't sure, they can't rule anything out. He wants to update Courtney, but Mike mentions she already left. Pat and Barbara question where she went. Sylvester references Yolanda saying Courtney's meeting with Icicle's kid, Cameron Mahkent.

Looking for answers, Pat carries a basket with fruits and vegetables to the Mahkent residence. He reminds Barbara she didn't have to come, but she thinks it will be less suspicious if both of them come. He thought he was worrying too much and that she was fine with Courtney having a crush. She is fine with that, but it's Cameron Mahkent. It's the grandparents she's concerned about. He agrees they definitely knew something about the mind machine Jordan was building. Barbara worries they know about Courtney, Mike, Pat, and all of them. Pat notes it could get real complicated, but she corrects it could get really dangerous. He knows Courtney's got great instincts, but she reminds him that love can cloud someone's judgment. Her eyes might not be as wide open as they think. She just wants her to be safe. They ring the doorbell. He wonders if they should keep some of the fruit, but it's for them. He urges her to put a couple of the bananas in her purse, but the Mahkent's answer before he can finish. Lily greets them followed by Sofus. He loves smoothies and the families convene in a larger room.

Barbara compliments the room. Lily mentions it was her son's office and her daughter-in-law's studio. Barbara knows Cameron is quite the artist too. Lily invites them to sit as Sofus comes in with plates. They don't entertain much, but would like to offer them a Norwegian specialty: lutefisk. In Norwegian, Lily asks if he poisoned it, with Sofus scoffing that of course not. She asks why he's serving it then, earning a side look from him. Barbara really came by to share how delighted they are that Courtney and Cameron are spending a lot of time together. Because they're here, Lily assumes they have concerns. Pat brushes it off as just wanting to tell them that Cameron's such a nice young man. Lily starts to speak about Courtney, but Sofus interrupts. They think Courtney's very special too. Barbara asks how they think she's special, earning inquisitive looks. Pat fixes it by saying he thinks Barb means to say thanks. A moment of silence passes and Barbara expresses that she never had a chance to tell them personally how sorry she is about what happened to Jordan. He was a great man. Lily repeats the sentiment and asks if Barbara knows how it feels to lose a child. She starts to raise her hand when Sofus takes it. Courtney calls out to her mom and Pat, asking what they're doing here. She and Cameron enter the room, their family watching them.

Courtney questions why her parents didn't call her. Barbara reminds Courtney that she was ignoring everyone. Cameron reveals that Courtney was helping him on a new sculpture, which unnerves Lily, though Sofus is sure it's fine. Courtney presses there was no reason for her parents to come all the way out here. Pat shrugs it off, as if he hadn't come then he never would have gotten to try lutefisk, which now enters the pantheon of great fish. It's right up there with catfish, grouper, and tilapia. His humor lands hollow, prompting Pat to think they should get going. They don't want to overstay their welcome, as they've all been so hospitable. Like he said, they just wanted to come by, say hello, and wish the teens good luck. Sofus looks to Cameron - as long as their children are both happy, that's all that matters. He looks to Lily and urges her that Cameron and Courtney being happy is all that's important now. She gives a brisk nod, glaring at Courtney. Cameron and Courtney hold hands.

The Whitmore-Dugan's leave the house. Courtney remarks that it was humiliating, asking what they were doing there. Barbara was worried about her. They're the one always telling Courtney that she can't just be Stargirl. Pat was just concerned for her, that's all. Courtney exasperatedly asks how many times she has to tell people that Cameron's not his father. They understand, but his grandparents knew Jordan was up to something. They're worried they have the same abilities that Icicle did. Courtney nervously reveals they probably do, according to Cindy, anyway. She thinks she saw his grandmother have the same type of powers Jordan did. But even if she does, if they both do, if they wanted to hurt them they would have done it already. Pat's not sure why they would wait. He loves old people, but they scare the hell out of him.

Courtney's secrets from the JSA are revealed by a betrayed Cindy, resulting in a fight between the teens, and Courtney stepping down officially as team leader. Pat goes to speak with her that night, only to hear Sylvester already giving her a speech. He stops to listen for a while, overhearing Sylvester open up about Merry, Brainwave, Icicle, and giving her advice on them loving being superheros. Ultimately, Pat stop eavesdropping near the end of the conversation. He goes to the kitchen and Courtney joins him a few minutes later, expecting him to say something. He thinks she's been piled on enough by everyone today. He can't say anything better than Sylvester already did. She remarks he's pretty great, which he knows. She doesn't know what she'd be doing without him.

306 SC (224)

A knock at the door reveals Beth, which makes Courtney smile hopefully. She asks what's going on, as Beth looks worried. Beth tries to brush it off, nervously saying "nah" and grinning widely. Pat knows her and asks what she's worried about. She asks what's with all the worried talk. She's not worried, they're not worried. No one's worried. She grabs a glass offering juice, as she'd love one. She starts feeding the juicer. Pat warns her to be careful of her fingers. Beth hurries over to them with her laptop, talking through a smile for them to just act super normal. The machine whirrs in the background as Beth explains she hacked into The Gambler's files and found something she thinks he found. She shows them a feed of Cindy's house, but that's not all. She flicks through to show The American Dream, The Pit Stop, the exterior of the Whitmore-Dugan House, and the very kitchen they're standing in. They all look up for the camera but don't find it. Whispering, Courtney asks Pat what they do now. He remarks they don't say another word, closing the laptop.[9]

The Whitmore-Dugan family sits for dinner, awkwardly trying to act as though everything is fine for the cameras. Pat asks Michael if he'd prefer a leg or a thigh. Mike thinks a thigh would suffice, so Pat remarks that one wing is coming up. Over the comms, Sylvester groans at Pat, wondering if he and Leonardo DiCaprio can lay it on any thicker. Courtney clears her throat, asking her mom how work was today. Barbara shrugs it off as not bad, asking about school, which was boring as usual. Sylvester calls the girls naturals. Courtney elaborates that class, homework, and painfully, friends are fine. Sylvester tells them Beth needs ten more minutes, so just try and act normal until then. Pat asks Michael if he would lead them in grace, confusing the boy. Pat brushes it off as he's got it.

They finish their prayer, which is remarkably similar to the pledge of allegiance. Once the lights go out, the Whitmore-Dugan's jump up, clicking on their flashlights. Courtney remarks that Beth has no idea how much time they have until the power comes back, so they have to find the cameras and take them down.

Courtney walks down to the Whitmore-Dugan basement, finding Pat removing a camera from the ceiling beam. He asks if she's okay. She thinks Sylvester's plan is good. He meant if she was okay with everything else. She vents that someone has been spying on them, and they don't know who or for how long. She's just worried about finding them, but he doesn't think that's all. She admits there's more but she can't talk about her own problems when they're dealing with some kind of psycho voyeur. He glances at her as he starts removing another camera. She can talk to him about anything, she knows that. He's sorry that things are difficult right now, with her and Yolanda and the others not getting along. She knows it's her fault. She screwed up by keeping what was happening to Cameron to herself, and now Cindy's gone, along with any credibility she had as a leader of the JSA; forget leader, she doesn't even know they're still her friends. He assures her they are, but she doesn't think they need her anymore - they have Starman now. Pat turns to another camera, pressing that Starman's not the one who recruited them. He's not the one who made those kids grow into what they are today. She started all of that. Courtney worries that was all she was supposed to do, get them started. He doesn't think she believes that anymore than he does.

Before she can respond, air begins swirling in the room and shadows creep in from the corners. Moments later, The Shade appears, shocking Courtney and Pat. He removes his sunglasses and points to Miss. Whitmore, who is just who he needs. She questions why he's here and if he knew about the cameras. He waves her off - if there's some kind of nonsense going on in Blue Valley, he no longer cares. He requires her services for something far more urgent. Pat tells him that she's not available, but Shade assures Stripesy that she won't be long. He starts walking off but she refuses to go. Besides, Sylvester has the staff right now, not her. Frustrated, Shade stalks back to her. He doesn't need the staff, he needs Courtney Whitmore. He grabs her arm and drags her along as he quickens, disappearing into the shadows. Pat calls out for Courtney and runs after them, leaping into the shadows. The trio vanishes - leaving only two flashlights clanging on the floor.

They land in some kind of basement with a thud. Courtney and Pat stand up, having landed off their feet. Pat asks where Shade dragged them too. Shade rebutts the statement, as he didn't drag Stripesy anywhere, he invited himself and he'd send Pat right back, if he could. He starts walking off, so Pat and Courtney follow him. Pat asks what he means by "if he could". Shade admits that his abilities are, to be frank, coming apart like an old suit. Unfortunately, the one seamstress in all the world who could stitch them back together again is the most frustrating, immature, defiant, emotional, unreasonable, utterly vexing creature he's ever come across. But he doesn't need to tell them that, as they already have the misfortune of knowing her, too.

They round a corner and find Jennie sitting on some steps. Courtney is surprised to see her. Jennie told Shade to let her call Courtney first to explain everything, but he never listens to anything she says. Shade baulks at the statement, as he daresay he felt quite neglected when she almost burned down that tea house. She argues that he called her stubborn, and he admits to be guilty of that. She elaborates that he called her as stubborn as her father, who she told him to never talk about, since he helped murder him. Shade starts to retort but Pat intervenes, telling them to all take a breather here. Courtney asks her what's going on. Jennie admits she finally found her brother, and he needs their help.

307 SC (137)

Courtney and Pat question where Todd is. Jennie admits he's upstairs, revealing they're in the basement of the Helix Institute. Pat remembers it as a home for troubled youth, though the nurse said Todd left. Jennie reveals that she lied. Whatever this place really is, he's been their prisoner this entire time. She's going to get him out of here, even if she has to burn this place to the ground. Shade first wants to explain their problem as simply as he can, but she doesn't think he can simply explain how to make a cup of tea. Offended, he rears that brewing tea is more complicated than perhaps Jennie might imagine. She rolls her eyes at him so he continues to explain. For weeks, when he was accessing the shadows, he was drawing in some mysterious emerald light somehow - and it hurt, immensely. He traced the light to this delightful girl. After several days of attempting to separate their tangled power sources, he's afraid they remain at an impasse. She has no control over that ring. She snaps that it's because her ring was corrupted by The Shade's shadows, and now his darkness is leaking into it. He corrects that her light is leaking into his darkness. Pat intervenes again, as they have a real "peanut butter and chocolate type" situation. He asks how they got tied up together in the first place. Jennie explains it was right before they defeated Eclipso.

Jennie looks at the ring as she muses that it's connected to The Shadowlands now. Shade fears if they don't sever that connection, their conditions will worsen. Jennie needs to exorcise the darkness from her ring to shut off the link between the light and the dark. They think once she does, they won't be drawing on each other's respective powers anymore, and she'll have full control of the ring again. Then she can help Todd. Shade waves it off as he doesn't care about any of that. He just wants the girl cut off from The Shadowlands so he can get back to a pain-free life. Pat argues that these kids need help, causing Shade to wonder when they don't. Or why it's always his problem. No, it was amusing at first, but now it's just annoying. Jennie turns to Courtney, hoping she can help her overcome the darkness within her. She did it when she beat Eclipso. Courtney doesn't remember much as it was all kind of a dream. She heard Starman and Pat, but she broke free from Eclipso because she knew if she didn't, her friends family would get hurt. Shade questions what she's saying, and she clarifies that saving Todd might be the thing that lets Jennie expel the darkness out of her ring - and get him back to normal. Pat thinks she's right, so Shade reluctantly says they should go upstairs and get her brother.

They reach a split in the Helix Institute. They don't know which way to go. As they walk, Shade experiences ringing in his ears and discomfort. He tells them to wait, then points that her brother is down there. Pat asks how he knows but he's not sure. The group reaches the double doors sealed with a key card swipe. Courtney tells Jennie to focus and breathe. Shade sarcastically tells Jennie not to burn the whole place down again. Pat snips for Shade to let Courtney do the coaching. Shade is gravitas as he gestures for the girls to continue. Jennie takes a deep breath and holds up the ring, letting it glow. She aims at the keypad and a beam of green light streams from the ring, hitting the keypad. As it sears the electronics, Shade groans in pain, clutching his head. Jennie is out of breath as she looks to Pat, who tries to help a snippety Shade. They rush through the doors and reach a sealed door. Shade announces Todd's through there. He grabs the doorknob only to be thrown backwards into a wall.

Jennie and Courtney hear Todd screaming and rush in, finding him convulsing in pain on the table. Jennie calls out to him, though he questions who's there and who she is. The girls slowly approach as Jennie explains it's his sister. He breathes out her name, and they lock eyes, flashing back to being torn apart as children. Courtney wants to get him out of here, but Todd protests, just as Pat and Shade enter. If they take him out of this room, he'll destroy the world. Jennie isn't about to leave him here. She grabs his arm and they experience flashes of their childhood. Their eyes glow emerald green. Shadows creep into Todd's eyes which turn pitch black. He lets out a shout and a blast of shadows explode out of him, swirling with green energy. The blast sends everyone in the room flying in opposite directions. Once the darkness clears, the electricity in the room crackles back to life. Todd is now a monster made of black shadows, his eyes white as he shrieks and moans. Jennie and Courtney look-on in horror. Shade and Pat stand as streams of shadows erupt from Todd's body. One of the shadow tentacles launches towards Courtney, and Pat calls for her to watch out. He jumps in front of her and takes the brunt of the attack. Courtney screams for Pat while Jennie calls for Todd, darkness consuming the room.

Pat and Shade sit up in the middle of Main Street in a black and white Blue Valley. They look around at the slow-motion movements of pedestrians and the ominous surroundings of The Shadowlands. A car horn blares, and the men barely roll out of the way in time.[10] The men walk down Main Street as Pat questions if they're in The Shadowlands. Shade states they are because Pat insisted on helping those irksome children. This is just more proof that no good deed goes unpunished. He thinks they got here because Alan Scott's daughter has the power of light, but his son, for reasons he doesn't understand, has the power of the shadows, like him. Them coming into direct contact with each other caused some kind of feedback, which seems to have banished them here.

Pat's gotta find a way back, which is a brilliant strategy to Shade. He's truly watching a master at work. Pat snaps that he's doing the best can. Shade tells him to please don't apologize, as he can think enough for the two of them. Lucky for Pat, he's with the sole being in existence that knows how to escape this dreadful place. He approaches the Dallas Theater and is ready to get home. He pulls at the door but it doesn't budge. He shakes it off as he'll do it right here, and extends his hand. Black shadows swirl in front of them as a portal begins to manifest. A green light shines from the center, eventually knocking Shade off his feet. Pat drops to his aid, though the man is not okay. It seems that until Jennie's ring is free from its corruption, Shade is as useless as Pat.

308 SC (8)

He brushes off his cloak. Whatever's happening on the other side, Jennie's ring is still connected to The Shadowlands. A crack of thunder shakes the street and green lightning creases the sky. He remarks that isn't normal. Pat finds it hard to believe that anything is normal in this town. Believe it or not, The Shadowlands has rules, and Pat had better learn them. For one thing, this place preys on the subconscious; his fears and regrets. Shade, of course, doesn't harbor such worthless emotions, but he's quite sure Pat does. If Pat gives into them, it could jeopardize both of them. He pauses to ensure Pat's keeping up with all this, and the man's got it, he understands. They stop outside Richie Rock's Diner as Shade warns him that doorways here usually take people where they most desire to go, taking their cues from the subconscious. It rarely turns out for the best. If he can't get them home the way he did before, their only hope is to keep moving, avoiding the hungry wraiths Pat's insecurities will no doubt conjure up until Shade can get them out.

They walk through the door to Richie's and enter the diner, stopping Shade abruptly. The doorway should have taken them somewhere else, as the diner is insignificant to Shade. A table manifests in the center of the room as a man's deep southern accent drawls that the sentiments are not entirely true. He lays down some cards and turns to face the men, revealing himself as The Gambler. This is where Shade refused to forgive him. Pat's surprised to see Gambler, but Shade assures him it's not him, it's a construct. Gambler continues his mocking as it's awfully hypocritical of Shade not to forgive him. Pat tells Shade to ignore him, but Gambler isn't finished. He knows Shade caused his sister so much pain, yet she forgave him. Shade snaps that's enough, but the construct presses on about sweet, dear Emily. He asks if Shade remembers what he said to Emily on the day she died. Shade hurries them out of the diner, and they rush through the doorway, a white light enveloping them.

They run into The Pit Stop, which Shade likens is going from one grease pit to another. An army vehicle is parked in the center of the garage, a wrench clanking as a man works under the hood. He curses and Shade questions who the man is, causing Pat to shake his head. The man peeks around the hood and demands to know what Pat's standing around for, instructing him to grab a wrench. Pat's face contorts in confusion as he questions the man's identity - his dad.

Mr. Dugan mutters at the damn engine which keeps overheating. Sarge is gonna have his ass unless he can get her up and running. He asks if his son wants to help him. Pat admits he always tried to, and Mr. Dugan nods that he did try. He recalls the garage on the base and how Pat was always at his side. Shade tries to pull Pat away but he doesn't budge. Mr. Dugan's expression turns dark as he likens Pat to a tick on a dog. Every time he tried to fix something, he made it worse, like their family. He should have brought him and his mom closer together, but instead, she pushed Mr. Dugan away. He mocks how he was too hard on Pat, and how his wife worried about Pat's feelings. It made him weak. He scolds Pat to stand straight, and he instinctively does. He was never proud to call Pat his son.

Shade tries to help his friend by reminding him this is the Shadowlands, a nightmare version of the people in their lives. It twists their words. Pat shakes his head no, not this time, as his real father spoke every word of this. On cue, Mr. Dugan continues his barrage of abusive language. He tells his son that he's always been worthless, playing second fiddle to everyone in his life. He's never been a standout, a leader. Shade ushers Pat along as they need to go. Pat grimaces at Mr. Dugan, remarking that he still misses his Pop. He turns away and the men run out of The Pit Stop, as Mr. Dugan shouts that he should have been harder on Pat.

Pat and Shade appear in an early-century room where nurses and doctors surround a bed. A woman coughs from the bed. Shade's face falls as he remarks no. Pat asks what it is, but it's nothing Shade wishes to see. He grabs the doorknob and green energy sizzles his hand, burning him. He cries out in pain and moments later, the woman calls out, asking if that's Dickie. The nurses move to reveal a young Emily Swift, ill, asking if he's come to say goodbye. She doesn't want him to let her die alone, not like their father. Shade tries the doorknob again but it continues to burn him. He turns to Emily, who asks him not to ignore her, to please say something. Shade tries the door again but it won't budge. Pat knows it's difficult to lose people that they love. Shade asks him to please, spare him the bleeding-heart sentiments. Pat ignores him, bringing up how Courtney survived The Shadowlands. Shade remarks it's because of him, but Pat corrects that she got out because of him but survived because of herself. She had to face her own darkness to get past it. Shade can't believe Pat is telling him about darkness. Pat's just saying that maybe the key here is to face things and not run away. Shade pauses for a moment before painfully, yet blankly, admitting that he's incapable of feeling anything. Pat moves Shade back and then kicks open the doors, letting green energy flow into the room.

Shade and Pat land in the Whitmore-Dugan House with a thud. Shade groans in agony, as he can't travel through the fire like that again. While in pain, he tells Pat that Emily asked if he'd come to say goodbye. But the truth is, he didn't say anything to his sister the day she died because he wasn't there. He couldn't bear it, as he had to separate himself from her. Losing people is just too hard. Mr. Dugan suddenly snaps for Pat to forget that limey, as they're not done. Thunder rumbles in The Shadowlands and crosses into the real world.

They sit on the floor as Mr. Dugan and Barbara stand over the men. Mr. Dugan mocks Pat for thinking he's a good father when Mike, who materializes in a doorway looking solemn, does everything he can to get Pat's attention. Just like Pat did with his father. But he doesn't see Mike at all, so like Pat, he feels worthless. Shade warns Pat not to listen to them. Barbara warns Mr. Swift that he's going to die alone, just like his sister. No one's going to say goodbye because he hasn't earned it. Mr. Dugan dismisses her as she shouldn't be here, making her fade out of the room. He looks to Pat, warning that she'll never really be Mike's mom. Mike's mom abandoned him when he was three or four years old. Pat winces for the first time, feeling the weight of that accusation. Pat got Mike and left and never spoke about mommy again. He wanted Mike to forget Maggie and move on as he did. But Mike, who looks down morosely, thinks about his mom every day. He doesn't say it, but he feels as unwanted as Courtney does. Mike glares at Pat warning that one day, he's gonna hate Pat as much he hates his dad. Pat's face scrunches in confusion as he shakes his head. He doesn't hate his father, he never did. The Shade praises him for not giving in, as they'll get out if he doesn't.

308 SC (120)

They struggle to stand as the green fire consumes the house. They need to go, but Shade is too weak to move. He tells him to please go. Pat urges Shade to come, but he already told Pat that he could die going back into that fire. Pat snaps that he can either die in here, or he can die trying, but he has to pick one. Shade scowls that's fair enough, Pat Dugan. They hurry to the front door and Pat yanks it open. The men run through the white light.

A burst of green energy shines in Helix. Love and Courtney shield their eyes and when they do look, they see Todd and Jennie embracing. The siblings part and smile at the duo. Moments later, the wind gushes with the return of Pat and Shade. The shade looks incredulously at Courtney, then gives her a proud nod when he sees Todd and Jennie together.

Courtney, Pat, Shade, Jennie, and Todd gather in the hallway of Helix, facing Nurse Love. Courtney gives her a satisfied smile and Love admits she was right. Courtney asks where the skeleton guy is. He's calming their other patients, as they don't usually have nights with this much excitement. She hopes this won't become a regular occurrence. Jennie thinks they have it under control now. Love reminds them they both still have a home at Helix. Courtney thinks what they're doing here is wrong. Love pensively states that all of their patients are free to go any time they wish. No one is being held against their will. Todd confirms that's actually true, though Courtney still isn't pleased with them spying on her or her friends. Love doesn't know what she's talking about. She's talking about the camera they put up all over Blue Valley, inside their homes. Love is disturbed by the accusation, as they did no such thing. They know so much about Courtney and her friends because they did their research. But spying on her with hidden cameras is ridiculous. Shade hopes they're all done here, as he knows he is. He leaves the hall and Todd tells Love he's going to go with his sister. She doesn't think that's wise but wishes him the best of luck. She gestures to the door and the teens leave. She stops Pat as she trusts they'll all keep each other's secrets. He shifts his footing, wondering if she happened to teach fifth-grade math back in the early 1980s in Omaha, Nebraska. She doesn't much care for Mr. Dugan's attitude, making him smirk - he knew that was her. She watches him leave the institute.

On the lawn of Helix, Shade expresses to Pat his disbelief that there's someone else out there with the same powers as his, potentially even greater. Pat confuses this with envy, but Shade is sympathetic. When he first experienced the powers, they were frightening. Pat suggests he help Todd, and think about how different his life might have been had somebody helped him. He's lived like this for over 100 years, if there's anything on the planet that can help Todd figure this out, it's not Helix, it's him. Shade is no teacher, which Pat gets, but if he's looking for redemption for the past it's not just about not doing bad things. It's about doing good. He helped to destroy the JSA, which angers Shade as he did not kill, but Pat interrupts him. He was an accessory, whether Shade wants to face that or not. Those kids over there are the orphans that were left behind. Shade's heard enough from Stripesy. He groans as it's his heart's dream to be saddled with reprobates.

Todd, Jennie, and Courtney walk over and Shade awkwardly greets them. Rather than make his exit, he'd liked to extend a hand - that is, if they're amenable to his help with the shadows. Todd would appreciate that, though Jennie's not sure. Shade tells her to please, turn him down, then. Jennie needs to get to New York, which is news to Courtney. Jennie elaborates that's where Sandy Hawkins lives who is Wesley Dodd's nephew. Pat is surprised at her mention of Wesley Dodds, the Sandman. Shade wrinkles his face in disgust, as he agreed to help two children, not three. Jennie ignores him. Sandy has nightmares of people in trouble like his uncle used to. That's how she knew Todd was here. Sandy dreamt about her and Todd and reached out to her. She promised she'd help him with his nightmares once she found Todd. Shade groans over New York, begrudgingly agreeing to go. But things are going to be different from now on, as he'll have none of her outlandish theatrics. He flicks his cane and a portal appears. He instructs them to follow him as she walks through the portal. Todd and Jennie follow him, and she calls back a goodbye to Courtney. The portal closes and Courtney looks to Pat, wondering how they're going to get home now.

308 SC (144)

They take a bus out of Civic City. Courtney can't believe the Shade actually agreed to help them, but that proves it's possible that people can reform. She's proud she helped Jennie and Todd just like she helped Yolanda, Rick, and Beth without the staff. She knows what she needs to do when she gets back. She needs to not give up on the villains, on her friends, or herself. Pat remains silent as she asks what he thinks. It sounds good to him, all of it. He apologizes as he just can't shake it. She understands - when she went to The Shadowlands, she saw and heard stuff that was really hard to see too. If she wants to talk about them she's here for him, whenever, but he doesn't yet. He thanks her and she nods to him. This has left them with one question, though. If Helix hasn't been the one spying on them, then who has.[11]

Pat and Courtney return to Blue Valley, with Barbara greeting them when they enter the house. Courtney heads upstairs to find Yolanda, who is staying with the family. Barbara turns to her husband, who claims he's fine, but she knows he went to that place, The Shadowlands. She asks what he saw but he remains silent. She hugs him tightly and they hold one another.

Barbara and Pat walk into the kitchen. He has to get down to The Pit Stop to suit up and help Sylvester on his hunt. She wants him to rest but he can't. They might have gotten the cameras down, but they still don't know who's been watching them. He needs to go help Sylvester. She stops him for a moment, because what he just went through, it's not normal for anyone. She tells him to please, just talk to her. He clears his throat then admits he saw his dad. He said the same twisted stuff he'd tell Pat when he was a kid. Only that's not what got to him. She asks what did, and he takes a moment before answering. That place made him feel like he's following in his father's footsteps by making Mike feel like he's not good enough. Barbara shoots that down instantly, as he shouldn't think that for one second. Mike is following in Pat's footsteps, not Mr. Dugan's. That why he's bright, strong, and kind. He knows Pat loves him. Pat admits he hasn't talked much about Mike's mom. They weren't together long, which of course, Barbara knows. He didn't even know about Mike until after they'd split up. But when he found out, he's never been so happy. There was nothing that was going to keep him from being in his life. They shared custody for a couple years. Until one day, a policeman knocked on the door with Mike. He'd been in a shelter overnight, alone, which worries Barbara. Maggie had left him there and didn't even turn up again until after she'd been arrested for possession. Pat got full custody and she didn't even put up a fight. She just walked away from Mike, who used to ask Pat if he could talk to her. He would say no and after a while, he just stopped asking. He thought he was protecting Mike by treating her like she didn't exist. But now he doesn't know if it was right, something Barbara understands. When Courtney's father came to Blue Valley, Barbara blamed herself for the hurt it caused her daughter. But she does think Courtney got some closure from it as it made her stronger, and the bond between them stronger. Sometimes, letting their kids face the pain is the only way to help them learn how to cope with it. Maybe Mike needs to see his mom again.

Later that morning, Pat sits at his workbench in The Pit Stop, pensively looking at his computer. He searches for Maggie Shaw, Reno and the results show Mike's mom. Crusher walks into the garage a moment later, wanting to check in, since he and his family were being spied on just like Pat. He can't wait to catch these peepers, as it'll be relief to cut loose after being on a leash for so long. He asks where Pemberton is, and Pat explains how Beh tracked the feed to a mine in Utah. Crusher questions what Pat is doing, then, and he merely says he's looking for someone. The radio crackles and he picks it up, greeting Sylvester. The search is terrible as he's hit another dead end. Beth thinks the signal is being masked since it's bouncing all over the place. Crusher picks up a piece of equipment and whispers what this is, and Pat whispers back to leave it alone. Sylvester is heading back unless Beth locks onto another lead. Pat tells him to be careful and he'll see him in a few hours. After a moment, Crusher asks Pat who he's looking for. Pat admits it's Mike's mom. Crusher asks why he's Googling the ex, though Pat just wants to figure out if she's in any shape to talk to Mike. It's kind of a long story, which Crusher wants to hear. Pat appreciates it, but no offense to him, but it's a little more complicated than cardio. Crusher softens a bit as Pat's gotta know by now that he can be trusted. So, he wants them to talk. Pat smiles at his friend, pleasantly surprised.

Meanwhile, the JSA impulsively attacks the Mahkent residence, an action that leaves battle lines clearly drawn.[12]

The morning after the fight, at the Whitmore-Dugan House, Pat tries calling Mike's cellphone, though he doesn't pick up. He tells the family that he still isn't answering his phone. Courtney puts her phone away, since Jakeem isn't answering either. Yolanda asks where they could possibly be. Pat sighs that Mike told him he was going to spend the night at Jakeem's and that Jakeem told his mom that he was spending the night here. Yolanda wonders if they think the Mahkents did something to them. Pat, begins to worry if they found out that Mike killed Jordan, but Sylvester then cuts him off. Mike and Jakeem lied about where they were before everything with those Norwegian frosted freaks went down. So they boy were already off doing whatever they set out to do. Pat still has to be sure that the Mahkents are not involved and Barbara agrees. Courtney nervously says that Beth tracked the receiving signal from the spy cameras to the Mahkent house. They're the ones who've been watching them, so they have to be involved. Sylvester isn't convinced, as they've been set up before. She looks at him curiously. He tells her to think about it -- at the exact moment she and Cameron were trying to bury past demons, Beth suddenly cracks into info that points the rest of the team at the Mahkent house like a gun, making everything go boom. He's betting one of his red boots and one of Pat's puffer vests that the signal Beth found was a fabrication. Someone is trying to distract them. Yolanda questions that if the Mahkents haven't been watching the ones watching them, then who's left.

Pat and Sylvester pull up to the Mahkent house in Sylvester's mustang. Sylvester parks the car and tells Pat that not bringing the staff is a mistake. Pat reminds him they aren't here to fight. Sylvester thinks they're here to die, then, earning a sigh from Pat. He apologizes as he knows Pat's worried about Mike, but he's worried about Pat. These people are evil. They're the worst of the bunch. They could kill them the second they step on the front porch Pat doesn't care, because if Mike's in there, he wants to know about it right now. If he's not, then they still got a chance to calm the waters before any more blood gets spilled. They need to try. They approach the house as Pat reminds him that, no matter what they say, or do, to follow his lead, and to check his temper like Rick should've done. Sylvester tells Pat that he's got it. They knock on the door and Sofus appears, confused by their presence. Pat asks if he feels alright, and Sofus tells them to come in. Once the men cross the threshold, Sofus looks around outside as if making sure no one else is around.

The trio convenes in the living room where the fight took place, the couches back in their usual spots. Sofus remarks that he offer them some tea, but he's in no shape to make it. Pat and Sylvester sit down and Pat immediately asks if Sofus has seen Mike. Sofus hasn't, but asks if they should have. Pat presses that after everything that's happened, he wants to know if they've done something to his son and his friend, Jakeem. If Sofus felt better, he'd be angry at the allegation that he would hurt a child. Sylvester scoffs that he just tried to freeze-dry a bunch of kids, calling him Grandpa Frostbite. Pat looks over at him and Sylvester apologizes quickly. Sofus then says yes, he was, but they were defending themselves, and calls him Starman. Pat questions where Sofus's wife is. He explains she went out to pick up some things for his recovery. Pat's glad he's doing okay, but Sofus sighs as this never should have happened. They brought their son to this country to escape what they faced back home. He tells Pat and Sylvester that they don't understand what their family has endured over the centuries. They've been hunted because of what they could do. Fathers, mothers, even children burnt alive like witches. Pat tells Sofus that they don't want to hurt him, offering to put an end to this feud. Sofus reminds Pat he killed their son. The why, and the how doesn't matter. That there's no coming back from that, not for his wife. He suggests Pat should take his family and friends far away from Blue Valley, or to come for them as others have before. Sylvester would love to take a shot at him. He reaches out his fist to Pat for a fist bump, but Pat merely looks over at him. Sofus suggests they go now, before his wife returns and kills both of them where they sit. He tells him to go, please. The men stand and leave the home as Sofus sits on the couch, looking pensive.

310 SC (122)

Sylvester and Pat head to The Pit Stop to work on S.T.R.I.P.E.. Pat will hit the sky to see if can find any clue up there. He's about to get into the robt when the door opens, with Mike and Jakeem running in. Mike calls out for his dad, who asks where they've been. Mike explains they were in the woods. Pat hurries down the ladder to hug him. He makes sure they're both all right, ensuring they are. They got a lot of folks worried, asking if they know that. They do, and Jakeem tells Pat and Sylvester they found a monster in the woods. The adults question the statement, with Sylvester asking if it was Grundy. Jakeem blurts out it was a huge mutant gorilla. The men exchange a worried look, as Mike continues that it was a white one. They recognize the key words of a white gorilla. Jakeem asks if they know what it is, and they do. It's one of the most dangerous things that the JSA ever faced.

Courtney returns home after her meeting with Cameron, finding that Beth, Yolanda, Mike, Jakeem, Barbara, Pat, and Sylvester are gathered. Barbara asks if she's alright, and Courtney says that she's fine. Pat asks about Rick, but Beth hasn't heard back from him yet. Pat scoffs that he needs to get his head on straight, because the man that Mike and Jakeem found, he's worst threat they can imagine. Mike reminds Pat that the creature isn't a man. Sylvester says that he used to be. When the Justice Society first formed, there was a scientist, though the didn't know his real identity. He just went by "The Ultra-Humanite", but he went by a lot of other names. When they first met, he was just another criminal until he escaped the JSA by putting his brain into the body of an actress name Dolores Winters. Pat knows it sounds like a science-fiction horror movie, but it's exactly what happened. Barbara is stunned over him putting his brain into Dolores Winters, the famous actress. Jakeem asks how could he do that, with Yolanda suggesting magic. Pat reveals it was surgery, with a little help from Dragon King. Sylvester doesn't even know if the scientist body they first met him in was his original one. Anyway, he assumed Dolores Winters' identity and fooled everyone. Pat adds that Dolores went on to win an Oscar, which Beth knows is for "Remembering to Forget", as it's one of her mom's favorites. Sylvester reveals that the Ultra-Humanite had been in Dolores' skull for over a year by then. Jakeem realizes that he won the award, with Pat confirming. Sylvester adds that when the JSA found out the truth about Winters, the Ultra-Humanite sought out a body strong enough to destroy the JSA. So he and Dragon King stitched that mutated ape together and put his brain in it. Sylvester thinks that has to be the one who sucker-punched him back at The Gambler's trailer. that Humanite had been in Dolores's skull for a year by that time. Jakeem says then he technically won the award. Pat tells Jakeem exactly. Mike thinks that's probably who killed The Gambler, too. Sylvester confirms that would be his M.O., with Barbara wonder what he wants. Aside from revenge against the JSA, Sylvester admits it's anyone's guess.

Courtney suggests the Ultra-Humanite is the next Eclipso. Pat asks what she means by that. He's the next great evil that has to be stopped by all of them. That's what she was talking about when she said they had to come together - the Crocks, Cindy, and hesitantly, now the Mahkents. If this villain is as powerful as they say, it'll take everyone to stop him, including the Mahkents. Yolanda knows Courtney wants to help Cameron, but Courtney cuts her off. This isn't just about helping Cameron, it's about all of them. Good and bad have come together before, and they can do it again, and get another new start. Sylvester thinks she might be right. Pat insists it's gonna take each and everyone of them, though, working together. One-by-one, the teams agree on the decision - first the Young All-Stars and then the JSA.[13]

Courtney takes point on the JSA meeting. She concludes that the Ultra-Humanite killed The Gambler, destroyed his trailer, and stabbed him in the heart with his claw. Mike didn't see any claws, so it's more like it was his teeth. Jakeem adds they were big and sharp. Courtney dismisses the teeth, as however he was killed, this is exactly why she's been asking everyone to work together. Whether someone belongs to the JSA or the ISA, their town needs them again. She knows putting the past behind them has been challenging for everyone. Sylvester cuts her off, admitting that it's especially hard for him. Pat reassures him that he's working at it, and that's what matters. Courtney agrees as they've made progress - the Crocks are with them, and she thinks they can get Cindy back on board. Yolanda questions why they're bothering with Cindy again. It's because she's already on the hunt for the Ultra-Humanite, so she might know what he's up to. Jakeem admits that Cindy seemed pretty firm on working solo. If history has taught Pat anything, it's that whatever grand plan the Ultra-Humanite might have, it'll involve hurting a lot of people, including them. This "ain't no Donkey Kong". Sylvester chimes in that if they don't stop him, it'll be game over, imitating a losing video game sound from 1981. While Mike and Jakeem laugh, the rest of the team force smiles. Pat tells Sylvestser that he doesn't have to make a joke on top of every joke he does. Sylvester smirks that it's called banter - all superheroes use it during stressful situations to defuse tension. Pat knows, but it just seems like he always has to get the last work in on him. Sylvester doesn't know what he's talking about, and Pat points out that he's doing it right there.

A silence falls over the room. Sylvester asks if this is what he wants - no banter, just an overly serious conversation that scares the hell out of everyone. Barbara tells the guys to stop, and Pat apologizes to Barb. Sylvester does the same seconds later. Courtney shakes it off as banter aside, they need the Mahkents too. They need Cameron. Mike smirks that she means that she does. She ignores his comment, insisting he's as powerful as his father was. Mike worries that if they team up and then the Mahkents will put him on ice when they figure out that he ran their son over. Courtney assures him they won't, admitting they think she killed Jordan. Everyone questions this, but she dismisses it as not being important. A pounding on the front door casts a silence over the room. Courtney starts towards the door, with Pat telling her to be careful. She opens the door and is surprised to see Artemis Crock on the other side. She asks if Courtney has seen her parents.

The JSA splits up to look for the Crocks and Ultra-Humanite. Pat turns on S.T.R.I.P.E. when his phone rings. He answers a call from Court, and his face falls at the news he's given - the Crocks are dead. Mike looks up from the station where he's working. He looks over at Pat, asking what it is. Pat returns home where he comforts Barbara, who tells him and Courtney that Jordan Mahkent is back. Courtney calls Starman to tell him the news, and the man erupts by destroying the Etter barn.

Once Sylvester returns to the Whitmore-Dugan house, he swipes objects off the table in the basement. Pat tells him to calm down, but a raging Sylvester refuses. He's taking Icicle out the first chance he gets. Pat reasons that executing him is not the way to handle it, but Sylvester shouts back that the creep killed him. Pat knows, because he was there. Sylvester flips a table over. Jordan Mahkent put him in the ground. Pat buried him, and he doesn't want to do it again. Sylvester ignores him. All this talk about unity and second chances, they gotta draw the line somewhere, and Icicle is it. Pat wants to act together as a team, but Sylvester asks why they should bother. Pat tried that before and Icicle is, surprise, not dead. Pat reassures him that he, everyone else, thought Icicle was dead. Sylvester cruelly reminds him that he should have made sure, and he's gotta check his work. If he had, none of this would be happening. Pat's just saying they have to have a plan. There's a way to take care of Jordan Mahkent and handle the Ultra-Humanite. They're sworn enemies and they can use that to their advantage. Sylvester, in disbelief, hopes Pat isn't suggesting they lean into this nonsense Icicle's been spouting off about teaming up and letting things go. He shouts that it's bygones, his ass. That's not what Pat is saying. Sylvester cuts him off and tells him what the plan is. He's taking out Icicle himself whether anyone approves of it or not.

311 SC (146)

Once it's dark out, Sylvester leans on the porch railing and Pat joins him. Courtney should be here any minute. Sylvester remarks that she has to agree to this, she just has too. Pat shakes his head as she doesn't have to do anything. Courtney walks up the steps, asking what it is she's supposed to do. Pat says they're just talking. Sylvester admits he wants to go after Icicle. Courtney, tired, says Jordan wants to work together. Sylvester scoffs, they all know that's a lie, but she wonders if it isn't. Sylvester lets out a sigh, telling Courtney that after everything she's been through since she picked up that staff, he wonders how she can be so naive. Pat protectively starts to tell Sylvester something, but is cut off. Sylvester's just saying that Jordan's just playing them like he always has. If he's sworn enemies with the Ultra-Humanite, then Jordan Mahkent is using them to save himself from that monster. Hell, for all they know, it came back to Blue Valley looking for the ISA, not them. He steps closer to her. After all the support he's given her, he's asking her to let him take the staff and face the man who killed him and his friends. Courtney looks up at him and then over to Pat.[14]

In the morning, Pat walks into Courtney's room and finds her sitting at her window seat. She can't stop thinking about Artemis and how alone she is. Sylvester wanting to take the staff and taking on Icicle himself - there's so much wrong with that. Pat agrees but Sylvester still thinks Icicle is his fight. Barbara enters the room, remarking it's everyone's fight. She doesn't care what Jordan says about wanting peace. He didn't kill the Crocks out of self-defense and needs to be stopped. Pat agrees with her. Pat and Courtney head to the basement where they find Starman's suit on the bed and Cosmo in its case. Pat finds a note that says he has a few things to do but will be back soon. She remarks they have to find him.

By evening, Pat jogs down the steps to the basement where Sylvester is waiting, dressed as Starman. Sylvester notices Courtney took the staff. Pat explains she went looking for him, and ignores his friend's question on when she'll be back. They decided they're not going to let him go alone. He's tried to be diplomatic, but it's not Pat's decision to make, it's his. Pat argues that Jordan's more powerful than ever, as Beth still doesn't know what Jordan did with the Crocks. With all due respect to the dead, Sylvester's not the Crocks. He can protect himself, he shouldn't even have to say that. Pat states he needs their help. Sylvester angrily swipes everything off the table. He doesn't want their help. Sylvester cruelly asks if he has to spell it out for him. Just look at him, he put a bunch of kids in harm's way to make himself feel important. Pat knows that's just not true, but Sylvester argues that it is. The only reason they respect Pat is because they weren't there to see what an ineffectual loser Stripesy really was. He was a laughingstock, the joke of the entire JSA. Pat, hurt by the words, wonders why he's saying this to him. Sylvester's tried to let this go, but he can't. He steps closer to Pat. The hard truth is that the night the JSA went up against the ISA, Pat wouldn't stop calling Sylvester on the radio. Then he came back when Starman ordered him to stay away. Pat distracted him during the most important fight of his life and got him killed. He shoves Pat as emphasis. Sylvester's not gonna let it happen again. Stripesy's no hero - not then and not now. He's just a sidekick. Pat looks up at his best friends face, grimacing in pain.

"Sylvester" goes upstairs where he forcibly takes Cosmo from Courtney. Then, Pat, Courtney, Barbara, Beth, and Yolanda convene at the dining room table. Barbara asks how he took the staff from her. He asked Cosmo to come to him and she couldn't do anything about it. Yolanda wonders why it didn't come back. Courtney tearfully thinks it's because she's not Starman. Pat's going to go and get S.T.R.I.P.E. to try and intercept Sylvester before he gets to Jordan's. Beth says they need Rick and he needs their. Pat tells them to go talk to him and he'll check in later. He puts a hand on Courtney's shoulder, as he's really sorry. She tells him he didn't do anything wrong, and he leaves. She puts her head in her hand.

Pat arrives at The Pit Stop to find Zeek shaking his head while looking at a dismantled S.T.R.I.P.E. whose parts are everywhere. The man just walked in and then went flying off like a witch on a broomstick. Pat remarks that Sylvester's lost his mind, but Zeek isn't so sure. He has something to run by Dugan. Maybe, just maybe, Sylvester is doing to Pat when he did to Little Dugan when Eclipso was prancing around Blue Valley. Pat can't remember what he did, so Zeek explains further. He told Mike to meet him when S.T.R.I.P.E. was fixed, knowing good and well it wouldn't be. He lied to protect him. Pat realizes Sylvester's lying to protect him now. He'd rather they hate him than have them get hurt. Which means Sylvester's going to get himself killed. Pat tells Zeek to grab that wrench has he's gotta move face. Zeek tells him to hold up. He's as fast as they come, but putting old Humpty Dumpty together here is going to take more than a few minutes. Pat understands that, but he has an idea. Zeek realizes what he means and nods.

312 SC (95)

Stripesy, holding a flamethrower, approaches the Mahkent Residence. The front door is ajar and he pushes it open the rest of the way to walk inside. The house is empty. Pat walks up the steps of the Mahkent residence, readying himself as he rounds the corner. He pushes open Cameron's bedroom door, though the room is empty. Starman pulls him back into the hall, angrily questioning why he's there. Stripesy knows what he's doing - saying what he said, taking out S.T.R.I.P.E., but he's not letting him do it alone. Sylvester states this is his fight, but Pat doesn't think it has to be. The reason Sylvester was brought back from the dead was to fight another man back from the death. To avenge the JSA, to fix his mistakes. He's the reason the JSA died. They should have come back instead of him. So if he dies making things right than he dies. Pat doesn't want him to say that. Sylvester believes this is his destiny, but Pat thinks it's his destiny too, than. Sylvester is Pat's friend, his partner, and he's not letting him do this alone, and that's it. After a moment, Sylvester starts to talk about everything he said back there. Pat knows and tells him to forget it, as they have to do this. The two walk down the hall, passing the Mahkent family crest.

Stripesy opens the door to the Mahkent living room. Behind him, Starman stands, scars showing from just beyond his hairline. He strikes Stripesy over the head with the staff, knocking him out. He stands by the body as Jordan emerges from the side. He asks what they do now. Ultra-Humanite smirks that he'll take care of him. He smiles as this will be fun.

Pat wakes up in the woods surrounded by dirt. He's in a grave with his arms restrained behind his body. Ultra-Humanite, in the body of Sylvester, stands above the grave. He commands an upset Cosmo to be stop it now. He commands it to power down and it does. Pat asks how he controls the staff, and Ultra-Humanite smirks that he's Starman. Well, he's Starman now. As Dolores Winters said in "The Confidence Game", he's been had, kiddo. He laughs and picks up a shovel, throwing dirt into the grave on top of Pat. Pat puts the pieces together, realizing he's the Ultra-Humanite. He asks about Sylvester. Humanite reveals that Dr. McNider was right about the cosmic energy preserving the body, but Sylvester's brain is long gone. He reminisces about having so much fun together in the old days. Star-Spangled Kid and Stripesy alongside the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Pat asks what the hell he's talking about. Ultra-Humanite knows he remembers. After Ted gave "him" the staff, it was Starman and the JSA. Those are the big leagues. Now, Starman and S.T.R.I.P.E. - they made a real team again, and these were great times. He's sad they won't have that anymore because, as he emotionally says, Pat's his friend, his brother. He's sorry it has to end like this. Pat shakes his head as he's not Sylvester. Humanite chuckles and snaps out of the emotion, realizing he's right. Sometimes he just gets lost in the role and just forgets. He shovels more dirt into the grave, including over his face. Pat shouts out for him wait a second, to hold, stop it, as he doesn't have to do this. He talks to Sylvester, telling him he's his friend. Humanite nods as that's right, and Pat smiles a little. So it doesn't have to happen like this. He asks "Sylvester" to help him out of there. Humanite nods and puts the shovel down He crouches down by the hole as Pat encourages him to just grab onto him, remind him that he can do it. Humanite struggles for a moment then smiles, as that was good, really good. Pat almost had him there. He chuckles as he goes back to the dirt. Pat remarks that he's insane. Humanite knows and throws more dirt in the hole.

He looks at the sky. It's a beautiful night. For decades, he enjoyed being in that beast that's been roaming these woods. Just the raw strength helped him survive the JSA attacks, one after the other. But being in that monster, he had to stay hidden. He grew tired of hiding. He missed the adulation that Dolores Winters got. He wanted that again. He knows Jordan and Dr. Ito may have other plans, but for me, that's what this is all about. So after the operation, he did some traveling. He did he research. He shovels as he remembers talking to almost everyone Pat knew, from his landlord in Van Nuys, to Mike's mom at the diner. When he finally made my way to Pat, he was more than ready to play that role. He was accepted back so quickly because everyone worshipped Starman, especially Pat. But he had to cement that acceptance. So he made him a victim with the help of some friends. He recalls landing in a clearing where Jordan and Ito, who is in the gorilla body, are standing. That's when he was attacked outside of Sharpe's trailer by Ito. Now, Humanite reveals that Pat brought him into the circle of trust. Pat brought him closer to Courtney, and more importantly, to his ultimate prize, the Staff. He remembers standing in the basement of the Whitmore-Dugan house when Courtney decides to share the staff with "Sylvester". It drifts towards him and he holds it. Now, Humanite admits he not only bonded with all of them, he bonded with it. Thanks to Courtney, the bond with the Staff is now complete.

At the same time, he had to make sure Courtney's friends stayed out of his way because if anyone saw through his disguise, it would be Cindy Burman. So he used Yolanda to push her away. He recalls talking to her in the diner and telling her that the way she won't let Dragon King's kid off the hook is very Ted. It's good judgment. He flashes to talking with Rick, Beth, and Yolanda in The Pit Stop, where he urged Beth to cut off her parents to keep her distracted. He tells Beth that the first rule he has is protect the family. Humanite chuckles over Rick, as he's Rex Tyler's angry little brute. They all know what Rex went through before he set a limiter on that hourglass. He would hate to be Rick right now - he must be in a world of pain. Finally, Pat's son. He told Mike to go prove he could do what Pat said he couldn't. Humanite put Mike and his inept friend with the pen in harm's way. That worked out great. It all worked out, and so will the rest of their plan. He asks if Pat wants to hear Jordan's endgame, but silence follows. He calls out for Pat and than looks down at the grave, which is full. He says bye to Pat and walks away, leaving the unmarked grave.[15]

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A storm brews over Blue Valley, and the rain beats down on the freshly dug grave. Pat's face breaks through the soil as he groans. He pulls his arms out, grabbing onto the soil as coughs and writhes in pain. Meanwhile, the JSA and Barbara try to find Pat, but his phone goes straight to voicemail. Jordan has Cameron lure Stargirl and the JSA to Zeek's Junkyard.

The JSA arrives at the junkyard where they see Icicle, "Starman" who wields the staff, and Sofus, Lily, and Cameron waiting for them. Icicle greets Courtney, though Cameron barely meets her gaze. Icicle stands alongside his family and "Starman" tonight, here on neutral round, with only good intentions. Stargirl asks where Pat is. "Starman" is sorry, but she's gone. Pat came to see him after Jordan and he settled things. He apologized and tried to convince Pat to join forces with both of them, but he refused. He went into the woods alone, looking for the Ultra-Humanite, who killed him. This lands hard with Courtney. As she processes, Icicle tells her that if they're going to get any justice for Pat, they need to team up. She doesn't believe anything he says. "Starman" knows he was harsh earlier, but Stargirl cuts him off. They're both lying, and Sylvester has been lying since he came to Blue Valley.

Cameron chimes in for the first time, as he wouldn't lie to her. He's sorry about Pat, he's so sorry, but the only thing they can do now is work together and stop that monster before it hurts anyone else. Stargirl struggles for a moment until a whooshing sound gets everyone's attention. From the sky, S.T.R.I.P.E. appears, landing behind the JSA as his boosters burn into the ground. The motor revs and Stargirl questions if it's Pat. It is him, but that's not Sylvester, it's the Ultra-Humanite. The team turns back to their enemies. Ultra-Humanite rhetorically shouts out if Pat's kidding him, and angrily questions why Stripesy won't die. He shoves past Icicle and blasts S.T.R.I.P.E. with the staff, sending the robot tumbling away. He takes to the air after S.T.R.I.P.E.

Ultra-Humanite sends blasts of cosmic energy towards S.T.R.I.P.E., causing a car to explode. He lands four blasts on the robot and then pauses for a moment to muse that Pat has a lot of heart. He doesn't know how Pat dug himself out of that grave, but he's going to wish he hadn't. Pat flicks switches and knobs from inside the pilot's chair. He doesn't like looking at Ultra-Humanite and seeing his best friend's face. So he's going to knock it off. He extends his fist and shoots it at Ultra-Humanite, who twirls the staff into a shield that ricochets the punch. He takes into the air and attacks S.T.R.I.P.E. from above, shooting beams of energy as he lands atop a car. S.T.R.I.P.E. picks up a car and throws it at Ultra-Humanite, who spins the staff again, this time throwing it. The staff slices the car into two pieces that fall on either side of its handler. It hits S.T.R.I.P.E. in the chest and then boomerangs back to Ultra-Humanite's waiting hands. He grips either side of the horizontal staff and flies forward, pushing the robot into a car, and triggering an explosion.

Ultra-Humanite tells Pat that none of this had to happen. This all could have been so easy. Pat tries to recover as he flicks switches inside S.T.R.I.P.E. Humanite continues to monologue his original plan of Courtney giving up the staff, her friends following him, and them changing the world with Icicle for the better. For Pat's family, too. This could have been perfect for everyone. But Pat couldn't just stay in his lane and just stay dead. He had to fight back. So now, all of them are going to die. Because he will not stop being Starman - ever. He slices through S.T.R.I.P.E.'s chest plate, sending sparks everywhere. He yanks Pat out of the robot, throwing him into a car. He laughs maniacally that there's no more robot.

He laughs as he shoots energy near Pat, who seeks shelter behind a car. He laughs as Pat narrowly avoids the attack, calling him a slippery little devil. Now injured, Pat tries to crawl away from the Ultra-Humanite, who twirls the staff happily. He points it at Pat, ready to end this for real this time. He tells Pat goodbye and the staff shifts color to orange, glowing brighter. Stargirl runs in shouting to distract Humanite. She firms says the staff doesn't work for him. Cosmo sputters then shuts down, going dormant in Ultra-Humanite's hands.

She readies herself as they rush toward one another. She flips out of the way of his attack and lands, grabbing the staff. It lights up in her grasp and then goes dormant for a moment. She uses it to sweep "Starman" off his feet, though the man recovers with a flip. She swings at him but he grabs the staff, locking onto it with one hand. With his other hand, he tries to take the staff from her by sheer will. The staff jerks and the two warring handlers lock into place with the staff, pushing against one another as they try to pull the staff to their side. A battle of will commences as she tells Ultra-Humanite that he is not worthy. They groan as they push onto the staff. It sends out a blast of energy that sends them flying away from each other. Cosmo stays between them.

Stargirl flips through the air and lands on her feet in a crouch, while Ultra-Humanite skids across the ground. She looks up and triumphantly says, "but I am". She holds out her hand and Cosmo rushes to her grasp, reuniting with its true handler. The pair rise up from the ground slowly, sparks flying from the exploded car. She gives a confident smirk and raises the staff to her side. Pat stands up in pain as he looks at her. Ultra-Humanite watches in anger. Stargirl stands and looks at Cosmo, who warbles. She remarks that she missed it too. Her smile falls as she looks to her enemy, readying herself for a fight. Pat stands in front of Stargirl as Ultra-Humanite stands. Pat looks to Stargirl and nods. The girl runs off and Pat glares at Ultra-Humanite, taunting him as he doesn't have the staff anymore. The men barrel toward one another and fight hand-to-hand, exchanging heavy-hitting blows.

Ultra-Humanite shouts that Pat's supposed to be his friend, pushing him against a car. Pat snaps back that Humanite's not Sylvester and punches him to the ground. Humanite and Pat are lock into a punching match, though Humanite gains the upper hand. He hits Pat to the ground with another punch, and he falls. He sees a rock a few inches away and grabs it. He swings the item at Humanite, striking him across the head with enough force that the rock splinters, knocking Humanite unconscious. Pat stands above him bloody, in pain, tired, yet victorious. He looks down at the body of his friend.

In the morning, Pat pushes Cosmo's old crate across the basement floor. Courtney twirls Cosmo so it lands in her palm. She looks over at the case next to the bed. The staff warbles and Courtney insists that if he still wants to use the fancy crate, he can. Just because the Ultra-Humanite made it, but she doesn't get to finish. Cosmo twirls her around in excitement and flips over itself. The old crate opens as it rests inside the crate, glowing happily. Pat cheers at the Cosmo is back, closing the lid as the staff goes dormant. He guesses that Cosmo just wants old faithful. She smiles at him, alluding to him as being old faithful. He chuckles at her and takes a seat on the steps.

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She assures him the statement is because he showed up just in time. He's not sure how he feels about the "old" part, but he's definitely feeling his age today. She asks how in the world he got out, sitting next to him. He had experience - Sylvester's very first adversary took him hostage. A guy by the name of Dr. Weerd - W-E-E-R-D. Anyhow, when Sylvester rescued him, he taught him a little trick. How to disjoint both thumbs so he could slip any restraint. That's what he did down there, and he was able to dig his way out. It's pretty lucky that Sylvester taught him to do that because he thinks he would have died down there. Courtney smiles that Sylvester saved his life one more time, which makes Pat chuckle at the irony. She's really sorry it wasn't really him who came back. He is too, and a moment of silence falls between them. She heard him, or the Ultra-Humanite, say all of those horrible things to Pat down here. She starts to tell Pat what happened when he came back upstairs, and Pat closes the distance between them. He puts his arm around her shoulders. He heard her too. Every word. She smiles tearfully at him and he thanks her. She nods and they rest their heads together.

Across town at the Blue Valley Medical Center, Dr. Charles McNider scans Sylvester's body with his sunglasses. He tells Pat and Courtney that Sylvester's body is still perfectly fine, but there was a brain bleed that has left the Ultra-Humanite's mind irrevocably damaged. For all intents and purposes, he's brain-dead. Courtney asks what they should do now. Pat tells her they don't worry about the Ultra-Humanite anymore. But she means about Sylvester and his brain. Pat reveals that Humanite said it was gone. Of course, he lied to them every moment of every day. He meets Courtney's gaze. He decides to keep him on life support, just in case.

Pat and Barbara park outside Richie Rock's Diner, supporting Mike as someone should be inside. They'll wait outside if that's okay unless he wants them to leave. Mike asks them to wait, and they agree with a forced smile. Barbara wishes Mike luck as he gets out, walking into the diner and passed Maria. Mike's birth mother Maggie Shaw stands from the table by the window, greeting Mike. The duo takes a seat. Pat looks at Barbara and holds her hand.

After a while, Pat and Barbara watch as Mike hugs Maggie and then leaves the diner. Maggie waves goodbye to Mike and mouths a bye to Pat. Mike gets in the backseat and Pat asks him how it went. It was nice. It seems like she's got some stuff figured out, and seems like she's doing good. Barbara looks away and Mike notices. He thanks Pat for asking if he wanted to see her. Pat's proud of him, which makes Mike nod. He looks at Barbara and says, "thanks mom". She looks at him with an emotional smile. They love him very much. Mike looks between his parents, softly saying he loves them too. Pat nods and starts the car.

One night at the Whitmore-Dugan House, Mike and Jakeem chase after Buddy, who has hold of the Dragon King gorilla plushie. They shout for him to put it down as it's dangerous and very bad. Jakeem cries out that Buddy ripped his arm off, with Mike exclaiming that's not his arm. Cindy smirks from the smaller kitchen table, asking her daddy even if he's having fun. Pat hands Yolanda a bowl of pasta, asking if she minds taking it. She takes it and walks over to the dinner table, where the Chapels and Rick are standing.

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Yolanda walks into the hall and decides to call her mother. Barbara pauses when she sees Yolanda but ultimately heads into the kitchen. She asks Pat where Court is. He's sure she'll be home soon. They embrace in a side hug, looking over at their guests. Beth and Rick ultimately meet on one side of the table, while James pulls out Bridget's chair for her so they can sit. Yolanda joins Beth and Rick, wiping her tears. Beth gives her friend a side hug and a comforting smile. Barbara rests her head on Pat's shoulder, smiling.[16]


You were a good friend.
Starman in "Stargirl"

Pat is a kind-hearted and brave man with a strong sense of loyalty. He stayed by his best friend through the many phases of their lives. His loyalty to his friends lasted well after their deaths. He even came to Blue Valley in the hopes of finding the people responsible for their deaths. He felt honored to be a side-kick and enjoys helping others. He is protective of his family, including his new stepdaughter, Courtney. He has a good sense of humor that sometimes is overlooked by his family or friends.

When it comes to the new JSA, Pat serves as more than just their trainer, he is their father-figure due to the complicated family situations of each of the members. He doesn't seem to mind as he sees the kids as his own, just as he does Courtney. During Pat's time as Starman's sidekick, he was often outspoken and excitable to even be a part of the JSA at all, similar to how his own son, Mike. Pat often referred to members of the original team by their superhero names instead of their actual names. Due to his friendship with Sylvester and idolization for the JSA, Pat overlooked how Starman and the team treated Pat as being lesser than they were.

Pat carries the weight of his friends' deaths with him every day but doesn't let it overwhelm him. He is intelligent and methodical, wanting to air on the side of caution as he knows the consequences of not having a plan. He tries to express this to Courtney and coach her to be a normal teenager. Pat is also extremely patient and level-headed. He didn't get upset when Mike was sent home from school or when Courtney blatantly ignores his advice.

Pat is devoted to Barbara and wants to be honest with her about his superhero endeavors, but is easily talked out of his decisions by Courtney, showing that he still has a long way to go in parenting. As time progresses, Pat shows a strong sense of duty and loyalty to his family and newfound friends. His reluctance to help Courtney was based on a sense of loss for his fallen friends and a desire to protect his wife and family. He shows an extraordinary sense of patience in training the JSA and handling his pre-adolescent son who is acting out in an attempt to gain his father's attention.

When Courtney's biological father returned to Blue Valley, emotions run high for the family and Pat snaps at Mike for the first time. He shows remorse for yelling and apologizes almost immediately, claiming that he's handling a lot. After Sam leaves, Courtney is devastated by the discovery that her father is actually a crook who just came for her valuable locket. Pat supports Courtney in the way that only a true father could, and tells her that whatever she needs to do - yell, scream, whatever it may be, he can take it. He is surprised yet emotional; when Courtney embraces him.

Pat's comfort turns to anger, when he confronts Sam and demands that the man leaves the family alone. When Sam's cockiness turns to a crude remark regarding Barbara, Pat snaps and punches Sam which is the first time he exhibits unprovoked physical violence. This streak of violence and anger lays dormant in Pat most of the time, but when confronted with "bad guys", particularly those who threaten his loved ones, Pat shows he is capable of surprising acts. This is evident when he intimidates Matt Harris to protect Rick or preparing to kill Icicle using S.T.R.I.P.E.. Pat is ashamed of this side of himself, as he confessed to who he believed was Sylvester that punching Sam was one of his biggest regrets.

Physical Appearance[]

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Pat is a middle-aged man with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a relaxed sense of self. He often wears relaxed clothing such as plaid shirts over a darker colored t-shirt and either jeans or dress pants. He has minimal facial hair. Pat uses a fifteen-foot armored robotic suit when operating as the superhero sidekick S.T.R.I.P.E.

According to Dr. Mid-Nite's Goggles's Pat is 5'11" and weighed 161 pounds in 2010, now weighing 175 pounds.


I knocked him on his ass.
Pat Dugan in "Chapter Three: The Blackmail"
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Pat fighting Sportsmaster

  • Combatant: Pat has some skill in hand-to-hand combat, particularly boxing, as he has been a vigilante since he was twenty years old as well as having served in the Army. He was a member of both the Justice Society of America as well as the Seven Soldiers of Victory. He tries to avoid physical violence which makes his exact level of skill unknown. However, he was able to easily knock down Sam Kurtis with a single punch, though Sam had insulted Pat's wife and the punch was fueled with emotion and not necessarily strategy. He also failed to hold his own against Larry Crock, a skilled martial artist who was also taunting Pat about his weak punches. The only time Pat was able to land a punch was when Larry let him or when Pat took him by surprise. Starman stated that Pat taught him how to stand up for himself, implying that Pat trained him in self-defense. He and the Star-Spangled Kid also repeatedly defeated the Needle in battle, with Pat demonstrating he could disarm him of his needle gun. He can improvise weapons, as he was ready to defend himself from Larry with a tire iron and eventually knocked him out with a tailpipe, and later prepared to use a wrench against Eclipso, although he was quickly dispatched. Pat has likely spent weeks training with Sportsmaster to build up his strength, durability and fighting skills as he was able to fight somewhat on par with The Ultra-Humanite, who was a masterful fighter. Eventually Pat became overpowered and resorted to hitting The Ultra-Humanite with a rock to win the fight.
  • Durability: Pat is also highly sturdy and resilient by human standards, as he survived being hit and thrown around by the incredibly strong Sportsmaster, walked away from intentionally crashing his Buick as a cover for Courtney being hospitalized by Cindy Burman and later only received a concussion after getting repeatedly blasted by Isaac Bowin with his sonic violin and beaten by Artemis Crock. Pat also shrugged off getting knocked into a wall by Eclipso.
  • Escape Artist: Pat learned a few tricks about the art of escape from Sylvester Pemberton. He taught Pat how to disjoint his thumbs in order to escape restraints like Handcuffs and zip ties.
  • Stamina: When Pat signed up to join Ripped City, he was put on a cardiovascular wellness program under Larry Crock's supervision, who later said his exercise paid off during their duel. When he and Courtney were running after Rick in the woods, he did not display any signs of fatigue and kept up with her, despite the latter being younger and arguably more athletic. When fighting The Ultra-Humanite in Starman’s body, Pat repeatedly took severe hits and kept on fighting.
  • Strength: Pat is remarkably strong for a man his age. He was able to lift Barbara over a railing using just his upper body strength. He also knocked Sam Kurtis to the ground with a single punch.
You're a mechanical genius.
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Pat working on his car

  • High Level Intelligence/Mechanical Engineering: Pat is a professional mechanic and a highly skilled engineer; he made a 15' tall robotic set of armor out of old car parts The very intelligent Beth Chapel said that Pat should work for NASA. He easily fixed Denise Zarick's car and Bobbie Burman's garbage disposal. Jennie-Lynn Hayden described him as a mechanical genius for building the Star-Rocket Racer and S.T.R.I.P.E. Pat's intelligence also extends to being a mentor to the modern roster of the JSA, and even Charles McNider admitted that the next generation of heroes were in good hands under his mentorship. As a result of keeping a secret identity for decades, Pat can easily come up with convincing lies, such as when he pretended to be Beth Chapel's step-father so she could gain access to Cindy Burman's room.
    • Expert Detective: While the original Doctor Mid-Nite was the JSA's resident detective, Pat is a skilled investigator in his own right, as he managed to track down Jennie to Civic City.
    • Sewing: Pat knows how to use a sewing machine.
    • Welding: Pat is an expert welder, having used his welding skills to build S.T.R.I.P.E. and make repairs to the robot.


  • S.T.R.I.P.E. Armor: S.T.R.I.P.E. is a fifteen-foot armored robot that was built by Pat after he retired from the JSA and his time as "Stripesy". The robot allows Pat to safely operate as the sidekick, S.T.R.I.P.E., while he aids Stargirl. When he wears his armor, he can fly and he is strong enough to lift and throw dumpsters and cars.
  • Pat's Car: This car is a retro-looking vehicle owned and driven by Pat during his time with the Justice Society of America.
  • Stripesy Costume: As a young adult, Pat wore a white and red striped shirt as his "Stripesy" sidekick costume. When he retired as a sidekick he gave up the costume and stored it in the JSA headquarters. Over a decade later, Pat revived Stripesy when he went in search of Icicle.


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Season 3

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Ted Grant once gave Pat a Big Boy keychain, since it was the closest thing he could find to a Stripesy action figure.
  • Chuck scans Pat when the goggles see him for the first time in ten years, revealing he is 5'11" and weighs 175 pounds. His resting heart rate is 120 beats per minute, and he gained 14 pounds in the ten years since the demise of the JSA.
    • At Rebecca McNider's funeral over ten years ago, McNider's goggles read his heart rate as 82 beats per minute.
  • Pat still uses a flip-phone, even engineering it to work with S.T.R.I.P.E.
  • Much like his wife, Pat isn't big on formalities or social dictations. He doesn't correct Jennie or Beth when they call him Mr. Dugan, or Rick when he uses Pat's first name. The only annoyance he expresses as it pertains to his name, is when Mike calls him "Pat" instead of "dad".
  • Pat is responsible for the death of The Ultra-Humanite, having hit him in the head with a rock and ending his life.
  • Pat's age is an subject of debate in Stargirl, as he's supposedly only five years older than Sylvester, though he doesn't age over the time period of when he starts as a sidekick at age 20, to when he joins the Seven Soldiers of Victory and JSA many years later. He is frequently pictured at the same age, despite Sylvester aging normally.
    • This discrepancy is briefly mentioned in the Stargirl comic tie-in "Road Trip", when Needler points out Pat's lack of aging as opposed to Needler's elderly appearance. Pat blames it on a "Time Vortex", then instructs Courtney not to tell Barbara about it.
      • The Time Vortex most likely happened between Pat's time with the Seven Soldiers of Victory and when he joined the JSA with Sylvester. Needler was caught by Stripesy and the Star Spangled Kid as members of the Seven Soldiers, with Needler becoming elderly while Pat remains "youthful". Another indicator, is Sylvester aging significantly between his time as Star Spangled Kid and Starman, which is when he joins the JSA, while Pat/Stripesy doesn't.