John Wesley Shipp made his eagerly anticipated DC’s Stargirl debut on Tuesday in “Summer School: Chapter Nine”. The episode brought Golden Age The Flash, Jay Garrick, into the original Justice Society of America as the team’s first showdown with Eclipso was revisited via Pat Dugan’s (Luke Wilson) memories. For fans of the Arrowverse are no stranger to Shipp’s Jay Garrick; the actor has portrayed the character multiple times on The Flash, but on Stargirl, we see a slightly different version of the character, one that Shipp says is more in his own seat of authority with his own team.
“Nobody writes Jay Garrick better than Geoff Johns.,” Shipp told ComicBook.com. “I knew, when he asked me to do it, that it was going to be something really special. And then I read it and I thought, ‘Oh, I get exactly what my role is supposed to be.’ I have to say, walking into my own society instead of hanging around what would be the Justice League in the CW, it was a different feeling, knowing that even though we didn’t work on that set with the table, that the iconic table, that the justice hall, the Hall, that it was there.”
He continued, “Playing with these iconic characters. Wildcat. Starman. Hourman. It was a different feeling. I felt that I was playing a classical version of Jay Garrick. Plus, it’s his society, so he walks in… Yeah, the first time we see Jay Garrick on Flash, he snatches Barry out of the Speed Force and he’s like, ‘This is my Speed Force. What are you doing here? Who are you?’ But we get to actually see Jay operating within his own society and his own seat of authority and I held myself, I found, I didn’t consciously do it, but I found that I was holding and carrying myself, when I saw it, with an authority, quiet authority that I don’t always get to use on CW Flash, because Stargirl, and one thing I love about it, even the construct being built around a teenage heroine, there’s so much for her to learn, which means we’re going to get into so much legacy and legacy is so important to comic book audiences and in the comic book world to understand what’s going on.”
And while this was Shipp’s first appearance on DC’s Stargirl, hopefully it won’t be his last. He said he would return in a heartbeat if given the opportunity to play Jay Garrick on the series again.
“I would return in a heartbeat. I would return in a heartbeat,” Shipp said. “I love those actors. I love the characters. I love the stories. I love the darkness and the depths and the brightness. It’s shadows and light. Yes, I would be completely open to that.”
DC’s Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.