Legacy Of A Hero – Rick Tyler


Rick Tyler is more than just your average teenage troublemaker.

When you’re born to a superhero and then left with nothing, you don’t often realise what you have until someone shows you. Look at Stargirl’s Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman) as a prime example. Through the first season, he goes from being a delinquent to his father’s successor. But for us as the audience, we need to understand how he goes from a loner to a hero with dignity, not to kill the beast who killed their parents.

If you’ve said our first post on the JSA’s leader Courtney, then you’ll know that the next generation of the Justice Society will learn lessons along the way. But, before we start, we also want to point out that we’ve also done a Rick Tyler appreciation post.

Born A Legacy

Born to the first Hourman Rex Tyler (Lou Ferrigno Jr) and his wife Wendi (Kristin Brock), Rick was not born in Blue Valley. Instead, the family moved to the small town and lived in West Farms.

However, not long after they arrived, Rex and Wendi suddenly needed to get out of town. So they left their house, $50,000 and Rick in the hands of Wendi’s brother, Matt (Adam Aalderks), who had zero love for his brother-in-law and nephew.

As a child at the time, Rick had no idea what was going on and begged his parents not to leave him. But, before they leave, Wendi tells her son how much she loves him while Rex gives him a vital chain of a yellow ’66 Mustang, a replica of the car his child will fix up years later.

As they were escaping, Rex and Wendi’s car was hit by Solomon Grundy, which sent it into a tree, and they were killed, leaving their son orphaned.

Terrible Childhood

Rick is led to believe that his parents’ car hit a tree, and they died. But, little did he realise, there was so much more to their deaths. In the years that pass, the little boy left behind becomes an angsty teenager with an axe to grind. He is constantly angry and gets into trouble regularly.

Not having time to process his grief, Rick is forced to endure a hard childhood under the thumb of his Uncle Matt, who physically (not sexually) and mentally abused him, despite promising his sister he would take care of her son.

Matt blamed Rick for his new role in life; a father to an unwanted child. Rex had faked documents to make out that the boy was Harris’ son to protect him. As a result, the teenager was legally Richard “Rick” Harris, son of Blue Valley deadbeat Matt Harris.

Rick doesn’t try to make friends and begins drinking to numb the pain he is forced to endure daily.

Courtney’s Arrival

Rick’s life starts to change when Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) arrives in Blue Valley. On her first day, she is forced to sit at the ‘singles’ table. It contains Rick, Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) and Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal).

As time passes, Rick accepts Courtney sitting at the table, even though he and the three girls aren’t friends. However, things begin to change when Whitmore begins to recruit members for her new iteration of the JSA.

Courtney discovers the hourglass she stole from the JSA headquarters works around Rick. This happens accidentally when something pulls the troubled teenager towards Whitmore and her stepfather, Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson), when the former sidekick’s Buick, breaks down on the side of the road.

Having sensed the hourglass, Courtney digs around in her gym bag full of JSA artefacts and finds it glowing. When she confronts Rick later after she follows him, it has stopped. He naturally thinks she’s crazy.

It’s not until Courtney, Beth, and Yolanda crash Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy)’s Halloween party that they tell Rick what they know about his father that he realises his life could get better.

As Hourman II

Courtney thinks that giving Rick his father’s hourglass was a bad idea. However, when he realises what it does, he starts to abuse the power it grants him. He puts a massive dent in his uncle’s truck as payback for how he treated him for so long. This doesn’t go unnoticed by Pat, who sent the vehicle for repair.

Being Rex’s son, Rick believes he’s entitled to the hourglass and his father’s journal. However, Pat scolds him for this and reveals that the original Hourman never abused the power that he created.

As time passes, Rick realises that running into a fight without a plan or backup is not a good idea. He loses a battle with Sportsmaster (Neil Hopkins) and has to be saved by Courtney.

He doesn’t respect his teammates or Pat, but things shift when Courtney is sent to the emergency room after a fight with Cindy that leaves her unconscious. The incident is passed off as a car accident to the hospital, but when the news gets back to the JSA, Rick hits the roof.

This drastic shift shows Rick is loyal and wants to ensure his new friends are safe. The incident with Cindy harming Courtney shows that he is eager to avenge those he cares for, but the one thing he lacks at this time is restraint. It takes Beth and Yolanda to talk him around. Ultimately, this leads them to infiltrate or try to get into the Burman house.

Rick and Yolanda play lookout while Beth and a somewhat reluctant Pat go inside.

Loyal Friend

When Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) wakes up and continues conspiring with Icicle (Neil Jackson), Henry King Jr (Jake Austin Walker) witnesses the conversation between his father and the villain and goes to Courtney. Having heard her thoughts about the JSA and ISA during her fight with Cindy in the street, he knows she can help him.

However, Rick and Yolanda are against the idea of Henry helping them, given his past with his ex-girlfriend. Despite being pointed out to the second Hourman that he’s done questionable things too, he points out he would never send nude pictures of a girl around or slut-shame them.

Things get rougher when Rick and Henry almost end up fighting in the cafeteria, where Brainwave’s son uses his powers on Tyler to put him on his ass.

Before having joined the JSA, Rick would never have backed anyone up. However, having spent time with the girls and being the only boy in the group, he sees it as his job to be their protector or the protective big brother.

When the team witnesses Henry’s death at the hands of his father, Rick is seen comforting Yolanda as she cries. Not long after this, he also tells Courtney that the cosmic staff is stupid if it thinks she has to be Starman’s daughter for her to wield it.

The Fight With The ISA

For weeks, Rick is tasked with cracking a code developed by his father inside his journal. He manages to get most of it complete, but there is one piece he’s struggling to discover. Pat gives him the idea of the ’66 Mustang as a clue. It works, and the teenager his first genuine smile in what must be years.

In the tunnels underneath Blue Valley, Rick is surprised when Beth reveals she and Barbara (Amy Smart) found the ISA’s manifesto, which says good things. This leads him to question where the team was on the right side. However, it is then discovered that there is a catch. For Project: New America to work, 25 million people will die.

When the JSA comes together, they face off against the ISA. Rick finally comes face-to-face with Solomon Grundy, the beast that killed his parents. Things become desperate when the creature pulls apart S.T.R.I.P.E. with Pat inside.

Rick pulls the beast away so Pat can rescue his wife, who has been kidnapped by Jordan. But, knowing his time has come to take out the creature, Hourman II cannot do it. Especially after the argument he had with Yolanda about how killing was terrible.

What Comes Next For Rick

With the battle over, Rick has time to reflect on the good parts of his life. He has found a new purpose; he now calls the JSA and the Whitmore-Dugan family his own. With a new sense of ease, he can now smile and be part of something greater.

What his story will be in Season 2 is uncertain. But, whatever it is will bring out a new side to Rick that we have yet to see. First, though, it has been teased that Grundy will return.

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About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She prides herself as a truth seeker and will do (almost) anything for coffee or Coke No Sugar. Oh! And food!

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