Stargirl featured

Legacy is important when it comes to comics. For DC Comics, especially in the 90’s and early 2000’s, it became an incredibly important thing. Amongst the legacy characters that launched during that time, perhaps none were as improbable as Stargirl aka the Star-Spangled Kid. She quickly proved herself an important part of the larger universe. However, the idea that anyone would want, nevermind fall in love with, the character seemed far fetched. After all, who demanded anyone pick up the legacy of the Star-Spangled Kid (and Stripes, by de facto)?

And now? Now she has a brand-new series on DC’s streaming service. You never know what a character’s reception will be until you put them out in the world.

Find yourself curious about Stargirl based on the newly released image of star Brec Bassinger in the hero’s signature grab? We got all you need right here!

Stargirl- Braces!
Stargirl enjoys a little daydream. (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Who is Stargirl?

Courtney Whitmore’s life went upside down just as she started high school and hormones had nothing to do with it. Well, not nothing, but you know what we mean. Her mom met, fell in love, and got married to Pat Dugan. It’s annoying but that could be dealt with. But then, this guy (who you might know as Stripesy) decided the whole family should up and move. From Los Angeles. To Blue Valley. WHICH IS IN NEBRASKA! And, so much worse, Courtney’s mom said yes.

While unpacking in Blue Valley, though, Courtney discovered stepdad Pat’s old gear. Intuitively realizing, as only a teenager can, that Dugan would be beside himself if she used the gear to become a super hero herself she did just that. Thus, a Star Spangled kid was born. One for the aughts, a whole year early!

In time, she and Pat came to an understanding and Dugan built himself a robot, S.T.R.I.P.E.S. to help provide support and supervision when she was in the field. Then JSA tapped Whitmore, Jack Knight gave her the Cosmic Staff, and she took on the new moniker of Stargirl. She also, in many ways, became the heart of the resurgent JSA. Given her unique position as young but not as young as some and experienced but nowhere near as experienced as some, she provided a bridge between the Society’s established her and the legacy characters they increasingly attracted. Additionally, her refusal to buckle even against the darkest of circumstances more than proved her innate heroism and inspired her teammates to act the same.

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Stargirl announces her name change with her unique flair. (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Why We Love Stargirl?

How can anyone not love Courtney?

Time and again she proved to be everything great and galling about teenagers all rolled up in one character. She felt real on the page whether she was in a petty fight with Dugan, grappling with the reality that her biological father was a petty criminal that never came through with her, or punching Per Degaton right in his smug face.

She also brought and maintained light in a DC Universe that was increasingly growing darker and more dire around her. During her time as a hero, she witnessed friends maimed, quit, and turn to evil. Even though it was quickly reversed via time travel, she saw her family slaughtered by a villain’s hand. She survived multiple crises (and CRISES) all while still being, at her core, a high school student with a magic rod and an anti-gravity belt.

Yet, throughout, she never seemed to lose herself. She got angry, she cried, she worried, but she never lost her fundamental optimism. Even at times when it felt like the DCU no longer believed in its own fundamental goodness, she never lost it. She knew pain, fear, and sadness. And she still saw the light on the horizon and drove headlong forward to meet it.

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Stargirl tells truth to power. Suck it oldsters! (Courtesy of DC Comics)

Standout Storylines

If you want to know mroe about Stargirl, we suggest reading the following storelines:

STARS AND S.T.R.I.P.E. #1-14 plus a #0: The series that introduced her, brought back Pat Dugan, and created the robot S.T.R.I.P.E. Writer Geoff Johns would write bigger books after this. He would write more ambitious storylines. Arguably, he would deliver better work. However, he was never more humanistic then here. The characters are lovely and feel so real. It is hard not to fall in love with them from jump street.

JSA #68-72: In this time-hopping storyline, Stargirl is unable to save her family from death and Per Degaton’s hands and must jump into the timestream to save the past, present, and future. She had to deal with meeting a future version of herself in a locked mental health facility and the return of team traitor Atom Smasher. And all this mere moments after she witnessed her entire family’s murder. The perfect storyline to illustrate Whitmore’s internal strength and resolve.

JSA #81: Stargirl manages to singlehandedly stop the original Liberty Belle from destroying herself with her own out of control powers. Courtney’s most powerful moment, however, comes in the book’s closing pages as she wrestles with some news about her biological father.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA (Vol 3) #1-12: Stargirl becomes the team’s bridge as she takes on, naturally, mentorship of the newest team members like Cyclone and Lightning. The storyline marks her graduation from the new girl to an integral part of the Justice Society and its mythos.

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