The new Stargirl series does a bit more than tell the story of what happens when teen Courtney Whitmore discovers the Cosmic Staff. Premiering on The CW and DC Universe, this series offers hopeful messages and even notes of joyful energy. The character of Stargirl and her story goes beyond merely fantastical fun.
Here are three ways Stargirl serves as a touchstone for positivity.
Genuine Goodness Rewarded
Teenager Courtney is presented as a good person in her title role of Stargirl. Kind, polite and generous, she has an inherently admirable nature. She seeks to build up, help and encourage. There is a twist in the story, however. Her mother remarries, and Courtney is suddenly removed from her comfortable, familiar surroundings and replanted in a new part of the country. As if this were not enough, her nondescript stepfather seems to be an albatross anchoring everyone to the mundane.
Courtney refuses to let her spirit be dampened, though. During a bit of clandestine exploration, she discovers a strange staff that has not lit up since the hands of the superhero Starman wrapped around it. It turns out her stepfather has the staff because he was Starman’s sidekick. When she touches the staff, it glows brightly. Suddenly she is whisked into her role as Stargirl, a member of the Justice Society of America, counted on to battle villains and save the world. Her original goodness is essential to her new superhero calling.
Stargirl is a believable character in that, when she discovers her ability to use the Cosmic Staff for good, her education in how to use it and what her new role entails is a transparent process the audience shares along with her. She is not suddenly all-knowing and immediately familiar with everything she has to do in order to fulfill her destiny as Stargirl. Courtney has to learn the role and grow into it. This process is endearing. She does not act like an unapproachable character, but rather like someone to whom anyone can relate. Executive producer Geoff Johns modeled the character of Stargirl after his beloved sister who died in 1996 in the disaster of TWA flight 800. The attractive personal qualities of Stargirl are an homage to his sister.
Stargirl is a superhero for the entire family. From children to teens to parents, everyone can appreciate Courtney’s positive traits and revel in her character when she wields the Cosmic Staff as Stargirl. While the program is family-friendly entertainment, the villains are menacing and the character of Courtney/Stargirl is intricately developed and realistic. From a comfortable life to struggling to find a new place in an unfamiliar locale to becoming Stargirl, Courtney and her family function together as believable characters who could be your next-door neighbors—or you.
A True Hero
While the character of Stargirl is a lively romp into superhero fantasy, this story is born out of love and is developed in a way that keeps it attractively realistic and accessible. All ages can appreciate Stargirl’s story and her adventures. After all, a relatable superhero may bring out the hero in everyone.