Young girls who’ve been hoping to see more female superheroes must be very happy with the CW’s Stargirl television series. The titular heroine is a teenager named Courtney Whitmore, who is uprooted from her home in California and plopped down in Nebraska.
As Whitmore struggles to come to terms with this move, she finds an old Starman costume with a staff of power in a trunk and tries it on. The suit had been carefully guarded by Whitmore’s stepdad after the original Starman’s death. The stepdad, Pat Dugan, had been sidekick to Starman, known as Stripesy. As her Stargirl persona emerges, Courtney leads two lives: one as a high school student and the other as a powerful crimefighter and leader of the newly formed Justice Society of America.
Start With a Rebellious Teen
The storylines throughout the television series, overseen by executive producer, Geoff Johns, are fresh and entertaining, but how do they compare with the original comics? Start by taking a closer look at the Stargirl character. In the DC comics, Whitmore is a bit rebellious with a strong ethos that sometimes leads to impulsive decisions and the resulting consequences. As far as her character traits go, the television Courtney and the comic book Courtney are pretty similar.
Compare the Origin Stories
The beginning scenes of the story have some differences, however. In the comic book series, Courtney starts out as the Star-Spangled Kid and teams up with her stepdad, otherwise known as S.T.R.I.P.E.. They gradually gain attention from better-known superheroes, such as Captain Marvel and Starman. Stargirl gains attention from the Justice Society of American and is allowed to join as a junior member. Eventually, Starman decides to pass his Cosmic Staff to Courtney, and at this point, she becomes Stargirl.
Understand the Family Dynamic
In both the television series and the comic book, Courtney Whitmore has already honed her talents in gymnastics, so when she first faces off against criminals at a school dance, she is confident in her movements but surprised by her speed and strength. In the show and in the comic book, Courtney is challenged by the duality of her life and the changes brought about by the move to Nebraska and the change in her family situation.
Introduce Friends and Villains
In the television series, Stargirl is joined by Wildcat, known as Yolanda Montez; Doctor Mid-Nite, known as Beth Chapel; and Hourman, known as Rick Tyler. Brainwave, or Dr. Henry King, is one of the most powerful villains Stargirl faces. Other villains from the comics who appear in the television show include Icicle and the Dragon King.
While there are several differences, the television story stays pretty true to the characters and struggles introduced in the comic book. Young girls looking for female superheroes will enjoy CW’s Stargirl and may be drawn to the comic book for more adventure.