A Brief Introduction to DC’s “Stargirl”


Even if you’re not a big fan of superhero stories, you may have heard some of the buzz around TV’s “DC’s Stargirl,” which debuted in May of 2020. (It does, after all, have a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) So what do you need to know before you start watching it?

How “Stargirl” Fits into the DC Universe

DC’s “Stargirl” takes place on a parallel Earth in the Arrowverse, but the plot so far focuses much more on Stargirl’s own story than on the wider Arrowverse. Creator Geoff Johns has stated that while iconic characters such as Green Lantern and The Flash will influence the show through their legacies, he’s not going to allow them to overshadow the younger generation of superheroes.

Fan consensus seems to be that you can watch “Stargirl” without needing to know much background on DC superheroes. The set-up for the series is easily approachable (note potential spoilers ahead if you’re not familiar with the Arrowverse). In the first episode of “Stargirl,” most members of the Justice Society of America (including Green Lantern and The Flash) have been dead for a decade. When Courtney Whitmore discovers a mysterious and powerful weapon, she starts unraveling her stepfather’s past as a superhero sidekick and persuades three fellow teenagers to help her establish a new JSA.

Where You Can Watch “Stargirl”

DC Universe was the original home for the series, but it currently airs on the CW, and each season is also released on HBO Max some months after its debut.

This Isn’t Stargirl’s First Time on Screen (or on the Page, or in Real Life)

The character of Stargirl was originally created for the new comic series Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., which came out in 1999. Her creator, Geoff Johns (who’s also the creator of the 2020 TV series), had lost his sister Courtney in a plane crash three years earlier, and he honored her memory by basing his new character on her. In addition to her home comic, Stargirl is a character in the “JSA” series and sometimes appears in other DC comics including “Hawkman,” “Wonder Woman,” and “Green Lantern.”

Stargirl has a role in the ninth and tenth seasons of “Smallville”, where she’s played by Britt Irvin, and in “Legends of Tomorrow,” where she’s played by Sarah Grey. She pops up in several animated shows as well, including “Justice League Unlimited,” “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” and the “Robot Chicken DC Comics Special.” She even appears as a playable character in two different video games.

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