The show Stargirl has been a big hit for the DC Universe. It boasts strong visuals, extreme action, and big-name actors, such as Luke Wilson, Joel McHale, and Amy Smart. It gets all of its inspiration from the Stargirl comics created by the executive producer Geoff Johns. Since many shows take creative licenses with their materials, there are some things you should know about both the comics and the show to help you decide which one you would like better.
Character Inspiration for Stargirl
Stargirl’s name is actually Courtney Whitmore. Her name, personality, and looks of this hero from the comics were modeled on Johns’ sister, who died in a plane crash. The result is a positive and optimistic character throughout the comic series.
Fortunately, this character stays similar and continues to draw inspiration from the real-life Courtney in the show. The optimistic energy from the source is still vibrant. Like the comic, the show is celebratory and positive.
The Second Star-Spangled Kid
The comics have Courtney going through several names, with the first one being The Star-Spangled Kid or Sylvester Pemberton. This was due to how she found the Stargirl costume and donned it to mock her stepfather, previous sidekick to the original Star-Spangled Kid from WWII.
The shows don’t have Courtney going through this phase and becoming the Star-Spangled Kid. Actually, she and her stepfather have a pretty good relationship, and he helps her become Stargirl from the start.
The Staff of Stargirl
In the comics, Jack Knight gives the cosmic staff to Courtney, which lets her become Stargirl and join the JSA. Jack is the son of the original Starman who invented and wielded the cosmic staff. In the comics, it has the ability to manipulate gravity and energy, meaning whoever wields it gets levitation, flight, telekinesis, and other powers.
In the television show, the cosmic staff still provides Courtney with these powers. However, how Courtney gets this staff is different since she finds it in her stepfather’s basement. Also, the bond between the staff and Starman is less pronounced in the show.
Starman with Stargirl
The comics show Courtney getting her inspiration from both The Star-Spangled Kid and Starman. This is what contributed to her phase as The Second Star-Spangled Kid and transition to Stargirl. Incorporating both of these names was a way to honor these sources of inspiration.
However, the show merges the origins stories and has Pemberton as Starman. This gives it a cleaner origin story while still honoring both heroes.
The JSA was the big leagues for DC’s superheroes. Originally, it included The Flash, Green Lantern, The Atom, The Spectre, Hawkman, Hour-Man, The Sandman, and Doctor Fate. Over time, other heroes were added, including the comic-book version of Stargirl.
The show also has Stargirl joining the JSA, but it also features an opposing organization for villains. Both organizations feature modern versions of the classic heroes and villains.
Whether you prefer comics or superhero shows, both Stargirl versions are an action-packed adventure that will satisfy you. Persuing the slight differences will help you decide which version to tackle first.