The new Stargirl television series has been airing since May, with original comic book creator Geoff Johns serving as showrunner. Courtney Johns, Geoff’s late sister, roots the show in reality. Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) represents her onscreen.
DC’s Stargirl introduced Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger). The series is the brainchild of Geoff Johns. Stargirl is the newest hero to join the successful Arrowverse franchise. Furthermore, Courtney follows the likes of Oliver Queen (Green Arrow), Barry Allen (The Flash) and Kara Danvers (Supergirl). However, she is much younger than them, as a high school student.
In DC Comics, the character of Courtney Whitmore first appeared back in 1999. This is more than twenty years before Bassinger’s series debuted. Additionally, the comic book Courtney Whitmore assumed the mantle of Stargirl starting in 2003.
As it happens, Geoff Johns, who was once CCO of DC Comics, created the character of Courtney Whitmore. As well as this, Johns is also the showrunner of the new television series. He has developed shows based on DC properties before. However, Stargirl has far greater meaning to Geoff Johns.
Johns was inspired to create Courtney Whitmore after the death of his younger sister. Courtney Johns died in 1996, during the TWA Flight 800 disaster.
As reported by The Sun, Johns wrote about his sister’s influence on Stargirl ahead of the series premiere. He said, “It is her spirit and optimistic energy that I wanted to put back in the world with Stargirl.”
Johns continued: “It is celebratory, forward-looking and positive. And I hope that comes through when you watch these episodes. I’ve written a lot of superhero stories in my career, but this is by far the most personal on every level.”
Stargirl and Geoff Johns memorialised the real-life Courtney in the Stargirl pilot. There is an edited picture of her and Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore, her fictitious counterpart.
Stargirl airs on DC Universe and The CW.
Follow writer Conor O’Brien on Twitter – @CourageousConor