It seems as though a new show about superhero pops up on TV and on streaming services every few months. Shows like Smallville and Supernatural paved the way for popularity of comics and their mainstream portrayal in episode format.
In 2018, DC’s Stargirl, created by Geoff Johns, came onto the teenage superhero scene, with a satisfying premise and a refreshed look. What’s most notable about DC’s Stargirl is how relatable the show is to any regular teenager, even kids who are not especially invested in the DC world of comics.
In recent television history, numerous shows portrayed both superheroes and villains as young, relatable characters with lives that don’t always eclipse their fantasy world. However, here’s why Stargirl really nails this concept, and why the characters on this show are more relatable and interesting than the teenage superhero’s on other comic-inspired shows.
1. Teenage Social Woes
At first glance, before we understand where Courtney Whitmore’s superpowers lie, we get a glimpse of a young, carefree high school girl with a relatable family history and humble roots. If that doesn’t catch the attention of newly loyal teenage viewers, what will? Beyond her relatable teenage persona, it’s Courtney’s initial struggle to fit in that really seize the spotlight.
Having been uprooted from her close-knit group of friends in California and forced to move with her mom and stepfather to a new town and state, Courtney finds it difficult to fit in at school. She has a run-in with the school’s mean girl on her first day, and she is forced to defend a social outcast, which further ruins her chances at fitting in.
2. The Desire to Lead
Sure, Courtney Whitmore is the lead female superhero in DC’s Stargirl, but she is a star in her own right. This is true, even in terms of normal teenage girl feats.
Before she began fighting for the Justice Society of America, she had a rich history as a budding gymnast. She is also a blue belt in Karate.
Once she gained her superpowers, Courtney reforms and reboots The Justice Society of America, once again displaying relatable leadership and drive.
3. Family Issues
If high school drama and the innate desire to do something important in life isn’t relatable enough to the average viewer, Stargirl’s characters experience a slew of family issues. The challenges range from getting used to a new family dynamic to rebelling against traditional and religious parents, and ultimately seeking to be understood by loved ones.
Courtney herself has to get used to a new stepparent, all while she struggles to understand why she was abandoned by her father. Meanwhile, her best friend struggles with her parents’ uptight Catholic viewpoints and is not able to fit in at home as well as in school.
DC’s Stargirl is based on a comic, but it may just as soon be considered a teen drama show. Even if the superhero theme does not appeal to a viewer, it is likely that they would enjoy and become invested in this show.