Have you noticed a growing excitement about DC Comics lately? Maybe it’s because hard times and shared struggles inspire a yearning for larger-than-life heroes. Maybe it’s that DC’s heroes embody the values we’d like to see returned to prominence: truth, justice, and above all, hope.
An Old Hero Made New
The series “Stargirl,” which debuted in 2020, brings to life the 1999 comic “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.” The main character, a teen named Courtney Whitmore (played by Brec Bassinger,) finds a suit and equipment (including the powerful Cosmic Staff) that once belonged to a previous generation’s DC hero, Starman (who appeared in Adventure Comics as early as 1941.)
The show’s executive producer Geoff Johns, who also wrote the comic, is a specialist in restoring the spark of old characters and bringing these timeless stories forward. DC comics are rich with such characters and stories.
In the pilot episode, Courtney discovers that her stepfather, Pat Dugan (played by Luke Wilson,) served as mechanic and sidekick to Starman until the hero’s disappearance. Their world is once again in need of protection, and so the two team up to find successors for the rest of the heroes in the Justice Society of America – and to defeat the villains who had wiped out their predecessors. Dugan, who has no cosmic powers himself, protects the young heroes in a giant robot mech suit called S.T.R.I.P.E.
An Ancient Evil Returns
When the series returns to The CW for season 2, the heroes will have to face an evil more powerful than they have known before. Eclipso (played by Nick Tarabay,) an ancient demon of wrath whose powers include the ability to corrupt even the most powerful heroes, has awakened.
The character Eclipso first appeared in comics in 1963. The evil contained in the black diamond shards later identified itself as the vengeful force behind Biblical floods and disasters, who revels in creating chaos and in turning the powerful toward darkness. It is not yet known how he will challenge the newly formed team, but past iterations of this character have been able to corrupt and possess Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, Superman, and many more.
While the first season of “Stargirl” focused largely on recreating the Justice Society, in season 2 this new generation of heroes will need to step into their roles as protectors of Earth. With a villain like Eclipso, they will surely face challenges both from outside the team and from within.
A Return to Hope
Stargirl is a character who embodies hope, not the empty wish for a better tomorrow but the driving belief that tomorrow will be better because of the actions she takes. She is the leader who can recreate the Justice Society when it seems all of Earth’s defenders have been defeated.
This is the hero story needed for a time when truth, justice, and trust in one another would seem to be at an all-time low. DC Comics heroes are born from such times. Stargirl is here, and the hope she brings will not be eclipsed.