The story of Courtney Whitmore starts out like that of many modern teens. She is working out her place amongst her high school student peers and trying to get used to her new stepfather, who seems a rather drab character — at first. As Courtney’s story unfolds, however, she learns that the truth of things goes far deeper than mere surface appearances. In fact, Courtney eventually chooses to take a leap of faith into the unknown to follow her calling to fight the forces of evil as Stargirl.
Having been moved to a new state, town, and school by her stepfather, Courtney is rifling around in boxes during the unpacking process. She inadvertently finds a box of her stepfather’s mementos from his time as Stripesy, sidekick to the superhero Starman. Courtney’s attitude toward her stepfather begins to soften and evolve as she ponders his past.
However, when she finds Starman’s Cosmic Staff, which only comes to life in the hands of the one it chooses to wield it. In the past, that was Starman, as her stepfather tells her. However, when Courtney touches the powerful weapon, it begins to glow. The invitation is there.
Accepting the Challenge
Courtney readily accepts the challenge of becoming Stargirl and joining in the fight against wicked forces abroad in the world. She and her stepfather even agree to work together. The Cosmic Staff actually helps train Courtney in the ways of a superhero and guides her on how to become Stargirl.
Stargirl has a large and dangerous task ahead of her — seeking justice for those members of the Justice League of America who were killed by victims a decade before, including the Staff’s original owner, Starman. Just before he died, he entrusted his sidekick and friend to keep the Staff safe until another who could brandish it was found. With the help of the Cosmic Staff and her stepfather, Courtney does not hesitate to begin a new phase of life, accepting the change with an eager readiness and a large, open heart.
Following the Call
Courtney aka Stargirl’s story has been developed and told in a program on DC Universe, a web television platform. Geoff Johns, the executive producer of the series, originally created the character with Lee Moder to honor the memory of his beloved sister, killed in 1996 in the disaster of TWA Flight 800. She was only 18.
Stargirl has a genuine willingness and great desire to help and serve others. This comes naturally to her. These traits speak of great character, but the huge change of lifestyle, of taking on a superhero alter-ego, is something else entirely. Many teens are struggling to find their voices, to express themselves and their individuality in a unique way. Courtney is no different. However, she chooses to let the uncertainty go when the call to serve and act comes. Not everyone can or will do this. This choice, this leap of faith, is the true moment when Courtney indeed becomes the superhero Stargirl.
Believing in goodness and a call beyond the everyday and then trusting enough to act upon that call is something everyone must decide during their lives on one level or another. While not everyone may become an officially designated superhero, they still can stand up for the light wherever they are.
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