During the tumultuous year that was 2020, when it seemed real-world heroes were falling with delayed Olympics, professional sports on hold and new movies paused indefinitely, a young heroine quietly took the stage.
Actually, she took the stage spectacularly. If you missed the debut during the tumult of that year, not to worry — you can still stream the first season on The CW Television Network. “Stargirl,” created by executive producer Geoff Johns, is heading into a second season that is scheduled to air in summer 2021.
The Hero’s Journey
Call to Adventure
As we head into season 2, Stargirl/Courtney Whitmore, played by Brec Bassinger, has heard the call to adventure. Like all heroes, she’s seen that it’s not possible to ignore the call and go back to her old life. Trouble will find her, and she has to be ready.
At the beginning of her story, Courtney’s concerns are smaller and more self-centered. She resents her stepfather for his role in moving her family to Nebraska, and she wants to find her real father, who has disappeared.
During the pilot episode, Courtney finds the Cosmic Staff, the source of Stargirl’s power. Though the process of learning to wield this power is not smooth, it is doubtful that anyone else could do it. It is as if she was meant to find the staff. Season 2 may have hints as to why Courtney was chosen to step into this role.
Crossing the Threshold
A hero always has to cross a point of no return, leaving what is familiar and comfortable and stepping into the unknown. For Stargirl, this happens through her first epic battle with Brainwave. When facing an enemy who controls people’s minds, Stargirl and her friends realize the stakes. There will be casualties in this fight, and they must be up to the challenge.
Mentors and Helpers
Stargirl has found help both in the form of a mentor — her first but probably not her last — and in her friends who are growing into their hero roles alongside her. Much of the first season centers around the formation of the new Justice Society of America by salvaging the artifacts of old heroes and bequeathing them to a new generation of heroes.
Stargirl’s first mentor in this story is her stepfather, Pat Dugan, played by Luke Wilson. Pat is an expert mechanic who pilots a giant mech suit to help the young superheroes. Unlike the teens forming the new JSA, Pat has experience in battle: He was the sidekick to the original Starman. While Pat’s experience initially leads him to discourage young Courtney from following this path, he agrees to train the young JSA when he realizes that danger will follow them, ready or not.
Facing the Shadow
The principal villain for season 2 is expected to be an ultimate agent of shadow, Eclipso. Among his other powers, Eclipso is known for his ability to turn even the most incorruptible heroes toward darkness and take over their minds to serve his own ends.
With Eclipso awakened, Stargirl is likely to face a most existential threat. Given Eclipso’s unique powers, she will certainly have to face the potential for darkness within herself and her most trusted allies.