Courtney Whitmore, better known as Stargirl (sometimes Star or Stars, formerly Star-Spangled Kid), is a DC Comics character created by Geoff Johns and Lee Moder, first appearing in DCU Heroes Secret Files #1 (dated February 1999).
Courtney's adventures as a superhero began when she found the costume of the original Star-Spangled kid in her home, assuming the mantle for herself — much to the annoyance of her stepfather, engineer Pat Dugan. As a result, he built a robotic exoskeleton called S.T.R.I.P.E., and they began fighting crime together.
After Starman gave her his Cosmic Staff, Courtney rebranded herself as Stargirl, and she joined the Justice Society of America alongside S.T.R.I.P.E. She'd later serve as a member of the JSA on her own, without the aid of her stepfather.
At the start of the New 52, Stargirl featured as a founding member of Amanda Waller's government-sanctioned Justice League. After the events of Forever Evil, she departed the team, joining up with the Justice League United.
Stargirl has appeared often in other media, predominantly on television in both live-action and animation. She made her live-action debut on The CW's Smallville, and later showed up in the Arrowverse series Legends of Tomorrow. In 2018, it was announced that a Stargirl series had been picked up by the DC Universe streaming service, with her co-creator Geoff Johns serving as showrunner.
Stargirl appears in:
She provides examples of:
- Affirmative Action Legacy / Legacy Character: She succeeded a man as the second Star-Spangled Kid, and then replaces the male Starman as Stargirl when she acquires the traditional weapon of the Knight family.
- Arch-Enemy: Shiv in Stars and STRIPE.
- Badass Adorable / Cute Bruiser: Easily of the "cutest" superheroes in all of the DC Universe — but she can really pack a punch.
- Bare Your Midriff: One of the more noticeable ways Courtney modified the Star-Spangled Kid uniform, she often wears crop-tops in her civilian life too. She once justified it to Supergirl by noting that it sometimes distracted male opponents.
- Boom Stick: Her Cosmic Staff.
- Bratty Teenage Daughter: Courtney is so much this at the start. She stole the costume solely to divorce her mom from her hated stepdad (who was never shown doing anything wrong to her). She also once hid pineapple, to which he was deathly allergic, under his pillow because he "annoyed her."
- Captain Patriotic: Her superhero identity evokes American patriotic fervor.
- Character Development: Early issues of her solo series look bizarre to us now, as she's blatantly bratty, snotty, arrogant, a pain in the ass, and openly disrespectful to adults.
- Clothes Make the Superman: Courtney's Cosmic Converter Belt gives her many abilities including Enhanced Strength, Speed, and Agility, Star Blasts, and Invulnerability.
- Dark Secret: In the New 52, when she tries to disobey an order, Amanda Waller reveals that she knows who Stargirl's real father is and would have him answer for his actions if she doesn't comply.
- Disappeared Dad: Courtney's biological father left when she was very young.
- Flight: She wields the Cosmic Staff that enables her to fly.
- Genki Girl: Her personality is very excitable.
- The Heart: She's the one that everyone in the JSA can get along with. She's a Big Sis Mentor to the younger members and tends to be a Little Brother Is Watching to the older, hotheaded ones like Power Girl.
- Kid Hero: Courtney is a high school student and still wear braces on her teeth. Original JSA members Jay Garrick and Alan Scott are quite paternal towards her.
- Again in New 52 JLA (the version assembled by Amanda Waller). At 17 years, she's the youngest member; though she's been a hero longer than Vibe.
- Legacy Character: Started as a legacy to the Star-Spangled Kid, what with her stepdad being the Kid's old sidekick, but later became one for Starman, with Jack Knight's blessing.
- Little Miss Badass: She was just a young girl when she became a superhero.
- Only Friend: Courtney is just about the only person who can stand Cyclone's Motor Mouth for an extended period of time. It helps that they are the only women of the relatively same age on the team.
- Only the Pure of Heart: Why she had to be the one to kill the King of Tears.
- Virgin Power: No, seriously. It protected her from ghosts called up by the Gentleman Ghost.
- Will They or Won't They?: With Atom Smasher & Captain Marvel in JSA.