DC's Stargirl Showrunner Talks Striking a Balance Between Darkness and Light in Season 2
The first season of DC's Stargirl was not only action-packed, but it had a bright and refreshing tone as it followed Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) on a journey to not only become the superhero Stargirl but put together a team in the young Justice Society of America and then save Blue Valley from villains of the past. As the series heads into its second season, however, things will take a darker tone with the arrival of a terrifying new villain and as the heroes process the events of Season 1, many of them life-altering in major ways. According to series creator Geoff Johns, finding the balance between both aspects of the series was a challenge, but was also imperative to the story they wanted to tell.
Speaking with the press at an event attended by ComicBook.com, Johns spoke about how it was important to stay true to what they'd created in Season 1, but also not simply repeat it, hence the season's major tonal shifts.
"It was a challenge but that's what we wanted in Season 2. Like, Season 1, I think we're all really, really proud of the work we did on Season 1 and for Season 2 we wanted to be the same show with the same characters that love each other and want to help each other at their core and want to be good and do good and love and be loved and still have humor and heart and all that. But take different tonal shifts so we're not just repeating ourselves," Johns said. "So this season, we're leaning more into things that inspired me when I was a kid, like Lost Boys or Nightmare on Elm Street or Young Sherlock Holmes which is a movie no one knows but I loved it when I was a kid because it was a little scary and so we want to bring scares to the season."
He continued, "Eclipso is an amazing character for those who don't know, he's from the '60s and he's more of a demonic force in the same vein as like a Freddy Krueger or a Pennywise, and to have the kids and the adults go up against something like that this season, something that gets inside their heads and tries to expose their fears and their regrets and their guilt and use it against them and see if these heroes can rise up and stop it, it was all about darkness versus light which is very perfect for somebody like Stargirl. And there are storylines that allowed us to delve into Yolanda... Yolanda has a really personal and powerful storyline, as does Rick and Beth and Courtney and Pat and Barbara and Mike, like Eclipso allowed us to crack them open. So it was tough to balance that tone because we didn't want to not be Stargirl but at the same time we wanted to take some challenges and lean into like a little bit of the horror element, the suspense element. And I'm hopeful that we've balanced it right."
And when it comes to setting that darker tone, it's something the show will dive right into in the Season 2 premiere.
"That first scene was purposely at the top and mysterious and both specific and vague at the same time because I wanted everyone to know there's a tonal shift this season," Johns said. "And so right away you get that tonal shift and it is scary and it is dark, but it was important to have that upfront and then right away we go to like, summertime blues and the kids patrolling at night and there's nothing going on. And they're all arguing about whether they should keep doing it. And there's a lot of humor and fun afterward. But it was important, I thought, just to set the tone of the season right away, let you know that we're going to get scary this season."
The first season of DC's Stargirl is now streaming on HBO Max. Season two will debut on The CW on Tuesday, August 10 at 8/7c.