Stargirl Showrunner Geoff Johns Talks the Challenges of Finding Balance With the DC Series

The third episode of DC's Stargirl, "Icicle," debuts this week and as the series continues its first season on both DC Universe and The CW one thing is clear: the show is both deeply rooted in the comics that inspired it and still completely approachable for those who are new to Courtney Whitmore the Justice Society of America, and the villains of the Injustice Society. It's a tricky thing to pull off, but series creator and showrunner Geoff Johns says that DC's Stargirl's balance is a challenge in a good way.

Speaking with, Johns explained that while the JSA isn't necessarily a team with a huge audience -- as compared to teams like the Justice League -- there are those fans who know their comics history so the show presents an opportunity to appeal to those fans while also introducing people to something new to them at the same time.

"It's always a challenge in a good way. It's like, you want it because you want to create something that's going to both... just like the comics," Johns said. "You know, it's like when I wrote JSA, it's not like there was a huge audience that read the books in the 1940s that was going to read the new books, but there's people that know the history and love the history like I do. And then there's new fans, new readers that are going to try it. And the balance is always a little tricky. You need to make it both resonate for, especially with the history as deep as the JSA, you need to make it resonate with both fans, long-time fans, hardcore fans, fans that know every aspect of this, that could have memorized the DC Wiki. You want all that stuff to be in there. And at the same time, you want to introduce this in a way where you have a lot of new fans because millions of people watching the pilot, most of those, the majority of those, I think probably 99 percent of those, have never read a JSA or a Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic."

Johns continued, "And so you're dealing with a fan base and some have seen by Courtney and S.T.R.I.P.E. on just the animated Unlimited which is awesome. Some might know them from the video games or some other stuff, but they don't know these characters. And so it is a balance, but you also, there's a reason that a character like Johnny Thunder and the Thunderbolt has resonated and survived decades, decades, and decades, because there's something really cool about a fricking pink genie that can do anything you ask it and all those kinds of things you want to present when you eventually do introduce them, present them in a way that is both true to who they are in the comics and for the fans that visually and spiritually and emotionally, and then also to new fans, new viewers, never heard of these characters, to get a sense of who they are and fall in love with them like we already are in love with them."

He went on to give a specific example of one of the characters he hopes will resonate with comics fans and that newcomers to the story will fall in love with equally: Yolanda Montez/Wildcat (played by Yvette Monreal) who fans will get to learn more about in the upcoming June 8th/June 9th episode, "Wildcat".


"That's always the goal, is like, I'm hoping that people love these, so many more people that watch that episode with Yolanda Montez never heard of her character, never encountered the character," Johns said. "The majority, the vast, vast, vast majority will never read a comic with Yolanda Montez in it because she hasn't been around in forever. But people coming out of that episode will say, hopefully they'll say, 'I really like Yolanda Montez, she's a cool character.'"

DC's Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8/7 on The CW. New episodes debut Mondays on DC Universe.