One of the things that fans have been loving about DC's Stargirl are the references to the comics the series takes its inspiration from. Every episode has some sort of nod to Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. or Justice Society of America, but some of the biggest and most exciting have been those that reference the iconic team's equally as iconic characters -- Green Lantern, The Flash, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder and others. However, those references and nods aren't just fun Easter Eggs. According to showrunner Geoff Johns, there are no throwaway references in the series.
Speaking with ComicBook.com, Johns explained that the show goes deep into the history and lore of the JSA out of a love for those characters and stories and while seeing certain elements -- such as Alan Scott's Green Lantern or Johnny Thunder's pen -- may be fun to see, it all leads somewhere.
"We go deep into the lore because we love the lore," Johns said. "People want to say, 'Oh look, an Easter egg of the pink pen or the green lantern' but those aren't Easter eggs. Those are pathways to new stories. And what those stories are, my hope is we get to continue to tell these stories with more seasons of the show. We'll see. But everything leads somewhere. And so, there's no throwaway. There's nothing that's a throwaway mention, there's nothing that's a throwaway prop, there's nothing that's a throwaway anything. It might not be something we get to immediately, but it's something we have plans for."
And those could be very exciting plans for fans should they come to fruition. In this week's "Wildcat", that pink pen was an exciting tease for fans when Courtney played with it a bit, determining it to be just a "normal" pen -- though as she left viewers could hear the playful laughter of the genie-like Thunderbolt residing inside of it. That moment was even more tantalizing for viewers when Mike (Trae Romano) mentioned that his friend Jakeem would be coming over for dinner -- a reference that fans immediately connected to Jakeem Williams, the character in comics who eventually takes ownership of the pen and becomes Jakeem Thunder.
And while those pathways to new stories will take time to fully develop -- Courtney's story has only just begun, after all -- it's likely that when they do, those stories will be both fresh but rooted in the comics as well. Johns previously spoke about the challenges of finding that balance, noting that they want to do right by both longtime fans and newcomers to the world of the JSA.
"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."