This week's episode of DC's Stargirl saw Courtney Whitmore's (Brec Bassinger) new Justice Society of America get two new recruits in Beth Chapel/Doctor Mid-Nite (Anjelika Washington) and Rick Tyler/Hourman (Cameron Gellman), building on last week's recruitment of Yolanda Montez/Wildcat (Yvette Monreal). As was the case with Yolanda, the series also gave both Beth and Rick new origins, offering up fresh takes on the heroes that not only may surprise viewers, but also opens up interesting avenues to explore the idea of heroic legacy. According to series creator Geoff Johns, the fresh takes on the characters also allows the series to subvert expectation.
In recent chat with ComicBook.com, Johns spoke about how the series explores the idea of how loss impacts a person and also presents stories that don't wrap everything up in a neat and tidy bow because nothing is quite as easy as it seems.
"There are a lot of aspects of exploring what loss can do to people and what loss of support can do to people within this," Johns said. "And how Courtney's there to help them, like they need a light, they need her. They need someone like Courtney to help and she's there to try to fill that void. But ... when we're looking at all the characters, Courtney and Yolanda and Rick and Beth, if we're looking at the new generation of the JSA, becoming a superhero, taking on this legacy isn't about just putting on a costume and now I have powers. Everything's fulfilling a need or enhancing a problem for them and challenging them."
He went on to explain how Yolanda's story in particular drives that home. In last week's "Wildcat", Yolanda makes an impassioned plea to her family for forgiveness and love after months of their coldness because intimate photos of her were leaked to the whole school. Her parents still reject her, a painful moment that is both heartbreaking and reminds that sometimes the support you need doesn't come from those you expect.
"I think in most shows that they would have been like, 'welcome back,' but this is not that easy. Nothing's that easy," Johns said. "It's kind of like straight superhero storytelling that I think Stargirl feels like. We still want to subvert expectations; we still want to challenge our characters in different was. And we're not going to wrap everything up nice and neat, that's just not reality. And sometimes you can't find solace in those closest to you. You find them elsewhere."