Every superhero has an origin story and for DC's Stargirl, Courtney Whitmore's origin as the titular hero is one that has come with a little bit of mystery. In the series pilot, the teen discovers her stepfather, Pat Dugan, has a history as a super heroic side kick and also discovers the Cosmic Staff. When the mysterious object "chooses" her, Courtney comes to believe that Starman/Sylvester Pemberton was really her father. It's an explanation that, for Courtney, answers a lot of questions and gives her a sense of purpose. But this week's episode, "Shining Knight", sees Courtney face the idea of her heroic legacy head-on and sees the truth about her parentage confirmed.
Warning: Spoilers for this week's episode of DC's Stargirl, "Shining Knight", below.
In last week's "Brainwave, Jr." after finding out that Courtney (Brec Bassinger) is Stargirl and that she thinks her father is Starman, Courtney's mother Barbara (Amy Smart) took it upon herself to reach out to Courtney's father, Sam Kurtis. Sam is someone that neither Barbara nor Courtney had seen since Courtney was five years old when he stood Courtney up on Christmas Eve. Barbara gets a response, but she doesn't get a chance to see it before Sam just shows up in Blue Valley on his own.
After initially rejecting the idea that Sam is her father, Courtney comes to accept it, but there's one more harsh truth that Courtney has to accept. It turns out that Sam didn't come to see her for good reasons. Instead, he's just there to get the locket he gave her when she was a child. Turns out, it's very valuable as part of a matched set -- he has the other one -- and he really just wants to sell them for cash.
It's a heartbreaking turn, but it's one that fans of the Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. comic have been seen coming. In the comics, Courtney's father is always presented as Sam Kurtis, but as on the series, he's been absent from her life. And "Shining Knight" also offered a nice treat for comic fans in more than just confirming Sam as being Courtney's real father. Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #15 sees Sam come for Courtney's locket in a very similar fashion as the episode does, complete with chat on the porch and a bit of duplicity about why he actually wants the necklace.
Now that the truth about Courtney's father is confirmed, it will be interesting to see how Courtney approaches her role as Stargirl. The end of the episode saw Courtney come into her full power with the Staff, leaving the young woman to carry Starman's legacy even if the reason why remains a mystery.0comments
"But every one of these characters was chosen because they have a specific story that is connected to these legacies and not by blood necessarily, but personally they reflect and they bond these... Yolanda to Ted and Beth to Dr. McNider and Rick to Rex like Courtney to Sylvester, all of these things are very emotional bonds that are formed between this new generation and the old, and that's something that was important is that the JSA is about generations, but it's also about respect for generations," series creator Geoff Johns said previously. "It's about taking that legacy and recognizing what's good in it and trying to make it even better. And that's part of who was chosen and why and where these legacies go. But the characters were all chosen for specific reasons."