Despite pandemic-related production postponements and unexpected hiccups turning 2020 and 2021 into a logistical rollercoaster for filming and production, this year’s TV season has been an impressive one for superhero shows. A number of much-anticipated films and series have made their debut and are receiving well-deserved (if slightly delayed) stellar reviews, to boot.

One show that rises to the top is DC and the CW’s new series, Stargirl, the brainchild of executive producer Geoff Johns. As you contemplate checking this series out for your next Friday night binge-watch, here are four things you should know about it.

Just Nostalgic Enough

A throwback to golden era of DC comics, Stargirl elements fuses popular old characters and themes with modern action sequences that have audiences raving. A clever mix of classic and hot new characters adorns the series, bringing back fresh twists on old favorites like S.T.R.I.P.E., Wildcat, Doctor Mid-Nite and others. With the second season already roaring off the starting blocks, it’s clear fans are loving the vision and are coming back hungry for more.

Bringing the Story off the Page

Stargirl didn’t get her start in the CW’s new series. Although she had a cameo appearance in a lone 2010 episode of Smallville, the character was actually born in the 1999 comic book “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E”, also created by Geoff Johns. The new series brings the character of Stargirl to life and fleshes her out in a brand new way while paying homage to her original form in the classic series.

Several other vintage characters, such as Wildcat, also get another chance to be in the limelight in a way that the original books didn’t have space for, developing the intricacies of their roles well beyond the former storylines.

Emotional Origins

Stargirl’s on-screen personality — as high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore — is largely based on a real-life hero: Johns’ late sister, Courtney, who passed away tragically in a plane accident in 1996. With this backstory, Stargirl easily becomes a tear jerker, with every act of justice and supernatural power giving tribute to the legacy left by Courtney Whitmore’s namesake.

Geeky Throwbacks

The series keeps the tone just playful enough with allusions to past DC shows, such as the magical Thunderbolt (a reference to Yz, also known as Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt, a pink thunder-bolt-shaped genie which was featured in “Flash Comics” in 1940). Another fun callback is made a new version of Solomon Grundy (also known as Cyrus Gold, a swamp monster recurring in various forms throughout several DC comic books, starting in “All-American Comics” in 1944).

These subtle and not-so-subtle references are sprinkled throughout the series, delighting generations of old fans and piquing the curiosity of new ones.

Geoff Johns’ Stargirl is unlike anything in the DC universe. With a spunky teenage hero and a smattering of classic characters and villains alike, elements of old series harmonizing with the new, and action-packed scenes, what more could you ask for?

Stargirl’s vibrant, fresh personality is sure to capture your heart while keeping the fire of heroes past alive.

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