Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Genre Character of the Week: Stargirl

Last month for one of my book clubs I read the first 11 volumes of the Justice Society of America, which ran from 1999 to 2006 (considering the majority of these characters started out in the 1940’s, I use the term first very loosely), and although the team had a lot of members joining and leaving throughout the run, it did re-introduce me to this week’s genre character, Stargirl, aka Courtney Whitmore.

I was first introduced to the character in James Robinson’s Starman, where she comes across as kind of an arrogant jerk, totally taking the work of her partner (and Stepfather) for granted and basically coming across as a very selfish teen. In the end of Starman (mild spoiler), Jack Knight passes on his Cosmic Staff to Courntey and she changes her name from the Star-Spangled Kid to Stargirl. At the time I readStarman, I couldn’t help wondering, why her? I mean, she doesn’t really come across as even mildly heroic in the series and I couldn’t follow Jack’s logic as to why she should take up where he left off.

Luckily, after reading the Justice Society of America series, I now have a much better idea. Here’s what I really liked about Courtney; she is learning as she goes along, she’s not afraid to admit when she’s wrong, and honestly, she is the only superhero I can think of who wears braces for her teeth. Her relationships throughout the run on JSA run from friendships to romances (and specifically one of the best uses of the “but you don’t know him like I do” excuses I’ve ever come across in genre fiction) and unlike a lot of the other heroes, you actually get to see her mature through the series.

Honestly, a pretty cool superhero.

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