Stargirl creator Geoff Johns says superhero Courtney Whitmore’s based on ‘smart &’ sister who died in plane crash – The Sun

DC's Stargirl premiered last week on The CW and on the DC Universe streaming service, but it’s a story that’s been decades in the making.

Creator Geoff Johns also wrote the 1990s/early-2000s comic book series the show is based on, and he revealed both were inspired by his late sister Courtney Johns who died in a plane crash.

The character of Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl, played on the CW show by Brec Bassinger, first appeared in the July 1999 comic book, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., just a few years after Geoff’s sister Courtney passed away at 18.

She was one of the 230 people who were killed in the TWA Flight 800 crash on July 17, 1996, and Geoff wanted to honor her memory by creating the character of Courtney, who not only bears her name but her “spirit.”

Ahead of Stargirl’s premiere, Geoff penned a personal letter to fans to share the story behind the show and to introduce them to his “smart, funny and endlessly enthusiastic” late sister.

He wrote: “It is her spirit and optimistic energy that I wanted to put back in the world with Stargirl. It is celebratory, forward-looking and positive. And I hope that comes through when you watch these episodes.

“I’ve written a lot of superhero stories in my career, but this is by far the most personal on every level.”

The show follows high school student Courtney Whitmore as she takes on the alter ego Stargirl and finds a new generation of the Justice Society of America after learning her new step-father Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) was once Starman’s sidekick and holds his Cosmic Staff.

To honor Geoff’s late sister, the show's prop master, Doug Mastin, had the idea to put in a little Easter egg tribute in the Stargirl premiere.

Early on in episode 1, Courtney Whitmore is packing up for her and her family’s move from California to Nebraska when a special photo of her and a friend is shown pinned to her bulletin board.

The important item is an edited-together picture of the late Courtney Johns and Brec’s Courtney Whitmore sitting together on a park bench.

Geoff told Comic Book of the sweet moment: "I didn't actually include it. It was Doug Mastin, our prop master who is amazing, an amazing, amazing human being and talented, passionate guy.

“…He was so driven by the idea that this was based off my sister and he was the one that had the idea, that put it together.

The Stargirl creator continued: “He asked me if they could do it and I said absolutely. That's a really nice gesture.

“And I'm really glad that he suggested that and it's really nice to see. I mean, even for just my parents and all her friends, it's nice. It's cool to have it in there."

New Stargirl episodes premiere Mondays on DC Universe, before later airing on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.

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