|“||Courntey, listen to me. You absolutely can do this. Go get your friends. And go get your brother. Be Stargirl for them. And honey, kick that girl's ass.||”|
— Barbara to Courtney
Barbara is the mother of Courtney Whitmore, the wife of Pat Dugan, and the stepmother of Mike Dugan. With her daughter in high school, Barbara is diving back into the workforce but striving to balance workplace demands with the commitments of both matrimony and motherhood.
Barbara was born and raised in Blue Valley, Nebraska. She moved to California during her adulthood, which is around the time she met Sam Kurtis. They had a daughter together, Courtney, which is when Barbara settled into Valley Village, California. Sam was never present in Courtney or Barbara's life, leaving her to primarily be a single mother.
On Christmas Eve 2010, Barbara Whitmore waited impatiently at her house with her daughter, Courtney, waiting for Courtney's father to arrive. When he failed to show and Barbara had to work, she asked her longtime friend Maggie Kramer if Courtney could stay at her house for the evening. Maggie agreed happily and told Barbara that they are friends and she's happy to help. Barbara kissed her daughter goodbye saying that Maggie will watch her while Barbara's at work. Courtney understands but cries that she wants her father, which Barbara knows. She leaves for work while Courtney looks out the window waiting for a man that would never show.
In 2018, Barbara met Pat Dugan at Richie's Diner while visiting Blue Valley to settle her deceased mother's estate. They ordered the same food - a corn dog and banana split. They had an instant connection and were married two years later. After accepting a job in Blue Valley, Barbara, her husband, daughter, and stepson moved from California to Blue Valley.
In the present day, Barbara is married to Pat Dugan and the newly blended family is packing up their California house to move across the country to Blue Valley, Nebraska for Barbara's new job. She takes notice of Courtney's agitation for the move and asks her to give Pat a chance. It isn't Pat's fault they're moving to Blue Valley, they made the decision together when the job opportunity presented itself for Barbara. She also adds that she grew up in Blue Valley and that Courtney will love it. The teen gives a forced smile and nod before walking off.
Barbara and her blended family later arrive at their new house, with her viewing the sight with happiness alongside her stepson, Mike. She is happy with the move and hugs Pat, who returns the sentiment until he sees movers handling a crate roughly. Barbara watches as she runs off to deal with the movers, then returns asking if they're hungry and should eat. Barbara is on board and nudges Courtney who feigns happiness. The family walks through the idyllic streets of Blue Valley when they come across Richie's Diner, which is where Pat and Barbara lovingly note this is where they met two years ago. They both ordered an ice cream sundae, even saying their orders at the same time as they recall the events. They laugh before Courtney asks what Pat was doing in Nebraska. Pat ominously replies he was looking for something, with Barbara noting that she was selling her mother's house.
The next night at dinner, Mike is excited to announce that he's made friends at Blue Valley Middle School and tells his father, Barbara, and Courtney about the video game he and his friends are designing. Barbara is excited for the boy and smiles as Pat agrees to let him go. She then asks if Courtney has any plans for the night with Mike quipping that she doesn't, which makes Courtney angry. Pat offers that they should go to the movies or explore the town, but Courtney snaps back that he isn't her father and leaves the table much to Barbara's protest. She apologizes to Pat once Courtney is out of the room.
When Courtney emerges from the basement later that night, she rushes to tell her mother about Pat's secret past. Barbara, however, is angry with Courtney for her behavior towards Pat. Courtney refuses to apologize as she tells her mom that Pat isn't who he claims to be. Barbara isn't interested in Courtney trying to blemish Pat, saying that he's exactly who she knows him to be. Courtney bluntly asks if her father was a superhero. Barbara resentfully tells her that her father only came to see her once a year, and disappeared when she was five, effectively abandoning them. Pat is the only man whose been there for them. If her father was as great as she thinks he was, he'd be here now, but he's not. Now calmed down, Barbara asks her daughter what she was saying before, but a remorseful Courtney changes her mind and leaves. They say goodnight to one another as Courtney walks away to her room.
Barbara hears Courtney rustling around in her bedroom and knocks on Courtney's door asking if she's okay. Courtney wrestles the staff under her bed, ordering it to stay and she resumes her sleeping position as her mother enters. Courtney tells Barbara she couldn't sleep, giving Barbara the impression it's because of what she said earlier. She apologizes to her daughter for making the jarring move and just wants to make sure she's okay. She knows that having a new stepfather and stepbrother in a new town can't be easy. Courtney rebuttals that she's the one who's sorry as she hadn't given Pat a chance but she will try to now. Barbara is relived at Courtney's new mindset, and they bid each other goodnight again with a hug.
In the months since the defeat of the Injustice Society of America and the death of Jordan Mahkent, Barbara continues to work at The American Dream while maintaining an open communication with Pat. The parents want to take a lake trip away from Blue Valley for two-weeks as a way to put distance between them and the superhero world. They would leave behind all their superhero paraphernalia - including the Cosmic Staff, to take a well-deserved break. Courtney and Mike protest as they both want to focus on their respective superhero careers, but Pat, Barbara, and even Max are pro-vacation. Now outvoted, Courtney and Mike reluctantly accept their impending vacation. The families plans are derailed when Courtney is called into the principals office, forcing Pat and Barbara to sit down for a meeting with the new principal.
Principal Sherman discusses Courtney's recent behavior, though Courtney tries to explain the fight even though that's not what Principal Sherman was referencing - yet. Courtney tries to explain what happened to Pat but can't without outing her secret. Principal Sherman explains that Courtney failed three classes, and if she wants to be a junior next year, she has to attend Summer school. Once in the hall, Pat and Barbara scold Courtney for focusing too much on being Stargirl and not enough on normalcy. Because she is so obsessed, they all have to pay the consequences by not going on their family trip. Barbara tells Courtney to figure out how to balance her life and think about what she's giving up by putting on the mask. That night, Barbara, Pat, and Mike, are awakened to the sound of fighting in the kitchen. They head to see what's going on and see Courtney wielding the Cosmic Staff against an unknown girl holding a power battery. They walk in just as the girl states that she's Green Lantern's daughter. Courtney looks to her parents and awkardly states there's been a misunderstanding.
Courtney tries to explain the situation to her family, since Jennie broke in and Courtney was defending their home. Courtney's parents are disapproving of her use of the Cosmic Staff while being more lenient on Jennie. Through Pat's inquisitions, the Whitmore-Dugan's learn that Jennie is the alleged daughter of Alan Scott - the Golden Age Green Lantern. Barbara is pleasantly surprised when Jennie reveals that she knows of Pat as he's a mechanical genius and infamous member of the JSA. Jennie eagerly assumes Courtney is the daughter of Starman, but Courtney bashfully declines. Jennie assumes she's Stripesey's daughter, but Courtney solemnly corrects that she's his stepdaughter. Barbara watches as Jennie asks Pat to help her train with the Green Lantern ring. Barbara helps Jennie get settled at the Whitmore-Dugan house, even letting her stay in Courtney's room. Jennie is nervous about staying in Courtney's room as Courtney only volunteered to sleep on the couch when Barbara asked her too. Barbara assures her it's fine and leaves her to sleep.
The next day, Jennie rises early and fixes the kitchen table, makes breakfast, and makes sure the Whitmore-Dugan's are treated wonderfully. She apologizes again for her actions and greets Courtney when the girl wakes up. Barbara praises Jennie's pancakes as being even better than Pat's. Jennie offers to get Courtney a plate of food, but Courtney claims she isn't hungry. Jennie and Pat make plans to visit The Pit Stop to test out the ring. Courtney wants to go but Barbara reminds her that she has school, with Mike rubbing it in that it's Summer school. Barbara heads to work at The American Dream, when she is unexpectedly visited by a stranger named Richard Swift. Richard introduces himself as an antiques collector with an obsession for stage magic. He heard that The American Dream was holding the later William Zarick's collection of stage magic. Richard offers to pay a hefty fee for William's collection. Barbara has to run it by the board first, so he leaves his business card. She notes that it doesn't have any contact information on it, which is odd to her. He assures Barbara that he'll be in touch. He then asks where he can find a decent cup of tea in the town, so Barbara directs him to Richie's Diner. The next morning, Barbara tells Courtney that Jennie left the Whitmore-Dugan household before anyone woke up.
Pat reveals to Courtney that the former ISA villain The Shade is in Blue Valley, operating under the alias of Richard Swift. He learned of Richard's arrival from Barbara, who had directed Pat to Richie's Diner to meet Richard. It was there that Pat had recognized The Shade's antique watch and pieced together his true identity. Now feeling vindicated over her feeling of a looming threat in Blue Valley, Courtney dives into researching The Shade. She reads the ISA files and shares some of them with Mike before taking them back. Barbara is nervous over Shade's presence and wants Courtney to be careful, as she mistakenly believes that S.T.R.I.P.E. can turn invisible and attack Shade or they can just report him to the authorities. Courtney tells her to leave this up to the professionals.
Barbara is an intelligent and kind woman who values her relationship with her daughter above everything else. She cares for her family and is devoted to her husband and has a desire to grow closer to her stepson, even attending his science fair. She gets excited when her family dynamic begins to grow closer and is happy at the prospect of Courtney making friends or forming a relationship with Pat. Barbara is also dedicated to her work and doesn't hesitate to speak up when she has the opportunity and values a positive repour with her boss, Jordan Mahkent, and appreciates that she is becoming increasingly more involved in the company.
Barbara is also seen to be a maternal figure to Courtney's friends as she allows them to celebrate Christmas with her family, though it appears she is closer to Beth as she has spent more time with her.
Despite her experiences with Jordan, Barbara still had some ounce of respect for him due to his work in preserving small towns. However, this is as far as that respect goes.
Barbara is an attractive woman in her late thirties. She strongly resembles her daughter, Courtney. Barbara has shoulder-length curly blonde hair, blue-green eyes, pale skin, and a slim physique. She often wears light-colored tops or a bright shawl. Her clothes are both fashionable yet professional. She wears slim-fitting jeans. When going somewhere professional, she favors grey or black business jackets and dark dress pants paired with heels.
Notes and Trivia
- Barbara was unaware of her husband's past as a member of the Justice Society of America until ""
- Barbara has only ever been addressed as Mrs. Dugan by Beth when Barbara was being mentally manipulated by Brainwave.
- Barbara's one-sided relationship with Jordan can be seen as a parallel to Courtney's relationship with Jordan's son, Cameron.
- Barbara was named after Barbara Johns, the mother of Stargirl creator, Geoff Johns. This was confirmed by Amy Smart during the Stargirl DC Fandome Panel.
- Barbara isn't big on formalities as she insists that Jennie call her by her name.