|This article is about the heroine, Courtney Whitmore. You may be looking for the series or the episode.|
|“||Life isn’t that black and white, Henry. People can be bad, but people can be good too, and kind and compassionate. Maybe some of the thoughts you read, maybe, they are bad. I mean, sometimes we’re hurting or afraid and we think awful, awful things. Have you tried looking a little deeper? I bet you’d find something better. Behind the pain and the fear, it’s all about love. People want to love and be loved.||”|
Courtney is a sophomore in high school whose life in Blue Valley, Nebraska takes an unexpected turn when she discovers a powerful staff with powers only she can wield. She soon rallies together an unlikely group of young heroes, including Yolanda Montez, Beth Chapel, and Rick Tyler, to continue the legacy of the Justice Society of America as the superheroine Stargirl. Courtney also learns to accept her stepfather, Pat Dugan and welcomes Mike as her brother.
Courtney was born and raised in Valley Village, California, and is the daughter of a single working mother, Barbara Whitmore. Her father, Sam Kurtis, was in and out of their lives after Courtney was born. Courtney only met Sam a handful of times but still cared deeply for him. When she was four, Sam gifted her one of the lockets his mother had given him. He placed a photo of himself in the locket so Courtney would also have him with her. They spent Christmas together in a slew of fun and childlike games.
A year passed and on Christmas Eve 2010, Sam was scheduled to meet a now five-year-old Courtney. However, he never arrived and vanished that night as the Whitmore's never saw or heard from him again. A distraught Courtney waited for Sam all night with a special gift for him. Courtney persevered and became a gymnast and joined martial arts, where she learned incredible fighting skills. She was also very advanced in her gymnast career, being the best at her high school. She had a strong circle of friends.
Her smooth-going high school experience is derailed when her mother marries Pat Dugan and moves the household, which now includes Courtney's stepbrother Mike Dugan and a family pet, from Los Angeles to bucolic Blue Valley in distant Nebraska. Struggling to adapt, Courtney discovers her stepfather has a secret past as a superhero sidekick. She also discovers an artifact of immense power, a long-lost hero’s cosmic staff. With the guidance of a reluctant Pat, Courtney becomes the unlikely inspiration for an entirely new generation of superheroes.
Ten years ago on Christmas Eve, a five-year-old Courtney Whitmore waited for her father to arrive, only to be disappointed once again when he didn't. Her single mother Barbara Whitmore leaves for work but tells her daughter to focus on the positives, such as spending the holiday with her close friend Mary. In the present day, Courtney packs her room in California to travel across the country with her new step-father, Pat Dugan, and stepbrother Mike Dugan, to the small town of Blue Valley, Nebraska, where her mother has secured a new job. The move is against Courtney’s wishes but she does her best to try and get along with Pat for her mother’s sake.
Her first day at Blue Valley High is met with obstacles as she makes an enemy of mean girl Cindy Burman and is ostracized to the loser table, forced to sit with the talkative Beth Chapel, social outcast Yolanda Montez, and delinquent Rick Harris. Courtney lands in detention after standing up for Yolanda against a cruel jock, Henry King Jr. She returns to her new house where Mike has plans with his friends while she is having trouble fitting in.
Her annoyance over the day and Pat trying to bond with her causes her to snap that he isn’t her father. She runs to the basement where her anger turns to curiosity when she finds boxes of superhero paraphernalia in Pat’s things. She learns from a series of photographs that Pat was a hero named Stripesey, the famed Starman’s sidekick, and a member of the Justice Society of America. She also finds a magical staff that glows in her presence. When she picks it up, the staff whirs to life and displays its larger-than-life attributes.
The staff has a mind of its own and takes her on a nightly adventure, where she learns that the staff grants her powers such as flight, cosmic blasts, and allows her to perform gymnastics feats. The staff brings her to a drive-in where she once again encounters Henry Jr, this time he is heckling other movie watchers. To teach him a lesson she attempts to poke holes in his tires but the staff, wanting more, shoots a cosmic blast at the car causing it to blow up. She engages in a fight with Henry and barely wins before flying back to her home. She is confronted by a worried Pat who tells her about his life as a sidekick, and that his best friend Starman, Sylvester Pemberton, was murdered during a fight. He explains that the staff only ever worked for Starman, prompting Courtney to see a resemblance between her father and Starman. Now believing that she is Starman’s daughter and that this is her destiny, she convinces Pat to help her be a hero.
Things take a turn for Courtney when the staff takes her on a bonding exercise that results in an unpleasant meeting with Injustice Society of America villain Brainwave. She is rescued by Pat, who operates a massive robot called S.T.R.I.P.E. He once again warns her of the dangers of being a hero and how Brainwave was responsible for the deaths of many JSA members, though it was Icicle who ultimately killed Starman. She learns about surviving member Rex Tyler, who operated as Hourman, and how Rex was murdered a few years after the JSA were defeated. Pat stresses the importance of keeping her identity a secret to protect her loved ones. She decides to steal Starman’s old suit and turns it into a suit fit for herself.
In her school life, Courtney continues to fail in making friends with Yolanda or Beth. Brainwave confronts Courtney at a school assembly, outing himself as Dr. Henry King Sr. He threatens to kill Courtney’s mother if she doesn’t give him the staff, which forces Pat into accepting the fight on her behalf. Unable to stand by and let Pat fight for her, Courtney dons her superhero costume and arrives at the fight just in time to save Pat from being crushed. She reveals herself as the masked heroine Stargirl, fighting Brainwave until the staff connects with his forehead resulting in a telekinetic blast that renders him comatose.
Courtney stands up for Yolanda the next day in school, defending her from the slut-shaming antics of Cindy Burman and Jenny Williams. She also befriends Cameron Mahkent, an artist in her math class, and Joey Zarick, an aspiring magician who shows her kindness. Courtney soon realizes that if Brainwave is in town there is a good chance the other ISA members are there too, refusing to believe everything that everything that has happened is a coincidence. She is proven right when Icicle makes his presence known, with Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. working together to fight Icicle in the woods. He proves stronger than them and distracts them long enough to make a point by killing her fellow student Joey Zarick. She is heartbroken over his death but refuses to give up, believing that they have to stop Icicle. He takes her to the JSA’s former headquarters where he shows her the remaining artifacts from the Golden Age of heroes, explaining each of their backgrounds and real identities. She goes against Pat’s wishes of giving up her superhero fighting by stealing the JSA’s artifacts.
She plans to recruit a new JSA and begins with the Wildcat mantle, which she believes should go to Yolanda Montez, a former boxer and outcast at Blue Valley High after topless photos of herself surfaced. Courtney struggles to connect with Yolanda but ultimately convinces her to try the Wildcat suit, with Yolanda working brilliantly alongside Courtney. They break into the Blue Valley Medical Center to see if any of the ISA members have visited the comatose Dr. King, finding only their principal Anaya Bowin who plays her fiddle before leaving. A few hours later, Yolanda agrees to become Wildcat and joins Courtney in her recruitment mission. Courtney discovered by accident that the hourglass that once belonged to Hourman lit up in the presence of delinquent Rick Harris. She confronts him with the hourglass but it doesn’t work, causing him to call her crazy.
In the meantime, Courtney discovers that she hasn’t been discreet in her recruitment since Beth Chapel overheard Courtney and Yolanda talking about being superheroes. Beth was able to turn on the goggles that once belonged to Dr. Mid-Nite, and reveals to an exasperated Courtney that Rick Harris was born Rick Tyler and is the son of Rex Tyler. Courtney pieces together that Rick is a legacy just like her, and confronts Rick with her evidence alongside Beth and Yolanda. Though he is apprehensive at first to join them, he ultimately agrees as he wants revenge for his parent’s who were murdered by ISA member Solomon Grundy.
Courtney faces backlash from Pat who scolds her for involving more people as the situation is dangerous. He tasks her with retrieving the artifacts from her friends, though she is unable to go through with it when she sees their excitement. Yolanda, Beth, and Rick are determined to follow through with their mantles and a break-in at a cell tower proves to be the perfect training. The group suits up for the first time to confront The Gambler, a highly skilled hacker who works with the ISA. Their “easy first mission” turns dangerous when they are confronted by ISA attackers Sportsmaster and Tigress. Stargirl instructs her team to stick together, but the villains bait the group into splitting up. Stargirl ends up in a ferocious fight against Sportsmaster and later Tigress, who gang up on her, though her tenacity and relentless attitude make her a formidable foe. She saves her team and they unite, being joined by S.T.R.I.P.E. at the last minute.
Upon realizing that Courtney won’t give up and that the team is assembled, Pat agrees to teach Courtney and her friends how to work together. In the meantime, he sends them to school to be normal teens. Courtney furthers her friendship with Cameron Mahkent, is paired with the seemingly insufferable Cindy Burman in science, and plans to hang out with Cindy that weekend. After school, Courtney heads to The Pit Stop where the rest of the JSA are waiting to begin their training. She is brimming with excitement and dominates the course with the staff, disappointing her teammates who wanted to try for themselves. Pat tells Courtney that she needs to be a team player and can’t do everything by herself.
Pat, Courtney, and Mike go to the football game that night where her secrets with Pat cause Mike to snap at her that Pat isn’t her father. He reminds her that just because she doesn’t have a father doesn’t mean she can be selfish with him, reminding her that she doesn’t know what they have been through. When Mike storms off, Courtney is asked on a date by Cameron Mahkent. She cancels her plans with Cindy before spotting Anaya Bowin acting suspiciously. Her attempts to pin down an ISA member alone get her into trouble when the villainous Shiv, Cindy Burman’s alter-ego, arrives. They get into a ferocious fight in which Shiv’s regenerative powers and immense training make her a dangerous foe. She renders Stargirl unconscious, though Stargirl is saved by a masked assailant.
Courtney recovers from her wounds in the hospital and later at home, though Barbara’s anger toward Pat for “letting her drive" as per his cover story, jeopardizes their relationship. Courtney is visited by a sympathetic Mike who makes pizza rolls for her. They apologize to one another and agree to be siblings. Later that night, Courtney is visited by Cindy who knows that Courtney is Stargirl and threatens to kill her friends. When Courtney is unable to reach her friends, she defies Pat’s orders to stand down and suits up again to confront Cindy at her house. The girls’ fight lands onto the streets where they are interrupted by Henry Jr, Cindy’s boyfriend who, in a desperate attempt to stop them from fighting, unleashes a telekinetic blast that separates them. Courtney realizes that Henry inherited his father’s ability to read minds and control things telekinetically. She turns to Pat for guidance as she wants to recruit Henry, believing that his mind-reading abilities will be crucial in their fight to stop the ISA. Pat also tells her that Cindy Burman’s father is the inhuman Dr. Shiro Ito, better known as Dragon King, who Pat thought was dead after encountering Ito during his days with the Seven Soldiers of Victory, another superhero team.
Yolanda is insulted that Courtney wants to recruit Henry after what he did to her, as leaking her topless photos ruined her life. The rest of the team is in agreement that Henry is the enemy, though Courtney still isn’t convinced and visits Henry herself. She learns that the thoughts he’s been reading are vulgar and sickening. He is starting to think his father was right about humans being monsters. She reveals that Brainwave killed Joey Zarick, William Zarick, and her father, which is why the JSA wants to stop Brainwave. She tells him that despite the thoughts he's hearing, people want to be good. They want to love and be loved. She tells him to dig a little deeper next time he reads someone’s mind, referencing that the JSA can help him. She tells him to talk to her when he’s ready. Meanwhile, Courtney and her family have dinner with the Mahkent’s, as Jordan Mahkent is Barbara’s boss at The American Dream. Courtney and Cameron are excited but nervous to spend an evening together, especially joined by Jordan’s parents. The dinner makes Courtney believe that Jordan Mahkent is Icicle, as he is unfazed by an oven-hot pan. She begins to worry that Cameron could be like his father, though her judgment is clouded with the belief that Icicle killed her father. Pat tries to stop her from following Jordan but they are interrupted by Barbara, who screams at the sight of the Cosmic Staff glowing in her daughter’s hand.
Courtney excitedly tells her mother everything that she’s been doing and how her father is Starman. Barbara refuses to accept this as the truth and denounces her claim that Starman is her father, ordering her daughter to her room. The truth causes Pat and Barbara’s already rocky relationship to crumble, and when Courtney awakens the next morning to find the staff missing, she is informed by Barbara that they are leaving Blue Valley. Courtney tries to find Pat as she’s worried about the staff but instead finds Mike who is hurt that she won’t tell him what is going on as he thought they were siblings. As she retreats to pack her things, Henry tracks Courtney down and tells her that his father woke up from his coma, was taken by Jordan Mahkent, and that they plan to restore Brainwave’s cruelty. He also warns that the ISA has the cosmic staff. He also reveals that his Uncle is Sylvester Pemberton/Starman. She is elated to have a cousin and agrees to help him save his father. After much convincing, Yolanda, Rick, and an enthusiastic Beth agree to help Courtney.
They travel to the underground tunnels where they track Brainwave to Dragon King’s lair. They are outed by Cindy who has been held hostage by her father as punishment for attacking Courtney. Stargirl, Wildcat, and Henry battle Dragon King’s minions and retrieve the staff. They are too late in saving Brainwave, whose memories have been restored. He wants Henry to join him in the ISA but Henry refuses, fleeing the tunnels with the JSA. Stargirl fends off Brainwave while the team escapes to the exiting tunnel, though Henry refuses to let her get hurt and uses his powers to put her on the other side of the tunnels. Brainwave places a shield around the entrance, rendering the JSA unable to help Henry as he and Brainwave fight. Brainwave overpowers his son who refuses to join the ISA. Henry looks to Courtney and tearfully tells her that she was right about people wanting to be good, and tells her not to let this change her beliefs. Moments later, Brainwave kills Henry by collapsing the tunnels on him.
Courtney is struck with grief and guilt over the death of not only Henry but Joey Zarick. Her world is rocked again when Sam Kurtis, her biological father, arrives in Blue Valley. Her grief and guilt are elevated when she realizes she isn’t Starman’s daughter and puts everyone she loves in danger. After spending a day with Sam, he convinces her that he plans to buy a place in California, that she can come live with him, and they can go shopping this Summer. He just needs her locket so he can sell the matching set to afford a down payment. She tearfully gives over her locket before running inside, breaking down into tears in Pat’s arms. She goes to the basement to be with the staff, only to learn that it no longer lights up in her hands. She tells her mother that whenever Barbara is ready to leave Blue Valley, she is too.
Courtney goes to BVHS that afternoon to tell Yolanda, Beth, and Rick what she’s learned about not being Starman’s daughter. She also tells them she is ending the JSA, though she changes her mind when Dr. King threatens the JSA during a vigil for Henry. He threatens to kill Barbara and the Dugan’s, so a frantic Courtney rushes home where she begs the staff to work again. When it fails, Pat tells her that the staff knew she wasn’t Starman’s daughter but worked because it believed in her. He thinks it isn’t working because she doesn’t believe in herself anymore. She asks Pat and Barbara to stand with her, needing the help of both her parents, as she accepts the staff once more. By believing in herself, Courtney can wield the staff once more. Meanwhile, across town, the ISA launches its global initiative to reprogram every developed mind.
Jordan sends Tigress and Sportsmaster to the Whitmore-Dugan household to kill the family, forcing them to flee to Pat’s family cabin in the woods. They also divulge the truth to Mike which he finds amazing, even trying to see if the staff works for him, though it ultimately doesn’t. Rick deciphers his father’s journal to learn that Rex figured out what the ISA was planning, which is why he was killed. Rick shares that the ISA are building satellites, which is why The Gambler was hacking into a tower, and plan to use Brainwave’s powers to broadcast a telepathic signal to half of America that will effectively reprogram everyone’s minds to follow their ideals. The team leaps to action as they confront the ISA in the underground tunnels to destroy the satellites. They are seconds too late as Jordan and Brainwave begin what they call Project: New America, which will kill 25% of all affected people. Pat, who is operating S.T.R.I.P.E., falls victim to the signal, alongside Justin who has joined the group for their fight.
Brainwave controls Pat and forces him to attack Stargirl. She pleads with Pat to fight as she needs him. She calls herself his daughter just as Beth figures out how to enable the telepathic blockers in the tunnels. Pat is freed from his control but tells her that he heard every word she said, to which she smiles that she meant every word. The team regroups in Dragon King’s lair where they are confronted by the ISA, and a dangerous fight ensues. After gaining the upper hand, the JSA prepared to disable the satellites, forcing a defeated Icicle to demand The Gambler release, Solomon Grundy. S.T.R.I.P.E. and Hourman attack Grundy while Stargirl and Wildcat break into the satellite room. Stargirl is attacked by Cindy which gives Wildcat time to kill Dragon King’s minions. When Stargirl blasts Cindy unconscious, she joins Wildcat and finds her with a dead Brainwave, his throat having been slit by Wildcat's claws. Stargirl is in disbelief but they press on, with Stargirl taking flight and blasting the satellites. Stargirl and Wildcat flee the scene only to learn that Jordan has kidnapped Barbara.
Stargirl swoops in to save Barbara and Pat, fighting Icicle atop The American Dream. He collides with the Cosmic Staff which sends an icy blast across the platform, knocking Barbara, Jordan, and Stargirl off the platform. Pat saves Barbara while Wildcat leaps off the tower to save Stargirl, taking a chance that her suit will absorb the impact. Mike speeds to the scene in his father’s truck, running over a frozen Icicle. They emerge victorious with only a few scrapes and are left to pick up the pieces of their battle.
Courtney promises Beth they’ll find a way to fix her goggles, and Chuck too, which Icicle had destroyed. They then bid goodbye to Justin, who plans to find the rest of the Seven Soldiers of Victory. The family celebrates Christmas together, with Courtney inviting Rick, Beth, and Yolanda. Courtney gives Pat a Christmas present, the one she was planning to give Sam ten years ago, and he accepts the #1 Dad mug. The Whitmore-Dugan's, joined by Rick, Yolanda, Beth, and their bulldog Max, take a family photo. The next morning, Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. take to the sky to fly over Blue Valley, taking a seat on the water tower where they look over the town before taking to the sky once again.
Courtney is a complicated young girl whose disposition and nature was greatly affected by her mother's marriage to Pat Dugan and their subsequent move to Blue Valley. The sudden shift in her surroundings caused her to frequently lash out, calling her stepfather lame and refusing his help at every turn. She secretly held onto the hope that her biologial father would return. Following the move, she struggled to assimilate into small-town life and had difficulty fitting in. She became a social outcast on her first day of school, though her heroism was apparent when she defended herself against a sexist bully. She was brave and defended a fellow female student. Courtney is inherently curious, intelligent, and adaptive. Her positive qualities allowed her to bond with the Cosmic Staff almost instantly. She showed her immaturity in attacking a bullies car to get back at him for his sexist remarks at lunch. An encounter with Brainwave revealed Courtney's feelings of being alone and isolated. She also harbored many unresolved issues from her father abandoning her.
Instead of being frightened of the impossible sight of the Cosmic Staff, Courtney demonstrated a curious, brave side of her which was a factor of her succession as the new handler. She was chosen by the staff for her remarkable heart and enthusiasm to fight for justice. Even when things seem lost, Courtney manages to find her way back to the ideology of justice and heroism. She can be overly enthusiastic and naïve to the dangers of being a superhero. It wasn't until a fellow student died that she realized the validity of her actions. Even when faced with grief, Courtney was able to convince Pat that it was because a child died that they had to continue their mission. Courtney is also a feminist and fights Cindy when she slut-shamed Yolanda. She noted that slut-shaming is damaging and sets women back fifty years.
At times, her ignorance and stubbornness get the best of her. This eventually led her to be injured in "" after engaging in a fight with Shiv. Despite Pat's warnings and urges to be careful, Courtney can be reckless and even selfish when it comes to her team. She recognizes her actions and tries to improve herself. Courtney also inspires the best in people, reminding Henry, who is adjusting to the horrendous thoughts he hears, that people want to be good. She inspires not only Henry, but the entirety of the JSA. She also has knack for recognize the good in someone and seeing through people's emotional walls, as she did with Rick and Yolanda.
Courtney was heartbroken over Henry's death and felt responsible. She also felt responsible for Joey Zarick's death, believing that her mistakes outweighed whatever good she was trying to accomplish. At the same time, she was hit with the revelation that her father wasn't Starman but Sam Kurtis, a common man with a troubled past. The revelation sent Courtney through a spiral that affected not only her personal life but her life as Stargirl too. She believed that the staff knew she wasn't Starman's daughter and she was no longer worthy of the title. She feared she put everyone danger over nothing but a fairytale and was ready to give up on her team, Blue Valley, and Stargirl.
It wasn't until Brainwave threatened her family that she felt the need to pick up the staff again, and Pat reminded her that the staff chose her because of her good heart and because it believed in her. She just has to believe in herself again. While it took the support of her parental figures, she was able to wield the cosmic staff once more. This is also the moment she accepts Pat as her father figure and even refers to herself as his daughter, and doesn't recant when he tells her he heard what she said.
Courtney is a cute young teenager whose spunky personality is evident in the way she presents herself. She strongly resembles her mother, with their matching shoulder-length, naturally curly blonde hair, and vibrant blue-green eyes. Courtney has a curvy, athletic, yet petite physique most likely from her time as a gymnast and now as a superhero. She has full lips, a round face, and a fair complexion. According to the A.I. of Dr. Charles McNider, she is 5'2", weighs 108 pounds and has a 120 BPM. She prefers relaxed clothing that is stylish yet comfortable. This includes graphic t-shirts with sayings or flannel with jeans. She wears sneakers for the majority of the time. She is almost always seen wearing her golden locket on a long chain. The locket holds a picture of her father.
When fighting crime as Stargirl, Courtney wears her signature suit.
While Courtney doesn't have any powers herself, she is able to generate abilities through the Cosmic Staff, which only she can wield. The staff chose her as its new wielder, giving her many incredible powers and abilities.
- Abilities via Cosmic Staff: When wielding the Staff, Courtney is granted powers, including the ability to fly while gripping the staff.
- Stellarkinesis: Courtney can create and manipulate stellar energy generated by her Staff to use against her opponents.
- Photokinesis: Courtney is able to use the light generated by her staff to blind people or distract them.
- Flight: Courtney is able to fly when using her staff.
- Stellarkinesis: Courtney can create and manipulate stellar energy generated by her Staff to use against her opponents.
- Peak Human Condition: Courtney, as a former gymnast, is highly athletic. She is extremely agile and flexible, able to perform flips, aerials, and numerous other acrobatic maneuvers with ease. This allowed her to evade tires and other debris telekinetically hurled at her by Brainwave. Courtney has also shown impressive strength, able to quickly hurl Tigress away with a single kick.
- Master Acrobat: As the former captain of her school's gymnastics team, Courtney is a skilled acrobat and extremely agile. Her gymnastic feats are remarkable and effortless. Her skills are accentuated when she wields the Cosmic Staff, though in her fight against Dragon King, she still demonstrated great acrobatic ability.
- Expert Martial Artist: Courtney is a skilled fighter, being a karate blue belt recipient from an early age. Courtney proved capable of taking on and besting several of Dragon King's minions with little struggle even before she was able to hold her own reasonably well against the extremely skilled Sportsmaster. Later she was able to fight Cindy on two occasions, even briefly overpowering her in one encounter.
- Expert Staff-Fighter: Courtney has demonstrated great skill in bo-staff fighting as shown in both of her fights against Brainwave. She can also fight using improvised weapons, such as the bat she disarmed from Sportsmaster, or the poker she took from Dragon King's lair and used to kill his minions.
- Sewing: Courtney was able to create her Stargirl Suit from the old Starman suit, demonstrating some form of sewing ability.
- Stargirl Suit: The Stargirl Suit is a protective suit used by Courtney Whitmore as the crime-fighting heroine, Stargirl.
- The Cosmic Staff: The cosmic staff is a weapon used by Starman and his successor, Stargirl. Wielded primarily by Starman and Stargirl, the Cosmic Staff is a powerful weapon and device that absorbed stellar energy and employs it to create a wide range of abilities that its wielders use to fight crime. The wielder can also use the staff to fly.
Notes and Trivia
- Courtney is a talented gymnast and was on her school's gymnastics team in California.
- Courtney is 5'2" (157-158 centimeters) and weighs 108 pounds (49 kilograms).
- Courtney is the only character to have a middle name, Elizabeth.