When regular people become superheroes, they typically end up having to give up their normal lives. It can either be because they personally choose to do so, or because they are forced to make that decision. For example, a common occurrence in superhero stories is for someone the superhero cares about to fall into some kind of dangerous situation due to their association with the hero. However, StarGirl is a superheroine with a unique story who is able to retain her normal social life. There are so many ways in which she breaks superhero conventions, making for an interesting watching experience for viewers of her show.
Aware and Helpful Parents
Geoff Johns is the executive producer of the show StarGirl, which follows the story of a high school girl named Courtney Whitmore. In the show, Courtney becomes the superheroine known as StarGirl and takes up the mantle of the deceased superhero Starman.
What is interesting about Courtney is that she, from the beginning, does not force a complete separation of her hero life and regular life. First, her stepfather, Pat, discovers that she is StarGirl and reveals that he used to be Starman’s sidekick in the past. Then, he inevitably becomes her sidekick out of concern for her safety and because he has the experience necessary to be helpful to her and teach her the ropes.
The relationship that Pat and Courtney share is very interesting. They are stepfather and stepdaughter, yet they actually love each other and get along very well. In the real world, this is not so uncommon. However, step-parents have a history of being depicted as villains in media. Pat is not only not a villain, he is a loving father-figure and actual hero who helps Courtney fight evil.
Courtney’s mother also eventually finds out that she is StarGirl. It is incredibly special that both of Courtney’s parents find out that she is a heroine. Even better, both of her parents try and help her achieve her heroic goals. What this means is that instead of having to isolate herself and keep such an important secret from her family, Courtney can share her heroic successes and struggles with her parents, ask for their advice and keep her parental relationships intact.
Aware and Helpful Friends
Courtney not only manages to keep her relationship with her parents intact, but also the relationships she has with her friends. Like her parents, her friends eventually find out that she is StarGirl. Some of her friends actually become superheroes alongside her. They join a group called the Justice Society of America, with StarGirl as the leader, and help her fight evil as well.
Incredibly, StarGirl has a normal social life. Her parents and friends are aware of who she is, and this gives her the freedom to be open and honest with them. Not only that, but many of them actually help her by joining her group and becoming superheroes themselves. The happiness her social life brings her will definitely make being a superheroine sustainable for her in the future.