Last week’s premiere of DC’s Stargirl introduced us to Jenni-Lynn Hayden, perhaps better known as Jade, the ring-slinging daughter of original Green Lantern Alan Scott. If you’re unfamiliar with Ysa Penarejo’s fiery new hero, don’t feel bad—after all, Courtney clearly doesn’t know who she is either. Jade’s been a member of some of DC’s biggest superteams and has quite a storied history within the DC Universe. Heck, she’s even at the heart of DC’s currently in progress event miniseries, Infinite Frontier. But to keep things simple, here are the five main things you should know about Jade before you see her in action again in tonight’s new episode.
She’s the Daughter of the Golden Age Green Lantern
We mentioned this above, but just to dive a little deeper, Jade has unusual parents in the comics. Her mother is Rose Canton, a plant-based villain named Thorn, and her father is Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern. Rose was afraid that her split personality Thorn would harm her children, so she secretly gave Jenni and her twin brother up for adoption. That’s right, Jade has a twin brother! And if you find that surprising…well, so did Jade! She didn’t learn about her brother Todd until she was grown.
Like Jenni, Todd is a superhero, but a much different one from her. Todd weaponizes shadows and fights evil under the name Obsidian. Meanwhile, Jade wields light as a weapon. That’s right, one sibling uses light and the other uses darkness. And you thought YOUR family had some differences!
She Has an Unusual Skintone
This seems to be a difference between DC’s Stargirl’s Jade and her comic book counterpart. Jenni grew up with an unusual green birthmark on her hand, which got worse as she got older until her entire body had turned green. This raised some interesting questions, since Jenni wasn’t even aware she was adopted. Turns out that Rose’s chlorophyl biology combined with Alan Scott’s exposure to the Starheart resulted in Jade’s unique complexion.
Still, while it may not be easy being green, there are some benefits in Jade’s case. She can harness the power of the Starheart, which means she has most of the powers of a Green Lantern even though she doesn’t have a ring. Plus, if she ever feels self-conscious about her green skin, she can always give Beast Boy a call…
She Tamed Solomon Grundy
Solomon Grundy has been described as an untamable beast, but Jade might be the only person on Earth who has been able to calm the savage villain. For years Grundy was a beast loyal to no one, but that all changed in Infinity, Inc. #36 when Jade rescued Grundy from a glacier. Grundy grew fond of Jade and fought alongside Infinity Inc., even though some team members were uncomfortable with the arrangement.
Unfortunately, they were right to be uncomfortable. A group of villains took advantage of Grundy’s devotion to Jade and tricked him into murdering Skyman in Infinity, Inc. #51. It will be interesting to see if this relationship plays out this season on Stargirl. Don’t forget, the show's Grundy is still wandering the sewers of Blue Valley.
She Was a Member of the Green Lantern Corps
When your superhero name is Jade, your skin is green and your father is Alan Scott, it’s inevitable you’ll wind up working with the Green Lantern Corps. In fact, Jade is partially responsible for the Corps’ revival. In 1998’s Green Lantern #107, Kyle Rayner found himself in possession of a Green Lantern ring that could create a duplicate of itself and he planned to travel the galaxy using it to rebuild the Corps' roster. Kyle didn’t want to leave Earth without a Lantern during his odyssey, and Jade happily volunteered. At the time, Jade had lost her powers, so the new Green Lantern ring helped her get some of her superhero mojo back. She valiantly defended the Earth while Kyle was gone, allowing him to rebuild the Green Lantern Corps and restore the galactic army to its former glory.
She Once Led a Mutiny Against Nightwing
Jade has been a member of the Justice League, the Justice Society, Infinity, Inc. and the Outsiders. Her time with this last group, in particular, was notable because Jade served as their leader after what can only be called a coup. Arsenal and Nightwing were co-leading the team and it wasn’t going well. (There was a lot of testosterone-fueled infighting.) So in 2004’s Outsiders #16, Jade decided to put the boys in their place and take over as team leader. It takes guts to look Roy Harper and Dick Grayson in the eye and tell them you’re in charge, but…well, it also takes guts to also break into the house of Blue Valley’s quick-tempered protector. That’s just who Jade is!
Of course, this is something DC’s Stargirl viewers will soon discover as we meet Jenni-Lynn Hayden properly in tonight’s pivotal second episode. Will she be joining Stargirl, Wildcat, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite in the new Justice Society? We’ll have to watch tonight to find out because that’s one thing about Jade that even we don’t know!
DC's Stargirl airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW. Looking for more on Courtney and the JSA? Visit our official DC's Stargirl series page!
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.