I’m not going to sugarcoat this, I’m crushed that The CW’s Stargirl won’t be getting a fourth season. The superhero drama has so much heart, and it’s become one of my all-time favorite DCTV productions. I know that I’m not alone in this feeling. However, I’m pleased to say that although Stargirl is coming to an end, Courtney Whitmore will live on. Stargirl: The Lost Children is a new comic book limited series that captures the spirit of the TV show.
Some cynical people reading this might think I’m using Stargirl’s cancellation to promote a new comic, but every word I’m saying is sincere. When I opened up Stargirl: The Lost Children #1 it gave me that same sense of wonder I get when I watch the television series. This should really come as no surprise since the comic is written by Geoff Johns. In addition to creating Courtney Whitmore (in 1999’s Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.) Johns has been the showrunner for Stargirl for its entire run. It’s safe to say that nobody knows Courtney Whitmore and her world better than Geoff Johns.
Unlike the Earth-Prime special from earlier this year, this series doesn’t take place in the continuity of the show. However, don’t let that deter you, and don’t worry if you’re new to comics. Stargirl: The Lost Children is completely new reader friendly. In fact, there are plenty of familiar elements that will make you feel like you’re watching the show.
Some of this is thanks to the talented Todd Nauck. The gifted illustrator went above and beyond in incorporating imagery that Stargirl fans will recognize. For example, at one point we see downtown Blue Valley and it is drawn exactly like the town appears on the television series. As someone who has walked through the filming location many times, I immediately recognized and appreciated the little touches.
By the way, if you watch the show then you might have noticed that the movie theater marque in downtown Blue Valley usually contains an Easter egg for another DC property. Nauck continues that tradition here, with the marque advertising a film called “Young Just Us.” This is a double Easter egg. In addition to referencing Young Justice (which has some of Todd Nauck’s finest work), the name is a reference to a specific joke from the first issue.
I should mention, if you happen to be a fan of the ’90s Young Justice comic, then Stargirl: The Lost Children will have you grinning from ear-to-ear. Certain moments and concepts from the series are discussed, including Old Justice, a group of geriatric superheroes. (They also mention Merry Pemberton, Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks, who was a recent topic in our monthly Ask…the Question column.) But don’t worry if you haven’t read those issues or even know who these characters are, everything is explained clearly for new readers, so you won’t feel like you’re missing anything.
This is a good time to talk about the plot, which shares some thematic beats with the television series. The series picks up on the events from last year’s Stargirl Spring Break Special #1, which are reintroduced and explained in case you haven’t read it or have forgotten what took place in it—though, if you’re curious you can check it out on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE. Issue #1’s story focuses on Stargirl and Red Arrow searching for a group of former kid sidekicks who have gone missing.
This is a theme that might seem familiar to fans of the television series. After all, season one of Stargirl was all about finding the children of the JSA. The missing sidekicks is an interesting plot thread, however. We don’t know much yet about what’s going on, only that a mysterious island is involved, along with an enemy called the Childminder.
Stargirl: The Lost Children also captures the sense of wonder that is missing from many of today’s dark and gritty superhero stories. The opening pages are told from the perspective of Dyna-Mite, teenage sidekick to the early superhero TNT. We see TNT through Dyna-Mite’s young eyes and it’s downright wholesome. It captures the wonder and excitement any kid would have being a superhero in the Golden Age.
I hope the comic can give you that same sense of joy and idealism, whether you’re a longtime comic reader, or a new fan picking up your first issue. Whether you’re a fan of the Golden Age superheroes, or you’ve never heard of them, Stargirl: The Lost Children is a breath of fresh air. Stargirl’s TV show might be coming to an end, but as this comic proves, heroes never die.
Stargirl: The Lost Children #1 by Geoff Johns, Todd Nauck and Matt Herms is now available in print and as a digital comic book.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DC.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.
NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros.