Who is Courtney Elizabeth Johns? If you watched the Stargirl finale on DC Universe this week, you may be asking yourself that question. The name appeared in a title card shortly before the end of the episode, and right before the closing tag with a surprise Starman-centric reveal.
For those of you who are familiar with Geoff Johns, the creator of both the comic-book character of Courtney Whitmore and the show itself, you may know the answer already. Johns has noted in multiple interviews that his Stargirl character is based on his sister Courtney, who died in 1996 at the age of 18 as one of the victims of the TWA Flight 800 explosion and this title card is in honor of her.
In an interview with the New York Times, Johns described what elements of his sister he incorporated into the Courtney character, played by Brec Bassinger on the series:
My sister was a ball of energy and so optimistic and unafraid. I wanted to try to capture some of that in a character that would be around forever.
It is that personal connection to Courtney that inspired Johns to be the main driving force behind the Stargirl TV show. He wrote four of the show’s thirteen episodes, and served as a primary executive producer for all of the first season. We know that he is also very much involved in season 2 already.
Title cards are used within the television world to immortalize someone significant to the cast and crew — there is no greater honor in this form. These will air in repeats, on streaming services, and of course on television. It’s a way to draw attention to someone near and dear to the show’s heart, and there is no one more near and dear to Stargirl than Courtney Elizabeth Johns. Without her and the impact she had on her brother’s life, there is no way that we would have a Stargirl series at all.
We hope that the entire first season serves as a fitting tribute to Courtney for not just Geoff Johns himself, but everyone who knew her and loved her. May she continue to rest in peace. (Photo: DC.)