Superheroes face death every day. Courtney Whitmore knew that even before she became the superhero Stargirl, as she inherited the rod that gives her powers from her predecessor Starman, who died fighting the Injustice Society of America. Nonetheless, Stargirl entered the fight and inspired others to do the same, leading to the construction of a new Justice Society of America. But this December, Warner Brothers will succeed where the Shade and Eclipso failed, finally bringing an end to Stargirl.
The third season of the CW series will be its last, something that didn’t come as a surprise to creator Geoff Johns. “With all the brewing changes at the network, we were aware this was possibly the last season,” Johns admitted in a statement (via Deadline). However, he also provides an encouraging update for fans, telling revealing that he and his co-writers “wrote with [potential cancellation] in mind and have delivered what I believe to be the best season of Stargirl yet, with complete creative closure.”
Stargirl stars Brec Bassinger as Courtney, a teen girl who learns that her stepfather (Luke Wilson) was Stripsey, the one-time sidekick of Justice Society member Starman. Welding Starman’s Cosmic Rod, Courtney becomes Stargirl and begins investigating the death of the Justice Society, eventually inspiring new heroes such as Wildcat (Yvette Monreal) and Doctor Mid-Nite (Anjelika Washington). In the third season, the JSA must deal not only with the return of the original Starman (Joel McHale), but also a murder involving Injustice Society members.
Stargirl‘s cancelation comes during a time of upheaval at Warner Bros., as the studio rethinks its approach to its DC Comics characters. Not only have other CW superhero shows such as Legends of Tomorrow and The Flash been canceled, but others have either been shelved or completely retooled before release. Most recently, an ambitious Green Lantern series for HBO Max has been put on hiatus, shifting from a focus on three Lanterns in different time periods to current-day Lantern John Stewart.
These decisions stem largely from a desire on the part of WB’s new owners for a coherent DC universe, a problem exacerbated by Stargirl. Not only does the show take place on Earth-2, an alternate reality within the Arrowverse franchise, but it features the third live-action incarnation of Stargirl, with the character already appearing in Smallville and Legends of Tomorrow. Furthermore, a different and completely unrelated version of the Justice Society of America can currently be seen in Black Adam, featuring Aldis Hodge as Hawkman and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate.
The appointment of directorJames Gunn and producer Peter Safran to the head of DC Studios promises some more direction and clarity, but that won’t be enough to save this incarnation of Stargirl. However, fans should not give into dispair. If there’s one thing that Courtney and her allies have shown again and again, its that whenever one hero falls, there’s always another waiting to continue the good fight.