What Year Does 'Stargirl' Take Place in the DC Universe?

Devan McGuinness - Author

Jun. 2 2020, Updated 10:17 p.m. ET

Source: CW

The DC comic book series Stargirl has been brought to life on The CW network and it's one of the few superhero stories that are driven by a female lead. The new series was released in May 2020 and, not to be confused with the YA film by the same name on Disney+, this series is all about a superhero named Courtney Elizabeth Whitmore, aka Stargirl.

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The series was created by Lee Moder and Geoff Johns, who first shared the story in the 1999 comic book series Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. of the teenage superhero. She was a surprise superhero who was originally trying to annoy her stepfather, who was also a hero named Stripesy. 

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What year does 'Stargirl' take place?

One of the most unique parts of Stargirl is how it pulls from many different times. While the series doesn't outright say what year the show takes place in, there are several clues to a few different time eras. The character came out in 1999, however her history dates back to 1941 when DC released the Star-Spangled Kid and Stripsey comics.

The new show on The CW first aired May 18, 2020, and Geoff Johns described the feel of the show as a mix of two popular '80s shows. He described Stargirl has "having a similar tone to 1980s films such as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Back to the Future."

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However, just like pretty much every other superhero movie or TV show, the exact date is rarely said – and instead the feel of the world is a mix of old-school feel and future. This is the fun part of having a hero-based world in that it doesn't have to fit any specific era for it to be relatable and get viewers excited. 

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'Stargirl' definitely has a future old-school feel to it.

The show does a good job at mixing the timeframes. We see the 1950 style cars in flashbacks of Stargirl's stepfather. Watching along, there is a similar feeling that we get when we watch those popular '80s films within the show as well. 

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However, there's also a present day feel to the series in general and, adding in the special effects that give a future-vibe, it could stand to be in several years. It feels like a modern-day makeover of a superhero show that could have been super popular back in the '50s as well. Other than the teenage female lead, which may not have played so well back in the day. 

The reason for the multi-decade vibe within the show is because Geoff was hopeful to keep some of that older feel to the story which was first developed in the '40s. 

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“There’s always changes when you adapt something,” he said in an interview with Inverse. Adding, “But the goal has been to stick to the lore as much as possible. Because it’s great lore. There’s a reason these characters stay in our imagination decades after they were introduced.”

The first season of Stargirl airs on The CW Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

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