Girls Save The World: Stargirl and Warrior Nun

Legacy

Both shows are very concerned with legacy, but view it very differently.

Legacy has been an instrumental part of DC Comics since the 60s, when superhero comics got popular again, so DC called a do-over and launched their Silver Age with new versions of Green Lantern, Flash, Atom, and others, along with new creations. This began a tradition of titles being passed down from hero to hero: counting humans alone, there have been eight Green Lanterns, six Robins, four Flashes, three Atoms (and Atom Smasher, who’s Atom-adjacent), and even three Blue Beetles.

Stargirl digs right into that. Courtney isn’t looking for pre-existing heroes to recruit, she’s honouring the legacy of her father (she thinks) by building a new JSA in the image of the old. Albeit a mostly younger, less white, and more female version of their image. Stargirl’s team honours the past while embracing the now.

Ava the Warrior Nun, as you may have suspected from the last two pages, goes a different way.

Ava is the first Warrior Nun not to come from the Order of the Cruciform Sword for as long as the Order has existed. Naturally, it makes her an unpopular choice, although minimum one of her detractors knows perfectly well that the halo makes its own calls over who’s worthy.

But being a complete outsider to the Order, and no fan of Catholicism in general, means that she isn’t just going to accept that she has an angel’s halo seared into her back, and thus all the powers it grants are gifts from God. She doesn’t simply fall in line with the Order and their ancient ways. In fact, she sees a way forward that a thousand years of unflinching tradition overlooked: maybe it’s time to stop sending young women to fight and die. Maybe there’s a way to end this fight once and for all. And maybe… maybe there’s a secret about the Order’s past no one knows.

Maybe. It’s possible.

For Stargirl, legacy is an honour. Courtney finds purpose in carrying on the Starman/Stargirl mantle and protecting her friends, family, and new home from the ISA. For Ava, legacy is just another trap. She may as well be confined to bed, unable to move, all over again. Ava finds purpose in standing up to all that the Warrior Nun has been, and attempting to dismantle it.

And neither is wrong. That’s important. Both find themselves on the path to saving lives and defeating evil. Remembering history is important; allowing tradition and nostalgia to blind you to its problems is dangerous. Because sometimes, legacy is worth honouring. Sometimes it’s best to let the past die. Kill it if you have to.

Just don’t try to do both in one trilogy, of course it’s gonna end up divisive.

Sorry, got distracted. Let’s talk villains.

Next Page: Bring on the bad guys

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