Acclaimed actor and television personality Joel McHale has landed the role of Starman on the upcoming DC Universe series, Stargirl. However, it’s probably not the Starman you’re expecting.
Announced earlier today on Variety, McHale will be playing a version of Starman referred to as “Golden Age Starman,” a character’s whose human identity is more traditionally associated with a different character (but more on that later). Here’s the official description:
Joel McHale plays rich socialite Sylvester Pemberton, aka Starman. A courageous and confident Super Hero, Starman is a member of the Justice Society of America—DC’s original Super Hero team, which first appeared in ALL STAR COMICS #3 in 1940. Starman wields a mysterious anti-gravity weapon called the Cosmic Staff. His longtime partner is his sidekick, Stripesy, better known as Courtney Whitmore’s stepfather, Pat Dugan.
If you’re familiar with Stargirl’s story in the comics, you’ll likely notice a few changes. The biggest is that Sylvester Pemberton has never been Starman in the comics. He’s best known as the former Star-Spangled Kid, though he did eventually adapt the similar sounding name of Skyman in the mid-1980s. However, other details remain the same. As the Star-Spangled Kid, Pemberton did operate with Dugan’s Stripesy as his sidekick, he did use Starman’s Cosmic Staff for a time, and he was a member of the JSA.
Still, it sounds like Stargirl may streamline Courtney’s origin a bit. In the comics, she discovered the Star-Spangled Kid’s suit and cosmic belt among her stepfather’s things, stole them and began operating as the new Star-Spangled Kid. Eventually, she was given the Cosmic Staff by the retired Jack Knight, at which point she adopted the name Stargirl. By making Sylvester Pemberton the series’ Starman, it allows the writers to sidestep Courtney’s earliest adventures as part of the duo known as Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., which while interesting and fun, probably aren’t all that necessary to see brought to the show.
McHale is probably best known for his role on the influential comedy series Community and for hosting E!’s The Soup for twelve seasons, but he’s also recently been seen on The X-Files and The Great Indoors, and leading his new Netflix series, The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale.
DC Universe’s Stargirl promises to follow Courtney as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past, and aims to reimagine Stargirl and the very first superhero team, the JSA. Stargirl focuses on the character that started executive producer Geoff Johns’ career as a comic book writer when he created her in 1999, and was lovingly inspired by his late sister. According to Variety, Johns will write the premiere episode and serve as the series’ showrunner.
Keep an eye here on DCComics.com for more Stargirl news as it breaks, and be sure to subscribe to DC Universe so you don’t miss this much-anticipated new series when it premieres next year.