Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Geoff Johns and James Robinson on integrating Supergirl into the Superman family

Remember in the 1990's when Superman mattered and Supergirl was considered part of the family?

It just feels to me that DC is trying to make the Superman titles relevant again. It seems to happen about once every 10 years, that talent is brought to the titles and the stars align. I guess the last time I felt this way was with the Reign of the Supermen. While I know that the Death of Superman brought some publicity, I actually enjoyed both Funeral For a Friend and the Reign storylines. And the couple of years after those arcs were pretty interesting.

At the time, it just seemed like Superman mattered again. But that energy seemed to peter off for me. Since about 2004 I haven't collected a Superman title monthly outside of All Star Superman.

But then something weird happened. I was lured back into a Superman title. I was told that I should buy Geoff Johns' 'Legion' story in Action Comics. After all, that story included the "best" Legion I knew and was drawn by Gary Frank who drew such a lovely Supergirl in the early 1996 title.

So amazingly I enjoyed Johns' story! I even planned to pick up the Brainiac storyline; it started this week in Action Comics 866.

Then DC announced that James Robinson will be writing Superman and a JLA spin-off with Kara!

Johns and Robinson!? Now that is a confluence of talent to make people notice Superman again. Both have said they want to try to synch up the titles to do and overall bigger story. Integrated Superman titles! Reminds me of those little triangles they used to have on the covers so people could read there Superman titles in the right order. For example, Action Comics 677 was issue 20 for the year (see left side of pic).

And here is the key thing for this blog. They both seem to care about Supergirl! They both talk about how she should have a key part in the Superman titles and in Superman's life. How she needs to fit into the DCU.

In this month's Wizard (issue 201) this is what Robinson had to say:

Q: Will you be incorporating Supergirl back into the Superman world?

"There's stuff involving Kryptonina heritage that we will be working on strongly, which will affect all of them. No one's been trying to involve the creative team of Supergirl in with everything else and that is something we intend to change.

She could be a great character, and that's our goal - to make her a character that has her own identity. I don't really feel I know who she is apart from being this blonde, super girl, you know? She doesn't have personality quirks and a personality that Hal Jordan or Oliver Queen, or Dick Grayson have, so I think the important thing to do is to give her that.

Q: So you have been talking with Kelly Puckett about incorporating the books?

"Yeah. We discussed how to best make it into part of the DCU and of the Superman family as opposed to merely a book with a Superman logo on it."

Seems silly to be excited by the statement, but he wants to give Kara a personality! He wants her to be part of Superman's life. And, best of all, he wants to include Kelly Puckett in on the discussions so that there is a consistent vision of Kara!

And now, here is what Johns said on ComicMix today.

"Then coming in October after “Brainiac” and “Atlas” are concluded, the books are all going to be linking up, including Supergirl. There will be some more announcements about Supergirl down the line but there is a big storyline that we’ll be telling in the last quarter of the year in the world of Superman that builds off of the things that happen in “Brainiac” and “Atlas.” "

Imagine, a big storyline and more announcements about Supergirl in the last quarter of the year. They actually have plans for Kara!

Here is the cover of Superman 679 (due in August), a nice Alex Ross Kara in the background.

If there is one thing most people can agree on, it is that there has been no clear direction for the Supergirl title. I like the Puckett stories, but based on message boards and blogs not everyone does. I didn't like the Joe Kelly stories at all, but I have read plenty of people on-line who did.

What I think everyone can agree on is the lack of consistency on the title.

Maybe this is the answer. Maybe having the super-book creators talking to each other will make the difference.

I have enjoyed Kelley Puckett run. And the fact that two great writers like Johns and Robinson are going to work on Superman, include Supergirl, and work with Puckett is great. That they have plans for her, important plans that will link her to the Superman titles, well that is fantastic.

As a Kara fan, I am very optimistic. Anyone else?


Heath Edwards said...

i'm excited... i think johns and robinson are going to bring out some great stories, and bringing back the linking is good fun, too. i started reading superman during '98, and having the titles linked was great, as it gave me something to read every week. the stories weren't as exciting as they are today, but they were fun and kept me coming back for more...
and... i do look forward to supergirl having a focus. as much as i've enjoyed all the stories so far, its about time she did something in the dcu, and not just flounder (as it seems to me)...
in reference to you having only started reading superman since johns' legion story, would you be of a mind to try rucka's ruin story? i think its one of the best superman stories told in the past few years.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comment.

I agree that Kara has been floundering a bit, so the fact they have plans to increase her presence in the DCU is great.

I have enjoyed Rucka's work on just about everything else (Batman, Gotham Central, Wonder Woman, etc) so I would be intrigued to read his Superman stuff if worth it.

Do you know which title and issues he was on? Was there a specific arc that I should try to grab first?

Heath Edwards said...

greg rucka's run was in adventures of superman. from issue 626 to 648. there are three tpbs out at the moment, covering his whole run, as i know, and they all follow on from one to the other, running the ruin storyline.the tpbs start with 'unconventional warfare', 'that healing touch', and finishing with 'ruin revealed'...
i especially enjoyed what he did with mxyzptlk... matthew clark's art is great in the issues he drew, too...