Saturday, September 27, 2008

Baltimore Comic-con: Superman Panel

The Baltimore Comic-con is this weekend and unfortunately I am stuck in rain-soaked Massachusetts. Luckily, sites like Newsarama do a great job of reporting on the panels. For example, here is the link to the Superman panel coverage.

The members of the panel were Matt Idelson, Superman books editor; Sterling Gates, Supergirl writer; James Robinson, Superman writer; Geoff Johns, Action Comics writer; and Jamal Igle, artist on Supergirl.
Shockingly, there is a lot of talk about Supergirl, almost as much as about Superman! I have faith in what is being said about the new direction of Supergirl. I hope that all this publicity leads to higher sales.
Here are the Supergirl specific bits with some comments by me. For any fan of the super-titles, you should read the whole thing.
The first issue of Supergirl by the new creative team of Gates and Igle comes out Wednesday and features a media blitz by Cat Grant in a story called, "Why the World Doesn't Need Supergirl."

Well, we are only 4 days away from the release. I don't think I can talk any more about the issue without actually seeing it. But I am very intrigued by the Cat Grant storyline.
Robinson said Gates is doing a lot for the Supergirl series, including giving Supergirl a rogues gallery. He said Gates' writing is fantastic and Igle's artwork is fantastic. "I think they're going to be one of the greatest combinations that DC has seen for a long time."

So I know this is a lot of hype and propaganda, but for Robinson to gush a bit about the new team, it must be good! I also like the idea of their finally being a supporting cast and a rogues gallery for Kara.

We have already seen Reactron. While I hope there will be new villains created for Kara, I hope that Gates and Igle re-invent Blackstarr. In the Daring New Adventure issues, Blackstarr certainly had the power to be a legitimate threat for Supergirl. We saw a glimpse of a new Blackstarr in Action Comics #850, an issue which also hinted at the Brainiac and New Krypton storylines. Maybe that foreshadowing will come to pass too!
Johns will finish up the Brainiac story in Action Comics and it will continue into the New Krypton Special. All the Superman-related books will have the triangles on the front. "Each one of our books will deal with the bigger story but also threads that our characters deal with," Johns said. Igle said in Action Comics #869, Supergirl's parents are alive, and Igle will flesh out the story. Gates said Supergirl #35 will explain everything that's happened up to this point with Supergirl and how that fits with the discovery of her parents.

While there is some concern from some that integrating Supergirl into the Superman title will take away her individuality, I think it is a step in the right direction. I think that you can't have Supergirl exist in a vacuum without any interaction with Superman. It wouldn't make sense for Kryptonian cousins on Earth to not interact with each other.

The truth is I think Kara will be integrated with the super-titles not subsumed by them. For example, my guess is the Supergirl title in the New Krypton story won't be simply a chapter in the arc, but rather how Kara is dealing with the presence of Kandor and the survival of her parents. Kara has always shown that she preferred Krypton to Earth, how much she misses it. She will be conflicted, and that conflict is ripe for a good story.

No on to the Q&A from the audience.
- Why is Supergirl the way she is?

Gates: Supergirl #35.

On the DC boards and now here, the new creative team have said that issue #35 will answer all questions about the muddled origin story of this Supergirl. Hopefully there will be some resolution of the mad Zor-El, ranger Zor-El, and now scientist Zor-El beginnings we have seen. Jamal Igle on a couple of boards has stated that the new origin seen in this month's Action Comics is *the* origin. Thank goodness !!! Hopefully no more 'kill Kal-El' Zor-El ever!

- Superhorse comic?

Idelson said to check out the Cosmic Adventures of Supergirl in Eighth Grade.

One more reason for me to need to check out this title! If 2008 is The Year of Streaky, maybe 2009 will be The Year of Comet.

- What is Lana Lang doing? And are there any plans for Supergirl to have a boyfriend?

Gates: Lana will be in Supergirl, and she'll take a mentor role. She's going to play a huge part in Supergirl.
Johns: Lana will be a main character in the Superman universe.
Gates: As for relationships, keep reading.

It will be interesting to see how Lana ends up in Supergirl's life. She certainly has the experience to help Kara work her way comfortably into the super-heroic community.

As for relationships, please no Power Boy. And please no Dick Malverne. He has had his stories. I remember the days when Supergirl lamented about her inability to hold down a boyfriend. And if she did, they were pirates, crooks, or henchmen. I hope that the new team fleshes out Kara's character before hanging a man on her arm.

- Can you explain who are the various Supergirls?

Robinson: There's no point in dealing with the past.
Gates: In Supergirl #35, we're telling a Supergirl Secret Origin.
Johns: Anyone who wants to know who Supergirl is can look at that issue. We're not going to reference the other Supergirls. We won't talk about Linda Danvers because she's not important to THIS Supergirl.

While I think at some point it might be nice to have this Supergirl interact with Linda, the truth is we don't know this Kara at all. It has been 3 years worth of stories with multiple origins, multiple styles ... I don't know this Kara.

Before we see her interacting with the old Supergirls, before we see endless guest-stars again, let's learn more about Supergirl herself.

- Will Supergirl have a secret identity?
Gates [smiling]: Hmmm... That's a good idea.

I should have run a 'should she have a secret identity' poll.
I think she should. Sounds like Gates thinks so too!

- How do you interact with the storyline when you draw Supergirl?

Igle [joking]: There's a lot of cursing involved.
Gates: The first thing he said to me after reading a script was he called me and said, "What the hell is wrong with you?"
Igle: I'm a big believer in letting people do their jobs. But Gates is making Supergirl not only a likable character but a sympathetic character. I feel like I need to step up my game because of the writing Sterling's doing.
Gates: And Jamal really has stepped up his game. He's doing the work of his career."You're going to pick up Supergirl #34, and it's not going to look like any Supergirl issue you've ever seen," Igle said.

I have always liked Igle's art, but man it sounds like he hit this one out of the park!

But I think we all are looking forward to reading a likable and sympathetic Supergirl. We have waited long enough!

- If you haven't read earlier issues of Supergirl, will you understand issue #34?
Gates: Yes.
Johns: All you need to know is she's Superman's cousin.
Time for Supergirl fans to start a grass roots campaign too and talk up this issue at the local comic book store. Talk it up! Great time to pick up the title! Exciting new direction!

You know the drill!


The Fortress Keeper said...

I've sat out of Supergirl for awhile now, but I'll definitely pick up this issue. It looks like they're finally going to do the Supergirl series I've wanted to see, and it'd be pretty lousy if I didn't at least give it a chance.

Nikki said...

I can't deny I want her boyfriend to be brainy. Other contenders include the classics, jerro will not happen, I don't think dick will either considering her crush on dick grayson. There is always captain marvel jr. who she'll be working with.

As for the rest, I'm fed up the talk only 3 days to go and hopefully a preview before then.

Anj said...

I've sat out of Supergirl for awhile now, but I'll definitely pick up this issue. It looks like they're finally going to do the Supergirl series I've wanted to see, and it'd be pretty lousy if I didn't at least give it a chance.

Welcome back!!

Hopefully the product will be good enough to have you stick around!

Anj said...

There is always captain marvel jr.

Thanks for the post.

That's an interesting pairing! Especially with them both in the new JL.

Mike said...

Y'all bring up a good point. Supergirl doesn't just need a rogues gallery, she needs some friends, and not just of the 4-legged variety. Jimmy Olsen wouldn't be a bad choice (new book: "Supergirl and the Newsboy Legion!"). I'd like to see her hang out with Stargirl, but they're on different teams, so it probably won't happen. I like the idea of Lana as a mentor, and Marvel Jr. as a friend/potential love interest isn't bad either.

I just want to see her successful and popular and a valued teammate and then she can be all, "In your face, Wondergirl!" Oops, personal biases. Sorry.

TalOs said...


Personally, i'd love to have Brainy if anyone as Supergirl's one and only love interest but come supporting cast, why not have that big boned girl from Kelly's run (Beckie wasn't it), as well as her boyfriend and maybe even toss in either come Post-IC DCU continuity a now no longer married to Ron Troupe (sp?), de-aged to that of around a teen ager Lucy Lane or barring even that, Chloe Sullivan! Although that last one I highly doubt would be even possible now, at least, in accordance to DC. :/

TalOs said...

Man I tell ya, 08 is definitely THE year for all things Supergirl it seems! YES!!! :D

I truly am awaiting in MUCH anticipation for the whole "New Krypton" cross over triangle themed arc to kick off anytime now!!! Hmmmm, question, does anyone else think that the Zor-El we met with in latest Action Comics "Brainiac" arc alluded to blond 'Alura' might actually turn out to be none other then Lara-El aka Superman's OWN biological birth mother who some how managed to survive instead! I mean, how would Superman have known for absolute sure that who Zor-El presented truly is Alura-El and NOT say Lara-El? Has he ever been shown an actual 3-D hologram from Jor-El A.I. in the Fortress depicting just HOW she's supposed to have looked like compared to his aunt Alura-El? If anyone would know exactly WHO this 'Alura-El' is it'd definitely have to be Supergirl! Only she could recall her true birth mother's identity as well as that of aunt Lara-El really if anyone. You really have to wonder if there is more to this then what we think. :/

mhunt said...

That's a good commission, you know, it's not that hard to find some of those artist on the web. I once got in contact with Bruce Timm and of course, I wanted a drawing.. $500

ouch !

nope, didn't ordered.

John M said...

All of the hype and propaganda sounds really great! I'm looking forward to this issue, and the promise of a likable and sympathetic Supergirl!

Hopefully Blackstarr will be included in Supergirl's Rogues Gallery. You can tell from the 1980s version this villain really bothered Kara because of all the hatred she espoused. I liked how passionate Kara was in those stories because she could relate to Mr. Berkowitz's fear of her world being destroyed.

I look forward to Lana Lang becoming a mentor for Kara.

And Supergirl most definetely should not have a boyfriend until her character is established more. I read Solo 1 after I found out about this issue from your blog, and I thought it was a pretty powerful story that ended Linda and Dick Malverne's relationship. I'll have to review it on my own blog sometime. A different boyfriend later on could show us something new about Kara's character.