Saturday, October 9, 2010

Gates and Igle Off Supergirl; New Creative Team Announced At NYCC

Well, I knew that news was going to be coming out of the NYCC. There always is.

What I wasn't expecting was hearing that both Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle are off of the Supergirl title as of January. In many ways it is disheartening. Here is the link from the DC Source blog and some blurbs from the announcement:

First off, I’d like to give a huge tip of the hat to writer Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle. As many fans have said across the web, they’ve done a masterful job with SUPERGIRL and you can be sure their names will be popping up on the credits of many books to come. But more on that later.

I don't know about how everybody here feels, but I think Gates and Igle deserve more than just a tip of the hat. They deserve our thanks.

It isn't easy being a Supergirl fan; it never has been. But they treated her with respect and made it okay to be a Kara fan again. You could say you collected Supergirl and you didn't get looked at as though you were crazy.

Gates and Igle understood that the backbone of Supergirl's stories has to be that she is on a journey, that she isn't an accomplished hero yet but she is striving to get there. There weren't many easy victories but there were victories. And Kara's hard-fought accomplishments led to life lessons which led to her personal growth. She is a very different character than she was in Supergirl #34, their first issue. But she most assuredly is a different character than she was in Supergirl #12 (the dance issue) or Supergirl #19 (the high school massacre cover) or any of that early run.
There was no T&A, no porn faces, no knees to the balls ... or smoking and underaged drinking... or rave dancing while monsters attack ... or crushing angst ... or apathy towards heroism ... or compulsions to kill Superman ... or taking down of Air Force One ... or any of the other things that were wrong with this book. There was no pandering to a lowest common denominator. There were only good stories and good art and an apparent appreciation for what a great character Supergirl is.

The sad thing is I wonder if there are a lot more Supergirl stories inside Gates and Igle. The massive story of New Krypton took over this book for a bit. Was there more they wanted to do with Kara that they just didn't get to.

I just want to once again say thanks to Gates and Igle for their run on the book, for treating Supergirl the way I think she should be treated. I have said before that it is great time to be a Supergirl fan and their book was such a huge part of that trend.

But as I hail the current team, we should all look forward to the next team.

Starting in January, writer Nick Spencer (T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS and the JIMMY OLSEN co-feature in ACTION COMICS) will hop into the driver’s seat with artist Bernard Chang (SUPERMAN). As some of you faithful Source readers have noticed, Nick’s quickly risen up the ranks and become one of our busiest and most engaging creators. His knack for getting to the heart of the character – whether it’s the newly-introduced Chloe Sullivan (yeah, from “Smallville”!), Jimmy or the myriad heroes and characters that will populate T.H.U.N.D.E.R. AGENTS – and well-paced action are a classic recipe for success with a modern twist. Seriously. His stuff’s a treat.

I only know Spencer's work from the one Jimmy Olsen second feature I have read so I don't have much to go on (reminding me of how little I knew of Sterling Gates when he was announced as the writer 2 years ago). I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed that Jimmy story; the dialogue was snappy and the story was fun. Hopefully that energy carries forward into Supergirl. And hopefully, Spencer has the same understanding and respect for the character that Gates does.

I like Bernard Chang's art and think he is a very good choice for the book. We certainly have enough of a portfolio of his work in the Superman book during New Krypton and Last Stand to know that he draws a healthy and strong Kara.

Here is what Wil Moss said in the release:

“How do you follow a character-defining run like Sterling and Jamal had on SUPERGIRL? Beats me – that’s Nick and Bernard’s problem! But if anyone can do it, it’s these two guys. Get ready for a deadly new version of an old threat (one with ties to Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s run on ADVENTURE COMICS), and a laundry list of guest stars – the promo piece doesn’t even show half of ‘em! So while Supergirl the character has never been in more trouble, rest assured that SUPERGIRL the title has never been stronger!”

A new version of an old threat ... hmmmm. We did see the green-skinned Brainiac clone Luthor made at the end of Adventure. Could it be some version of Lena Luthor/Brainiac 13 amalgam seen way back in Our Worlds At War? I look forward to seeing the promised promo piece.

So let's all raise our glasses and toast Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle for their phenomenal work here as they wrap up their piece of Kara's story. And at the same time, let's welcome Nick Spencer and Bernard Chang. There is always room for you guys here. 


valerie21601 said...

So sad to see them both go at the same time. I was hoping Gates would stay on with Supergirl.

I am going to give the new writer and artist a try. I admit Gates and Igle have gotten us fans set up for quite a high standard for Supergirl stories and art now. I hope Spencer and Chang land on their feet first and get off to a running start.

Saranga said...

i'm gutted gates and igle are off Supergirl. Good luck to the boht of them in the future, and many congratulations and thansk to them for the time they've put in on Supergirl.

I like Chang, I don't know Spencer, but they've sure got big boots to fill. I wish them luck and eagerly await their offerings!

Anonymous said...

"All good things come to an end".
But for a while Supergirl the character had an artist/writer combo as fully invested in her as John Byrne and Chris Claremont were invested in the X-Men.
I can pay them both no higher praise, the condition the character was in when they took over was disastrous...They depart having presided over the BEST WRITTEN "Super" book in the canon. They fixed what was wrong and they improved what was already good...This is the ineffable sign of talent.
I know I'll miss them both. To the new team, greetings you've just been handed one of DC's miracle stories - Don't Blow It! To the old team, good bye god speed and good luck.

John Feer

Martin Gray said...

Some great tributes, chaps. I'm also sad to see the lads go - they've taken Supergirl out of the realm of rubberneck purchase to monthly pleasure. It's a real shame they never had much of a chance to show us something of Linda Lang's life.

Best of luck, fellas old and new!

Anonymous said...

This has not been an easy year for DC superheroines: Gail Simmone off Wonder Woman, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray & Amanda Connoer off Power Girl, Lian dying, WB Animation cancelling plans for Batgirl Year One and a Wonder Woman sequel, and now this.

I will always feel that Sterling Gates & Jamal Igle still had plenty of stories to tell that were side tracked somewhat by New Krypton. Their work have earned them both a well deserved place in the Supergirl Hall of Fame.

"Supergirl's Pal"

Nikki said...

I've never seen a piece of news cause such widespread dispair.

TalOs said...

SAY WHA??! 0_0 I'm another who's just left dumbfounded by this official announcement from DC and sincerely would like to thank both Sterling and Jamal for playing a HUGE part in getting our ever beloved heroine and her main title back on track. However, (and I only ask that Sterling and Jamal please believe me when i say that i truly mean no offense with the following) the only things i wish they had done different during their time on it was having had given Kara: a supporting cast of her very own (and not of her cousin's), brought back her 'Linda Lee' secret identity and relocated her to Midvalle and lastly had made Superwoman turn out to be a HEROIC time travelling professor Kristin Wells instead of having transformed poor Lucy into yet another evil acting 'meta' refering to herself as 'Superwoman'.

I truly hope what DC has you both secretly working on is a series of "Earth One: Supergirl" graphic novel projects set to be released in sometime 2011. (Hey one can dream can't he! ;-D)

Adam Smasher said...

I'm disssapopinted, these two were great talents and treated Kara with respect. The writing was smart, from the start I liked how Gates tied up past inconsistancies. And Igle's expression and story telling wa without peer. I'll miss both men and can only hope the new team can maintain the high standards set during Gates and Igles run. (and that it doesn't fall apart the way Power Girl did, I'd hate to take Super Girl out of my holds list as I've come to look forward to the title each month)

Anj said...

Thanks for all the posts.

The longer I have had to mull this over, the more disappointed I have become. It just seems like Sterling Gates understood the character and had long-term plans that he never got to.

I hope he wasn't forced of the title by some editorial fiat.

Martin Gray said...

Stop mulling if it's making you maudlin, kiddo! SG and JI saved Kara, and they can come back one day.

I doubt SG was forced off the strip - if anything I'd imagine his work attracted the attention of the DC higher-ups, he got other offers and, when Jamal decided to go, chose to take one or two of them up rather than risk not having the same creative synergy with whoever the next artistic guy turned out to be.

All speculation, but I imagine DC values our guys!