The day after I posted my Optimism/Pessimism poll on this blog I regretted it.
Should I really be pessimistic about where Supergirl is as a character right now? Was it that I had felt so spoiled these last couple of years when the character was starring in great stories, featured on TV and in the movies, and having statues, shirts, and action figures made of her, that any change was scary? Were the dwindling sales of the main title ... did the changing of the creative team on the title ... did those things really justify me feeling so glum?
Or was this a natural feeling? At times, I did feel like the other shoe was about to drop ... that things were suddenly going off the tracks for my favorite character right when I felt she was finally in a great place. Unfortunately, I have felt this way before.
Well, I guess other fans than me are feeling the same way. First off, let me thank the 74 people who voted in this poll, my most popular poll on this blog to date. I can't thank the folks that come here enough. It is the community here that keeps me posting.
If this poll is an accurate measurement of the Supergirl fanbase's feelings, we are clearly conflicted. The vote was nearly 50/50 as to whether there should be optimism or pessimism over Supergirl. (And I am not suggesting that 74 people voting has enough statistical power to make any sweeping statements about any group's feelings. Still, 74 people might be a decent focus group size.)
Since I posted the poll, Nick Spencer has done several interviews and has said a lot of the right things about the character that all sounded great. Blog friend Saranga talked to Bernard Chang at a recent con (here is that link: http://paiwings.blogspot.com/2010/11/london-expo.html ) and he also said good things. I think the main title is going to be okay. I can remember feeling the same way after reading some of Sterling Gates first interviews about Supergirl. That the creators 'got' Supergirl. I feel more optimistic.
Anyways, the poll was too close to call I think, although optimism won by a whisker. So I think we are collectively nervous.
So I thought I would review some times when maybe I had more reason to be pessimistic as a way of putting the current time in better perspective.
1987: In the post-Crisis world, there was no Supergirl
1989: Matrix Supergirl believes she is Superman, goes crazy, flees Earth
1992: Matrix Supergirl brainwashed by Brainiac into becoming a villain
1993: Duped into falling in love with Lex Luthor, uses her shape-changing powers to become more 'pleasing forms' for him in the bedroom
2003: Linda Danvers abandons her Supergirl name and goes 'underground'; title cancelled
2004-7: Supergirl comes back as an angsty hard-edged young woman with no heroic tendencies, attacks the JLA, attacks the Titans, attacks Power Girl, attacks the Outsiders, attacks Superboy. Goes on a rebel mission in Candor with Power Girl. Gets goosed by her evil cousin. Gets mind controlled by Saturn Queen. Attacks Power Girl again. Abandons mission in Candor. Attacks Batgirl. Then it is revealed that she and her father gunned down her high school class. Oh, and she was sent to Earth to kill Superman.
See, there were tougher times than this! Sheesh, no wonder we have a pessimistic streak in us as a fanbase. And that's only the post-Crisis time. And these are off the top of my head.
One thing I can say, I think DC now understands the value of Supergirl as a character. And this really is a high point in terms of exposure and strength of character. Maybe I should run this poll again after the new year. Maybe we'll all feel better.