It is a Justice League heavy week here at Comic Box Commentary. Last week on Newsarama, James Robinson was interviewed about his work on Justice League of America. As always, the interview is worth reading in its entirety. Here is the link to part one:
There were a few parts of the interview worth reviewing here. In particular, Robinson comments on Dark Supergirl and how long she'll be around. Here are those blurbs.
Nrama: Let's talk about the other surprise in the cover to Issue #55. You'll also have Cyborg-Superman showing up? Is this all part of the "Reign of Doomsday" crossover?
Robinson: Right. The Eclipso arc is beginning [with February's Issue #54], but even as it does, in Issue #55, Cyborg-Superman, Doomsday, and Supergirl will all be involved in their own struggle. And that will lead into next year’s Superman/Batman Annual.
I recently talked about how much I enjoyed the Reign of the Supermen storyline so I can't wait to see this sort of skewed version of that arc. I think there is some serendipitous timing here given the recent recap of Reign in DCU Legacies.
The question is how is Doomsday back (I think his last appearance was his bludgeoning to death at the hands of Kryptonians in WONK) and exactly who is he after.
One thing I worry about is how this story is sort of weaving its way through several titles as opposed to standing alone. I already have read how the Doomsday aspect was sort of forced into the Steel one-shot (which initially had Metallo as its villain). Now we see how he is appearing in JLA despite the Eclipso storyline ongoing there. I hope that the Doomsday piece isn't a distraction from the planned stories that were supposed to be happening.
But in many ways I am glad to see Doomsday happening here. Remember, Doomsday has a special significance in Kryptonian history as an agent of genocide. How exactly will an unbridled Dark Supergirl respond to him? It should be fun to watch.
Nrama: The Justice League issue is part of a crossover with a Steel one-shot, The Outsiders and Superboy. With Hank Henshaw showing up, after the involvement of Superboy, Steel, and the Eradicator in the "Reign of Doomsday" storyline, it's pretty obvious this ties into Reign of the Superman, doesn’t it?
Robinson: Yes. Absolutely.
The Supermen in Reign included Steel, Superboy, the Eradicator, and the Cyborg Superman. We know that the Doomsday storyline runs its way through Steel, Superboy, and The Outsiders. So that takes care of the three more noble Supermen. So this visit to Justice League of America must be to include Supergirl in the story. I am glad that DC recognizes that Supergirl is a member of the Superman family and deserves to be part of this story.
Nrama: And Supergirl is still functioning as this "Dark" Supergirl in Issue #55?
Robinson: Yes. That issue will begin to explain what's going on with Dark Supergirl, and why she changed. We'll deal with that partly during Issue #55, then moreso in the Annual.
She actually isn't going to be an "evil" Dark Supergirl. It's just exploring the darker sides of her personalities, based upon the tragedy that's been around her, with the destruction of Krypton and everything else. She's lost her parents. She's seen them die. She's seen her entire planet die. So all of that is partly what's brought about Dark Supergirl.
But the initial reasons why you think she might have changed aren't really the reasons, obviously. There are surprises along the way.
What you'll see in Issue #55 is that, just as she's dealing with the things that may have caused the transformation, and while she's coming to terms with the horror of Krypton's destruction, she has to confront another horror from out of the collective past of Krypton, which is Doomsday. And then at the same time, on top of that, she has to deal with Cyborg-Superman.
You'll also see Starman shine – no pun intended – in the issue in terms of his ability at space combat, and we'll get to introduce Saint Walker. But you'll also see a lot of exploration of Supergirl and find out why she became Dark Supergirl.
Should I complain about the fact that James Robinson is planning this exploration of Supergirl? Should I be unhappy that she is going to be a focal point in one of DC's best selling titles? I don't think so.
In fact, I am interested in reading Robinson's take on the character. I am glad he isn't simply going to have her be 2-dimensional in the book and instead is invested enough to write about her.
But this idea of her dealing with her grief was so wonderfully explored in Supergirl by Gates and Igle. I hope that this story doesn't contradict or attempt to replace those stories.
And I don't necessarily want to read Dark Supergirl stories. I want to read Supergirl stories. So I hope this manifestation and psychological exploration doesn't go on too much longer. Still, I guess that Supergirl being a big part of this title can only help elevate her status in the DCU.
Nrama: Let's talk about what's happening in Justice League of America right now, because Dark Supergirl just emerged. During this storyline, you've got the members of the Justice League stuck under a dome with the Crime Syndicate of America, dealing with the Omega Man in a real battle for their lives. What were your thoughts behind this arc?
Robinson: One of the things I wanted to show here is that these characters are a real Justice League. It's the idea that these guys, in theory, may be in a situation that's too big for them, but there's always a way that the good guys can win if they have the moral and the valor to do it. I want to show that Dick Grayson is always thinking like Batman, Jessie Quick can be as fast as she needs to be, Donna Troy can be as fierce and as awe-inspiring a fighter as she needs to be. And I’m also continuing to play up Jade's power, which will be a constant theme that will carry through other arcs. Especially for next arc, which is the Eclipso arc.
I know that, for a lot of people, it might seem this isn't the Justice League. For them it's the Big 7 or nobody. And I appreciate that. I’m very loyal to favorite lineups of certain teams myself, so I completely appreciate how some fans may feel. But at the same time, I wanted to show that whoever is in the Justice League of America, by virtue of being in that team, steps up and faces the world, and does what only the Justice League of America can do.
Now I am the first to admit that I am sort of a 'big 7' reader. Or at least some variation of it, with a majority of the big 7 being there with some adjunct members like Green Arrow or Red Tornado. In fact, I had no interest in this title when Robinson came on; the only reason I came here was Supergirl.
I am glad I did as the Starheart story was very good and the Omega Man story is off to a good start.
Despite being a 'big 7' guy, I also like stories like this, where an unlikely team rallies and becomes bigger than expected. It reminds me a little of the beginning of New Avengers. Maybe it isn't as stark as this JLA as there were a lot of major characters in New Avengers like Iron Man, Captain America, Wolverine, and Spiderman. But it also included Spiderwoman, Power Man, etc. So I like how this team of semi-sidekicks are trying to live up to the name of the JLA. I like how Superman continues to talk them up, saying they *are* the Justice League.
I think that the Robinson is doing a very good job in showing this team battle and win against some threats of serious magnitude. In some ways, you could look at Cry For Justice as their first mission. So this team has stopped Prometheus and the Starheart. Now they are fighting the CSA, Omega Man and Eclipso is up next. So that sort of competition should bolster their confidence.
The bottom line is I love that Supergirl is in the Justice League. I hope she stays on the team for a long time.