Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Supergirl In RotWorld

I am always on the lookout for Supergirl appearances and cameos in the DCU and was surprised to find her in a couple of interesting places this last week.

I have been getting Animal Man since the relaunch and have found it to be as dark, twisted, and insane as it ever was under the Vertigo imprint. It has been something of a slow burn as the story of the war of the nature realms - the Red for animals, the Green for vegetation, and the Rot for the dead of both. Slowly the pieces have been moving to a confrontation and it looks like the Rotworld arc which starts here in Animal Man #13 is that finale of this first arc.

The Animal Man book has been doing a good job of riffing and interweaving some elements from the Morrison run which is never a bad thing.

In this issue, Animal Man finds himself flung a year into the future and during that lost time, the Rot has taken over the world. All living things have become infused with the evil of the Rot, becoming decomposing zombies serving the avatar of the Rot, Anton Arcane. Only 2 small strongholds for the Red and the Green exist, holding off the rest of the world.

In a flashback describing the Rot taking over the world, we see a zombified Supergirl (complete with decaying jaw and gnarled clawed hands) killing Batwoman.

So was this specifically in writer Jeff Lemire's script? Or did he give Steve Pugh some leeway scripting something generic like 'one zombie hero killing another'. And if so, did Pugh have a reason for picking Kara?

Why Supergirl?

The other end of the story, the fight the Green is bringing to the Rot is told in Swamp Thing #13. I have not been getting this book although I have heard great things about it. The elements of this book I have seen played out in Animal Man make me think writer Scott Snyder is also weaving some elements of Alan Moore's run into this book which is never a bad thing.

In much the same way, Swamp Thing has been flung into the future and hears about the takeover of the Rot. And, once again, in a flashback, we see Supergirl ... this time being possessed by the Rot rather than killing someone.

So I have the same questions here. Did Snyder's script say 'random hero taken over'? Or specifically mention Kara? And if he didn't specify her, why did artist Yanick Paquette pick her?

Why Supergirl?

Well, the glass half full Anj says it is to show how strong the Rot is. If it can take over someone as pure as Supergirl it has to be powerful. It is to shock the reader. When you see something as innocent as Supergirl corrupted, it means something.

But maybe that is too much of a Silver Age or Gates/Igle Supergirl concept for this DCnU.

The glass half empty Anj thinks that the understanding of DC is that Supergirl is the disinterested, isolated, 'Hell on Wheels' Supergirl and maybe that Supergirl would be the first to succumb to an evil force like the Rot (even if she hasn't been portrayed that way in her own book).

Now both books have other panels of characters fighting the Rot, but none so prominently displayed as Supergirl. I still find it curious that in both books, she is the one showcased as being a victim of the Rot's power.

I would love to ask both books creative teams about this.

And by the way, the overall story is quite good. If you were thinking of picking up either book this might be the right time.


Martin Gray said...

I think both Lemire and Snyder are on Twitter - have you sent out the Anj Signal?

Kim said...

Is Superman or Wonder Woman in either? If not, Kara is an obvious choice because she's instantly recognisable to any comics reader (partly 'cause of the "S"), and furthermore recognisable as "extremely powerful". Does seem like a "we wanna show the rot is *dangerous* but without showing it corrupting one of the big 3".

tony said...

Hey superboy was kicking swamp things butt,and Steel was one of those who was showing animal man the world after the rot,dont forget them.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments.

I did tweet them Mart. We'll see if they tweet back. I'd be interested to hear from them.

Kim, you are right. The big three weren't shown at all.

And Tony you are right, other heroes were definitely shown and Steel did resist the Rot in his own way. Just pointing out how SG was seen in both books.

Gene said...

And we also have them feeding off of Giganta's corpse. Charming.
I can't think of a better metaphor to describe how DC has treated its characters and their 75+ year history ever since Flashpoint.

valerie21601 said...

I saw Krypto and Superboy in the background of Swamp Thing.

Superboy is still wearing his Tron outfit. I hope his new outfit will be revealed soon. Qasn't it revealed in the DC SDCC panel this year?

Anonymous said...

Killer Zombie Supergirl?? You stay classy there DC Comics!
Well....you know what happened, the Animal Man editor couldn't get permission to throw Batman and Superman under the bus and had to make do with Batwoman and Superzombiegirl....
Class all the way and sad precis' of the disdainful treatment that DC metes out to its legacy females.