Saturday, December 29, 2012
2012 Supergirl Year In Review: Top Three Supergirl Face Palm Moments
This was the last Supergirl moment of 2012, a kiss with a maniac who has wooed her with promises that seem to have clouded her mind.
It seems therefore appropriate to finish this end of the year wrap-up with the Top Three Face Palm moments of the year.
This was another good year for Supergirl and I had a hard time limiting my 'Best of' list to ten. In contrast, there were only three things that really really bothered me over the year. And it seemed like a nice little funny post as we approach the new year (although this kiss almost snuck in at number four).
So on to the moments. I present these in no particular order for your consumption.
The Kurt Schaffenberger 'Ridiculous' Award goes to Worlds's Finest for constantly blasting Power Girl's costume off of her for gratuitous and titillating states of undress. (Okay, it's a Power Girl moment, not a Supergirl moment. It's Supergirl-ish.)
Yes, we understand that Power Girl has great skin ... and so much of it!
It seemed like every issue, no matter what, Power Girl's snazzy new costume or even Karen Starr's business attire would be shredded, burned, or ruined so she could prance around.
Now listen, I have no problem with Karen being proud of her body, having a healthy self-image, and her not having a problem with being naked in front of friends. But the situations are becoming ludicrously common, forced into the script, almost as if it is a recurring theme that every issue she needs to be disrobed in battle. This adds nothing to the scene other than some cheesecake. Would these scenes have been any different if the costume remained intact? When Power Girl is stripped every issue, when it becomes a running joke, or a defining part of the character, doesn't it cheapen the book and her?
And if they wanted to showcase Karen's attributes more, why not keep her in the traditional Power Girl uniform rather than the body suit?
Paul Levitz recently commented on this very issue over on Newsarama: http://www.newsarama.com/comics/paul-levitz-worlds-finest-more-dcu.html
Nrama: Their clothes are being ripped up quite a bit lately. Are there new costumes on the horizon?
Levitz: No, I just thought we needed a little running gag. Given how many people were annoyed by Power Girl's more covered form, it just seemed to be a fun running gag to go through a few issues of this type of thing. Wally Wood, who really *ahem* developed Power Girl's figure -- Joe Orlando designed the original character, and Ric Estrada was the original penciller, but it was Woody who sort of went out of control on it. Woody, for a number of years, did a wonderfully silly strip for the military newspapers called Sally Forth. And rule No. 1 of Sally Forth, who was this very buxom Wally Wood military gal, was that he had to find a way for her clothes to get ripped every "x" number of pages. Of course, we're not quite doing that with Power Girl, but at least for awhile, it was fun to play with that trope.
Part of my problem with it is simply that it happened every issue. It really was a running gag and when it 'needs' to happen it can feel forced. Think of it like a sitcom catchphrase. It had to be there and those almost immediately become tired. I just think that I didn't need to see this every month.
The SBFF 'Yeesh' Award goes to Scott Lobdell for butchering Supergirl's characterization every time he can.
Supergirl #14 showed a Supergirl thinking about opening up to Superman more, contemplating bringing him into her life more. It showed Supergirl look at Superboy and think of him as 'him' and not 'it'. She talked to her friend on Earth, showing she was warming up to her new home. It showed a Supergirl who listened to H'El, thought about what he said, but not 100% buying into this hype. It was a great issue.
And then came Superman #14. This was one week later! Here she sneers at Superman, telling him not to "ruin" her optimism over H'El and his plan. She called Earth a ball of mud and sweat. She sarcastically calls out Superman for worrying about 'precious humans' and again regarded Superboy as a thing.
SEVEN DAYS LATER!
Does Lobdell have an idea what Mike Johnson is doing on Supergirl? Has he read that book? Did he want to contradict her character in every way? Why does his Superman seem annoyed every time he sees her?
And where were the editors here?
It is disheartening that her character is considered so meaningless to Lobdell that he hasn't read her stories and treats her like an angry, sullen, patsy for the villain.
The Chris Roberson Seriously Award unfortunately goes to Michael Green and Mike Johnson for one big misstep, the first page of Supergirl #8.
The World Killers battle is over. Supergirl is victorious. She looks up to the sky, half-smiling, fists clenched but hung at her sides exhaustedly, standing heroically. The military are rushing to her in the background. There are saved citizens comforting each other. It is a great moment, number one on my Top Ten Supergirl Moments of 2012. That was the last page of Supergirl #7.
And here is the first page of Supergirl #8, the exact same moment, immediately after the World Killer battle. But the feel here is completely different. She's looking down, her shoulders slumped, her legs collapsing. She is holding her head with a worried expression. The military are now all training weapons on her.
There is no sense of victory here. No sense of happiness. No sense of satisfaction in having done the right thing. This is all negative.
And it takes place seconds after the prior moment. If I have to chastise Scott Lobdell for not knowing how to portray Supergirl and giving her a different feel, I have to question why Green and Johnson would portray things so differently.
Compare the two pages side by side.
After seven issues of running, or being attacked, or questioning herself, of dealing with tragedy, of almost dying, Supergirl #7 ends with a positive moment, a sliver of happiness and acceptance.
All of that is ripped away in the first page of Supergirl #8.
It is a jarring transition. And it only fostered concern that this book would continually alienate and isolate Supergirl. Of course that hasn't turned out to be true. But at the time (and even now) I wonder why the creative team would rob Supergirl of this moment.
So overall, not too big a list and another good year for Supergirl.
Anything I miss on any of the lists? What moments stuck out to you?