Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tony Bedard On Supergirl ... In The Past ... Supergirl #22

We recently heard that Tony Bedard is taking over the Supergirl title in December. Now there hasn't been any announcement on how long he will be on the title so who knows if this is a seat-warming short arc or an ongoing gig.

This won't be the first time Bedard has written the Girl of Steel. Back in the last incarnation, Bedard wrote three issues, a sort of place holder between Joe Kelly's run and Kelley Puckett's arc. It was an odd time for Supergirl. After 19 issues of an angry, angsty, anti-hero ... a Supergirl who was programmed to kill Kal-El, a Supergirl who sprouted crystal spikes,  ... DC realized maybe that take on Kara Zor-El wasn't going to work. Puckett, known for writing a strong Batgirl book,  was going to come in and make her a hero again.

But before we got there, Bedard got to write his issues, all three linked to ongoing DC crossover events. Supergirl #20 was linked to Amazons Attack. Supergirl #21 and #22 were Countdown issues.  Despite being weighed down by being attached to a couple of weaker DC events, the issues are great to reread and give me some optimism about Bedard's approach coming up.

In fact, I will probably save Supergirl #20 for a full review, closer to Bedard's first issue in December. That is the strongest issue of the three. But  there was one scene at the end of Supergirl #22 that I thought I would share now.

In these issues, Supergirl has accidentally been drawn into the Amazon war and brought down Air Force One. She hasn't talked to her cousin since that happened. After a side adventure in the 30th century and a battle, she finally meets up with Clark at the Kent Farm. Here is that conversation, one I think most Supergirl fans will appreciate tremendously.

Supergirl sort of braces herself for the worst, expecting to be chastised to by Superman.

Before he can start, she interrupts him.

"I know you love me and that's why you feel a need to act like my big brother or my dad -- but you're neither one!'

Now given what happened before in this book, I was expecting to see the two brawl.

But I turned the page and got this ...

A strong and mature Supergirl who stands up for what she has done. And she says sentiments about her character that are the core of who she is ... who I think she is.

"Maybe I need to learn thing the hard way. But I am learning!"
"I want to be a family with you  ... but I don't need your ... validation! I can get by on my own terms. I am doing just fine."

On the heroes path, doing good, learning lessons ... sometimes the hard way, growing, linked to Superman but not defined by hi.

That is Supergirl!

And Superman agrees with her! He tells her that he knows she is doing fine and doesn't want her to feel like she is in his shadow!

A supportive Superman! Incredible.

The title started to solidify after this. But this sort of turning of the corner for Supergirl, becoming her own hero, it reminded me of the Paul Kupperberg Supergirl story leading into Daring New Adventures. Here is the link to my coverage of that:   That Supergirl was also making the steps to independence.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that achingly beautiful art by Renato Guedes on these issues. I absolutely loved Guedes' take on Supergirl. Just stunning ...

Anyways, this scene makes me think that Bedard has a understanding of the fundamentals of the character. Let's hope that continues in the new series.


Martin Gray said...

Awful as it is to be reminded of Countdown and - bleeurgh - Amazons Attack, it's good to see that scene again.

Anonymous said...

If crystal spikes Supergirl didn't work what makes DC think "Disintegrated by Daddykins" Supergirl is such an improvement?

Honestly they are re-enacting every single mistake they made on the last run of Supergirl sans Sterling Gates waiting in the wings to save The Maid of Might....


AndNowInStereo said...

Well, that looks promising at least. I'm looking forward to Bedard & Cinar starting on the book. I hope it's for longer than a single arc. Bedard did indicate that's a possibility, I quote him from the Bleeding Cool forums:

"Right now we're planning the initial story arc, but I hope to stick around on the title for a while. Of course, that all depends on how well received it is, so I hope y'all will give me a chance with her. :-)"

While we're looking at the old issues, it's worth putting a link here to all of Guedes' Supergirl concept sketches that on his Deviantart, because they're brilliant:

I only know about Amazons Attack and Countdown because of Linkara's scathing reviews of both. As I understand it, DC very quickly tried to pretend that neither happened.

Anonymous said...

Amazons Attack had one silver lining - it inspired the final act of the Wonder Woman animated movie, which is completely awesome.

As someone who has followed Supergirl since the Batman/Superman introduction, I recall buying early issues of the previous volume, skimming through them, and having literally no idea what was going on from month to month. The "disguised at a school" one-shot completely baffled me, as did the Nightwing/Flamebird thing.

At least the current volume is roughly coherent.

I just hope they handle the disintegration thing in a way that doesn't leave her as a copy of the person who was disintegrated.

Anonymous said...

I hope Bedard is allowed to write what he wants with Supergirl, but given the current editorial climate, I can't help but worry.