Saturday, November 9, 2013
Kara As A Red Lantern ... Really??
Back at the NYCC, it was hinted that Supergirl was going to leave the Super-titles. At the time I wasn't sure what that meant but I hoped that she would headline a new and nearly defunct Young Justice line of books. And Scott Lobdell hinted that Charles Soule might be involved which I assumed meant that Supergirl might also appear in Superman/Wonder Woman. Because that made sense.
And Tony Bedard was taking over the Supergirl book and talked of making her likable again and all that made me optimistic that maybe ... just maybe ... DC finally understood the character and was moving her away from the darkness which had mired down her New 52 incarnation. I was actually feeling optimistic.
And then this hit the internet yesterday: http://www.newsarama.com/19526-guess-who-s-a-new-red-lantern-as-title-smashes-with-green-lantern-for-february-flipbook.html
GREEN LANTERN/RED LANTERNS #28
Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and CHARLES SOULE
Art by BILLY TAN and ALESSANDRO VITTI
GREEN LANTERN Cover by BILLY TAN
RED LANTERNS Cover by STEPHEN SEGOVIA
With dozens of sectors in open rebellion against the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan is faced with a crisis in the sector most important to him: 2814, home of Earth…as well as Ysmault, home of the Red Lanterns. Hal made a dangerous bargain with Guy Gardner, and now it’s time to pay up! Plus: Guy and the Red Lanterns take over policing Sector 2814! And you’ll want to keep reading RED LANTERNS next month to see what happens to their newest member: SUPERGIRL!
That's right. Supergirl is becoming a Red Lantern. She is becoming a warrior of rage.
As a Red Lantern.
I don't know what to say anymore.
It is as if DC Comics has no understanding of their characters anymore.
It is as if DC Comics has no understanding of their readers anymore.
Because it is clear that DC thinks that Supergirl can only exist as an angry isolated young woman. And when things don't seem to be selling well enough, they think the solution is to make her darker.
The original pitch was Michael Green and Mike Johnson's 'hell on wheels', someone who would 'fight her friends as much as her enemies', a disaffected, alone young woman ... so don't piss her off.
Then Scott Lobdell had her fall in love with a villain, be hysterical, gullible, and immature, almost turning her back on her family, willing to sacrifice Earth for her own needs.
Then Michael Alan Nelson came on board, to the glee of the laughing Bobbi Chase who cooed about how dark the book was going to get. Nelson made her abandon Earth, turned her father into a villain, and then literally killed her while she cried for mercy.
And now ... why not ... let's have her vomit up her heart and embrace rage.
Is there no joy ... no light ... no hope in the DCU? Does everything need to be dark and edgy?
Of course, this comes on the week Marvel announces a new title where a young muslim woman is so inspired by Captain Marvel that she decides to become a hero herself ... Ms. Marvel. A young woman deciding to become a hero. Meanwhile DC announces that their most recognizable young woman hero, someone who should be inspired by her cousin to be a hero, becomes a Red Lantern.
Throughout her 50+ years of being around Supergirl has always been a character striving do what was right. She saw the best in people. She saw the best in the world. She never gave up. She might fail but she learned and she tried even harder. She was filled with passion but always directed at achieving her goal of doing good.
We have seen DC try to make her darker. From Matrix being a dupe of Brainiac and Lex to Jeph Loeb and Joe Kelly's horrific brat in the last incarnation, people have wanted to sully Kara's character. But each of these takes have ultimately failed. Supergirl fans don't want to see her dark. And fans of dark characters don't want to read Supergirl. That's why these takes always fail ... ALWAYS.
That's why Peter David's tale of redemption and Sterling Gates' story of a maturing hero and even Landry Walker's story of a shy Supergirl blossoming into a hero have all been lauded. Because they understood Supergirl and wrote stories for who she is.
I have tried to be patient with the nonsense of the new 52, the never-ending grimness, the aloof Superman, the killing heroes, the bickering Justice League, the 'evil is relative' tagline, the obvious missteps with Supergirl. I have tried.
Maybe this is a short lived thing. Maybe this is her story of redemption as she slowly rejects the rage. But I can't be sure any more. Because DC has just made one misstep after another. I don't think they are thinking that far in advance. And regardless, this announcement ... it didn't make me angry. It depressed me.
I am sure that is what DC was going for with this announcement ... a feeling of inevitablity and depression.
As for me, you know what I think.
Kara would be an Indigo, a force of compassion.
Because in no universe does it make any sense for Kara Zor-El to be a Red Lantern.