Monday, December 2, 2013

CBR Interview With Tony Bedard

Tony Bedard has done an interview on CBR talking about his plans on Supergirl and I have to say the interview made me feel that, despite the Red Lantern announcement, she is going to be taken care of. Here is the link: CBR

As always, I strongly suggest you read the interview in its entirety as it provides a lot of insight into Bedard's approach and his love of the character. I have picked out the blurbs I liked and will add my comments.

CBR: Thus far in "Supergirl," readers have seen Kara struggle to find her place on Earth and then struggle with her Kryptonian background and outlook. Are you looking to continue this tone, or does your Kara have a bit more of a handle and sympathy for Earth and its cultures now?

TB: I actually want to change that tone a bit, but in a way that makes sense and isn't too abrupt. Basically, Kara Zor-El has had a very rough life. Everyone she grew up with on Krypton is dead. Her only surviving relative has "gone native" on an alien planet. Her first love turned out to be a monster and she had to kill him. She's met an alternate version of herself (Power Girl) who is better than her. Her father has turned into Cyborg Superman. And her current "Krypton Returns" exploits aren't going to have a terribly happy ending, either. So if she's filled with teen angst and resentment, that's only natural. But a pouty teenager can also be a little off-putting, and I'd like to arc her character toward something a little more positive and proactive. So that's the long-term plan: to make her more likable and have her embrace her mission in life while respecting the stories that have led up to this point.

We have heard this mantra before - that teenage angst and resentment is natural. And Bedard does a great job of showing how DC has done nothing to Kara but pile on bad luck and darkness. That is a rough 2 years of stories.

At least we hear him sat that he has a 'long term plan' to make Kara likable and to embrace her role as a hero. Now we have heard Michael Alan Nelson also say that he wanted to bring Kara closer to the light. So take that with a grain of salt. I also think that no mid-level title seems to have the luxury of a 'long term plan' in this New 52. I am hoping that DC gives Bedard a chance. As I noted before, Bedard had a good handle of the last Supergirl, filling for a couple of issues and really helping that character!

And no giggling Chase and Harras talking about how 'dark' the book is going to be!

CBR: According to DC's solicitations, your story begins after "Krypton Returns" and brings Lobo into Supergirl's orbit. What can you tell us about your first "Supergirl" arc?

TB: Both the Lobo and Red Lantern storylines have a lot to say about who Kara is and who she should become. Like Kara, Lobo is one of the very few survivors of a dead alien race. In fact, Lobo serves as a cautionary example of what Kara might become if she lets her anger and resentment take over. That inner rage is what draws the Red Ring to her and Kara's induction to the Red Lantern Corps will in one sense give her what she longs for: a place to belong. But it's also going to force her to come to terms with her own issues and what she wants to do with the awesome power that Fate granted her when it took away everything else. 

All of this will yield some intense, over-the-top action, but my real focus is further defining who she is and whether she's going to let her misfortunes define her, or if she can turn her life around and stop being a victim of tragedy. I think she'll to emerge a stronger, more likable character.

I don't mind the idea of a character being a reflection of what Supergirl could be as a way to nudge her forward. 

Reign could/should have been that in the first arc. What if Supergirl decided to go rogue and become a world-killer? I thought with the defense of NYC she might move forward.

Power Girl could have been that in the early Nelson issues. Power Girl has lost just as much if not more but seems more reasonable and heroic. She would be a positive reflection. 

So Lobo has the right fit.

Again, we see that Bedard wants to move her forward. The question is ... how long will she wear that ring before she decides to put it behind her.

CBR: The Red Lantern news is huge, so let’s talk for a moment about her move over to the Lantern corner of the DCU. How tied-into the events of the ongoing "Red Lantern" comic will she be? Is this a case where Guy Gardner and the other Ysmault Lanterns will be supporting characters, or appear in both books?

TB: "Red Lanterns" writer Charles Soule and I are still working that out. I anticipate some fun stuff between Red Lantern Kara and Bleez, who would make an awesome odd-couple. I don't see the books being linked lock step in the way that the GL books sometimes are, though. 

CBR: Is becoming a Red Lantern a permanent move for Kara? After this first arc will her grappling with being a Red Lantern be a driving force in the comic?

TB: I definitely want to use this change to explore her character and to bring about a more positive direction for Supergirl in the long term, but I think it's safe to say she won't be a Red Lantern forever. On the other hand, this isn't change for change's sake, nor is it a throwaway storyline. This is a big deal and a turning point for her. If you care at all about Supergirl, you won't want to miss this storyline.

I guess I am going to buy Red Lanterns for the time being, sliding it into the review slot vacated when I drop Superboy. I am glad there isn't going to be super-tight continuity.

The fact that he is calling this Lantern move a 'storyline' and not 'the foreseeable future' or 'for the time being' makes me think it isn't a super-long-term move. I wouldn't mind 6 months of it if the result is that move to being a better hero.

CBR: Finally, you're working with the versatile artist Yildiray Cinar on this arc. What does he bring to the table in terms of drawing Kara? And what has it been like working with him for the first time?

TB: I'm wishing we'd started off with this question because Yildiray is knocking it out of the park! He's a terrific storyteller and his visuals are always twice as good as whatever I imagined as I wrote the script. I'm looking forward to establishing a real collaboration with him and figuring out how to play to his strengths even more. 

While I'm at it, I'd like to mention inker Ray McCarthy and colorist Dan Brown. Rickey Purdin really put together a remarkable creative team here. Having edited a lot of books, I can tell you it's rare when the art improves at each stage, from pencils to inks to colors. But these three guys really get each other, and it's a thrill to see that their combined efforts are greater than the sum of their parts. Yildiray, Ray and Dan are setting a very high bar. I'm a very lucky man to be working with them, and the four of us are absolutely devoted to giving Supergirl the run she deserves. 

 I can't wait to see Cinar and company's work on the title. 

'Devoted to giving Supergirl the run she deserves.' I love that!


Martin Gray said...

You're right, the key is Bedard being allowed to stick around long enough to get Kara to the place be wants her to be - and then, the next writer not doing a u-turn. Good luck, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Who is this mook kidding? The book will be cancelled long before he can move Kara some much as one half inch "towards the light". When it comes to mid card draws like Supergirl long term plans are almost never fully or even partially implemented. Sterling Gates had a plan as well, likely an excellent one but it could never stand up to DC's unswerving commitment to Bigger Selling Outrages accross the Whole Line.
Sorry Unconvinced....


Martin Gray said...

Unconvinced you may be, John, but there's no call for name calling.

AndNowInStereo said...

I like what Bedard is saying. I think gets it, and we do have evidence that he gets it, given issues 20-22 of the previous volume. So I'll wait and see how his issues turn out! He does need to be given time to do it sure, but I also hope he doesn't waste any time and starts moving her story arc forward pronto. Nelson didn't do this, he can't afford to make the same mistake.

It looks like issue 28 is clearly being set up as the Red Lanterns jumping on point. Hopefully they'll push Supergirl later that month too, we need big "See how this happened in Supergirl #28 in two weeks!" titles at the end of that GL/RL flipbook. That said, issue 25 from last week isn't a bad place to check out RL from. It's the start of a new arc and it does feel like Soule's starting to get his ideas into motion.

al said...

Anj you should get last week's issue of Red lanterns it's a jumping on point that sets up their new status qou as protecters of earth.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the posts. Will definitely pick up the last Red Lantern issue Al, thanks for the tip.

I am hoping ... hoping ... that DC will give Bedard the rope he needs to bring this title around.

Trying to be optimistic.

Anonymous said...

Keep buying and reading the book, she'll become the person you like eventually.

No really. Keep buying the book. Buy it and buy it some more. Give us your money. They'll be a big payoff for you at the end, eventually.

You know those magazines, where you buy issues one at a time and with each issue you're given a small piece of something? Like a dolls house, chess set, etc? The ones where each issue costs a little bit more and includes a smaller piece of the total puzzle, then gets cancelled before the multi-part item can even be completed?

That's what DC is doing to you with New 52 Supergirl. Keep reading, keep buying, stay angry and wanting more in the hope that things will change.

And for as long as you continue to fall for the trick, things never will.

AndNowInStereo said...

Well I'm sticking with it. I like this Supergirl. She's 'my' Supergirl. I spent 20 years liking the character without buying her book and I'm invested now. This is one of two books I started buying physical copies of comics in order to support it, the other being Captain Marvel which is now being retooled due to sales that weren't high enough. I'm not dropping Supergirl now before I can even read the beginning of the storyline. You wouldn't do that with a TV show, so I'm not doing it with a comic.

Anj said...

I agree Thomas.

Plus, I have a lot of faith in Bedard in actually wanting to bring about this change in the character.