My New Year's resolution was to be more optimistic so I have been trying to wrap my head around this change in Kara's story. And I have bought Red Lanterns #22 - #26 and have to say I have enjoyed the series. The Reds have, for the most part, tried to do good in Sector 2814. They aren't rabid or insane. And while they are filled with rage there is an odd nobility to most of them. This isn't a blood soaked title even if the action is at times brutal.
Okay, the interview is mostly about Green Lantern but here are the Supergirl questions.
MSG: And of course, the big news is Supergirl’s arrival to the Red
Lanterns team in issue #28. What was the impetus for Kara’s inclusion in
the rage-filled Corps and how are you working out her ongoing story
with [Supergirl writer] Tony Bedard? CS: This one was
my idea. There are things going on in the Red storyline that allow for
the team’s membership to get expanded a bit, and I also knew that DC is
always open to hearing interesting new ideas about the characters,
particularly ones that help to emphasize the cohesiveness of the
universe. It’s been pretty clear that Kara’s been dealing with a lot of
anger – so it makes sense that a red ring might find her. But that’s
not where it ends. The ring is just the beginning
of Kara’s story with the Reds. We’re treating it almost as therapy, and
we’ll get some cool beats out of it, both in Red Lanterns as well as
the main Supergirl title Tony’s writing.
Okay ... optimism.
I am glad to hear that
this Red Lantern idea is clearly a temporary one. Both Bedard and Soule
have said that eventually Supergirl will shed the Red ring and become
her self again. I guess the question I have is how long this will be. I
know the answer will be vague ... as long as it takes to bring the story
to that point. But I don't think I will be happy if we are over a year
like this. At least no one is saying this is 'permanent'. This is a
'beginning' of her story.
MSG: Fans have reacted strongly to Supergirl’s arrival as somewhat
of a drastic change, something that many don’t feel is natural for her
character. What do you see in Kara that makes her candidacy in the Red
Lanterns a fitting story arc? CS: I think that people who are against the idea are viewing
Kara’s character as they wish her to be, not as she actually is, or has
been portrayed in the New 52 to date. That
Kara would absolutely be able to get a red ring to find her. Stories
(in general), should be vehicles for characters to grow and change, and
that is what we’re doing with this one.
Okay ... no some pessimism. Or confusion. Or being irked.
If you read the first 16 issues of the Supergirl series, as written by Mike Johnson, it really was a book about grief. Sure, she was angry at times, lashing out at things. But it was out of the sheer sadness weighing on her. Her life is suddenly a tragedy and she wants to retreat. I don't think the predominant emotion by Johnson (and Green) was rage ... regardless of what the editors and other publicity blurbs said.
I am clearly one of the strongly reacting fans Soule is talking about in this question. And he is right ... I know what I wish Supergirl to be, the character she has been for the better part of 50 years. And yes. I know that This Kara has been written in a way that a red ring might find her. It doesn't make it right. I wish she was the Supergirl I have been a fan of.
Lastly, wanting a different take on Supergirl doesn't mean I want her set in amber, stuck in one form,. All I want from her is to grow as a character, but on the hero's journey, struggling to find herself but definitely doing what is right, definitely trying to help as many people as possible. I like that she isn't a hero yet ... but she is becoming a her.
There are plenty of stories of a heroic Supergirl growing and changing.
Read Peter David.
Read Sterling Gates.
Read James Peaty.
Read Landry Walker.
Read any of them.
She is growing there but with a core of hope and justice ... not rage. You can write an interesting story of a growing Supergirl that is consistent with her prior incarnations.
As I said, Red Lanterns is a fun book. And maybe this Red Lantern turn is going to end with Supergirl shaking off the anger and becoming (as Bedard promised) more likable and more heroic. But Supergirl is only That Supergirl because people continue to write her that way.