Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tony Bedard Discusses Supergirl In Secret Origin
We are a couple of months away from Secret Origin but we are learning more about what to expect from the title. Over on Comic Vine, Tony Bedard started to shed some light on the Supergirl story in the first issue. Here is the link: http://www.comicvine.com/articles/interview-tony-bedard-discusses-kara-zor-el-for-secret-origins/1100-148081/
As always, it is well worth reading the entire interview. It is relatively brief. And has been the case, Bedard says all the right thing. And while that doesn't always translate to doing the right things, at least he isn't saying the wrong things. I have read enough of those interviews.
Here are some things that stuck out for me:
CV: Is there a different feeling writing this version of Kara compared to when you did Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes?
TB: In the New 52 version, we've really played up how difficult it is for Supergirl to fit in on Earth. Superman had the advantage of growing up here, but Kara's personality and outlook were forged back on Krypton. She never expected to become a superhero on what to her is a pretty primitive world. So where the old Supergirl was much more comfortable with her role, this newer version of Kara Zor-El is still trying to figure out what to do with the power she has. It's been tricky, because she's usually fed up and frustrated by her encounters on Earth, which can come off as grumpy or whiny. The old Supergirl was universally beloved and accepted. This new one has more of a Peter Parker challenge: getting the public to trust her. She'd settle for just feeling like she belongs. But with the events of the upcoming Red Lanterns crossover and her joining the Justice League, Kara has a lot of opportunity to turn her life around and earn that S on her chest.
It is great that Bedard recognizes that the isolated Supergirl who has been 'fed up' can be perceived as grumpy and whiny. This is true!
But the old Supergirl being 'beloved and accepted'!? That is the old old old Supergirl! Matrix? Not so much. Certainly the last incarnation with Loeb and Kelly was in a similar position until Gates rehabilitated her. But I will be happy to have this Supergirl eventually come close to being beloved and starts acting the part of the hero.
CV: What do you like about her?
TB: I like that in her New 52 incarnation Supergirl isn't as defined by her relation to Superman. That is, she's not trying to be like him and follow his example. She has her own reasons for wanting to use her powers for the greater good. That's the focus of this new SECRET ORIGINS story -- not just recapping her origin and powers, but setting up how Supergirl stands on her own merits rather than basking in the glory of her cousin.
Again, we are talking about the old old old Supergirl, and even then it is the older stories of the old old old Supergirl that defined herself via Supergirl. The Daring New Supergirl was her own person. Matrix didn't either. Even Gates' stories had her on her own. So this isn't necessarily new.
I don't mind Supergirl being her own person, separate from Superman. But they should have a loving relationship with each other.
CV: Obviously, you can't give everything away, but what's different about the new 52 origin of this character?
TB: A lot if this has already been established in the SUPERGIRL monthly, so it's not giving away too much. We do see young Kara preparing for "the Trials" Krypton's rite of passage that Kara never actually got to take. I think it's neat to see more of her relationship with her mother, who wore the pants at Casa Zor-El. The title of the story says it all: "Daughter of the House of El."
Certainly in the last incarnation, Alura was the stronger more extroverted personality of Supergirl's parents. That Alura seemed to be in charge there. That Alura was alive and commanding and sometimes overbearing. It will be interesting to see how the memory of this Alura effects Supergirl.
Also, we have seen glimpses of this version Alura before. Certainly she had some confidence and strength ... she shot Zor-El. But in other scenes she has seemed more like an overbearing mother, trying to have Kara dress conservatively and possibly agree to an arranged marriage. Luckily those scenes have been few so Bedard has some license here.
CV: What do you think long time fans will like about this book?
TB: I tried for a more positive, upbeat feel for Supergirl that I think lines up a little more with the vibe that Supergirl had in her previous incarnations. We see her performing a rescue as only a Super-character can. And I think it's always fun to get another glimpse of Krypton and its culture which shaped Kara in ways that Superman might never really understand.
Bedard addresses long time fans!
I am glad that he is moving more towards a more classic Supergirl here, a young hero finding herself.