Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Lemire And Soule On Supergirl


The creators who are guiding Supergirl into the next stage of her life have been hitting the interview circuit and as a Supergirl fan I have been watching closely. This feels like a crucial part of Supergirl's history in the New 52. It seems like DC realizes the relentlessly angry and isolated Kara is not sustainable. The Red Daughter story has been labeled a transformative story, a way to turn things around. So let's see if that hold true.

First, Justice League United writer Jeff Lemire was recently interviewed on The MarySue. Here is the link:
http://www.themarysue.com/interview-jeff-lemire-equinox-justice-league-united/   As always, there is a lot to read there so head over and take in the whole interview. But here was the Supergirl question.

TMS: Supergirl has been through the ringer in the New 52. She thinks Superman is a jerk and they’ve fought nearly every time they’ve met, often physically as well as verbally. On top of that, she became a Red Lantern recently. How is she going to adjust to working in a group like this?
Lemire: Supergirl is a very interesting character to write. She starts off being what she’s been in the New 52 universe so far. She’s an angry loner who doesn’t get along with everyone. But then I want to take her somewhere completely different. I want to see her grow and change and become part of a family rather than just being a member of a team. She’s going to have an arc. You’ll see her evolve and become part of the universe more.

So this book's continuity has to be post-Red Daughter because Kara is back in her Kryptonian garb. And I was hoping that post-Red Lantern we would have the 'new' Kara, the anger and isolation behind her. I imagined that her joining a team was an easy way to show that. She is looking to be in the DCU, to make friends, to be in a group.

Instead ... again ... Lemire says she's is an angry loner.

And then he talks about taking her somewhere differently, having her grow and become part of the family. He even says she will have her own arc.

Which I suppose is fine.

But can't DC just get there? Can't the creators be on the same page?? If Bedard and Soule are rehabbing her in Supergirl/Red Lantern, why isn't that seen here?

Lemire is a solid writer. I just hope things turn around quickly. I am sick of 'angry loner' Kara. It makes no sense.


And Charles Soule talks about his work over on Comic Book Resources: http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=51913     Same advice ... read the whole thing ... but here are the Supergirl questions.

CBR: Let's move to "Red Lanterns" -- that seems like a neat title to be on, because unlike everything we've just been saying, there really isn't much in the way of expectations for what that book means. It's been around for a couple of years, but it's a relatively new prospect, and it seems that you can do a lot there. Is that a big part of the attraction for you?
CS: Yeah. I like Guy Gardner, personally. He's one of my favorite characters in the DCU, and the idea of writing a book built around him was a big deal for me. Supergirl just joined the team -- it's funny, they're not like a team in the traditional sense, they really are more like a gang. So she's become a part of the gang, and a lot of tension and conflict is happening. The last issue that just came out, Guy tries to pawn her off on Superman, and both she and Superman aren't particularly thrilled about that -- somebody gets hit with a tanker.
You get to do crazy things in "Red Lanterns," which is neat. It's open in that way. 

I will say that Red Lanterns has been something of a surprise for me. It is a really fun comic. Yes, they are rage-y but they aren't necessarily villains. They seem to have the right goals; they just get there in a darker way. And lastly, they seem like their biggest drive if for people to have the personal freedom to do what they want. Does that make them anarchists? Or civil libertarians??

It is interesting that Supergirl has so quickly become 'one of the gang'. She was basically palling around with Skallox and Zilius last issue. Hopefully that is the first step of ending this isolated Supergirl.

CBR: Let's focus a bit more on Supergirl in "Red Lanterns" -- it's an idea that sounds crazy at first, but then you think about it and it has a lot of fun potential. What inspired that, and how have you enjoyed seeing it through?
CS: I will take credit for this one, for better or worse. At the Superman summit last October, when we were talking about the Superman line and building the "Doomed" crossover, we were talking about what to do with Supergirl. I was writing "Red Lanterns" at the time, and I'm like, "Why doesn't she join the team? I think she'd be a good fit, it'd be interesting, we could do something cool with her, build her up in a way and change her character around a little bit." Change is important to these characters -- you want to keep them familiar, but you also want to bring them to new places and do new things with them.
It seemed like this would really work, and as soon as I said it, people were like, "Huh, that could be OK!" It took a little time to put all the pieces together, but now it's humming. It's like "Superman/Wonder Woman" -- people weren't sure what to expect, but now that they're reading it, I've been hearing nothing but good things. 

We have heard this story before of Soule joining the Superman summit and recommending Kara joining  Red Lanterns. What is new is hearing the follow-up sentence where Soule says he wanted to 'build her up and change her a bit.' I would love to hear more about this from Soule. Was this a spur of the moment idea? Did he know anything about Supergirl before this meeting? Is he a fan? Did he know how he wanted to change her?

I will admit the Red Lantern Supergirl stuff has been much better than I anticipated. That said, I will withhold a final verdict until I see the finale. I want a likeable Supergirl to be the denouement to this mega-arc.

2 comments:

Thomas Hayes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas Hayes said...

Soule told me he was a fan of Kara when I asked him in his Reddit AMA back in January.

I really like the dynamic in Red Lanterns so far. We see that Skallox and Zilius have basically accepted her for who she is pretty much straight away, right from page 1 of #29, and they get on just fine. In #29 Zox even repeats to Superman the 'We are a family' sentiment that Ratchet espoused as he sacrificed his life for the other Reds back in #26. She's not a loner on this team and it took Soule one issue to make her part of that family. So I hope they don't backtrack on this.