Wednesday, April 23, 2014
More Jeff Lemire ... More Angry Supergirl
Justice League United #0 comes out today. This should be a cause for celebration for Supergirl fans. After all, it has Supergirl in the classic S-shield costume as a member of the League. And the creative team of writer Jeff Lemire and artist Mike McKone, on paper, is a great one. I have enjoyed almost all of Lemire's work for DC.
Unfortunately, the press for this book makes it sound like Supergirl is in the book for one reason ... to act as a foil for Stargirl and Equinox. Kara will be the negative anti-hero making those two look all the better. I have covered prior interviews here and worried about how Supergirl will again be mistreated. After all, Lemire called her a 'bull-headed loner' and the opposite of Stargirl who is 'bright, optimistic, and the face of youth in the DC Universe'. Those are his words ... not mine.
On Monday, Lemire had another interview about the book, the last publicity before the book's release. Here is the link: http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/2014/04/21/justice-league-united-comic-book-series/7959551/
As always, it is worth reading the whole article. But here are the bits that stuck out:
Stargirl and Supergirl aren't too fond of each other either, Lemire says. "Stargirl is really eager and optimistic and trying, and Supergirl doesn't have much time for her."
Again, the inference is that Supergirl isn't eager or optimistic. Just like she wasn't bright. And of course Supergirl remains a loner. It pains me that this is the status quo of Supergirl in the DCU these days. After decades of being eager, bright, optimistic ... passionate about justice, she is relegated to being the dark foil to those same emotions.
"She's from a small community and has never really been outside of that, let alone seen any of this fantastic superhero stuff going on around her," Lemire explains. "But she's got a good sense of humor and she's become the most relatable character in the book so far."
So the new character gets to have a sense of humor and be the most relatable character. Again, Supergirl gets to be the loner who most likely is mean or negative to Equinox. I am not anti-Stargirl. I am not anti-Equinox. I am anti-dark Supergirl. If Lemire wanted someone to fill that role couldn't he pick someone else?
Before and after, Lemire is promising humor to go along with all that adventure.
"I've grown tired of the ultra serious, grim and gritty superhero stuff that's become prevalent lately," he says. "I want to get back to having some fun."
At least I got this. I am a fan of what Lemire has done in the past. So some fun heroic adventures will be a welcome change. But will Supergirl again be the downer in the group, sulking while everyone laughs around her? Or will she warm up to the team and become relatable again like Bedard and Soule promised.
"Manhunter is the heart of the team, and he has a relationship with everyone," the writer says. "He's the most alien character in a way and probably the most shocking to (Equinox), but also the most warm and welcoming."
Big stuff is on the way for Hawkman — "He will not be the same character he has been (since the New 52 relaunch) by the time the first arc's done, that's for sure," says Lemire, who's leaning into the character's spacebound background and reintroducing his old villain Byth as the main baddie of the first arc.
And it seems like he has a nice grasp on the other characters. It is nice to hear J'Onn described as warm and welcoming. And a more classic Hawkman (with Byth!) sounds great.
But let's try to raise Supergirl up in this book, not push her down farther.