It's been a while since the Supergirl book has gotten any publicity. Since the deluge of pieces when Red Daughter was first announced, news about the book has sort of dried up. I suppose that with the denouement of Red Daughter still unknown, DC might want to be tight lipped.
Thankfully, we got some news via Tony Bedard over on weeklycomicbookreview.com. And thanks to blog friend Thomas Hayes for pointing me to it. Here is the link: http://weeklycomicbookreview.com/2014/06/25/senyc-report-the-days-of-high-adventure-an-interview-with-tony-bedard/
As always, it is definitely worth reading the entire interview as it covers Bedard's career, his time on Beowulf, and other topics. I have culled some of the Supergirl specific questions and added my comments after. Overall Bedard continues to say the right things.
WCBR: Alright, turning to Supergirl, you’ve actually worked with Supergirl, at least a decent amount in the past. Were there any unexpected joys or challenges in coming back to a character who, perhaps more than most, was really changed by the New 52?
So, that’s been the biggest struggle with everything bad that happens to her, finding those little moments to try and leaven that and still keep her likable. And Spider-Man’s the best example of a character like that. That something was always wrong, y’know, Aunt May needed her medicine and he was going to lose his job and he couldn’t pay the rent. But it didn’t come across as a downer of a book. But Spider-Man’s a real different character than Supergirl is so it’s hard to pull that off with her.
Hurrah! Bedard says Supergirl needs to be bright, happy, and likable. Needs to be!
I think it great that he realizes that so far the character has been whiny and dark. I don't mind Supergirl adapting to Earth, even struggling to adapt. But she needs to be likable, heroic, and bright.
It is fantastic that Bedard gets that simple truth.
WCBR: One thing I thought was great was that your Secret Origins story spent a good amount of time kind of looking at what the differences are between Kara and Superman. And one of the things that struck me is, of course, that Kara lived on Krypton. Superman has this weird secondhand relationship with his home. What do you think that difference- really having known Krypton, how does that change Kara from what people think of when they think of the Superman family?
Bedard: Well, I think- one of the problems with Supergirl is that she’s kind of a subset of Superman, y’know, and that kind of limits who she can be, or at least has for a long time. Her identity is always expressed in relation to another character and she kind of needed her own thing to set her apart. So, I think that the fact that she grew up on Krypton being played up, that’s why that’s there.
We’re trying to stand her up on her own and also to give her a motivation that stems from her Kryptonian background. In the case of Superman, he got his values from Ma and Pa Kent and that’s really vital as far as who he turned out to be and why he goes around doing good things. So, I think if we played up her Kryptonian-ness it’s to try and differentiate her from him and also not just make her, y’know-
WBCR: “Superman’s Cousin: Kara Kent”.
Bedard: Yeah. Exactly. She needs to have her own sort of reason for going around and doing good deeds and using her powers for good.
I think that this is a fine line that the best writers can walk upon.
I want Supergirl to be her own character, to tell her own stories, to have her own personality. But she is also part of the Super-family and Superman is should be a mentor or an older brother.
Superman shouldn't define her. But Supergirl shun him. There can be interplay.
Look at how Paul Kupperberg had them interact. Look at how Sterling Gates had them interact. It can happen. They can be family members, supportive of each other, loving to each other, and not have Superman define her.
And while I think Krypton has to be a big part of Kara's story, that also can't define her. She needs to embrace Earth as her new home.
WCBRL So, Supergirl #31, which is technically the latest issue at this time, was a really dense issue. There was a lot going on, but Red Lanterns deals with the Judge and Atrocitus and now this week’s issue sees her going up against the Diasporans and Worldkiller-1 , which is a big reveal after a long while. So, I guess the question is, once we’re done with that, will we be turning back towards Earth and Blaze, who’s been kind of sneaking around the corners?
Bedard: We’re definitely getting back to Earth. What happens with Blaze is actually- We’re not gonna plunge into that as a storyline. That’s kind of been put off because there’s some other things going on. And this is the joy of working in a big universe like this is sometimes you set up plans and think they’re gonna pay off at a certain point, and then you turn around and find out that there’s another thing, like, for example in September- Have they released much information about the September books yet?
The Supergirl book desperately needs some time to grow and progress on its own. I worry that while major crossovers might bring in some new readers, they tend to derail any momentum the book has.
Remember H'El on Earth? And Krypton Returns?
So hopefully this detour into Futures' End is brief.
WCBR: But, you know, solicitations are intentionally misleading to some degree.
Bedard: Right. Because those books are all going to play off of stuff that’s going on in “Future’s End”. And so that kind of punted my plans a little bit, but it’s okay because actually I get to do something really fun in that issue with Kara and Cyborg Superman. And also the issue when she gets back to Earth, we’re actually going do something a little romantic with her.
WCBR: Oh, cool.
Bedard: Which, she hasn’t had much romance or that kind of fun in the whole run of the series, so I’m looking forward to that. We actually slow down a little bit and do some more character-driven stuff.
I am not a fan of 'Zor-El as Cyborg Superman' so I hope that 'something fun' is a resolution of some sort. Maybe a retcon?
But the fact that Bedard is talking about slowing things down and adding romance makes me happy. I think he has the right mindset for the character and the progression of the book.