Monday, July 21, 2014

Tony Bedard Says All the Right Things on CBR

With Red Daughter hours away from being behind us, I was hoping that DC would plug the Supergirl book again, now with her back in the classic S-shield costume and back on the right track.

And lo and behold, there is publicity! There is an interview with Tony Bedard over on CBR. And Bedard definitely says a lot of good things to say. Whether it is reflecting on Red Daughter, hinting about the future, or talking about Supergirl in general, Bedard made me feel some optimism.

As always, I will recommend reading the interview in its entirety. But here are the questions and answers that grabbed me ... and my usual commentary.

CBR News: Kara is currently a Red Lantern, and over these past issues we've seen her fit in with the group, act compassionately and, ironically, keep her temper better as a Red than she did as a lost Kryptonian. Do you think being in the Red Lanterns is good for Kara? Would removing her from that team be a detriment to her?
Tony Bedard: The biggest surprise for me about the "Red Daughter of Krypton" storyline has been that Kara has had more fun and upbeat moments as a Red Lantern than as a misfit alien on planet Earth! A lot of the credit goes to Charles Soule's truly entertaining run on "Red Lanterns." He's tapped that book's potential in a way I never anticipated, making it a thoroughly fun read. And having Kara as part of that group gave us a chance to see her through fresh eyes. More important for her, she went from being an outcast to belonging on a tight-knit team, and I think it did her some good. But, long term? I don't think Kara should be defined by Rage. She's better than that.

Bang! Just like that, in the first round, we get all sorts of great stuff!

First off, nice acknowledgment by Bedard about how great Kara was in Red Lanterns. As bizarre as it sounds, it's true. Kara really has sounded her best in Charles Soule's Red Lanterns. She has been heroic, friendly, and reflective on a what a life of rage would be like. I still can't believe I am writing that!

But the best line is the last. Kara is too good to be a rage-driven red. "She's better than that!" I think he definitely showed that in Supergirl #33.

CBR:Along with Kara you've gotten to write many of the other Red Lanterns -- are there any Reds that stick out to you as the most fun to write or to have Kara interact with?
TB: I think that Zilius Zox and Skallox are my favorite duo on the Red Lanterns. The way they play off each other in their own book is terrific, both for action and for laughs. Having them react to Kara was great fun, and those scenes just wrote themselves. It was also fun to write Kara with Bleez, since in a way she represents a cautionary tale for Kara. Giving herself over to Rage completely would make Kara just like Bleez in the worst way.
The scenes with Kara and Guy Gardner were another thing entirely, since Guy is the one Red Lantern who knows what Kara should be -- a positive, inspiring hero like her cousin Superman. Gotta say, though, that writing Atrocitus and Dex-Starr was a unique pleasure. They are perhaps the greatest odd couple in the DCU right now. Once again, hats off to Charles Soule for leading the way on reinventing the Red Lanterns.

I loved how great the scenes with Bleez were in Red Daughter. It is interesting to note how in Red Daughter, Bleez seems almost sympathetic. She bears her rage like a weight on her soul. She doesn't embrace it. And that painful existence shouldn't be what Kara wants.

And imagine Guy Gardner, of all people, recognizing that Kara should be positive and inspiring like Superman. I mean ... in the New 52, even Superman didn't realize that!

CBR: While we're heading to the conclusion of "Red Daughter Of Krypton," Supergirl is also involved in the "Superman: Doomed" crossover as well as appearing in the "Red Lanterns" and "Justice League United" ongoings. As the writer of her solo title, how do you handle the various timelines and stories she's appearing in? Is everything happening to her concurrently, and will she continue to tie into so many different books after September?
TB: I think right now she's having a spike in appearances across the DC Universe, which will soon settle down, but I think it's great for Supergirl that she'll continue having a presence in "Justice League United." I'm looking forward to seeing how Jeff Lemire handles her. We all try to coordinate as much as possible, but we also leave a lot of latitude for everyone to tell their own story. Consequently, events in "Supergirl" may not hit the stands in perfect lockstep with those in "Red Lanterns" or "Justice League United," but at the end of the day, I think it all adds up to one big, coherent saga.

I remember when Supergirl starred in her own book by Sterling Gates and in Justice League of America by James Robinson. In Gates' book, she was suffering with survivor's guilt from New Krypton and was in a morose state, giving up her life as Supergirl.

In Justice League, she responded differently, becoming Dark Supergirl and wallowing in a little bit of darkness that turned out to be a defense mechanism.

Those stories happened simultaneously. But the tone of the character, the overall feeling of her, was congruent enough that I thought it was fine. I am hoping that Lemire and Bedard talk enough to each other to bring some degree of similarity without necessarily being carbon copies.

It certainly isn't happening in Doomed.

CBR: Looking ahead to September, what can you tell us about your "Supergirl: Futures End" story? Does it have any ties to what's happening in the comic now?
TB: It's a pretty major moment as we'll be seeing a reunion for Kara and her father Zor-El, currently known as Cyborg Superman. It also ties into some Grant Morrison issues of Action Comics, but it's a story that pretty much stands on its own.

A Morrison tie-in!!

I am so excited.

That said, I hate Zor-El as the Cyborg Superman.

CBR: Is the issue entirely set five years from the DC present, or will we see some of contemporary Kara?
TB: It's all five years from now, and Kara will have undergone some very dramatic changes. We'll also learn that she had a major romantic interest who will play a big part in her Futures End issue. You can try to guess who, but you won't get it right, I guarantee you.

I'm guessing right now. The Captain Comet we saw in Morrison's Action Comics.

CBR:With the end of "Doomed" and "Red Daughter," where does Kara go from here? Will events in "Supergirl: Futures End" or her involvement in "Justice League Unlimited" impact what happens in your book beyond September?
TB: No, I think Supergirl has had more than her share of crossover action recently. It might be time to let her book settle into a new groove before we link up with another series or event again.
Instead, I think perhaps a little romance needs to come into her life, don't you? The poor girl can't catch a break!

Remember when New Krypton took over the super-books and it took a while for Sterling Gates to get some momentum on the solo book. I agree with Bedard here. This book needs some time to breathe on its own with the 'new' Kara. No H'El on Earth. No Krypton Returns. No Doomed. Nothing ...

Well ... except a crossover with the new Batgirl.

Anyways, there is a lot to cheer for here. Make sure to read the whole thing!


Anonymous said...

...excellent interview, but I'm rather irate that it was seemingly long on regurtitation -- Red Daughter is over, Kara's not
angsty / ragey now -- but short on what they're ACTUALLY going to do in the future? Plans are nice, let's see something concrete.
And let's hope TPTB don't screw it up (again) in some way.

On my immediate list of things DC should do, in no particular order :

a) repair the supercousins' relationship. I'm SERIOUSLY hoping Superman:Doomed #2 is the vehicle to do that. A simple panel or
spoken line of "I'm sorry for what happened between us in the past. You're my (only) family. Can we be together?" would be SO
welcome at this point! The Batman/Superman Annual #1 from March of this year had barely two pages of Supergirl and Superman
interacting together, yet in that there was so much (not) said and done that just made their relationship feel right!

Maybe even Supergirl's first intro (again) to Wonder Woman that leads up to her comment of "I like her," just to place it into

b) Supergirl repairs her friendship with Siobhan / Silver Banshee. Can't be said enough.

As for the hint of romance

1) I'm with the commentors on CBR to make it a normal, healthy relationship -- bad boy / abusive / supernatural / bad guy is just
simply overdone and wrong at this point.

2) Siobhan's very sibling-esque comment way back in issue #11 of "little sisters embarassing their big brothers" makes me hope
it's Tom. Time-displaced v. blown up planet? Paternal issues? Methinks these two've (still) got alot in common.

AndNowInStereo said...

Given the amount of hype for October the Batman books raised in the past two weeks, with Gotham Academy and Arkham Manor starting up and the new teams on Catwoman and Batgirl, I was expecting the Superman books and writers to make some noise as well. And this interview is pretty much all we got from the entire line before the solicits came out, I thought that was rather disappointing. Perhaps it's because we're still right in the middle of Doomed, which like H'el on Earth before it is taking far too long to get to whatever point it is supposed to have. I hope Bedard is serious this time about actually building up the Supergirl book's unique niche, because as much as I liked RDoK it didn't do much to fix the book's structural problems. I agree with all of the things the above commenter said.

Bartiemus said...

I hope Supergirl starts to play a wider role in the DCU you can do that without having endless cross overs.

Because of her age and power she can show up on ether Justice Leauge or Teen Titans and no one will bat an eye.

I am hoping she becomes the symbol of hope in The New 52 that Superman is not she went through hell and back and is stronger for it in a way that few have.

If DC play there cards right she can almost be a Nightwing type character in the way that every one trusts and respects him but probably won't happen but a man can dream.

Jay said...

It definitely needs time to breathe. It just astounds me how much DC doesn't get this to the point it makes the same mistake over and over. There are some characters that cannot avoid endless crossovers. There are characters who need to build an audience. But then again these are the same people that dumbfoundingly failed to learn from the mistakes of the original Crisis when they did their own relaunch decades later.

And that's coming from someone whose a pretty big fan of the New 52.

Jay said...

Whoops, I meant to say "there are some characters that cannot WITHSTAND endless crossovers".

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments.

We have heard such sentiments before when creators have taken over the book but few have actually pulled it off.

I hope Bedard continues to prove me right that he gets Supergirl.

garethkirkland said...

I would be very happy for Kara being free from crossovers for a while, however an annual would be nice, and could help bolster Bedard's fresh start, Interestingly, after a quick check I think these are the only original New 52 comics not to have an annual so far:


So I think one is due.