Thursday, October 23, 2014

K. Perkins On Newsarama

Since the announcement of the new creative team on Supergirl and the 'bold new direction' of the book, I have been waiting for an interview or some publicity. And ... at last ... it has happened. Newsarama has a very intriguing interview with Supergirl writer K. Perkins and here is the link:

Now I highly recommend heading over there and reading the interview in its entirety. It is very interesting and lays a nice foundation of what Perkins thinks of Supergirl as well as giving some hints about the new setting. I was pretty impressed by her answers although one word made me nervous.

Here are the pieces of the interview that really grabbed me and my thoughts.

Newsarama: Kate, how did you get interesting in writing for DC?
K. Perkins: Call me Perkins. We're friends now.
I've always been a fan of DC and comics in general. I love the medium and am thrilled this is my next step in writing. I gravitate toward characters that have oceans of complexity underneath powerful exteriors, so DC is a pretty natural place to end up, isn't it?

Nrama: Yep! What interests you about writing Supergirl?
Perkins: I really love Kara. There's nothing more exciting to me than writing for a character who is smart, tough, strong-willed, and curious, but is also deeply flawed (and often unapologetic about it).
Also, who doesn't love a girl who kicks a little ass?

Now I just posted about the various non-comic interpretations of Supergirl and how each one seemed to concentrate on one of her many facets: her innocence, her fierceness, her thirst for justice, her heroic journey. So to hear Perkins recognize how complex she is was refreshing. How can you be bright and optimistic and fierce and strong and also new to the hero business but growing. It isn't easy. And trying to make all of those aspects seem legitimate and feel real isn't easy. I suppose Sterling Gates is the most recent writer to capture all that. But sounds like Perkins understands it.

She follows it up by calling Kara smart, tough, strong-willed, curious, and deeply flawed. And that all sounds great ... except the word 'deeply'. Look, this Kara has been through a ton. I understand she isn't perfect and I don't want her to be. But that 'deeply' makes it sound like something pervasive, something dominant.

Some of my response may be the PTSD from all the bad publicity I have read about Supergirl over the years. The lonely, isolated, bull-headed, dark, disaffected, 'Hell on Wheels', 'just as likely to fight her friends as her enemies', angry, alien. I am thrilled that Perkins didn't use any of those words!

Nrama: True, but Supergirl has gone through a pretty big evolution since she first landed on Earth when the New 52 started. How would you describe Supergirl right now? What's she like?
Perkins: Like in everyone's personal journey, Kara's on a quest to discover who she is. She has been for awhile. Where Mike and I pick up the story, Kara's just come off her tour with the Red Lanterns (that didn't work out so well), people close to her are suddenly gone or unavailable, and she has a "Now what?" moment.
I would say she's really embracing that moment of flux and is moving forward on a self-started path of discovery.

Nrama: Why did you think this challenge in particular made sense for Supergirl at this point?
Perkins: From my point of view, Kara was kind of grabbing at straws before Crucible Academy. She was trying to find out who she is and where she fits in the universe through other characters. I think she's back at a new kind of zero now.
She fully realizes her life on Krypton is gone and understands that mourning won't do her any good any longer. So, she starts anew on Earth by her own choice. Making that step is an incredibly hard thing to do for anyone, especially for someone who has to count largely on herself.
And though she make strides on Earth, she chooses to remain at Crucible because she sees the value of being there.

Remember, Tony Bedard had just brought Supergirl to a place that I was happy with. Heading off into space and not calling Earth home is a little concerning to me. I don't know if I would put a negative spin on her time with the Reds. And it does sound ominous that no one is around for her. What about Superman? Siobhan? Michael?

I almost wish the impetus for staying at Crucible was one more born out of a sense of duty than because she again felt abandoned or alone on Earth.

All that said, this sounds like Kara's choice. Her journey. I liked hearing that the mourning is a little behind her, that she would start anew on Earth if not for this opportunity. And, for me, Supergirl being on this journey is the best part of her character. She is inspired to be a hero like Superman but she isn't there. She's learning. What better place than at a school?

Still, I really really really (that's 3 reallys) want Superman to be a part of her life.

Nrama: Are we going to see Captain Comet again in Supergirl's life. And what new or returning DC characters will show up in Supergirl?
Perkins: We have a great mix of new and returning characters (as you can probably tell from issue #36's cover by the brilliant and talented Emanuela Lupacchino).
Captain Comet — now just Comet — is back, as well as Maxima (both, of course, slightly reimagined). They're part of our galactic version of Kara's scoobiegang at Crucible.
A new character in Kara's scoobies is Tsavo, an impassioned, driven super-werecat with his own agenda (maybe a nod to a certain meow in Kara's past?). He and Kara form a special relationship over the similar ways they see the world/universe.
Also introduced is Crucible's staff — Lys Amata, a shifter, Preceptor of Crucible Academy, and overall badass woman, and Korstus, Crucible's Vice Preceptor and voice of reason and morality.
It's a fun, complex cast to write for as no one is who they appear to be.

This was easily my favorite part of the interview as we finally hear a little bit about the direction.

We had heard about Maxima already.
Captain Comet being there is brilliant, especially given his role as love interest in Bedard's Futures End issue. And the fact he is called Comet is doubly brilliant, tapping into Supergirl's history.
And then Tsavo? Is he some sort of Streaky riff?

Any time a creator taps into Supergirl's history, it makes a fan like me very happy.

Add to that the staff descriptions and it sounds like Buffy The Vampire Slayer at Hogwart's. And that sounds like fun.

You can feel the energy and enthusiasm and passion in this interview. It all sounds fast-paced, exciting and introspective.

Refreshingly, there isn't anything overtly negative. No one talks about how dark the book is ... how dark Supergirl is ... how horrific her life is. Thank you for that K. Perkins!

Nrama: Anything else you want to tell fans about what's coming up for Supergirl?
Perkins: Mike and I are having a blast writing this arc. We are challenging a lot of things and are pushing Kara (and the whole cast!) to make bold choices. Also, we just really want to go to super school ourselves. Pick up issue #36 in November and let us know what you think!

I'll be there!


Martin Gray said...

I'll be there too, hoping for the best. I'll be on side immediately if there's a sense Kara isn't done with Earth, and Kal, and Siobhan and Michael. There are weekends and vacations.

And for goodness' sake, let's not forget that Blaze is stalking Siobhan.

Martin Gray said...

Oh, and it looks like Kara may be getting a new outfit, yay!

Anonymous said...

First off, thanks for sharing the article, Anj. Second off, I'm glad TPTB seemed to let Kate Perkins talk fairly freely about
what she is going to do -- I definately didn't sense an undercurrent that she was fed some "script" or party line to follow
when doing the interview, and that she's rather passionate about the things she's talking about.

I do agree the thing that leapt out at me was her use of the adjective "deeply." I'll give her the benefit of the doubt, and say
we can only see how things translate in the actual issues ahead. You've said it best before Anj, that doing Supergirl is a complex
balancing act on the best of days; the trick is in the execution and not swinging too far to either end of the extremes.

I'm wondering about the second? cover as well... new (more practical) uniform? Shades of Eradicator Superman, especially with
the goggles / shades?


Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

It will be interesting if she gets 'school vacation' to head back to Earth. I don't want that side of things forgotten. That said, you need to establish Crucible and its cast so that will take time.

As I said, Kara is complicated. So I'm happy to hear it acknowledged.

And I didn't even think about the Eradicator idea. Given the other 'nods' to the past, I wouldn't be surprised if that is what is happening here!

Bartiemus said...

It sounds like she has actually red the book which is nice.

I am glad she will be ditching the romance for a while I don't won't Kara to be defined by the men she is dating. If you look at Kates site a lot of the stuff shes written would make a good Supergirl story.

Anonymous said...

Previous Anon again,

Another adjective sh emay have gone overboard on is this one, "Also, who doesn't love a girl who kicks a little ass?"

Little? With Supergirl? :D :D


elknight20 said...

I'm looking forward to reading this! :)

John (somewhere in England) said...

I agree with Martin Gray, I like the look of the new costume. Perhaps the change symbolises a transition from an angry and immature girl to a more mature young woman? Or is that too deep!?

John (somewhere in England) said...

I agree with Martin Gray, I like the look of the new costume. Perhaps the change symbolises a transition from an angry and immature girl to a more mature young woman? Or is that too deep!?

Anonymous said...

I think the new costume might be a "school uniform" waiting mirthfully to hear from the die hard Anti Bicycle Pants Brigade...