Monday, September 21, 2015

All Female JLA 3001!

When DC first announced that Supergirl was going to be in JLA3001 I bristled a bit. I hadn't really read the prior 3000 series but I new that it was something of a wild amalgam of DC continuities with a darker look at the future and the League. This seemed to be the opposite of my beloved Legion of Super-Heroes.

It didn't help that Keith Giffen had just done the Convergence Matrix comic where Supergirl was something of a joke.

Anyways, this was going to be the only place to read Supergirl and the initial pictures of her in her Silver Age costume (as rendered by Howard Porter) got me interested. I went out and bought back issues of the older series and put 3001 on my pull list.

Something surprising happened.

I loved the book.

And I loved the characterization of Supergirl. She seemed more heroic and more mature than many in the League. She definitely outclassed the  Superman in the league, both in virtue and in powers. She seemed like she might be the natural leader of the team. I was glad the book was on my reading list.

Recently on Newsarama, Keith Giffen commented on the book and some of the changes that are happening within it. It is definitely worth reading the whole interview so here is the link:

And here is the blurb worth repeating here.
Nrama: You've also just added Supergirl to the team, so I assume she's going to be part of the book going forward?
Giffen: Oh yes! Oh yes, yes, yes. That's definite. Supergirl is going to be around for a long time. And I'm not even going to tinker with her that much.
We may tinker with her look, because it's the 30th Century and she is wearing a, like, I-just-came-out-of-the-spaceship-from-Krypton costume.
But I just like the idea that here are these… it's Justice League, and their DNA has been written over other people. They're flawed. They're all flawed. Their powers aren't complete. And along comes Supergirl…and it's Supergirl!
And she's got all the powers. And also, she's kind of a couple steps above them.
By giving her as close to the personality as she had back in the late '70s and early '80s as I'm capable of doing, we've got a character that, I think, encapsulates all the good things about Supergirl and yet we can move her in a direction and change her a little bit so she's not mistaken for a Supergirl who might show up in the "New 52" or in Geoff Johns' Justice League or whatever. She becomes our character that way.
And I love having that character around. I will really fight to keep her in the book.
And this is, like, the first time I've ever written Supergirl. Yes, I know I did this thing with Supergirl in the Convergence thing, but it's not really Supergirl. This is the Kryptonian Supergirl. It's really the first time I've ever dealt with the character for an extended period.
And the good thing is, at least to our way of thinking, this Justice League is one of the many, many, many, many varied earths — we're not even putting a number to it; it's out there somewhere — we can have the character come in and do what we wants. You know, if it's not "New 52"'s Earth, we get to pick and choose the things we like about the character and put the character in there.
So in a way we're kind of cheating, but it's fun cheating.
It seems pretty clear that Giffen has a different feeling towards this Supergirl than he did with the Matrix version. I like that he recognizes that she's 'a couple of steps above' the rest of the team. And he seems to like he a bit. She seems to be the Kara in the Superman Family/Daring New Adventures time period, a time when she was a bit more established. I suppose the costume puts her earlier than that but her attitude seems more early 80s Supergirl.

She isn't the New 52 Supergirl. She's Kara Classic.

This interview made me even happier. Supergirl hasn't been on any of the solicited covers or issue descriptions. Sales are pretty low. I hope this book doesn't get the axe. Because I want to read this version of Kara for a while.


Anonymous said...

Remember how Levitz wanted to save pre-Crisis Supergirl by offering to permanently have her in the 30th century? Yeah... I think that just happened.

My guess is that for the next several issues, Kara is off trying to find a way to return to pre-Crisis Earth-1 (hence no mention of her in solicitations)... only to find that it no longer exists, just like Lois and Clark: it "evolved" into pre-Flashpoint Earth-0, and finally evolved into New-52 Earth-0. Ironically (given real-life events), Kara is now the only survivor of pre-Crisis Earth-1.

While Kara is off trying to find a way home, crap hits the fan for the Justice League. Eventually, Kara returns to belatedly save the day and stop the cosmic threat (I'm going to guess it's Darkseid, and I'm going to guess that the homage to "The Great Darkness Saga" is going to be epic). In what turns out to be another homage, this time to immediate pre-Flashpoint continuity, Supergirl inherits Superman's place on the Justice League.

I hope this comic survives too. Given the comments on the Newsarama article, though, a lot of commenters seem to instinctively dislike the idea of an all-female superhero team... without having ever read the comic. I'm sure there were people who tried JL3001 #1, thinking it was yet another comic about a dark and gritty dystopia, dropped it when it turned out to be quite different. The brilliance is that it actually is about a dark and gritty dystopia, but the protagonists are inherently positive despite everything going on. They're not vicious anti-heroes (... well, maybe Guy, sort of...), they actually are heroes despite their various quirks. When Kara flies in with a defeated Starro saying no one is going to die today, or when Teri says that slavery is never the answer... they sound like classic superheroes.

Apparently, even that sliver of positivity seems to be too much for the mainstream to handle, though.

Anonymous said...

Yeah here is hopin' this book can survive. Right now we are officially down to a weird out of continuity Russian Supergirl with Keith Giffen as our Official Last and Best Hope for a Supergirl Renaissance in the Floppies....


Uncle Screensaver said...

It's interesting that there's anger over an all female team book in DC. When Marvel did it with X-Men, I only read positive comments. Giffen himself said it wasn't done with premeditated intent, it just happened. I think it's sad that it's 2015 and fanboys are angry that female super heroes are taking a lead. With few females books, especially now that "Supergirl" is gone, this is a good thing.

I don't know that this is specifically Pre-Crisis Kara, as the ship she came in definitely looked like the one she debuted in but technologically different in appearance. Then again, anything is possible, and since writers are allowed to use characters of any continuity, and with Convergence ripples, it just may be that we are actually reading ongoing adventures of the original Kara Zor-El. Either way, having a classic Supergirl around is amazing. (Having any Supergirl around at this point is, actually.)

It boggles my mind at how clueless DC can be. While I'm not a fan of Marvel cinematically changing the comic book canon, they're sales aren't hurting from doing so (so far, anyway). Having a new Supergirl #1, annual, or special debut next month, rebooted or otherwise, with a big push in marketing and across stores, would only have made sense. Even releasing a new all ages book, or a Batgirl/ Supergirl book would have been something.

However, I am indeed grateful for what we do have. At least Bombshells has the other merchandise backing it, although DC's cancellation of Adventures of Superman, Batman '66, Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, along with most of their digital titles after relatively short runs isn't encouraging. I hope that DC will back their veteran creators and keep JL3001 going; it would help if they marketed it better. Also, I wonder if DC has an edict against Kara being on the covers - are they afraid she would only hurt sales?

Anj said...

Thanks for great comments.
I'll be honest, I didn't expect Giffen to be such an ally, but the
Levity connection is brilliant and makes sense.

And you are right that the offbeat tone might be off putting to the grim crowd. It sort of feels like Giffens Doom Patrol, which was all Patrols in one.

It is weird to hear the female backlash given AForce was universally applauded.

And I keep hoping for Kara cover.

Anonymous said...

The Kara cover will happen eventually, but for now Supergirl is likely being kept in a low profile for one reason: now that Supergirl is going on TV, I think DC's editors have had an epiphany that they have no idea what to do with Supergirl. They don't want to mess up the TV series' chances by doing something stupid with her. Imagine if "H'El on Earth" was going on at the same time as the TV series... or "mass murderer" Kara (seriously, WTF?). Imagine how many people would be turned off of the character the moment they picked up a Supergirl comic from that timeframe.

Heck, DC's editors don't seem to know what to do with freaking Superman either ever since that time he started to walk across America (aside from two issues of Convergence Superman), and Superman is the original superhero.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you Anj. I can only hope TPTB keep JLA3001 around as long as possible... This title and
Bombshells is about the only place we can get our favorite superheroine. And I'm with previous anon poster...
what is going on in the heads of the DC PTB? Do they have any plans on what to do, especially with less
than a month to go before the tv series premieres. Strike like you're hitting, DC! C'mon!

Hope others got to see the CBS Supergirl Season 1 premiere this evening... forget waiting for Oct 26th, I want
to see the rest of Season 1 of Supergirl! LIKING IT!!


Uncle Screensaver said...

DC has rarely known what to do with Supergirl. I think Anon is correct that they're not sure what to do with her and will keep her as low profile due to the TV series. Especially because it is being lauded for its positivity and inspiration toward girls and young women (as well as just being an overall fun and positive show), they may have to trod carefully in what they put out. I think DC TPTB probably had no idea that this show would have the huge attention it has received. Remember, there was that investor that was concerned about the lack of a strong, positive female presence in DC and he had to be reassured there would be. It could be that with this TV show, investors are going to be looking at what DC will be doing with the character.

Still, DC is releasing the new TPB's of Linda Mae/ Supergirl and Pre-Flashpoint Kara, and with an ever growing amount of Supergirl comic book content digitally, they obviously know enough to put out more Supergirl in relation to the TV Show.

It will be interesting how the TV show succeeds in relation to the Supergirl appearing in DC SuperHero Girls. From the official Instagram account, the first special is supposed to be out THIS fall (which must be soon then) with the webisode series debuting soon after as the dolls are to appear in the spring.

Still, Kara Zor-El is alive and well and "bigger" than she has been in years, well, maybe ever the way the Internet is and the TV series, and that's an amazing birthday present for Kara (and her fans)!

Uncle Screensaver said...

Oh yeah, also to Anon, regarding Levitz and Kara permanently being in the 30th Century, I hadn't thought of that! Of course, that did also happen in Justice League Unlimited, and in a smaller extent in Smallville.

Oh, what's disconcerting is that Giffen said he'd fight to have Kara remain in the book, only in the sense that it means he'd have to. Of course that may just be a way he emphasized how much he likes the character. I wasn't that surprised he's an ally of Kara but just how much love seemed to emanate for her. And, I'm not complaining.

With regard to the Grimdark crowd not getting the tone of JL3001, I can see that. What's surprising, as someone who was like Anj who initially rejected the book as another grimdark look at the Justice League, is that I find this book one of the few DC puts out that's actually Pre-New52 friendly. I really hope the Lois and Clark book will be similar.

Oh, I apologize for my lengthy ramblings, as someone (overly, lol) passionate for Supergirl and Superman, I don't often get to ramble on with others than my family - who have had to listen to me do it for basically my lifetime and appreciate it when I'm silent. :P

Anonymous said...

I doubt DC knows what to do with Superman either, making him an antithesis of what he's traditionally been, just because of his relative lack of popularity (as pointed out in this video: )They'd put him in a Bat costume permanently if they could, like the "Speeding Bullets" Elseworlds book.

I hope Kara's show is a hit and thus lead to demand for a Supergirl title again. I speculate though, that since the Superman editorial office is currently an old boys' club ( ), they're just not interested in a Supergirl comic, let alone where to take it.