Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Best Of 2016 - Non-Comic Supergirl Moments

Welcome to the first of four posts reviewing the year 2016 for the character Supergirl.

This is the ninth time that I have done a year in review for this site and they are some of the more difficult posts to put together. Sometimes they have been joyous, a chance to look at how great the year has treated Supergirl. Sometimes it has been frustrating. Some years I have put together a 'Worst of' List.

For me, the last couple of years have really been a time for celebration. Between a new direction in the comic and a Supergirl show making her part of a popular culture, it seems like the character has had a true chance to shine. 2016 might be the overall best year for this character since this blog started.

And that is amazing. Because when I started this blog 8 years ago, if you asked me if I believed that any of these upcoming moments would happen in my lifetime I would have said no.

The focus of this blog has always been the comic character of Supergirl. Today I will focus on the best non-comic moments of 2016.

Obviously, the biggest non-comic event for Supergirl in 2016 was her prime time major network television show. Last January we were in the middle of her first season over on CBS. We got a Supergirl version of 'For the man who has everything'. We got a network crossover with the CW star The Flash. And we had a solid ending to a first season with Kara rejecting the evil actions of her home planet Krypton, embracing Earth as her home. It wasn't perfect. But Melissa Benoist was as close to perfect as you can get. She *was* Supergirl. And the show understood everything that is great about the character.

For a while, the future of the show was unclear. I actually worried that we wouldn't get more.

But then we got what was, in the end, probably the best of all worlds. The show moved officially to the CW. The show runners hit the ground running. Suddenly Supergirl was everywhere, poster, magazines, and commercials.

We got a Supergirl/Superman crossover with the best media representation of Superman in years. The cousins were familial and supportive of each other. We got the tremendous storyline of Alex Danvers coming out. Those scenes by Chyler Leigh were simply incredible. And we got a deeper dive into the super-universe with supervillains and the Luthors running around National City. All incredible.

And then, perhaps a thumb in the eye to the grim, gritty, oppressively gray DC cinematic universe, we got an Invasion crossover and a real life Justice League working together to stop aliens.

Look at that picture and tell me that this year wasn't great for Supergirl (and DC overall) on the small screen.

But there was more.

She had an animated presence on DC Superhero girls. We had videos on the DC Superhero Girls website. There were full length features released on DVD and shown on Cartoon Network. And the merchandise for the line was everywhere. I myself use a Supergirl notebook for paperwork at my desk. Amazing.

But perhaps the biggest and most widespread insertion of Supergirl into the public mind was when she was a Happy Meal toy at McDonald's. There was a DC Superhero Girls month at the Golden Arches and Supergirl was part of it, on the in restaurant standee and as a toy figure with tattoos and pogs.

Supergirl as a McDonald's toy.

I still really can't believe it.

And there was an incredible amount of other merchandise for Supergirl. I have seen merchandise for her at Target, Hot Topic, party stores, and convenience stores.

I have added a number of items to my collection. There was the Darwyn Cooke figure including Krypto and Streaky. There was a Pop figure and a Rock Candy figure. There was the SDCC femme fatale statue, the Bombshells bust, and the official SuperheroGirls action figure.

There was even a Hallmark IttyBitty.

Supergirl, in all her incarnations, seemed to be represented in toys and figurines.

And 2016 was another good year for me when it came to getting commissions.

At Boston Comic Con and Granite Con, I was able to get great pieces from Terry Dodson, Jae Lee, Tana Ford, Jeff Parker, and Daniel Govar. Every one of these sketches was a winner.

And so, even before I touch on the comics, you can see that 2016 was a fantastic year for the character Supergirl.

Tomorrow: the five honorable mentions for the Best Supergirl Comic Moments of 2016.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing again, Anj! And yes, it's been a heckuva year with 2016 in the non-comics arena.
Both the TV series and DC Superhero girls definitely didn't disappoint -- hoping that you can get
your hands on Superhero Of The Year and review, in addition to the original Supergirl 1984 movie
-- I can't help but keep mentioning that in Superhero Of The Year, they just nailed Supergirl's
personality just perfect! That mix of tragic, flawed, wanting to do good, and learning... everything
we love about Supergirl!

Regards and here's hoping 2017 it only goes up from here!

Anonymous said...

Great stuff.

I'd like believing DC has finally decided to stop mistreating Supergirl, but the past six decades suggest otherwise.

Anyway, the amount of Supergirl merchandise is a good sign. I firmly believe that DC -and Marvel- stopped caring for the comic-book branch long ago and they are mainly interested in focused on making profit by licensing their characters.

So, they think they can make profit by selling Supergirl merchandise? Great.

I look forward to your next post tomorrow. And reading Supergirl Being Super (even If I don't like the removal of one of the things makes Kara different from Kal: she grew up among Kryptonians)

Anonymous said...

Yup a fantastic year for Supergirl, one of the many bright spots of the year for sure. Comic is coming along and the show destroyed my expectations.

Love those commissions you had done as well. Beautiful artwork. I don't really have the opportunity to hit up cons and such myself, but I do have a Supergirl done by Amy Reeder and I cherish it greatly.

Martin Gray said...

You're so lucky in the US, I doubt we get a tenth of the material you do. I'm so glad Kara is getting her moment!

And I choose optimism, I don't for a second believe DC as an entity hates Kara, people make mistakes and bad decisions. No matter how many times Kara is mistreated in the comics, a truer version returns.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments!

I think this was a great year for the character and that outside of the comics. I am amazed at the quality of the show. It could have been a disaster but it is clear that Berlanti et al love her just as much as we do.

And Superhero Girls is a blast. I have Hero of the Year in the queue to watch.