Monday, August 6, 2018

Supergirl In DC Nation #3

DC Nation #3 came out last week, the latest issue in the company's free promotional magazine. As I have said before, as a fan I am loving it. Sure, there are fluff pieces making every new comic sound like the best one ever. But there are behind the scenes pieces about the creative processes, interviews with creators, and an old-fashioned Direct Currents section.

With the release of Supergirl #21 just around the corner, I was thrilled to see the comic get double page, centerfold style coverage. I might not like the axe and I might find the new costume confusing, but giant-sized Terry Dodson art is always going to grab the eye.

And we also get some hints about the book's tone and direction which were very appreciated. We have only got the most basic of description about where writer Marc Andreyko and artist Kevin Maguire are taking us. I don't know if I agree 100% with what is said here. Much of it reads like the new direction is simply ignoring all that happened before. That said, I am thankful we still have a book on the shelf.

On to the particulars.

We'll start out with the opening paragraph which sums up the plot of Supergirl heading into space to investigate Rogol Zaar's claim that he blew up Krypton.

Supergirl 'needs some space', feels 'super messed up', and 'feels like she has no control over her own life'?

I don't know about you but that doesn't sound like the Kara from the end of Supergirl #20 who was smiling as she flew, the hero of National City, and thrilled to be with family and friends.

Now maybe she is 'emotionally raw' from the Zaar encounter and the realization that maybe Krypton was intentionally destroyed. But she has a foundation here on Earth now. She has people she trusts who she can lean into, including cousin Kal.

It just seems like a sudden change in the character that I am hoping Andreyko can explain. Otherwise, it is another 'wash-rinse-repeat' cycle of Kara finally being happy and claiming Earth as her home before a new writer decides she needs to be grittier and unhappy.

This could work. But the Zaar piece needs to be really fleshed out.

Again, some of this reads like the new team didn't read any of the old stuff. Remember, this is the New 52 Kara and has lived all of that life.

I cannot say that this Supergirl has been defined Superman's cousin. She hasn't really associated with him much until this Rebirth time period. And yes, her life has been filled with pain, death, and violence but only because every time someone like Tony Bedard, K. Perkins, or Steve Orlando moves her past that, someone moves Supergirl two steps back.

This is a Supergirl who tried to remove herself from dealings on Earth, flew into space, became a Red Lantern, became the hero of Crucible, defeated her own father and declared herself a hero of Earth. I don't know if it is necessary for her to discover who she wants to be.

I get it, it is a journey. But I don't want us to be back at the start line.

Of all the new wrinkles, this one casting Supergirl as a Space Detective is the one which I think I'll enjoy the most. I especially like the idea of her being a bit of a Noir-style one.

But the idea that Kara 'has been doing what she think she should be doing and not letting herself find out who she really is.' struck me as funny. Think of the Rebirth book and how that Supergirl was really making hard decisions about what she wanted to do and who she wanted to be. She seemed to be figuring it out. And the Kara that became a leader at Crucible? That was one who seemed to embrace that new direction.

All right ... enough bemoaning.

At some point, the work has to speak for itself and I have liked Andreyko's stuff in the past. And Kevin Maguire on art is an easy draw. Throw in Krypto and there is stuff here to be optimistic about.

Look, Alan Moore made Swamp Thing a plant who believed he was Alec Holland and ultimately became a plant elemental. So change can sometimes be good.

I am also very happy that DC continues to promote the book. This was a splashy way to go over the new direction!


Anonymous said...

Rebirth left me with two wishes.

1) More interaction and a closer relationship with the Super-family - especially with Kal and Jon.
2) A teamup book for Kara, preferrably Babs, but I would have taken just about anything.

This isn't the direction I wanted. Though we got some good Kal-interaction in Man of Steel, any hope of more interaction is essentially dead for the coming future.

We do get a Krypto teamup now, but not as an addition, it's a replacement for her solo book. It's not really what I wanted, and to be honest I'd rather have seen her with Streaky or Comet if we are doing the pet thing. DC seems to be a little afraid of that being too much Silver-age.

So yes, this is not what I wanted, but I'm a Supergirl fan, which means I am not picky - it could be no book at all. After having the book on hiatus for months I am now reading anything.

It's not a bad premise. It could very well be great, but that feeling that DC has Supergirl playing in her own Universe and not being part of the crossovers and big events is not really comforted, by sending her away alone, far from the rest of the heroes. I'm really hoping this journey ends up being essential Krypton lore, and we don't end up with a bait and switch where the real revelations happens between Kal and Rogol on Earth.

I am hopeful with Andreyko and Maguire on board though.

Things can be great even though they aren't what I wished for.

Martin Gray said...

Ah good old Kara, about to find herself again. I really wish DC would keep her moving forward, it’s as if there’s only one Supergirl story worth telling, even though she’s not been in her cousin’s shadow since 1962!

As you say, though, she has a good couple of creators coming on board. Let’s see what they do before it gets undone.

Anonymous said...

Someday the Supergirl feature will have an editor sufficiently wise so that when The New Writer comes in Bursting With Ideas to change Kara's backstory and supporting cast, said Editor will say No to All of It. "Just write good stories" would be the rejoinder....
This sounds like "Red Lantern Lite" to me, I'll read it to be sure, the inclusion of Krypto has all sorts of fun possibilities. But at the end of the day, this is a story arc, at some point super girl has to return to Earth and either re-establish her old supporting cast/setting or else start over new. In any case we seem to stuck in an "endless cycle of reinvention" when it comes to Supergirl that literally dates back to 1970....literally forty eight years ago!


Anj said...

Thanks for the comments.

Yes, it seems like all this self-discovery and re-self-discovery is on a 4 year turntable now.

At least in the 70s, when it was reporter to actor to guidance counselor to grad student it felt like momentum forward, each one sort of building on the last.

I am hoping that is what Andreyko will do here.

We'll find out in 2 days!

Anonymous said...

As I read the piece in DC Nation, I could hear all the reactions here in my head.

Most jarring was the notion that Supergirl feels she has no control over her life. But I think I can see where they're coming from, even if it could have been expressed better.

It does seem like a retelling of what I guess is her character's archetypal journey. But this time, it's told through a mirror:

Because of a catastrophe, Supergirl is compelled to leave a planet she loves in a rocket ship, and arrives, emotionally raw, in unfamiliar territory.

Sounds familiar. This time the catastrophe is on Earth, and instead of being compelled (with "no control") by her family to leave Krypton, the compulsion is her self-imposed "uncontrollable" anger, again related to her Kryptonian family and planet. Instead of being compelled to leave them, she's feeling compelled to leave the now-familiar and go out and find them (that is, find out what really happened to Krypton - we know what happened to her father, sadly).

There were seeds of that anger planted in Kara's reactions in Man of Steel. Those moments struck me as slightly off - and that was evidently deliberate and not just a Bendis tick, to establish an emotional motivation for this new quest.

This doesn't negate her development on Earth any more than it meant she hated or felt alienated from Krypton just because she was compelled to leave it for parts unknown. She's not reverting to "Alien rebellious teen Kara on Earth" nor to "Angry Kara on Earth." Earth is a home she has grown to love - and, for now, she's rocketing away. (Though if she really does go to war against the Green Lanterns, we may be in for "Angry Kara on Oa.")

It has potential, but I do wonder how long Kara will be on this quest. How long for it to pay off emotionally? I can't see less than 2 arcs, so maybe 12 issues? Sales will dictate if they need to bring her back to Earth.

Anonymous said...

Not to go off topic here Anj, but it looks like a Supergirl movie may be in the works. Deadline reports WB has a writer...

Anonymous said...


Best news ever!

If anything could trumph Stewart's return to Star Trek, this is it!!!!!

Thank youuuuuu for letting us know!

Anonymous said...

I'm fine with Melissa Benoist, and when it comes to features, "DC could screw up a two car funeral" watchfulness is my watchword.


William Ashley Vaughan said...

I am in wait and see mode about the new Supergirl comic. Given that in Man of Steel Supergirl witnessed the genocide of an entire city by a madman, I can understand why she might be feeling a little anger and a strong drive to uncover the truth. However, we saw her damp down her anger and use her intelligence to find a way to beat Rogol Zaar. I'm hoping that this is a pattern, that even though she feels more than a little raw, she refuses to let her anger rule her. Instead, she ultimately uses her brain to find solutions and stays true to her own essential decency.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing that... I'm in agreement I can only remain in "wait and see" mode, for comics, tv and movie.


KET said...

Yep, figured that the word got out here as well.

A few things to consider about the new SG film adaptation announcement:

1. It's in a VERY EARLY development stage. Script hasn't even been finalized yet.

2. Seems like this piece of news was designed to play off of The CW's TCA presentations today, where net president Mark Pedowitz reiterated his commitment to ALL of his existing superhero series...(oh, and also the net has given a green light to a Batwoman pilot already...looks like it could become fast-tracked into a new series once the Arrowverse crossover wraps up).

3. There's presently no producer attached to this movie project, which may be slyly aimed at getting Berlanti Productions on board with the idea.

4. Announcement actually appears more indicative that the studio could be looking into jump-starting their most venerable movie franchises by bringing in the LADIES FIRST. One notes that there's also a Birds of Prey movie in the pipeline, with Margot Robbie reprising Harley Quinn.

5. News blurb pretty much acknowledges that Justice League was a flop, as they dismissed the entire 'brain trust' behind that disaster. New suit in charge, and new DCEU film direction appears to be following the lead of the Wonder Woman movie towards future success. However, Henry Cavill might not become involved in this new direction.


Anj said...

I'm sure that at some point I'll post something about the Deadline article.

But with no producer, no timeline, no anything other than a writer ... I think it is almost too premature to write anything.

Anonymous said...

We can thank Patty Jenkins, Gal Gadot and Melissa Benoist for returning Kara Zor El to multimedia relevance again...
Myself I think this project has at best a 50-50 chance of success DC has abandoned a phenomenal number of projects & creatives over the last decade. Like Anj,I'll be way more attentive when a producer and director get attached.