Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Supergirl Canceled ... Or Why I Should Just Give Up


I was away on a much needed two day getaway when my phone exploded with the news.

Supergirl had been canceled.

Here is a link to Newsarama’s coverage:
https://www.newsarama.com/49041-supergirl-ends-with-may-s-42.html

I sighed.

Frankly this book has been slowly dying since Marc Andreyko took over, morphing away from everything a Supergirl book should be until it has become an abomination, a villain’s book, a book that is as far away from a Supergirl book as you can get.

So I went to the story and read the solicit.


‘Deemed a threat by the US military, Supergirl is now a wanted villain!’

And that’s just the opening line.

So I thought about how this cancellation was akin to a mercy killing. Better to stop publishing this horrid representation than to carry it forward.

But as I mulled the news over that day I realized what I was actually feeling.

Anger.

Red hot, pit of my belly, good old fashioned wrath.

Because I’m sick of it.

I’m sick of DC and Dan Didio thinking this is what people want in a Supergirl book only to have it tank. This is now at least the 5th time over the course of this blog’s life that we have seen the creative powers at DC go this route.

It never ever ever works.

So right when Steve Orlando and Jody Houser were hitting their stride, DC puts the book in pause and brings in Andreyko who rights an angry Supergirl, Mistress of the Axe. His Kara would have been a killer more than once if Krypto hadn’t stood between her and her prey.

And if that overly long story wasn’t enough, it’s followed by Supergirl becoming a twisted evil version of herself.

I know I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by this pattern but I thought for sure maybe this time would be different.

Why?

Because Supergirl is at the height of her mainstream popularity.

If the CW can get ‘hope, help, and compassion for all’ right, you’d think DC Comics could too.

And you think the could because Brian Michael Bendis writes a great Supergirl when she is in his Superman book. She is often the hero, usually the voice of reason. He is the captain of the super-ship. You think he’d tell DC that the House of El doesn’t roll that way.

In fact, my only hope is that Mr. Bendis saves the day, putting Supergirl under the Wonder Comics umbrella or having her headline a Superman Family book with Lois and Jimmy. Or out her in the Legion for a year or two. If you are reading this Mr. Bendis, please ... help us.

I know this has been rambling. But I’m upset. And tired.

I started this blog 12 years ago ... a lifetime ago it feels ... because I thought DC was telling terrible Supergirl stories and I wanted to celebrate her. Back then? She had just finished an arc where she was a killer on Krypton.

And here I am, a dozen years later, seeing the same ill conceived story ideas leading to the same results.

Idiotic.


24 comments:

John (somewhere in England) said...

I share your anger. I'm currently reading the new Birds of Prey book "Murder & Mystery" which is excellent. (I know they're old stories but I haven't read them before.) When I compare Gail Simone's Birds of Prey with the current Supergirl, the full magnitude of Supergirl's decline is painfully obvious.

Actually, putting Supergirl in the Legion isn't a bad idea ...

Martin Gray said...

'Comic Box Commentary - caring for Supergirl because DC doesn't since 2008.'

Cast off that anger, Anj, and make Earth your home. Yeah, it's crap. DC's highers seem to simply refuse to pay attention to what works, it's wilful stupidity at this point.

Thank you for backing my suggestion that Supergirl should be berthed at Wonder Comics for awhile, it would give her a new lease of life and a new beginning in the eyes of comic fans.

Step One. Call Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle...

Anonymous said...

What I got out of that solicit is the US Army thinks she's a villain because of her antics, and she's trying to prove she's a hero now she's healed. So, nl longer a villain.

Of course, it sounds familiar. During the Kelly-Gates Interregnum she was trying to prove she was a hero, too.

IMO, DC was going to cancel her current book anyway in preparation for the 5G event, right like the fifth volume was canceled before the New 52. Nonetheless, I squarely blame The Batman Who Laughs, his crappy existence and his crappy storyline.

I don't know what will happen now. Maybe her book will be relaunched after the 5G. Rumor has it the characters will be older and their history will be unified. But what will a Supergirl who has been active since Ac 252 look like? What will her history be? And Supergirl fans will be willing to give her book a new chance after having her hopes betrayed over and again since 2004?

I understood you're angry, Anj. This kind of mistreatment leads to becoming event cannon fodder. Dc run their characters into the ground and then decide to get rid of them instead of owning up their faults. I'm angry, too. Angry, disappointed, sad, frustrated...

Still I really, really hope you don't quit, Anj. Thanks to your blog I have learned a ton of things about Supergirl, Superman, the Legion and DC. Definitely I would not be a big Supergirl fan without your blog. And where will Supergirl fans go to if your site shut down?

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact there are many guys in todays society who can't deal with the existence of strong powerful role models, especially ones they consider to be touching Superman's turf.

I am getting more and more suspicious that some of them also reside within the the comics section of DC.

The last arc reads like pure sabotage of the character Kara Zor-El and the problems started earlier. Everyone saw it. DC cannot have been blind to it.

CW rocks at representation. DC comics can't crawl out of the hole they have been stewing in since the inception. They cannot get anywhere remotely even in the ballpark of 50% female representation in comics, because they live by the rule that everything dances around their first characters. They propagate this curse themselves and tell it as the truth. Female comics don't sell.

Yes they do. Only the Flash tops the CWs series. It's not the characters DC. It's not the gender DC. It's not the buyers DC. It is and has always been you.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think the reason they don't want Kara to be a beacon of hope is because Superman already is. Tptb at DC think that Kara should always be in the big blue's shadow and be his little sister he has to show the way or save. Are they really afraid that she will take the spotlight from a character that has existed for 80 years? Is that why they kill her off and treat her like this?

Anonymous said...

Watch what you wish for Anj because Bendis writting Supergirl or worse, for Supergirl may end up being a fate worse than the edgy Karas we've been getting since 2007. Fans of a lot of heroes can tell you about it, Bendis is a plague just like Didio.

Unknown said...

I am disappointed, I thought that with the success of the supergirl in the tv it would not happen anymore.as I was wrong.

I honestly would like Kara to join a group, maybe she would be better explored like that.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the article announcing Supergirl's cancellation, my first thought was "Anj isn't going to be happy about this." Boy does this show in your post. You have every right to be annoyed and frustrated with DC's awful mismanagement over Supergirl. Just when her series was in a good place, it gets cancelled and completely overhauled in the next relaunch.

I also agree with Anon about Bendis taking over Supergirl in the future. If anything, Bendis taking over the Superman comics is the reason why Supergirl has been cancelled yet again. First Orlando's run gets cancelled with Bendis taking over the Superman comics, then relaunched with Andreyeko as a tie in to what Bendis is doing in Superman. Then it becomes an Event Leviathan tie in comic and not even an issue after that story Supergirl immediately ties into Year of the Villain and the Infected storyline with yet another corrupted Supergirl status quo.

I've grown to like Supergirl a lot in part thanks to your blog and passion for Supergirl. Her character has so much potential when given to the right writers. Unfortunately, the current execs at DC don't know how to handle her and have alienated the fanbase with their gimmicks. They only have themselves to blame for Supergirl's cancellation and her fans suffer for it. But I would say this 5G relaunch factors into Supergirl's cancellation too.

Louis

Aaron said...

Couldn't agree more, Anj. I don't know why DC think there's demand for published excrement... but, that's what Supergirl fans have had each month for a long while now. Deeply frustrating.

Xavier said...

I love Supergirl. Creo que Supergirl es lo mejor de DC. Supergirl is the best

KET said...

PART ONE:

Frankly, it's been an illuminating past few days since DC Comics' announcement. Earlier today in another forum, I exposed a triggered troll who attempted to conflate the Supergirl comic book ending with elements he didn't like from the TV series. Needless to say, he utterly failed at making his case by being tone-deaf in general. However, I did find his angry knee-jerk posturing from being outed rather amusing, since it was his own coded talking points which made it easy to suss out his general ignorance of the title character he was moaning about anyway.

A couple of days before, I got into a heated discussion with some fans regarding the latest TV episode. One complained that she hated that there was no Nia Nal appearance, without realizing that it was in order to highlight Brainy's self-isolation from her, as a result of merging himself with Big Brain and his hivemind. My response inadvertently set off another fan group who mistakenly thought I was confusing B5 with the usually villainous Brainiac 1.0. They were under the mistaken impression that “Brainiac Five is ALWAYS a hero!”, even though these fans conveniently ignored that in comics, he created Computo (oops, so much for “always has the best intentions”). Episode even provided a fun clue that B5 is still in inner emotional turmoil over his current covert activities (Leeroy Jenkins!)

So getting around to this blog response that I've been mulling over for most of the day....there's really so much I COULD say in regards to DC Comics' action. However, instead of becoming angry that the comic book has been cancelled, I'm more relieved, because by this happening, there'll be less characterization dissonance in regards to Supergirl in the marketplace for awhile.

Continuing...

KET

KET said...

PART TWO:

It's been clear for awhile now that Supergirl as a character is now primarily being shaped by media forces outside of its now sequestered comics 'collectibles' hobby horse. DC Comics as an entity has been reconfigured and downsized by Time-Warner over the past few years to merely being a storage warehouse for potential IP and trademark exploitation. In regards to Supergirl as a character, she's presently being managed much more wisely through the television series, and through youth-skewed animated fare such as DC Super Hero Girls. The current regular DCU comics seem mostly designed (or being redesigned, as it seems destined for shortly) to keep primary trademarks floating about in perpetual amber for any potential outside media exploitation. The comics Direct Market continues to hemorrhage traditional book sellers in favor of digital distribution, but DC Comics doesn't seem capable, on its more limited budget, on marketing itself to an increasingly diverse marketplace. In other words, they keep fumbling the ball in favor of a quick buck, with little evidence of a long-tern game plan. The company still seems to be the realm of separated fiefdoms grasping for short-term gimmicks of little significance.

Okay, finally getting towards my point: unless an imagined 'superstar' creator wants to expressly tackle the Supergirl IP in comics form (like Peter David did when John Byrne bailed on the character back in the late 90s, or when Sterling Gates came to the rescue after Jeph Loeb's mess years later), then there may be a chance for a Supergirl revival in this format. However, as a known caveat, there needs to be a marketing outreach that will take advantage of the now established audience for Supergirl through outside media presentations..because THAT is where any future success lies for her in this format. Presently, DC Comics marketing is still chasing an antiquated 'fanboy' market that would rather buy the upteenth repackaging of Crisis and Watchmen..and that revenue is still providing diminishing returns.

We'll see what the fall brings...although I'm already hearing rumors that DC upper editorial and management is once again hedging their bets with hesitation (which is what screwed up many post-Crisis books when John Byrne came aboard Superman decades ago...deja vu).

KET

Anonymous said...

There was never more than minimal social media engagement about Supergirl from Houser or Stott, something I observed right from their first issue. Which led me to suggest they expected to be off the book even before their first issue went on sale. The lack of enthusiasm had me very disappointed.

Searches for Supergirl on Twitter only seem to bring up discussions of the TV show.

Maybe DC couldn't find a good pitch from a new creative team. Or they have other plans.

But they really backed the Supergirl storyline into a corner where it is hard to see quick redemption in the eyes of the frightened public and VERY hostile military.

On the other hand, did it take long for the public to accept Kryptonians again after the New Krypton storyline, during which they were essentially banned from earth (and Supergirl made surreptitious visits)? Sterling Gates was one of the prime movers behind New Krypton (along with Geoff Johns and James Robinson, if I recall correctly).

Superman always had his skeptics - Luthor, Sam Lane among the prominent ones. He still has them. Wonder Woman is now under the close watch of the Boston PD. Everyone assumes these Kryptonians attract trouble wherever they go - and, they are not at all wrong!

If 5G means Jon is Superman and Clark is a mentor, where would that leave Supergirl? A semi-retired aunt? There's a reader market for that? But 5G is the subject of so much speculation. We'll have to see what it really amounts to.

T.N.

SG Fan said...

Anj, feel your anger and pain. I sent an email to DC, expressing my annoyance, with their bum-foolery. It's pretty pathetic they don't know what to do with Supergirl, considering her mainstream presence these days. Hopefully something better will rise from the ashes...again.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8mduTEvnU0

Seriously can we initiate a kickstarter campaign to simply BUY copyright & trademark away from DC? Just the comic book rights, mind you they can keep the multimedia versions of Kara that WORK because they properly riff on the characters core values. We could self publish and digitally distribute...maybe four times a year, keep expectations low, and build with strong storylines...it beats to hell this cheap heat, end times, steal while you can before the tidal wave hits value structure that is destroying DC from within.
I hate to put it this way but, its a time to "hate them back" they've been nothing but hateful to us, Supergirl's loyal fanbase.
I'm with Anj, but don't stop blogging, this is after all, the meta embodiment of the hope-help & compassion ethos in action.

JF

MOB said...

And unfortunately the rumor is; not just the series gettinf cancelled but Kara not surviving the infecrion

Anonymous said...

Some solicitation said that she is cleared of the infection, so that doesn't seem likely.

Martin Gray said...

I get the concern about Brian Bendis writing Kara for Wonder Comics, but it’s a line, not a vanity project. He’s co-written Naomi and writes Young Justice and like his other DC stuff, it’s far better than the Mamet fanboy tone of much of his Marvel work. At Wonder Comics he’s setting the tone and recommending the creative teams. Yeah, I’d trust him to be Kara’s godfather.

Anonymous said...

Not surviving the infection eh? Why am I not surprised..."Sooner or later it all turns to Hate" and right now I've never hated DC more. I say we start that kickstarter campaign, at least we can have fun shaming the no talent jobbers...


JF

Anonymous said...

"And unfortunately the rumor is"...

Can you provide a source for that rumor? (Which I am not going to repeat in this comment.) I am concerned that this could be how a rumor starts.

I've read plenty, and this is the only time I've heard this.

For the record - even if this does exist out there as a rumor, I don't believe it.

Thank you.

Anj said...

I can't thank everyone enough for the great comments and discussion.

My guess is that with a new universe (again!) around the corner that Supergirl will have a cool down period. Hard to believe it but my guess is the same people that mismanage her character now are going to say there is no market.

And yet Naomi, which is a similar concept, is lauded.

Painful.

Thanks again. A little catharsis is good for the soul!

Carey said...

The only ray of light I can see from the May solicits is that while Supergirl is being cancelled the Supergirl: Being Human is being recoloured and reprinted in the smaller YA format that seems to have been a hit in bookshops. I’m hoping that it’s a success and leads to more of the same in this format.

The fundamental misunderstanding of the character from the current editors at D.C. is something that continues to mystify me, especially considering the character’s mainstream success in tv.

The cyclical nature of the rise of cynicism over the last twenty odd years is reflected by the amount of DC comics I’m currently fading being down to one regular title and the occasional mini series, a huge change from the rebirth years.

Still, things could be worse: for all we may be unhappy with Kra’s treatment, it’s nothing compared to Harley Quinn and Poision Ivy’s relationship being so fundamentally undermined in the same week as the former has a film release.

Anonymous said...

I have cancelled 35 DC title subscriptions since Rebirth. I am down to 2... about to become 0. I will give Amethyst a chance though. With a little luck it will over before she becomes a murdering edgelady.

I can only assume that DC know what they are doing and that the grimdark brought enough people to compensate for my 37 subscriptions.

Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl.

I love your blog and supergirl, i am agree with you than author of DC doesn't' know how use a super woman. The TV show is also a good exemple with their romances and weird fluctuation of Kara's powers.


If Supergirl is reboot with the 5G, i doesn't want two things :
- evil (abusive) parents (of krypton and earth and parallel universe)
- bad romance with a bad boy, saved by supergirl a final

We have a proverb in France "mieux faut etre seule que mal accompagné =
better be alone than in bad company " Give Streaky, the supercat is the best companion !