Thursday, July 2, 2020

Houser And Stott On Supergirl

I'll be reviewing Supergirl #42 here on the site next week. Happy 4th of July weekend everyone (who celebrates)!

After almost no publicity support for the title, I found it a little interesting that the creative team spoke to Newsarama about their time on the title here:

It's a brief interview with some stock questions. I'll include some of the interview here but recommend heading over to the site to read it in its entirety. In some ways I feel like this would be a team I wouldn't mind seeing back on the character in a different circumstance when they could write a true Kara. But some of these answers also make me wonder if I should be careful what I wish for.

Newsarama: Jody, to jump right in, what was it like tying into this over-arching DC storyline for Supergirl? How do you feel it affected her overall character arc?

Jody Houser: It was a fun challenge writing a character who still thought herself the hero no matter how dark she got. We obviously didn't want Kara to do anything completely irredeemable, so we made that struggle between her normal and infected selves the heart of the story, one that had repercussions that led into our finale.

I just wish there was some acknowledgment here that Houser was handed this mess. Or that Houser recognized that Kara was a hero with good intentions and writing her as dark was challenging.

Glad the line of 'irredeemable' was held.

Nrama: Rachael, how did you want to make the Metal Supergirl look your own for the ongoing series?

Rachael Stott: Well initially in issue #37 I just drew the established infected Supergirl design that DC sent me (I did a load of googling and can't find out who designed the look ⁠— but I love it. The spikes, the leather, that kiss makeup! Such a fun change for Kara). But then from the end of #39, the infection gets worse and so to reflect that we were able to push that punk design further. It really reminded me of something from Tite Kubo's Bleach (This isn't even my final form, moo haha!) So, I loved that, giving her the insane nails, covering up her face with hair to remove her further from humanity. It's always difficult to know how far you can take the design ⁠— if it wasn't Kara I probably would have gone for something really horrific ⁠— but it's just too tragic when it's happening to such a compassionate character. Taking her down that dark path was a lot of fun.

This is where I wonder about things.

I like the 'anime' final form gag. I know that I love such nonsense in Dragon Ball Z. But when the artist says that darkening Kara and putting her in KISS make-up is a fun change, it makes me think they don't 100% get the character. Then again, at least she says she tamped down the horror a little.

Nrama: As fans eagerly await the last issue, can you tell us your favorite moment from your run on Supergirl?

Houser: Infected Supergirl being absolutely awful to Batman in our first issue. And, of course, any moment with Krypto.

Stott: There were moments of self-reflection for Supergirl that I thought Jody wrote beautifully. Her getting up to fight the robot after being blasted by Kryptonite. Or her flying up to the sun to burn out the infection. The times when you really felt like you were inside Kara's head.

Eagerly await the last issue?

Hmmm ...

Don't know if that is true.

Nrama: If there’s a message you’d like to tell your fans who have followed the series, what would it be?

Stott: I have to say the Supergirl fans have been some of the friendliest, most welcoming bunch of folks I've had the pleasure to interact with online. Even though we were a new creative team taking Kara down some places that were a bit dark, they trusted us with a character they love so I'll always be grateful and want to thank them for their support.

Houser: Kara has some of the best, most devoted fans out there. Thanks for the support!

A recognition that Supergirl fans are friendly and devoted. Hurray.

But here is where I wish the team could have said 'I wish we could have written more straight forward Kara stories'. Or have them say 'we love Supergirl and wish we had more time'. Maybe editorial won't let them say that.

So we go out on a Dark Supergirl.


Anonymous said...

I saw this interview and found it pretty hard to take. At a few points, I felt like it was almost a hostage interview. (But to be fair, lots of these kinds of interviews come off that way.)

Of course they can't say anything actually negative - not if they want to get more work in the industry. So a lot of this is just run-of-the-mill spin.

I do wish they could have at least acknowledged that the storyline proved to be controversial. But even that would be a risky move.

It's also too bad they weren't asked how they felt about the final issues not being printed - that would seem to be an obvious thing to ask about. But perhaps, as you suggest, DC set the ground rules for the interview, and wouldn't allow that kind of topic. Not that they would have been able to give a forthcoming answer to the question. They would have said "Tough time for the industry... there are changes ... we're just happy we had the chance ... we really appreciate the editors who are The Best in the Business."

Perhaps the interviewer wanted to ask some tougher questions, and wasn't allowed.


Anonymous said...

Definitely be careful what you wish for.

By the way, Supergirl is making an appearance in Death Metal. She even got an Artgem cover:

In that "Be careful what you wish for" spirit, I don't know whether I should be happy or worried.

Anonymous said...

They seem inordinately proud of what amounts to a toxic low point for the character. I wish them both well in their next project "wayward sister, go in peace".


Anonymous said...

"Definitely be careful what you wish for."

"They seem inordinately proud of what amounts to a toxic low point"

I agree with both - IF this is sincere and not a hostage interview, then keep them far away from Supergirl.

But I assume this is BS.

If Stott can Google to try to find out who designed Supergirl The Infected (side note: why not ask her editors?), she surely also uncovered that that the reception of the story was not strongly supported by fans. (Was Houser's "Thanks for the support!" sarcastic?) There were some good reviews, but also some of the consistently worst I've seen.

Houser also wrote the Harley & Poison Ivy miniseries which was not only not good, but controversially converted Ivy back to a villain while breaking the couple up. Does DC think of Houser as the go-to to break things? A dirty job that someone has to do.


Professor Feetlebaum said...

I would have liked it if Jody Houser had said something more about her previous run on Supergirl with Steve Orlando, and how she felt about returning to the character after more than 2 years. I guess you couldn't expect Houser or Rachael Stott to say that they did the best they could with a bad situation. I also wonder what it's like working on a book that has already been discontinued.

Looking at it from their perspective, I can understand that writing and drawing a Dark Supergirl could be fun. But for fans who have followed Kara for the past 16 years (since Superman was allowed to have a cousin again) Dark Supergirl has become a tired old idea that DC has run into the ground.

Anonymous said...

I'm definitely worried.

It gives me hope though to see a classic Supergirl on this cover. Hopefully DC has read the room and seen that the fans have had their fill of not-supergirl-supergirl.

There are no guarantees as the Artgerm/Chew studio has consistently avoided freakazoid Kara at every turn no matter what was inside the covers. But given that their WW cover were made in metal style, maybe it's a sign that we can have a moment of just Kara for a while without the need of someone using her as a medium to let out the dark shit inside.

Anonymous said...

"Death Metal" sounds perfectly awful, I read the plot summary on CBR and it sounds like grotesque gibberish...I have no hope whatsoever that Supergirl's treatment will improve should she be included in the storyline. DC Comics Hates Supergirl Fans. There I said it. Prove me wrong.
Well y'know what DC, the feeling is mutual, after forty nine years with Kara and seeing you inflict everything from Don Heck to Death on her, all I can say is "I want my G-D Money Back!"
I am not your hostage, this has been a lousy customer experience, I am declaring my independence, God will Decide the Issue Between Thee and Me.
Not kidding, I do want my money back.


Anonymous said...

Artgerm's variant cover for Death Metal #3 is a normal looking Supergirl - and older than his usual doll-like women, a definite improvement. It's a fine cover. And will be literally the first of all of the covers and variants for Death Metal featuring a normal looking hero. His variants for #1 and #2 were an abnormal looking Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn.

Somehow, DC approved his cover! Amazing, right? They didn't tell him he had to attach a chainsaw to an arm or make her monstrous in some other way.

This issue will be released on 8/11, but has to be ordered by 7/6.


Anj said...

Thanks for comments and sorry for late acknowledgment.

I agree that most likely this interview was limited by DC about what they could say and not say.

Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Whatever else happens, I am NOT buying the remaining issues of Supergirl on Digital, my LCS has already on the brink of the annihilation from the pandemic, I am not robbing them by directly purchasing anything digital from DC.
Anyway I want my money back from DC...all of it from August 1971 to Date....


Anonymous said...

the supergirl comic seems to have abandoned stories and plot points when they decided to go with the infected supergirl storyline. ben was putting up missing person posters for kara and that was never resolved. they were even doing a leviathan plot before that got dropped for the infected supergirl story