Monday, February 21, 2022

Grant Morrison And Supergirl

Last week I reviewed Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #8, a dismal take on the Supergirl character, one filled with tragedy and angst, willing to be complicit or participate in murder.

It was another one of those moments that strikes me now and then when I think maybe comics have passed me by. Maybe it is time to move on to another media, another hobby. If my heroes can't be heroes, it might be time to move on. 

Then I read Grant Morrison's substack newsletter about their work on Superman and the Authority. Please, I beg you, go here and read this in its entirety:

In it, Morrison talks about how perplexed they were at Dan Didio's idea to have Superman become a fascist, forming his own Authority to take over the world with an iron fist. It was this inane direction that sort of forced Morrison to write their own take on the idea. (Thank God they did.)

But then we get this from Morrison:

Didio was going to do the same with Supergirl. 

Now that shouldn't surprise me. In Didio's tenure, Supergirl was a love slave of Darkseid, went dark in issue #5, school shooter on Krypton, went dark again in Justice League, became a Red Lantern, and went dark one more time. So why not try her as a fascist.

It is Morrison's rebuttal that got me. Why can't we get the adventures of a smart, creative, and kind-hearted teenage girl with super-powers? After all that is what I want.

We saw hints of this in Morrison's take on Supergirl in Final Crisis, like scenes above where she is shown to be a musician, a fashion designer, a lover of cats, and a hero.

Or here where they have her telling bedtime stories to the surviving children in that same mini,

Morrison then says that making these characters evil or anti-heroes is creatively lazy. 

Yes. Yes. Yes.

In a great line, they say that the one weakness Superman can't overcome is the writing of the people telling his stories. The same goes double for Kara.

I am glad that Morrison is aware of the good work that Phillip Kennedy Johnson is doing over in Action Comics, even picking up some of the threads Morrison left dangling in his Superman and the Authority mini-series and weaving them into the Warworld Saga, things like the new Lightray.

I guess I just need to seek out the right creators who will treat characters with the respect they deserve. I am glad there are people like Morrison out there. And how wonderful they have the right ideas about Supergirl.

Let's give them a Supergirl book!


Martin Gray said...

And so say all of us!

Well, most of us…

Anonymous said...

Supergirl was NEVER Darkseid's love slave. I have recently read that story arc and I can honestly tell it was never stated, implied or hinted.

I do not know where you got that idea from.

I am not a DiDio fan, but if you are going to blame him for everything bad happened to Supergirl during his tenure, including things which were not his idea (like the Red Lantern stuff. Charles Soule said he came up with it), then you should also "blame" him for everything good happened to Supergirl.

Anything else would be unfair. Gates and Orlando's runs happened during his tenure. Cosmic Adventures, Being Super and other mini series were published during his tenure. Supergirl became a Legionnaire, a Teen Titan and Leaguer during his tenure. Prior to Flashpoint she was everywhere, to the point some people claimed Kara was one of Didio's character pets.

On Morrison... I am sorry, but he is being an hypocrite. He has darkened and deconstructed righteous characters when it suited him, but he ha
Yes it when someone else does it?

Anonymous said...

I didn't read Final Crisis - is that some future, or alt, Supergirl reading to the kids? Or she's just hanging out without a cape?

Grant Morrison's newsletter was very interesting.

And I think it's true that pre-Flashpoint Supergirl was everywhere, and so was Linda Danvers. Sometimes appearances in 8 to 10 books a month. But even New 52 Supergirl appeared a lot. I guess that tapered off during Rebirth.

There are references online to Kara as a slave girl to Darkseid, or as a brainwashed servant. But some is fan fiction.

An article at cbr that points out she wears an outfit similar to the "Slave Leia" look in Star Wars.


Anj said...

It is a good point 1st anon that I need to acknowledge the good with the bad of Didio's tenure. It just seems his go to move was to go dark. And everytime a Supergirl book got to a point where I felt things were clicking on all cylinders, the creative team and feel of the book changed. As always, I acknowledge that might be a reflection of me as well.

As for Final Crisis, by the time Supergirl is telling those kids stories, reality is unraveling and everything his almost destroyed. Don't know if the cape is just a fashion choice.

H said...

I agree with the first anon- this is more of an industry-wide issue than just Didio's tenure (and I've gone on record about not liking him) and Grant Morrison is far from blameless. Comics have moved away from the sort of stories that most of us here seem to like over the past 35 years. They're more the exception than the rule. Only thing we can really do at this point is support what we like and don't support what we don't. Hopefully, they'll get the message.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

Yes, Dan Didio certainly doesn't deserve all the blame for the mishandling of Supergirl during his time. People like Jeph Loeb and Eddie Berganza (and others) played a big part in it too. And that Red Lantern storyline turned out okay in the end. But ultimately, Didio was in charge, and I assume okayed everything, the good and the bad.

But you have to wonder about this constant desire on DC's part to darken or corrupt Supergirl. I believe there are 2 reasons. First, that "S" on her chest makes her a target, but most important, I think it has to do with the way the character has been perceived down through the years...Sweet, innocent, optimistic. Turning Supergirl dark is like deflowering a virgin. Another example of this would be Mary Marvel in Countdown. Doing something similar to characters like Hawkgirl or Black Canary would not have the same impact.

Anonymous said...

Well today’s writers are sired by there own fan interests...almost every other dcu character has a “dark narrative”, darkness clearly sells so whynot Supergirl? Quite literally it’s too big a job for them to write about a smart optimistic young woman who has some things to work thru.. JF