Wednesday, January 4, 2023

2022 In Review: Best Of Supergirl Honorable Mentions And Non-Comic Stuff

Welcome to day 1 of 3 of my end of year review about Supergirl and the site. 

What a difference a year makes! 

Look back at last year's review (here and here),  you'll be reminded that 2021 was a tough year for Supergirl. The television show was canceled. The main book was Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow, a comic that was beautifully rendered but was a terrible take on the character. 

This year, I got to read two comic books that featured a Supergirl that I truly wanted to read. Mark Waid's Batman/Superman World's Finest showcases a wonderful Supergirl, a strong, pro-active. competent, bright, and caring. We also get to read a Supergirl in Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics, where Kara is a leader within the El family, a voice in the room, and again a competent hero. Two books!!

Add to that, Supergirl plays an important role in DC Vs. Vampires book. She was a wonderful addition in the World Of Krypton mini-series as well. 

That's a lot of solid Supergirl in 2022. I cannot complain.

I'll say that I hoped she would play a bigger role in Dark Crisis, although her last minute stepping in for Mary Marvel made it unlikely. Also given the muddle nature of that book, it is probably a blessing.

And I'll say up front that I did not include Zala, the Kara analogue in Dark Knights of Steel in this review because technically it isn't our Supergirl. 

Okay, now some business. This will be a three day review because I want to make sure I give all the top ten moments some space to breathe. Today I'll review some non-comic stuff as well as the honorable mentions. Then over the next two days I'll count down the best of the best.

On to the year review!

We'll start with convention stuff for me. 

I went to two conventions this year. The first was the premiere of Wicked Con, a new con right here in Boston. Good guests and a solid day of fun including the interesting Ben Templesmith commission on the left. Glad to see a new more comic-centric con come to the area.

And, of course, I went to Terrificon which was smashing again. I was glad to get the Gene Ha quick sketch on the right (I'm still not sure of a full commission was a possibility). I was really hoping to get a Rick Hoberg commission but that unfortunately evaporated

Still, two very cool new sketches for the collection.

Terrificon had the usual excellent guest list. But the two big memories were meeting Robert Venditti and Gerry Conway. So great to talk to Venditti about Superman '78 and World of Krypton. 

Trying to limit my Conway sigs to a handful was tough. So cool to get Power Girl and Vixen's first appearances signed. I also got some personal favorites signed. 

And Wicked Comic Con let me get some cool Legion and Supergirl books signed by creators.

While 2021 saw the end of the live action show, 2022 brought the promise of something we haven't seen in a while ... a Supergirl centric animated feature. And it is Supergirl and the Legion! Those are my two favorite DC properties so I cannot wait to pick this up once it is out in early 2023.

Okay ... on to comics stuff.

2022 started out with the ending chapters of Tom King's Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow. The supposed 'definitive' take on Supergirl ended with her allowing Ruthye to kill the repentant Krem. That's right, Kara bore witness to Krem being murdered after her served a sentence in the Phantom Zone and came out asking for forgiveness.

Suffice it to say, 2022 started the way 2021 ended.

But then Action Comics began to shine and World's Finest got published and suddenly a positive take on Supergirl was back. I could once again enjoy reading my favorite character. She was back as a guest star in other books. 

And so this year I actually had a hard time limiting myself to only ten top moments for Supergirl. So let's dive into the things that just missed the big list. These are honorable mentions because for the most part they are sort of passive moments for Supergirl. But still, I thought they were interesting enough to re-shine a light on them.

Honorable Mention - "1984" - Dark Crisis Big Bang #1

Not really a Supergirl appearance ... more like a mention.

But the recent Dark Crisis Big Bang #1 hinted at a world where the Helen Slater Supergirl exists.

I think I walked around with a goofy smile on my face the rest of the day just thinking about the possibilities. 

DC ... take my money!

Honorable Mention - "Read" - New Champion Of Shazam #1

Doc Shaner can do no wrong for me artistically. His work on the new Mary Marvel book New Champion of Shazam has just been magical.

But then he inserted this Easter Egg in the background of the Mary's room. Supergirl posed for a public service promotional poster encouraging kids to read. So wonderful! That is what my Supergirl would do. Inspire. 

Honorable Mention - "Funeral" - Dark Crisis #1

The Justice League has died. The younger heroes are rallying the world, reminding them that hope still exists.

One thing I always want for Supergirl is that her role within the super-family is respected and recognized. So it warmed my heart to see her standing next to Lois, giving support and a shoulder to lean on. 

It's a small thing, a tiny part of a two page spread. But it showed how important Kara is to Lois.

Honorable Mention - "Stronger" - DC Vs. Vampires #8

Another sort of passive moment but still powerful. 

This has to be a riff on the famous 'you're stronger than you think you are' moment from All-Star Superman. In this moment, Supergirl feels the weight of the world on her shoulders. She is the only hope that the struggling scraps of humanity have. And she is powerless.

Otto Schmidt does a great job here showing how small Supergirl is feeling.

But I like how Steel is there to remind her that she is strong. 

Okay ... that's the non-comic stuff and the Honorable Mentions! Tomorrow, the start of the top ten moments of 2022!


Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

i'am back and an you are right, the best supergirls are out of continuity.

I can't wait to see your selection

Anj said...

Welcome back!!!

Glad to see you!

Anonymous said...

Nice list, and glad to see the full size public relations poster from Mary's wall. Did you ever tell us where you got it from?

Personally, I'd count Zala Jor-El as a Supergirl appearance. It is, after all, supposed to be a variant of her and not a brand-new character. Similarly, I count all the others one comes across, like the various elseworld daughters of Clark and Lois. But even so, that doesn't mean Zala would be one of your honorable mentions.

On the other hand, I exclude all Power Girls. Maybe she's also supposed to be a version of Supergirl, but she's just too different. I do count Mae and Linda Danvers, though. They featured importantly in the Supergirl role for years. I guess I must have come up with my own inconsistent philosophy.

I read somewhere that Tom King responded on Twitter that Krem was not killed in that ambiguous ending. If we were supposed to know that and it wasn't left intentionally ambiguous, then the script or art should probably have made that clear.


Bostondreams said...

Well, I mean, Power Girl IS Kara Zor-L, so there is no maybe about being a version of Supergirl. But yeah, very different in temperament.

Anonymous said...

To me the best news in 2022, was the Legion/Supergirl animated feature, and even that doesn’t drop until next month:) But then generally speaking Supergirl is better treated whenever she manages to escape the confines of the floppies.