Thursday, December 28, 2023

Supergirl Best of 2023 Part Two - Commissions And Comic Moments #10-6

Welcome to part two of my wrap-up of Supergirl in 2023!

You can head here for part one, a little bit of overall review, the animated stuff, and the honorable mentions for best comic moments.

As I said, this has been a good year for Supergirl albeit one relegated mostly to a supporting role in Superman and Action Comics. Joshua Williamson and Phillip Kennedy Johnson seem to get her as a character. Her powers might be the same as Superman but she is different. She is smart. She is a sort of scholar of Krypton. She is young and a bit brash and heroic. She is still learning.

Interestingly enough, over the last couple of years, I have seen Supergirl sort of settle into a middle generation of heroes. In academic terms, she is like Junior Faculty. She isn't a newbie any more. But she isn't tenured yet either; she is young. But she is older and more experienced than Kenan and Jon and the super-twins. She is a sort of role model for them. And she seems, again in these background scenes and small moments, sort of embraced the role. I love it.

This is character growth that makes more sense than, let's say, getting drunk and crying in the middle of a sun. 

One of my joys every year is heading to comic conventions and doing my best to grab some commission sketches. The last couple of years, I haven't been too lucky. This year I was much more successful getting three great pieces. 

I have always liked Denys Cowan's work and he was the target at Terrificon. I love that commission, Supergirl proud and strong.

And then at Wicked Comic-Con, I grabbed both Eduardo Risso and Adriana Melo. Risso's piece is smoky and noirish, a unique take in my collection. And Melo just loved the 70's costume and gave this beaming, slightly cheesecake-y take on Kara.

Mission accomplished!

But onto the #10-#6 Supergirl comic moments of 2023. 

Comic Moment #10 - Monkey Prince #10 - 'Here she comes!'

Supergirl played a decent sized role in the Lazarus Planet event, no surprise given Mark Waid was writing. Surprisingly, Monkey Prince also had a pretty big role in it too. This led to a pretty fun crossover issues in the Prince's main title. Gene Luen Yang gets young heroes leading to very entertaining issues.

As I said above, Supergirl is in this middle role, both role model and learner. Here, she clearly is the more mature and more accomplished hero. She clearly is someone the Prince should be imprinting on. 

I loved this sort of Superman-ish moment. In the midst of a semi-adventure, Kara realizes Metropolis is in trouble because of the Lazarus rain. That's that. Here she comes to save the day! Bernard Chang can draw Supergirl any time he wants as far as I'm concerned.

Comic Moment #9 - Justice League Vs Godzilla Vs Kong #1 - Leader

I have read too many comics where Supergirl isn't treated well so when someone does the opposite, I have applaud it. 

I like Supergirl to still be in the 'learning' mode. I don't want her to be a grizzled veteran. The point is that she isn't fully formed like Superman.

Still, how freaking cool was it to see her effortlessly slip into Superman's role in Justice League vs Godzilla vs Kong #1. While Clark is off proposing, she up and leads the League into battle against the Legion of Doom. That's her right up in front with Barry, Hal, Diana, and Kendra following.

Comic Moment #8 - Steelworks #2 - 'Voice of reason'

You are probably sensing a them and we are only three moments in.

In Steelworks, John Henry Irons is thinking a bit outside the box. He is thinking about abandoning his super-hero career, initiating a technologically automated defense system for Metropolis, and eliminating the need for the Super-family in the city.

It is all sort of out of left field. And maybe a little worrisome. Time for a family meeting.

In a subtle little way of showing her place in the family, it is Supergirl who speaks first, telling Irons they are worried about him and what he is planning. She is a voice of reason, level-headed. Unlike Conner for example. 

I was pretty pleasantly surprised by Steelworks by writer Michael Dorn and artist Sami Basri.

Comic Moment #7 - Action Comics #1058 - 'Kryptonian scholar'

The addition of the super-twins from Warworld has been a fun addition to the family, bringing a very young outlook to the situations. In many ways, they stepped into the role of the young Jon, pre-aging. 

I love how Supergirl has become a sort of big sister, or maybe favorite aunt to them. Clark is Kara's role model. She is their role model. 

In an added lovely wrinkle, writer Philip Kennedy Johnson has also made her the Kryptonian scholar on the team. Here she is reading the twins their 'family myth' from a Kandorian text. Such a lovely top panel, Kara leading storytime. Rafa Sandoval really crushed it on art on Action. 

Great moment showing who Supergirl is within the family. 

Comic Moment #6 - Action Comics Doomsday Special #1 - 'Kryptonian Historian'

And yet, another theme.

Kara was raised on Krypton. We know she was an excellent student. 

Here in the Doomsday Special, she talks to Clark about the shik'lrith, the urban truth of Krypton. She knows the legend. She knows more about it than Clark does. 

Leader. Scholar. Sister. Role model.Voice of reason. 

2023 was a good year for Supergirl. And we are only halfway through the best of it ...


Martin Gray said...

Another fine batch of moments. Let’s keep on at PKJ to pitch a Kara series, he writes her so well.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

Great moments. I would have put Supergirl leading the JLA into battle against the Legion of Doom higher, but I'm glad to see that it made the list. I wish DC would give Supergirl a title in which she leads her own team-maybe of younger heroes she can mentor. It would be a logical step forward from where she is now in the Superman titles.

Anonymous said...

The closest thing to a Kara solo project I can get behind these days is JLA vs Godzilla v. Kong, (BTW she shines this week IMHO but no spoilers).
As for a Supergirl solo series, PKJ, or Mark Waid or Sterling Gates...we'll probably get a sixth Harley Quinn title instead, but it doesn't hurt to ask (or even demand :)