Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Does The Comic World Really Want An Immature And Irresponsible Supergirl?

I have tried to remain optimistic or at least even-keeled about this DC Relaunch, specifically how it relates to Supergirl. But it is getting harder and harder to maintain that outlook. It is difficult when I read that the powers at DC seem to have no understanding of the character and are talking like they haven't read the book in the past couple of years.

The latest sound bite, and maybe the one that has put me over the edge was this one from the Manhattan DC Retail Roadshow. Here is Bleeding Cool's coverage:

Now there is a lot in that article where DC seems to be trying to alienate existing fans. In particular, it seems like every Batgirl fan has some legitimate gripe with the future. But here is the Supergirl blurb:

Supergirl- Another area of improvement DC is looking for is characters to sound true.  Supergirl, as she has been written, sometimes comes across as mature and responsible as a 40 year-old adult.  She shouldn’t.  She’s a teen who is still finding herself and her character should reflect that. 

So this initially struck me as utterly wrong and insulting to the writers who have written Supergirl so wonderfully since Supergirl #34. It makes it sound like she was some super-mature boring character.

But then I thought about it some more and frankly I think all this means is that Didio (or whoever is responsible for this blurb) has not read the book for the last two and a half years. Because yes, there were some times that Supergirl acted mature and responsible ... isn't that we want from our heroes? Isn't that true of all teens ... that SOMETIMES they are mature and responsible?  

The above statement sounds like the 'powers that be' think it is wrong that Supergirl sometimes acted mature and responsible ... sometimes. What does that mean? That they think Supergirl should never be mature and responsible?? 

Who would want to read a comic where the main character is immature and irresponsible all the time?

But most of all, it shows they either didn't read or had no respect for Sterling Gates' run and subsequently Peaty's and DeConnick's. Because, after all, she never acted like a teen discovering herself during their run ... (rolls eyes).

She was angry, even at those who she cared for. Sometimes she lost her temper and didn't do what was right. Like here punching Superman ...

Or snarking at Thara...

Or realizing that life isn't always rosy ...

Or angrily walking away from Thara again ...

Or punching out Dr. Light ...

Or taking off when her mother was yelling at her ...

Or confronting Lana about her illness ...

Or almost killing General Lane ...

And sometimes she was happy ...

Sometimes she was sad. She went through tremendous emotional trauma. Here she mourns Zor-El ...

And mourns Lana ...

And wishes her mother was dead ...

Sometimes she shirked her duties. 

And sometimes she was impulsive ...

And sometimes she pounded the snot out of people ... 

But always, always ...

And this is key ...

She came back to try and do what was right ... to keep moving along that hero's journey.

It did not take long to find all these examples. They remind me how lucky we have been these last couple of years.

What Supergirl am I going to get in September? 

Someone with no affection for humanity so 'don't piss her off'? Someone where that statement represents their perceived 'core' of the character? Someone that DC thinks needs to act less responsible? Is that who Supergirl is? 

Maybe Michael Green and Mike Johnson will be able to pull this off. Maybe their stories will be similar ... a young woman becoming a hero and making some mistakes along the way. Someone always striving to be a better person, a better hero.

But ...

But ...

But if she is always immature, irresponsible, irrational ... 



Anonymous said...

I don't want her to read like Pukcett or Palmiotti's Supergirl, but I also don't like or want the Gates Supergirl back either. I did really enjoy the first issue of the current team.

I think DC is trying to make the book better and bring some lost readers back... if they go the Puckett route, it will fail miserably.

Gates Supegirl did often seem 40's and boring to me. I'm hoping they give her back teen hormones and fire without making teen synonomous with stupid, inferior, and obsequious as Puckett did. I still say read it first. I'm giving it a shot.

valerie21601 said...

I read the bleeding cool article. It sounds like they are taking the Marvel Comics path of where meta-humans (mutants) are treated with great mistrust and a great deal of fear.

While it works for Marvel I don't think its a path that will work well for DC Comics. One of the main reasons I chose DC over Marvel is because I didn't like the one note "Mutants" all of the time in their universe. And in the DC Universe people mostly accept super-powered people exist and didn't freak out about it like they do at Marvel.

I read DC because there was hope and looking forward to tomorrow in it with most of their characters. Not the doom and gloom of Marvel of most of their characters.

TalOs said...

I've been mussing over this a LOT (not joking here) as of late, and what i think would be a possible compromise for the 'DCnU' 21st century era Supergirl is for the PTB to debut her similar to that of "Smallville"s' own Laura Vandervoort's depiction of Kara. (e.g. has a bit of a rebellious like nature at first only because just after having awoken not on that of her home planet's Krypton's familiar surroundings of it's Argo city sector surrounded amongst her family, friends and loved ones but yet instead an altogether alien primitive like planet who's being approached by some of it's alien primitive like inhabitants which inturn truly terrifies her and is if that isn't terrifying enough now is truly surprised to stumble upon a yet another Kryptonian who just not only turns out to happen to be her elder cousin but is also even more so shocked to apparently discover this planet's residents over view him as their greatest protector ever alive. However later as she begins to get over the loss of her beloved Argo City starts to attempt to accept the fact that Earth is her new home.) I'd then change gears to that of her '84 movie's Helen Slater's portrayal of Kara. (i.e. where with a new found wide eyed inquisitive view and love of not only planet Earth, it's inhabitants as well as it's cultures begins to see things in a total different light henceforth even adopting the mantle of "Supergirl".)

There are truly A LOT of ways i could spin this that not only keep her rebellious like nature but also the super heroic aspects that would all lead to her ending up accepting Earth as her newly found home and willingly operating under the mantle of "Supergirl".

TalOs said...

P.S. Presenting to y'all the official 'DCnU' era Kara Zor-El/Supergirl done up within the Bruce Timm JLU animated themed art style by ME! ;)

Man i tell ya (and no disrespect intended to Jim Lee here) that was a real pain in the butt come insuring that i achieved in capturing every single bit of Jim Lee's official redesign only translated into a Timm JLU animated art style themed character design pic as seen in the above supplied link.

Anonymous said...

Dear, dear Anj, Barricades Commarade:
To answer your q. the short answer:
NO. Nobody except losers, acne filled Neo-Nazis, etc. etc, want Supergirl to be like that...
And this is quite important: Except Masons, Satanists, "Age of Aquarius" Ass$$%%&/oles, etc, etc are the ones who will write her in September.
DC IS ONLY now the "ISIS UNVEILED (Wondie...) MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA and our SG is, I fear, their worst enemy.-
Because she is the Christian Spirit of Truth (Not their Isis=Maria Magdalena/Wonder Woman
Masonic and Satanist Bull"#$%/&it!
And they know full well what they are doing...
The future belongs to us.
Illuminatis are fighting their last bullets like Hitler in the Ardennes forest.-
Give it some months!

DAVID (Stop hurting yourself or you´ll damage your health, and we need your input!!)

mathematicscore said...

Yeah, I too cringed when I saw that quote; I find it to be ageist and a tad sexist. Teens can certainly seem volatile and unwieldy, but they are also capable of great insight and compassion, and can be every bit as exceptional as adults. I also find it sad that the premier young adult female in the DC universe is subject to an editorial edict to be less mature and sensible. Meh.

I also find this funny since the one image we have of the new Supergirl seems to convey a more worldly, reserved Kara.

Thank you for this wonderful post though. You really highlighted how great the past few years have been. I never used to be an actual fan of Supergirl; This run has made me one.

Anonymous said...

I dunno if all DC can do is conceptualize Supergirl fan-dom as a "zero sum game" then maybe it's time to find something else to enjoy. Everything I've read about the projected revamp drips of condescension & stupid posturing. They've been trying to "Marvelize" Supergirl for decades now from Power Girl out to PAD's Earth Angel and onto the initial run of the current character. After thirty years of this rubbish isn't it time to admit it doesn't work for Supergirl?? Honest to Ghod if you try the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome then yes you meet the standard for insanity.

John Feer

Diabolu Frank said...

Dan Didio is comics' go-to guy for stupid, ill-considered, nonsensical quotes that have no bearings outside his own head. He's like a walking, talking, bossing message board troll. Great rebuttal, though.

Benwahbob said...

Anonymous said...Gates Supegirl did often seem 40's and boring to me. I'm hoping they give her back teen hormones and fire without making teen synonomous with stupid, inferior, and obsequious as Puckett did. I still say read it first. I'm giving it a shot.

It's like you skipped over the entire post just to say the same things you've been saying for months. You didn't actually read it did you, you just regurgitated the exact opposite.

Gene said...

You did a great job on showing everyone why we love Supergirl.

The sales figures at the end of the year will tell us if this new Supergirl and the relaunch will be a disaster or not.

Great job with the DCnU Kara TalOs! The cape looks good, but I still don't like her red crotch.

Ayhe said...

I fully agree with you Anj.
I, personally, decided not to take too seriuosly what was said about the Supergirl that will show up in September. It´s easy to say something and when the book comes, it would turn to be completely different :)

I remain optimist about the future of Supergirl.
While I don´t like Didio very much, I actually trust Geoff John. Wasn´t he the one who encouraged Sterling Gates to take over Supergirl?

Sterling Gates: I had an idea and a take on Supergirl that I thought would be great for her. I talked to Geoff Johns about it in great detail, and he had some words of encouragement and some advice and ideas that got me thinking even harder about that character and how to approach her and incorporate her more into the DC Universe.

Whatever will happen to Supergirl, I doubt Johns will allow to have a Supergirl who "is always immature, irresponsible, irrational ... "
He probably will pitch some ideas to the new writters, and making sure she´ll be well treated :D

TalOs said...

What're y'all thoughts on my taking Jim Lee's official 'DCnU' Kara Zor-El/Supergirl and translating her into the Bruce Timm JLU animated art style? =)

I'm truly interested to hear what my fellow Supergirl peers might have to say about it. =)

Superbear said...

I agree with you, AnG. I'm very apprehensive about the Supergirl we're going to get in September. Haven't we already been through the angsty, self-absorbed Paris Hilton-clone supergirl enough already? I'm also extremely apprehensive given Eddie Berganza's strong role in this DCNu. After all, he's the one who gave us "Cir-El" and Kill-Kal-El--Crystal-Hell-Girl. I had to laugh when they said he was instrumental in putting together the new continuity. This is the same guy who consistently let story lines drop with no resolution, and gave us plotlines with enough holes to drive a semi-with-a-double-wide-motor-home-attached through. (What did Saturn Queen tell Kara to make her abandon Kandor? What happened to the Supergirl doppleganger that was created when she returned from the future in "World War III?")

LJ-90 said...

"Gates and Igles spotted in Bahamas" In the "The day I needed Supergirl"
LOL worthy.
I totally understand you Anj, but remember.
There's always hope :)
I'm sure things won't be as bad as it seems...and hey, I'm sure that in time a new Sterling Gates will come to the title.

Claude said...

DC has never treated Supergirl with respect.
When she was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths, I thought that was one way for her to go out with honor. Later, when DC decided that they needed a Supergirl, they made a glop of goo into a super powered girl. Dreadful. Later, they did a series with an interesting twist that had a mostly satisfying ending, but again, Supergirl was killed off. Sort of.
Then, wonder of wonders, they brought SUPERGIRL back! For real, this time.
I bought the book, read it and eventually, fell away from it. Then they started treating Superman like a second class citizen, removing him from titles with his name on them.
If I wanted a super powered, costumed Kryptonian, I had to buy Supergirl.
What a surprise. The book was good. The character had grown in the traditional comic book way. Conflict. Failure. Redemption.
The story where she promised to find a cure for a little boy dying of cancer had a lot of promise as a wish fulfillment fantasy story.
And now, DC has decided, yet again, to kill her.
Not in the traditional way, though. They're killing everything that has come before. Including the readers.
She will be a bizarre editor's version of her former self.
So, she is dead.
Many friends I speak to about comics have already said that this is the end of their involvement with DC Comics.
Some immature individuals say that we're just being big babies. That we'll buy all the number ones and even if that's all we do, we will go back and buy their NEW IMPROVED DC UNIVERSE.
Supergirl will be dead again.
Why did I even go back to DC after that last time they did this?
Habit, I suppose.
Too bad Didio doesn't even know the characters in his stewardship.
They won't be the characters I enjoyed.
They won't be much more than marketing tools.
And Supergirl gets lost in the shuffle yet again.
As do her fans.
And their contributions to DC's fortunes.
Maybe they'll miss us, after a fashion.
My Supergirl is dead.I won't miss DC Comics.
Why should I?
They cease to exist after August 31, 2011.

Anonymous said...

Great post up there, Anj. Well written, too. Gates the authors following him now, Mr. Walker and Mr. David have all done the character justice, I just hope that this new fella does her right and keeps in touch with the reason why she's our hero in the first place. To make a difference in not only her life but impacting ours as well..-ealperin

Anonymous said...

Gosh, Jamal's art is GORGEOUS! I need to get this stuff in a trade! Which issues did Gates and Igle smooth out the bumpy origin mess? (because I think they did that like three times, if I'm correct.)-ealperin

Gear said...

Thanks for the retrospective ANJ. Based on everything I've read so far I don't like where they're taking many of my favorite characters, but I'm trying to remind myself that all of this goes in cycles. I have little faith in the people making decisions at DC right now, and the way they're running the announcements and doing the publicity leaves me wondering if this is actually planned or if we're looking at some sort of slow-motion power struggle going on between DC Editorial and their overlords at Time Warner. It just feels unfocused and out of control.

I'm just stunned that they would want to flush all of this fantastic character development in favor of re-creating her as angry and unpredictable teenager. So she seems too mature for her age? How could you expect anyone to go through those fires and not come out having wisdom beyond their years? Why would anyone think that any teenager who lost so much and had so much emotional trauma would not be changed? The only options after so much pain and death would be an incredible level of maturity and perspective, a breakdown that would have her checked in at Arkham, or some combination that drove her in a Batman-like direction. Expecting her to devolve back to angry and unpredictable is unrealistic and poor story telling. So I'm assuming that they're retconning most of this, that it just didn't happen. And that Kara isn't in a Heroic Arc, but is instead now frozen like a fly in amber, a permanently angry and unstable teen modeled after ageist and sexist stereotypes. And that they have an idea that she should always fill the role of angry and unreasonable second banana, never to be anything more.

I feel lucky that I was able to read the last couple years of Supergirl. Gates gave us a remarkable and memorable series of stories, under his guidance Supergirl became the Super book to read. Peaty did an incredible job with his three issues, particularly considering he was cleaning up after someone else and so didn't have an entirely free hand. And DeConnick's first issue of her three issue finale to the series was fantastic, and makes me confident I'm going to have a lot of fun the next two Supergirl Wednesdays. I think one day we're going to look back on this as a Golden Age for Kara.

Who would have thought that was what was going to happen a couple years ago? Maybe things will work out and it won't be as bad as it looks right now. Maybe World Of New Krypton is not out of continuity, and Supergirl has just lost faith in humanity due to things she's discovered, such as finding those Kryptonian cadavers on the dissection table at Cadmus, maybe even someone she knew. Maybe even a relative. She seemed awfully quiet and on edge after that experience. I'm sure I or anyone could think of lots of reasons it could be happening, but all that's just fan-wanking since we know nothing at this point.

So I'll focus on the positive, look back on the last couple of years as some of the best Supergirl stories that have ever been told, and be happy that we were able to be here to read them as they were published. My thanks go out to everyone involved at Supergirl for making it so much fun. I can only hope you get the chance to give us that sort of enjoyment again someday.

Anj said...

Thanks everybody for the comments.

There have been so many little things said about this reboot that have me worried but I guess we won't know what we are getting until September.

But like most of you who posted, I feel this will be a step backwards for the character, a loss of great history. And I don't know if this Supergirl will be a likeable character.

And like most of you who posted, I simply don't trust the powers that be at DC to do the right thing anymore.