Monday, October 24, 2011

Difficulty Flying Homage

The DCnU has been called a relaunch of the DC universe. But for Supergirl, the appropriate term is really reboot. We are being reintroduced to this character.

The problem is that Supergirl was 'just' rebooted 7 years ago. That means that Kara's origin story is still pretty fresh in the minds of the DC's fans. Heck it was even retold in movie format just a year ago. Beyond that, the character got a 'soft' reboot by Gates and Johns only 3 years ago, her origin slightly tweaked. And we had a separate retelling just 3 years ago in Cosmic Adventures.

The bottom line is that writers Michael Green and Mike Johnson have a tough job ahead. Because as a reader, when I read their retelling of an origin story that has just been retold, one where the basic elements are the same, it is going to be hard for me not to compare it to that which has come immediately before. And when things look similar, I am going to notice.

Take this scene from Supergirl #2.

And compare it to this scene in Cosmic Adventures #1.

Now the wheres and the whys of these scenes (Superman tossing Supergirl into the sky in the SG#2, Kara wishing to escape Earth in Cosmic) are very different. But I couldn't help thinking about Cosmic when I read the scene in Supergirl #2.

Does the change in story parameters make this a new scene? Is it homage? Is Cosmic to fresh to be referenced as an homage? Are they taking the best of all the origins that have come before them then adding their twists to come up with the ultimate origin?

Again, I think it is going to be tough on the current team. Because they have to tell a story that has just been told and told well, they have to keep the major events the same, and they have to be fresh.

And I don't think that is going to be easy.


Anonymous said...

Yeah there are a lot of tempting tropes and themes that have been freshly baked in ye olde Supergir book. Revamping and relaunching them leaves the creatives open to charges of being repetitive. On the other hand its a bigger Supergirl mythos than we know with all sorts of long dormant characters who can be "Called back to the colors" so to speak.
Here are three to start with, marked down for their especial obscurity:
"Vortex" Master of centrifugal force
"The Gyronaut"
"Wanda Five"


Lisa said...

Two people can reach the same conclusions from the same information without one of them copying from the other. Similarly in this case. I don't think it's that they *couldn't* stay up; I think it's more the problem of the centipede tripping over its feet when it tries to figure out how it's moving them in sync. Never having flown before, when they realized they were floating in midair, they panicked and fell. It seems perfectly natural to me.

There's going to be some repetition, simply because certain reactions are natural.

Anj said...

There's going to be some repetition, simply because certain reactions are natural.

I agree. And I am certainly not saying they 'copied'.

With all these stories fresh, I think that some repetition is bound to happen. I just think it is going to lead to comparisons and concerns.

Martin Gray said...

I'd have loved a one-page Supergirl origin a la All-Star Superman, then on with the story:

Survivors perish.

Rocketed to Earth.

Cousins meet.

Life in the orphanage.

Big wide world.

A horse is crushing on you ...

valerie21601 said...

Well if the Key to Quasi-Space shows up be it a real key or whatever like it did in Cosmic Adventures. That will be where the Cosmic connection will end and Johnson and Green will be truly on their own.

So far as I can tell they have hardly shown a thing of the Silver Age Supergirl in their story. They tweeted and showed pictures that Cosmic Adventures and a Supergirl silver age collected book of her first stories were the two sources of their inspiration for their new Supergirl.

To me they haven't really shown anything new or original, outside of her new "panty lines".
Just make sure she has a bikini wax and put a thong on her where it concerns her outfit.

Eyz said...

I have the same pro0blem with Blue Beetle too...some of these DCnU books are reboots of such "young" titles/new characters... couldn't they all continue like a better thought and new readers friendly "One Year Later" like GL or Batman?