Monday, March 28, 2016

#Rebirth Supergirl

At WonderCon this weekend, DC had a major #Rebirth panel. In a nice move for all their fans, they streamed the event so I was able to watch right along with those in attendance. It opened with a nice short film highlighting key moments in DC's history which included two Supergirl moments, Action Comics #1 and the Supergirl #1 cover by Micheal Turner.

The panel was moderated by Jim Lee, Dan Didio, and Geoff Johns. For the most part, the message was clear. Lee talked about wanting to keep stories vibrant and exciting. Didio talked about DC losing its way and losing their fans (a pretty big admission since he is a driving force on all recent changes). He said the company had to recommit to their fans. And Johns came out and talked about how something was missing in the DCU, and that something was legacy. DC needed to reclaim all that has made it great. That overall message was well received by me since I have been complaining about the lack of legacy and positivity in DC books for the last several years.

Later we heard about the Rebirth Special (cover seen above) which will explain how all this unfolds. Who do we think the 'mystery hand' is reaching out to touch the New 52? I say the Monitor.

After that opening all the books and creative teams were announced and that included Supergirl.

Supergirl will come out in September, written by Steve Orlando with art by Brian Ching. Ching and Emanela Lupacchino will provide covers. Right off the bat, I like the look of the book. It is clear the #Rebirth costume riffs on the television show's, right down to the boots (no more exposed knees!) The cover looks like it includes Cat Grant which is appreciated. I like Ching's look so I'm happy.

Orlando was present and talked about his take. He opened with some nice comments about how he wanted to bring a classic super-book sensibility to the title. Specifically he mentioned 'enormous idea', 'large scale heroism', and 'amazing feats of compassion'. When he mentioned those idea, I was pretty optimistic. This wasn't the isolated, angry, bitter, angsty, 'hell on wheels' that the New 52 Supergirl was promoted as.

Then Orlando talked of the opening plot and I had to pause. Kara's story is different than Superman's because she left things behind on Krypton, she remembers that world. On Earth, she is trying to 'build bridges between cultures'. So far so good.

But then the Zor-El Cyborg Superman arrives and wants to give Kara her wish, going back to Krypton. And she goes and finds it a twisted place.

First off, the crowd gasped at the mention of Zor-El being Cyborg Superman. Even Didio seemed surprised. That's been canon since the short-lived Michael Alan Nelson run on the New 52 book. Shouldn't Didio know that?

But second, this sounds a bit too much like the early New 52 Supergirl who wanted to leave the mudball of Earth and head back home. I hope execution is top notch because it sounds like a retread of material mined over the first two plus years of the New 52 book. And that is a shame because the K. Perkins and Mike Johnson run had righted the ship. Kara was a hero, accepting Earth as her home, and happy.

I hope this first arc just re-establishes that.

At the very least, it is great to see this costume back. It is a nice mix of classic Matrix plus the show's version.

Later in a post Q and A session just for press, Didio confirmed National City and Cat Grant being in the book.

And then in ComicVine we hear much more which makes me optimistic. It also confirms that the book is going to lean on the show a bit. Steve Orlando reveals some of the beats in this book in an interview. She is Kara Danvers. Her parents work for the DEO. She has put anger behind her and wants to rehabilitate villains, not just defeat them. Now this makes me happy (although I'd have preferred Linda Danvers). So good stuff! Later on Twitter, Orlando said that his Kara will be the type of hero that will try to talk down the villain before fighting. And when the villain is captured, Kara is the type to head to the prison in a couple of weeks to check up on them.

Look, the big ideas espoused by Orlando sound like a book I want to read. So maybe this Cyborg Superman arc will just set the table. Heck, maybe she can cure/rehabilitate her father.

As for the rest of the super-books, Dan Jurgen, Patch Zircher, and Tyler Kirkham are on Action and that thrills me. Superman has writer Peter Tomasi and artist Pat Gleason. I am hoping Tomasi is able to bring a more positive outlook to this book than he had in SM/WW during The Truth. There is even a Superwoman book by Phil Jiminez. They look good.

There are other books which look interesting so I'll be sampling. In particular, the Green Lantern books seem re-energized.

Overall this has a better sound than the downbeat New 52. And the Supergirl book has me hopeful.

So what did you all think?


Martin Gray said...

I agree about the Cyborg Superman, but you've put my mind at rest somewhat by pointing out those positive post-Rebirth panel comments from Orlando. And the very fact he knows about Zor-El has to be good news, it shows he's been reading.

And the new/old costume - yay!

Anonymous said...

"Inspired by a true story*, Supergirl!"

*"And by 'true story', we mean a certain TV show on CBS that we totally thought was going to tank..." - DC editorial

I think they're approaching the Cyborg Zor-El's offer from the perspective of "what would TV Supergirl do?" Because if I'm New-52 Kara, I'd be like, "Bwahahahaha! No. Seriously, do you think I'm stupid? Anyone else remember H'El? What, he was erased from continuity? Ironic. Still, no."

I'm happy about pre-Flashpoint Superman's story continuing in Action Comics (which I predicted was going to happen given the return to original numbering).

I'm still very leery about Tomasi getting the main Superman book, though.

"Superwoman" is a "new character"... Astra In-Ze?

"New Superman" in Shanghai... I'm curious what Yang has planned for that.

I'm surprised they didn't try a Lois Lane ongoing if they had room for "Super Sons", "Superwoman", and "New Superman". Gwenda Bond might be available (and a good place to start asking).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this up Anj, wish I'd known it was being streamed so I could tune in as well. All good things,
and *gasp* they shared the creative teams! Emanela Lupacchino is an old hand at this, having seen her work prior
to the monthly going on "hiatus" earlier... will see what the rest bring to the table.

As for the costume design, "Be Still My Beating Geek Heart!"

Two points I'm kinda wondering / confused about

a) agree about the Zor-El / Cyborg Superman story -- unless they want to wash that New 52 story away, so to speak,
and have Supergirl saying "Krypton? Thanks, but no thanks!"

b) based on the TV series... wonder how this will go and fit in with the current digital version with Sterling Gates.
Not to say there can't be multiple writers / issues of Supergirl. So long as they're well done story and plot-wise,
the more the merrier!

I'm also interested / excited about the Superwoman title as well... from first look at the cover, I'm wondering if
it isn't pre-New 52 / Peter A David Linda Danvers.


Anonymous said...

"Cyborg Superman Zor El" strikes me as a surprising confession of creative confusion/doubt from the git go. He was originally conceived as a classic "Cheap Heat" stunt to bump sales with something sinister and salacious...anyone else reminder N52 Supergirl crying and pleading for her life from her own damn father? I mean WHO was tearing their way to the spinner racks to by that rubbish graduate students in Family Pathologies?
Not a good storyline by which to debut the new Supergirl book I am already apprehensive.
On the other hand it sure seems like they are giving "The House of El" big push....thats good I guess but then again In What Direction?


Uncle Screensaver said...

I wonder if there was such surprise regarding Cy-Supes being Zor-El because no one remembered that was what happened or if they were shocked that with Hank Henshaw being an integral character in Supergirl's life on TV they'd have stuck with such a decision.

I'm not a fan of the art in Supergirl, but I'm happy to see the crotch shield is gone. I hope that it will continue from where we left off in Supergirl.

I hope with the success of the atrocity that is Batman V Superman the grimdark won't bring down New New 52.

Uncle Screensaver said...

As for Superwoman, they must be trying to keep the copyright alive maybe. I hope she doesn't eclipse Supergirl. If it's a new character I guess we won't have Lois or Lana or Kristen.

Oh, I wish they had gone with "Linda Danvers" as well. Oh well, at least we have a new Supergirl comic book starring Superman's cousin.

Darrin said...

We'll definitely pick up the new book. We always give any Supergirl book a try!

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments!

I wonder how this Cyborg Superman arc will run. But everything else sounds so good, I think it will just be a way to reestablish that she has chosen Earth.

Anonymous said...

My big wish is that Cyborg Superman's appearance is one big misdirection and it turns out that he was never Zor-El, but stole his identity, like how Kara had kryptonite poisoning and merely hallucinated that he father was evil during Sterling Gates' run.

Jay said...

Well, the bad news for me is that I've dropped every Superman book and every book featuring him because I don't want to read about Superdad. But the one readable book in the atrocious line appears to be Supergirl, and I'll pick her up.

William Ashley Vaughan said...

I'm delighted to say goodbye to the New 52 Supergirl costume. I'm not happy to say hello to Cyborg Superman again. However, I like what Orlando has to say about the book's general direction. Also, did anyone notice the black guy at the bottom of the cover art? I would say it could be Michael from the New 52 series, but he isn't in a wheelchair. Maybe this is Jimmy Olsen or the CatCo equivalent. Hopefully, Orlando will pick up the dropped Blaze/Siobhan plotline form the Bedard run. Blaze as an evil from the pit would make a terrific challenge for Supergirl's optimism and compassion.

Gene said...

I like the new costume, it has a slight Japanese manga style to it.

Anonymous said...


I'm really seeing a lot of things I like in rebirth, but I also don't want to get my hopes up. I'll pick up the books that seem interesting and hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments!

Sad to see you go Jay. I have to say having a superhero have a child always seems to muddy things up long term. It is the equivalent of adding a cute kid to an established TV show. Never seems to work out. So I wonder how well this will click. I am interested to hear what titles you heard about that did grab you.

The Cyborg Superman idea does seem to be a lightning rod for the book. I'm looking forward to see how that plays out.

Jay said...

Well I'll probably hang out here to annoy you guys a little if I'm sticking with Supergirl, so there's that! ;) I'm getting mixed signals whether or not the New 52 Superman is in the mix for a return. I can't tell if this is "permanent" or if we're looking at a Clone Saga like deal. If its the latter I'll keep my ear to the ground and hopefully be back with Superman if/when he gets back.