Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Best Of 2017: Non-Comic Stuff

2017 was certainly another good year in a string of good years for the character of Supergirl. I am still amazed at how much this character has shone over the last handful of years. I am always reminded that I started this site because I wanted to showcase how great the (then) underappreciated Supergirl was. Now she is everywhere and really trumpeted as a the wonderful character she is.

So over the next three days I'll be reviewing 2017 and Supergirl. And, as usual, I'll devote a little more time to the comic. The schedule will be as follows:

12/27 (today): Best of Supergirl Non-Comic Stuff
12/28: Best of Supergirl Comic Stuff: Honorable mention and moments #10-#6
12/29: Best of Supergirl Comic Stuff: #5-#1

This is my non-comic year in review. As always, I love to hear the things Supergirl fans loved about the year. So feel free to chime in.

On to the best of the year!!!

This was a very successful year for me for commissions. As always, I feel blessed that so many conventions have sprung up locally over the last decade. From Boston Comic Con (now Boston Fan Expo) to Granite Con to Terrificon to Rhode Island Con, there really are a lot of shows within a short driving distance for me to head to.

And there are the usual two goals, meeting creators and getting commissions.

For commissions, I really lucked out this year getting Matthew Clark, Tom Grummett, Barry Kitson, Michael Cho, Ty Templeton, and Keith Champagne to add pieces to my collection.

For creators, I really hit the jackpot. Not only did I get to meet the artists above but I also got to meet Keith Giffen, Marty Pasko, Peter Tomasi, and JonBoy Meyers. I also had the luck of seeing Paul Kupperberg, Peter David, Joelle Jones, Barry Kitson, and Jerry Ordway again. Throw in Champagne, Clark, and Grummett, and I met a ton of creators who either have long histories or tangential associations with Supergirl.  I was able to get a lot of signatures on Supergirl books.

I also had the luck of meeting some non-comic celebrities.

In April I met Laura Vandervoort and just stammered like a fool.
And just earlier this month I met Jeremy Jordan.

Pretty cool to meet people involved with Supergirl from a mainstream media viewpoint.

As has been the case, Supergirl has been a heavily used property for merchandise. There are plenty of statues which have been solicited but not released.

There are almost too many figures, plushies, and statues to name but I was lucky enough to procure the ones above. I love that the show is getting such a push on the collectible market with two action figures and a giant statue released. I also like the Supergirl Rebirth costume much more than the New 52 so glad that also made it into a figure. And the DC Superhero Girls Kara is all over the place including this mini-figure.

I'll be touching on the CW show soon enough but I am amazed at how many different media platforms you can find Supergirl these days. (I have to remind people that at one point she 'didn't exist' in the comics. This still floors me.)

So she is still a big part of the DC Superhero Girls line. We have seen continued adventures with her on the animated shorts as well as the Lego DC Superhero Girls episodes and movies. How successful has DC Superhero Girls been? Marvel is rushing a version out for their characters.

We also finally got to see Supergirl on the very underappreciated Justice League Action. I love that design, very much in line with the comics. And those huge eyes! How anime!

And I still have to giggle when I see Supergirl crop up in places you'd least expect her, like as a legitimate question on Jeopardy!

She used to not exist in comics!!!!

And Supergirl even had a YA novel released late this year. Written by Jo Whittemore, Age of Atlantis takes place in the universe of the television show.

This was a fun read chock full of continuity and Easter eggs. I reviewed it earlier this month. Lots of fun.

Supergirl as the star of a novel!

But the biggest news has to be the continued success of the television show on the CW. I can't imagine that Supergirl would be getting the media push she is if this show tanked.

2017 included the end of Season 2 and the beginning of Season 3.

Season two seemed to fracture the fandom a bit. The Kara/Mon-El romance was loved/hated. The Alex/Maggie romance was praised but seemed to dominate the show at times. The political bent of the writers was often trumpeted a bit loudly.  But the transition of Winn to the DEO and the inclusion of Lena Luthor clicked perfectly. As did the wild ending with a Daxamite invasion and a battle supreme between Supergirl and Queen Rhea.

Still, I have to focus on a couple of things. For one, how great was it to get Sterling Gates on set and in the writer's seat for the Mxyzptlk episode. Kara defiantly drinking orange juice in the Fortress might be my favorite moment of the season. We also got the incredible Flash crossover musical episode. That was almost too much fun, saved on my DVR until I remove.

And that season ending, with Supergirl fighting Superman and winning, with her having to send Mon-El away and sacrifice her happiness, and the fallout of that was just stupendous.

And Season three has really ratcheted things up even more. I have been very impressed with the ongoing theme of Kara's humanity and her trying to deny it. It has cropped over and over again as she faces her own demons and battles foils.

So people believing her a god, or facing Overgirl and her lack of thought for others, or cursing Mon-El for making her remember her heart, or being told by Alex not to be human while in combat ... it all feeds into this battle for Kara's soul.

And as usual, the cast is just crushing it.

Of course, the ultimate expression of that is Kara fighting Reign, a true Kryptonian foil, a world killer designed to bring justice without mercy. That is a dark reflection of Kara, what should would be without a human outlook.

And I am sure that is ultimately going to be the key to success, Kara embracing her humanity and calling upon the 'Sam' part of Reign to overcome the darkness within.

And I'd be hard pressed not to mention the fact that we are getting a live action Legion.
Or that we had a true crossover in Crisis on Earth-X. I mean how can I not remind people of this moment where Supergirl calls back to Superman calling out General Zod in Superman II. This is probably going to be my favorite moment of Season Three. I was all goose bumps!

So even without mentioning comics, you can see that Supergirl had a great 2017 in all arenas. But I'll start covering the comics tomorrow.

What did you all think??


Anonymous said...

Truly an amazing year to be a Supergirl fan.

I won't lie, I have gotten spoiled, and now being used to a Supergirl show, Lego brain drain, JL:A, DCSHG, Freedom Fighters etc I feel the abstinence hitting me hard at the end of the year when everything is in hiatus and I am left with only a monthly comic and the knowledge that GCG is coming to an end.

When things go back to normal in x year/s I will crash hard :D

I would take more, but I am not going to be greedy.


This is great

Anonymous said...

"(I have to remind people that at one point she 'didn't exist' in the comics. This still floors me.)"

Being written out of continuity and spending 18 years in comic limbo as editorial forbids writers from referencing you directly and attempts to replace you with several substitutes can't be good for the success of any character. And still Kara Zor-El has bounced back relatively well.

Still, as good as her bigger exposure out of comics is (let's face it, comic-book characters need to turn up in other media relatively frequently in order to become a part of popular culture), I still want more: Kara being featured in more JLA episodes, or cameoing in the new Lego Flash animated movie. As divisive as the DCEU is, I'd have wanted to Supergirl to make an appearance, at least.

Every time I get upset, though, I remind myself of the time where she was The One Who Must Not Be Named to remember how lucky their fans are nowadays. I mean, a live-action, cartoons, games* and a novel? If Man of Steel 2 is ever done I hope for a "Brainiac" adaptation. And maybe she'll be a character in Young Justice? Let's hope so. In the meantime, she'll be a lead in another cartoon the next year. And her position as a Legionnaire is being reaffirmed. Great.

I have issues with the show but it's good a "Supergirl" show being made; and a fourth season is all but guaranteed, regardless people who want to see it fail because their ship got sunk or Supergirl won Superman or "everything I hate must cease to exist even if I could easily ignore it" or whatever.

Anj, did you hear the show has been referenced again in "Jeopardy"?

Funny that both Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El were on the same boat: Characters who remained killed off for decades because they were unlucky enough to be Silver Age characters in an time where DC wanted to move away from it, and are everywhere nowadays.

* You forgot Injustice 2. By the way, TV-show Supergirl will be downloable in the mobile version of the game. So three different Supergirls (including PG) will be playable in a game. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Anj, and yes, nearing year's end and looking back, can't be happier as a Supergirl fan.
There's always room for improvement, and alot of wishes for how TPTB would do something better or do more...
*coughs*more Superfamily interaction*coughs* but your list reminds me that WE HAVE A SUPERGIRL, and SHE'S

Best to Supergirl fans everywhere, and see everyone on the other side of 2018!


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, it's a good time to be a fan. I have to add that there was supposed to be a Supergirl cameo in the JL movie but it was edited out (I am still salty about that).

But I am happy that going into 2018, we will straight away get more Supergirl stuff with the DC in D.C campaign.

My new year's wish for Supergirl is to give her a batfriend (preferably babs)

Anonymous said...

"And I still have to giggle when I see Supergirl crop up in places you'd least expect her, like as a legitimate question on Jeopardy!"

The next thing is...being a puzzle on Jeopardy's sister show, Wheel of Fortune.

"Kara defiantly drinking orange juice in the Fortress might be my favorite moment of the season."

In some way, it reminds me of the first episode of Batman (1966) where while at the go-go bar, Batman drinks an orange that was laced. A sort of dedication to Adam West who passed on this year (Godspeed OLD CHUM!)

"The political bent of the writers was often trumpeted a bit loudly"

Too loud if you ask me.

"How successful has DC Superhero Girls been? Marvel is rushing a version out for their characters."

Holy flattery! Since when did that become an item from The "M" company?

Pity on Sterling Gates not getting a writing job on SG, instead of The Flash.

Speaking of which, the Flash musical crossover was a GOLD LEVEL honorable mention for me. It wasn't a Supergirl episode technically, but boy was it fun. The Rachel Bloom song "Super Friend" was a funny, witty, clever and clean song, with a peppy beat and great dancing especially by Grant Gustin and his Dick Van Dyke type rubber legs. Most of the time, especially on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, some of the material is...well...risque.

That said, after the beating Supergirl got in the mid-season finale by Reign...what will happen next?

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments!
Good catch on my forgetting Injustuce 2 ... although it is remembered elsewhere.

And just heard about the Jeopardy clue!

It has been a great year.

KET said...

"Pity on Sterling Gates not getting a writing job on SG, instead of The Flash."

Well, the writer's move seems designed as a sort of reflex action by producers to stave off criticism from the Mxyzptlk episode, which inadvertently polarized some online fans at the time. By contrast, The Flash show often seems to coast content-wise on goodwill from the viewers.

Yes, the new Multiverse SG addition to Injustice 2 is a spot-on rendering of Melissa Benoist...quite uncanny. :)


Anonymous said...

"The political bent of the writers was often trumpeted a bit loudly"

The political bent of writers is often there, it just seems loud when it’s saying something you aren’t used to hearing or disagree with.

Anonymous said...

"The political bent of writers is often there, it just seems loud when it’s saying something you aren’t used to hearing or disagree with."

Given that the political bent Anj is talking about is something he is used to hearing daily and he doesn't necessarily disagree with, this statement is ridiculous.

KET said...

It's a female superhero show which focuses on the main character's human interest. Some will always find that aspect 'political' merely because women are actively involved in the decision-making, despite whether or not any other thematic activism is detected (which usually has a correlation to the former). To that end, there's nothing ridiculous about presenting an optimistic alternative world view, since there'll always be enough dystopia around in the genre to act as a more easily digestible counter-balance. :)