Friday, December 29, 2017

Best Of 2017:Top Ten Supergirl Moments in Comics - #5 - #1

First I covered the non-comic Best of 2017 for Supergirl.

Then I covered the Best of 2017 Supergirl Comic Moments, Honorable Mentions and #10-#6.

So there's nothing left but to cover the top 5.

But before I get there, allow me a little space to comment on the main Supergirl title. One thing that I have appreciated from writer Steve Orlando (and now Jody Houser) is how he has really leaned into DC history and all Supergirl incarnations to make this new Rebirth book. So we get Psi from the Bronze age. We get Selena the Sorceress from the movie. We get Jeremiah, Eliza, and the DEO from the show. We get Belinda Zee from Cosmic Adventures. We get a connection to the Legion. We get a friendship with Batgirl. We get Strange Visitor and Our World At War. This is the sort of lush loam that great books grow from. I have loved all this and I have liked that recently we have a more streamlined feel to the book.

Back to the year in review, as I said earlier, this has been a very good year for Supergirl on all fronts. As I reviewed the year, I picked about 50 very good moments which needed to be boiled down to these five. And there is a sort of running theme through most of these top moments. It is about Supergirl being a hero. She's part of a family. She's sort of a kid still. She is ready to jump into battle if she has to. And she is there to protect everyone.

This is another year where the top ten is filled with these moments. And that makes me happy.

And all of these panels made me stop and pause. And when there is a pause moment for a grizzled comic reader like me, it means the creators have succeeded. These are massive moments that deserve accolades.

Here are the Supergirl Top Five Comic Moments of 2017.

5) Simple Human Decency - Blue Beetle #13

The Supergirl from Justice League 3001 was all over last year's 'Best Of' and then she disappeared. So I was very happy when the band of JM Dematteis, Keith Giffen, and Scott Kolins came back together for one last go around.

With the war against Lady Styx slogging along, the JLA 3001 Flash seems to lose hope for a second. And then Supergirl, who was the leader of the Justice League, comes in with hope and inspiration and support. This isn't a stern Supergirl, looking off into the distance, and vowing they will win. This is a Supergirl who hugs, giving energy to her friend, and saying hope will beat despair, and human decency will defeat evil.

Supergirl as the leader of the Justice League saying decency will win out.


4) A Looney Crisis and Querl - Bugs Bunny/ Legion of Super-Heroes #1

On a very different note, Sam Humphries and Tom Grummett brought a sense of nostalgia and fun to the irreverent Bugs Bunny/Legion of Super-Heroes Special #1. It felt like the angsty seventies Legion mixed with the nonsense of Looney Tunes. And best of all, Supergirl plays a key part ... even if it is as the unconscious Kara that needs saving.

But when you get a Supergirl wearing her 70's hot pants costume, being revived by a Super-Bunny holding her in a Crisis pose, and then awakening and rushing into the arms of Brainiac Five for a kiss .. well you hit a bunch of major nostalgia notes that can't help but floor me.

Kara and Querl kissing? Bugs holding her like Crisis #7? How can I not love love love this issue?

3) Hey Kal, Wanna Have a Catch? - Supergirl #8

Superman Reborn was a huge part of this last year, unifying the two Supermen, officially ending the New 52, and rolling in a bunch of pre-Flashpoint super-history into the continuity.


But part of that Superman rebirth (with a small r) was bringing the super-family back together again. Remember the New 52 when Supergirl said she wanted to be left alone and Superman listened? Remember when these two seemed to hate each other?

All gone.

And nothing said that more than Supergirl #8 where Superman has a nice day with his cousin. He applauds the hero she has become. He takes her to the Fortress for dinner with Lois and Jon. And he tells her all about the unification. He has to explain the new timeline. And he invokes the Kryptonian Day of Truth.

But even amidst all that, the two have fun. Here they are playing catch with the Supermobile. How wonderful is this??? They are cousins, playing together, and talking about life.

This whole issue could be in here. And yet, it only made #3!

2) Iconic - Action #982

If there was one panel that floored me ... I mean floored me ... it was this iconic shirt rip reveal of Kara becoming Supergirl in Action Comics #982.

It is a simple, classic pose. But it is historic and powerful. I love the hair change happening as she rips off her glasses. I love the buttons flying. I love the look off into the distance. I love the direct 'on my way'.

And I love that this is because Superman has called her for help. There is no delay. She doesn't carefully unbutton. Her cousin needs her? Shirt rip.

Just brilliant.

Writer Dan Jurgens wrote this. But it's Jack Herbert who brings the power to this.

This could be a t-shirt. A poster. A coffee mug.

I thought this was going to be #1 ... it almost was.

What got that honor?

1) 'Hope, Help, and Compassion For All' Redux - Supergirl #9

I get the sense that Orlando might be trying to get 'I choose Earth so we can save each other' as a tagline. But early in the year, I was floored when I saw 'Hope, Help, and Compassion for all' invoked as Supergirl's credo in Supergirl #9.

That saying was coined in the last issue of Sterling Gates' Adventures of Supergirl book. It was last year's #1 moment. We have heard Melissa Benoist say it in an episode of the Supergirl show. And now to have it in this continuity too! That gives this some heft. That gives this a sense of history.

I love that Supergirl has her own saying. I love that it is this saying. And I hope it keeps being her saying.

Hope, Help and Compassion for All. That works for me.

And so that ends my look back at 2017.

So what did I miss? Do you agree? What were your favorite moments??


Martin Gray said...

Great list, Anj!

Anonymous said...

I knew that JL 3001 moment would place high. It's great and makes me want a Supergirl book written by Giffen (let me rephrase that: A Kara Zor-El book. His record with other Supergirls isn't good).

I didn't think the Legion one-shot would rate high because Kara spends most of history in a coma, but...

"But when you get a Supergirl wearing her 70's hot pants costume, being revived by a Super-Bunny holding her in a Crisis pose, and then awakening and rushing into the arms of Brainiac Five for a kiss..."

... There is that.

"Superman Reborn was a huge part of this last year, unifying the two Supermen, officially ending the New 52, and rolling in a bunch of pre-Flashpoint super-history into the continuity.


I wish I could be just so glad, but I have many issues with the current mess of a continuity.

I wonder: What if DC had announced they were creating a new continuity WITHOUT torching the former how it was done back in the 50's? What if they had laid out a well-thought game plan where Superman and Supergirl would grow into their respective roles instead of spending five years moping, whining and angry with each other? The New 52 would have been better received? Still DC proved they haven't learned the lessons of the 1985 reboot (other than Superman being the "Only Son of Krypton" status is a stupid, outdated concept)

Supergirl #8 was full of great moments, but maybe my favorite was the family meeting.

Another favorite moment was Supergirl saving Superman from the Revenge Squad. And then, when the Superman Family arrives, she's the one is holding him.

"Escape from the Phantom Zone" was also full of memorable moments. Kara Zor-El and Barbara Gordon meeting once again. Kara and Babs having coffee. Kara hugging Babs in midair. Kara diving into a psychic storm dragon to save someone. Right like I loved the cousin relationship being restored, I enjoyed their friendship being canon again.

Anonymous said...

Good picks. I can't remember all the moments I loved this year but if there's anything to add to the list of the top of my head it would be almost any panel from Batgirl annual, the panel from DCSHG when Supergirl and Batgirl on a baticorn summons the power of Maximum Might of Maximum Friendship and something from Gotham City Garage, there are so many amazing panels there too - from the moment she spraypaints her jacket and deciding she fights for hope to convincing Dick that good can from bad places to meeting the bat and standing up to her fears and deciding to fight even though she knows in her bones she can't win, fear is a forge for hope.

KET said...

Interesting choices. I had forgotten about that Bugs Bunny/LSH special issue, which seems like a light-hearted appetizer for the latter's live-action Supergirl TV series debut in a few weeks. And while those moments from Supergirl #8 and 9 might seem fleeting to some, those are bits which emphasize ethics and character over the standard action fisticuffs. To me, those moments offer solid promises of more good story-telling to come.


Anonymous said...

I feel like this was a "rebuilding year" in the comics, a change of artists on the covers & interior art was most felicitious IMHO, the storylines generally track the TV's vibe which I think is a good thing. This has to be the most selflessly noble & altruistic version of Supergirl on record since the Imperial High Noon of the Silver Age, she is very "giving" in a moral & ethical way, that aspect of the character's core concept is very welcome indeed.
The Bugs Bunny-Legion mashup made me hungry for a miniseries spotlighting the hotpants-1970's version of SG maybe as a means to wrap up a few dangling storylines from that era (the on off superpowers, Nasthalthia Luthor, "Wanda Five" for example)...but then the whole feature was seemingly nothing but dangling storylines.
But if Amanda Connor and Mark Waid were somehow the creatives I'd mark out hard for the whole project believe me.
But thats mere fancy, if I have one wish for the comics in 2018 is that Supergirl NEEDS a fixed team affiliation, I don't care if it's the Metal Men at this point (hey she is the Girl of STEEL after all) but we need that settled. She shines in all her guest appearances as always but the lack of a team affiliation is holding the character back...some creative thinking is needed here.

Better Times are Coming


Anonymous said...

"if I have one wish for the comics in 2018 is that Supergirl NEEDS a fixed team affiliation"

Question is... what would her team look like.

She is way too functional to be in the Teen Titans.

I don't really see her with the Titans either. I don't know if it's just me, but I feel like the current iteration of the Titans have a bit too much "coolness" for Kara.

Kara can work in the context of a justice league, especially a larger Justice League like Justice League Unlimited where the world isn't dependent on bad guys not showing up during school hours. Given the continuity mess that Rebirth turned into, I foresee DC keeping character interactions to a minimum though to prevent questions they can't answer. While I would like Kara in a Justice League, there are too many reasons for DC to keep the trinity based justice league.

Young Justice could have worked, but I don't see DC being able to put that constellation back together anytime soon.

Birds of Prey is too dark imo for Kara. I am not a big fan of it to be honest. Batgirl has the potential to be a wonderful character like we see in DCSHG, Batgirl Annual, Mike Maihacks strips etc when she is in a happy company. Birds of Prey is the opposite of the right company for Babs.

I think the best constellation for Kara would be with characters that bring out each others light. An SBFF team with Kara, Babs and a few others.. maybe one or more of Stargirl, Blue Beetle, Miss Martian, Bumblebee. I would love to place Jon in there as well.. not because his character would necessarily fit with them from the start, but because his character would be better off being shaped with Kara and positive influences than by Damian.

KET said...

"But thats mere fancy, if I have one wish for the comics in 2018 is that Supergirl NEEDS a fixed team affiliation..."

Sorry, but I can't really agree. Outside of the Superhero Girls, Supergirl's basic concept has usually been as the original DIY heroine, although she does enjoy the occasional team-up (such as with Batgirl in the comics, or the upcoming appearance of the LSH on TV). However, with new televised media series on the horizon (such as Titans and Krypton), there may soon be some new optional ideas becoming available, though.


Anonymous said...

Honestly, my favorite Supergirl moments in comics this year were every time Artgerm released another of his jaw-dropping variant covers. Ye godz, those things are gorgeous.

Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments. I really love hearing other people’s ideas.

This has been a very good year for Supergirl and I think everyone’s comments over the last three days have been a testament to that.

Anonymous said...

"But thats mere fancy, if I have one wish for the comics in 2018 is that Supergirl NEEDS a fixed team affiliation"

I agree. She needs a team affiliation to increase her exposure and hopefully earn new fans.

I'd like Lobo left the JLA and was replaced with Supergirl and Martian Manhunter since DC is determined to ignore J'onn.

Anonymous said...

Oh and a rematch with the Reverse Flash on TV...cuz that guy wanted to cut her heart out, thats just sick!! Bust em' one in the schnoz Kara!