Friday, January 4, 2019

Top Ten Supergirl Moments Of 2018 - #5 - #1

Welcome to the culmination of all things Supergirl in comics for the year of 2018.

On Tuesday, I reviewed all the non-comic Supergirl moments from this last year.

Yesterday, I started covering the top ten Supergirl comic moments of 2018, revealing my honorable mentions and moments 10 through 6.

I have to say, the top 4 really were in the running. It is always cool in my mind when I read a moment during the year and say 'this is going to be a top ten moment'. But it is the most rarefied air when I see something and anticipate a top three moment. This year, I thought for sure #4 would be in the top three. But something snuck in under the deadline to move it back a slot.

Perhaps most telling is that 2 of the top 4 appeared in Brian Michael Bendis' Man of Steel. Considering this was a mini-series set to redefine Superman, the fact that many of us were worried that Supergirl might be swept under the rug, the fact that she has such great moments was both surprising and reassuring to me that Bendis had the whole family in mind in this book.

I also will say that given the mini-reboots and reaffirmations and redirecting of Supergirl over my time at this site, one of these moments feels a little bit familiar, in a good way.

So with no further ado, here are the Top Five Supergirl Comic Moments of 2018.

#5 - 'Other people don't get to decide' - Supergirl #19

When Supergirl Rebirth happened, one of the initial questions in my mind was just how much of her New 52 history carried forward. We were told all of it.

In Supergirl #19, Steve Orlando brought back one of the more interesting turns of that earlier book. Here, while talking to Lee about gender identity, Kara references about how angry she was early in her time on Earth in the face of fear and hatred aimed at her. It was so bad she became a Red Lantern. It was only after a time of introspection did she realize that anger wasn't the true her. She was letting others define who she was and she shouldn't let that happen.

In the same way, Lee can't let others who fear or hate them or change who they are.

It is a nice moment, discussing identity and prejudice all while leaning into Kara's history. It is gorgeously rendered by Jamal Campbell. I loved that Orlando recognized that all of that stuff happened. And I love how he used it for this teaching moment.

#4 - 'Reverse Crisis' - Man of Steel #5

In Man of Steel #5 as written by Brian Michael Bendis, Superman and Rogol Zaar throw down on the moon.

Supergirl heads to the mind to find her battered cousin half buried in the dust. She picks him up and flies him off.

There is no doubt in my mind this is an intentional homage to the cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 but with the roles reversed. Here it is Supergirl cradling the injured body of her cousin who just fought a huge threat to the world.

When I saw this I thought immediately that this would be a top three moment. Crisis #7 is such a huge moment in Supergirl's history. So doing a sort of mash-up of it was fantastic. And it's drawn by Adam Hughes no less!

#3 - 'No orphanages' - DC's Nuclear Winter Special #1

This one slipped in just under the radar!

Writer Tom Taylor gives us a post-apocalyptic story of Kara protecting the last living human girl on Earth. Desperate times call for desperate measures and Kara intends to rocket her adoptive daughter off of Earth to a planet that will sustain her. But when the girl cries, Kara remembers her own trauma.

She won't let strangers raise this girl. She will rocket out there with her. There are no guarantees this way. But Supergirl won't let this girl be alone.

Much like #5, this one really leans into Kara's history. She isn't Kal, rocketed away when a baby. She remembers everyone and everything. This is much more traumatizing to her. She knows those feelings of loneliness and isolation and how she responded. She won't make anyone suffer like she did.

This is a wonderful moment. And newcomer Yasmin Putri shines on art.

#2 - 'Deja vu all over again' - Supergirl #20

Bendis was coming! Superman was being given a bold, new direction. And that meant Steve Orlando and Jody Houser's run on Supergirl had to come to an end.

It really was a shame.

Because Orlando and Houser had really started to gain some momentum on the book. The grand scope of the original book had been tightened. We were really focusing on Supergirl as a young hero, her life as Kara Danvers, and her supporting cast. She finally had accepted her life on Earth. She was happy, proud, and ready to inspire. This is a majestic shot by Robson Rocha.

So of course DC pulled the plug!

It sort of reminds me of when Tony Bedard had her accept Earth as her home right after the Red Lantern story (see #1 from 2014) .

This reminds me of prior Top Ten moments. This is similar to how Sterling Gates/Jamal Igle ended there run (see #1 from 2010)

Yep, it seems like every four years a creative team has brought Supergirl right where she needs to be only to have DC decide that want to go another way.

My guess is the Orlando run will look better and better the farther we get from it.

And yet, that isn't in the number 1 moment!

#1 - 'Here she comes to save the day!' - Man of Steel #6

In Brian Michael Bendis' Man of Steel, intergalactic warlord Rogol Zaar heads to Earth to cleanse it (and the universe) of Kryptonians.

There seems to be no way to defeat Zaar as no matter what the cousins throw at him, Zaar seems to shrug it off. It is Kara who is definitely the aggressor in their fights, charging in with flurries of punches and shoulders to the gut. But even solar flares and heat vision seems more of a nuisance than a threat to Zaar.

Just when Superman seems to give up hope in ever defeating Zaar, Kara arrives with the answer - the Phantom Zone Projector.

In essence, she saves the day. She is the hero her, vanquishing the enemy by thinking smartly and strategically.  Without Supergirl, Zaar might have killed Superman and blown up the Earth.

For someone who was worried that Kara would be forgotten or mistreated, seeing her be active, pro-active, and strong was amazing. And having her end this battle was amazing. Jason Fabok really nails this impressive shot.

Okay, so that's the list.

What do people think? Any moments I have forgotten? Any thing you would rank higher or lower?

Thanks for everyone who comes here. Thank you to all the creators who gave Supergirl such great stories. And welcome 2019!


Anonymous said...

Hard to argue with your Top . Maybe I'd rank #2 a bit lower or replace it with other moment such like Kara simultaneously punching and blasting Zaar in AC #1000, but it's a good choice.

"So of course DC pulled the plug!"

Of course. DC can NOT let Supergirl progress or move forward. They can't let her have a stable setting, developed supporting cast, recurring Rogues' Gallery or backstory. And then they'll wonder why sales are low (before blaming the character rather than their mismanagement)

I loved the number 1 moment. And did you notice how Superman did NOT mind that it was his cousin who came up with a way to save the day? It's funny. So many SM so-called fans complained that CW ruined Superman completely, and still Superman disregarding his ego is comic canon since at least 1961.

Martin Gray said...

A wonderful list, as ever. I would have kicked out number 5 because:

a) I'm averse to teachable moments;

b) Very Special Issues, no matter how correct in their sentiments, aren't my thing - this one didn't arise organically, even though Ben Rubel could have been the kid, he always seemed to have a secret. Instead, we were told to empathise with a character we'd almost certainly ever see again, and so it proved;

c) Actually, Supergirl WAS that angry person, no one was telling her who to be.

But what would I put in its place. Hmmm. How about Scooby-Doo Team-Up (print version) #37? It was a nifty mash-up of Supergirl continuities, with sharp script, gorgeous art... and Streaky!

Anj said...

Interesting comment Mart.

I liked that moment for a couple of reasons. Mostly, I liked how it at least looked back at history and said it still happened. This was Rebirth Supergirl, but that Red Lantern story still happened, those stories still happened. Second, I think Kara sort of regrets all that nonsense. Yes, she was that angry girl ... but she didn't need to be. Maybe she shouldn't have been.

Yes, overall I thought that issue was a bit 'very special'. But that moment stood out.

Anj said...

Also forgot about the excellent Scooby Doo issue.

Yes, lots of great moments in that book!!!

Anonymous said...

Great list. My personal number 1 was Last Daughters but the projector was awesome too.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anj. Thanks again for putting together these Top lists! NO ONE can deny your love for Supergirl! And I appreciate
the looks into comics as -- much as I'm ashamed to admit -- rather behind on my issues of Supergirl. Thanks Kindly!

Kinda wish you had time to go into more depth of the DCSHG media -- I admit I'm somewhat biased towards this, but Fontana
and co have just been hitting it out of the park with this series this year, and there's been some GREAT Supergirl moments
to die for! specifically Bottle Episode 504, For the Girl Who Has Everything 518, Fortress of Solidarity 521 -- I still
get chills at the final scene of this one -- and let's not forget DC Super Hero Girls: Legends of Atlantis, which shows us
some GREAT Supergirl/Batgirl friendship moments! Not to take away from this year's TheCW crossover, that was a GREAT moment
between Supergirl and Batwoman, but WAAAAAAY too short! Here's hoping next year's crossover does merge TheCW universes!

Happy 60th Anniversary, Supergirl!! Even if DC manages to forget it, we as fans shouldn't :)


Anonymous said...

"b) Very Special Issues, no matter how correct in their sentiments, aren't my thing - this one didn't arise organically, even though Ben Rubel could have been the kid, he always seemed to have a secret. Instead, we were told to empathise with a character we'd almost certainly ever see again, and so it proved;

c) Actually, Supergirl WAS that angry person, no one was telling her who to be."

I'm not a big fan of Very Special Issues either... especially when a writer knows his run is about to be cut short and decides to focus one of his final issues on a character who will never be seen again rather than pace his plot properly, just so he can teach us things we already know.

I also agree nobody was forcing Kara to be an angry girl. Maybe she means that wasn't her usual behavior? All available evidence points out that she was a nice, well-adjusted girl before crashing on Siberia.

I'm failry sure Ben's great reveal was he is bi. In the end of #19 Ben is talking to his mother on the phone, and we have the next dialogue:

"Who's Lee, dear? Your girlfriend?"
"Girlfriend? You know I don't just--"

Anonymous said...

"Scooby Doo Team Up" #37 would again, be my only addition, chiefly because of its successful deep dive into Supergirl's pre-crisis continuity and made funny/effective use of long disused characters (Fred, Edna, Nasthalthia, Streaky). It was mined a dependable bronze age trope "Supergirl can team up with anyone and sell it".
I agree otherwise with Our Host's other nominees, the big standout being the very humane and sentimental Christmas Story we got earlier this month, wherein The Maid of Might goes from temperamental to tender in about five pages...


Anonymous said...

Injustice vs MoTU had a really nice Kara moment in the last issue, with Kara shown working to restore the name of the House of El. Having Kara being the light that brings hope back into the darkness that is the Injustice world is a wonderful start for the next year of Supergirl moments.

(Then of course the same issue had a less proud Supergirl moment when she ripped Two-Bad in half, but hey, it is the Injustice world after all :D )

Anonymous said...

I would also point out that it seems clear to me that the most mature and transparent and life affirming emotional relationship Supergirl currently has in her core with Krypto the Superdog.


Daxam1978 said...

Thanks for such a brilliant website!😁
I've become more of a SUPERGIRL fan last few years,love the silver age stuff!

Anj said...

Thanks everyone for comments.

Glad 2018 treated Kara so well.