Monday, May 18, 2020

Supergirl #41 And #42 Now Digital Only

It has been a very tough year for Supergirl in regards to her own title.

For me (and I feel for many) the series has suffered a series of creative missteps since the Brian Michael Bendis era on the Superman books began.  Bendis himself has treated Kara with a great deal of respect in the Superman titles. But in her own books, and in the wider DCU, Supergirl has been a mess. From angry, overly emotional, near murderous axe-wielding space explorer to angry, evil, near murderous, 'Batman Who Laughs' victim, Kara has been hardly super or heroic.

Of course, I have said over and over during my 12 years running this site that a dark and grim take on Supergirl never works, DC always returns to the scene of that creative crime. The last few issues of the book we have a literally unrecognizable Supergirl terrorizing Smallville and fighting Wonder Woman.

The book was announced and canceled. And then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, shelving comics as a whole for over a month.

With comic companies just starting to shake of the dust and put out books again, Supergirl has now been cast aside near completely by DC. The last two issues of this series won't even see print. They will be available digitally only and included in the last trade. Here is a link to that news:

This decision just shows me, once again, that DC simply doesn't care about Supergirl.

When the last arc of your superhero book is 'I'm The Bad Guy', it is probably time to pull the plug and start fresh.

But this seems almost cruel to Supergirl fans out there. It is an ignoble ending to a Rebirth volume which started with such high aspirations and a Supergirl who espoused 'help, hope, and compassion for all'.

Once again, I am left to think that DC just doesn't care about the Supergirl IP or its fan base. At this moment, a Supergirl show is on prime time and drawing millions of viewers weekly. You would think that some DC could capitalize on this mainstream knowledge somehow.

Or, you would think that with Bendis on the Superman books and with the themes of 'House of El' and family, that the editors of Superman would look at that characterization of Kara and roll it over into her own book. Keep the super-family books consistent in character and theme.

But instead we have this mockery of Supergirl that won't be printed.

One last slap in the face.

Hey, I get it. In the grand scheme of things maybe it is better for DC to keep the Metal fans happy. Why bother with a presumably niche character like Supergirl. But it seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face. You can nurture other markets and other buying blocs.

Perhaps the craziest part of all of this is that right now DC has Amethyst, Young Justice, and Naomi on the shelves. Squint a little and Naomi could be a Supergirl book. Roll Supergirl into Wonder Comics (like Mart Gray keeps saying). Get someone who loves the character to write the book (I think Sterling Gates is still out there!). Get someone who loves the character to edit the book. Keep people who don't care about the character away from the book creatively or editorially. Don't let her be a victim in a company-wide crossover.

It's that simply.

The last year of the book and the cancellation left a sour taste in my mouth.

Refusing the print the last two issues? That just hurts.


kenkraly2004 said...

To that I will say this #GiveUsNewSupergirlComics

Anonymous said...

I hope some day someone writes a book about what goes on behind the doors at DC. I would like to know how a company with close to a century of experience can sometimes be so bad at what they do.

You don't even see fanfics that misses the mark this much.

A hero is a name, a costume, a history, a personality and a set of values they want to impart. They only retained the name. They even forgot about her history and what she had already overcome (and that we already had this arc 6 months earlier).

Anonymous said...

Wow they couldn't even finish it in singles. What a load. I loath DC right now.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else just "feeling the hate" from DC right now? The absolute utter contempt of this decision is....utterly typical of DC. I don't think DC "doesn't care about Supergirl" I think DC actively hates the character and her fanbase. I think it triggers shame and embarrassment on some corporate level and that is why we get such hateful hurtful treatment. WE the fans are in a classic abusive relationship with our corporate "partner". There is no other way to describe it. I want out thats all I can tell you. These idiots are so self destructive they don't even deserve my contempt, anyone who can abusively mismanage a character with a huge multimedia/merchandising profile like this, needs to be escaped from, I've no desire to be around when they implode.

F**K DC and the Horse the Rode in On...


Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

"General Corvid has come for our hero" it's me or this name is a very bad joke ?

If someone is looking for a good fan comic of supergirl, i recommend this link :
The author is Sarah Leuver.

Unknown said...

I know how much you like Supergirl; I'm sorry that the CW cancelled the Supergirl show.

Unknown said...

I really enjoy your blog. I like the fact that you say what's on your mind without sugar-coating your feelings. And your writing is insightful and deep. Keep up the good work!!

Anonymous said...

The CW has not cancelled Supergirl, the show is on hiatus, driven by Covid19 concerns and MB's will be back in 2021.

Anonymous said...

DC: Here is Rebirth Kara
Readers: Yaaaay!
DC: Hmmm, how about... Angry Kara with an axe?
Readers: Booooo!
DC: Hmmm. *solicits even angrier Kara*
Readers: Please, just don't. People won't buy that.
DC: *keeps making angry Kara issue after issue without course correction as sales dwindle*
DC: Female comics don't sell. *cancels*
Readers: What?
DC: We said female comics don't sell *doesn't print last two issues*
Readers: What, why are you punishing us for your shitty idea that we told you explicitly wouldn't work?
DC: If you want to own the ending, you have to pay twice for the issues you never wanted in the first place.

Carey said...

Oddly enough, looking at the February sales charts, Supergirl is selling almost double the amount that Metal Men are, but the later will be allowed to publish In print its final 6 issues, as opposed to the former with just two issues to go. I suppose it helps that the Metal Men is written by the former publisher...

Meanwhile, with the cancellation of Harley Quinn in August we are left with two regular female fronted titles from DC: Wonder Woman and Batgirl. The August covers for those titles show the former about to have her eyeball stabbed with a syringe; while the later’s titular character is shown unconscious, hung upside down and covered in blood, while behind her is a man with a crowbar.

Is it just me, or does the regular DC Universe editors simply not like women?

The only real hope I have for DC anymore lies in its youth/YA publishing arm, and the fact that both Supergirl: Being Super and Adventures in the 8th Grade are being reformatted for this range leads me to hope for more in that format in the future if these two sell well.

Anonymous said...

These 2 final issues looked like they were designed to lead to some kind of redemption or at least partial redemption. It's hard to see how Supergirl could regain the trust of the military that quickly, but perhaps Houser tried. But DC doesn't want it.

How will the conclusion even be marketed? Do they think LCS will tell customers these books exist or where to find them? Why would they do that?

Marvel started this, announcing several titles that would go digital-only. DC didn't do it until then. And even then, there was never an actual direct announcement from DC.

Half of DC titles sell fewer copies than Supergirl, many only HALF as many. And most of them don't have the more profitable card stock covers. I don't just mean the "secondary" lines (Wonder Comics, Joe Hill comics, Vertigo all of which have ridiculously low sales), but the regular super-hero monthlies. It's a huge list, including other titles ending soon, like Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, and Amethyst.

The only other title going digital-only is The Terrifics. And it also sells HALF of Supergirl. And gets no profitable card stock cover.

There's no business sense behind this, just a kind of sadism - to a fan base that was buying more copies of Supergirl than half of their monthly titles. It's a dysfunction. Like a battered spouse - you can wait and hope but it's just not going to get better!

DiDio is gone so isn't it time to blame Jim Lee? Why does he always slide under the radar? It's the Publisher who makes business decisions. Even when DiDio is around, DiDio got all the blame but Lee was co-publisher. And now he's sole publisher.

Who after all decided to put Supergirl out digital-only, or greenlit it? The editors? Of course not. It's a business decision.

Under him, we now have the daily "digital-firsts" that are actually "digital-LASTS" - as they have been, to-date, repurposed material previously published in Giants. In other words, he announced a fraud. They are not only not first, they aren't even same day digitals. (Maybe they will bypass the Giants content eventually.)

We have a market thrown into chaos by DC switching to a Tuesday on-sale date - which is causing more problems at the local comic book store level than you would believe! It will also cause chaos in the online reviewing community, will lead to spoilers, and to competition among local stores who work with Diamond vs. other distributors. Digital same-day will be released a day ahead of most retailers.

He's now also responsible for giving us the upcoming 26-book six-month-long Joker War event, and in the rest of the line we get the Jokerized Batman Hell. So if your last name is Snyder or Tynion and you like to write horror, you are working at the right place.

And he's introduced something DC has shied away from for years - retailer incentive variants. Marvel never stopped doing this, but DC has only recently re-begun, and very, very rarely. But now there are more and more and more extra variant covers, being sold in 1:25, 1:50 and 1:100 ratios. Check out the August solicits - there are SEVEN such books being printed. Retailers hate this. It's a move purely for speculators.

Why isn't anybody going after Lee yet? He gets a pass because he's drawing for charity right now, but his decisions for DC are awful.


Anonymous said...

And yes, I was also going to call out Metal Men. Seems it's hands off on DiDio, and hands off on Bendis (thus Amethyst, but also Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen get a pass). Hands off on Joe Hill and the other creators they made deals with (like the Last Gods guy). Hands off Vertigo, Sandman Universe - some kind of deal with Gaiman? There's no other way to explain the lousy-selling books they keep on publishing, than some kind of contracts no one is aware of, or people they don't want to cross.

Dysfunctional relationships don't get better. Supergirl fans were screaming for a year and DC only made the book worse. They basically served the character up to serve Snyder's and Tynion's horror vision.


Anonymous said...

To the french reader above. I too love Sarah's work. She writes a great Supergirl.

/K said...

Hey Anonymous, thanks a lot for the good news!! I had no idea!! I haven't heard or seen anything about Supergirl being on hiatus!! Thanks again!!

Professor Feetlebaum said...

It's no use trying to make sense out of DC's treatment of Supergirl, because NOTHING they do regarding Supergirl makes sense. First, she isn't cured of the infection in her own book, now we're not even going to get the final 2 issues in print form.

Would it have been too difficult to combine the contents of issues 41 and 42 into one double size "final" issue, and charge 8 dollars for it? They wouldn't have to do the variant covers, just print those in the trade.