Thursday, December 31, 2020

Supergirl Best Of 2020 Part 1 - Honorable Mentions And Best Moments #10-#6

2020 has been the best of times and the worst of times.

Actually, it has mostly been the worst of times.

Unfortunately, for Supergirl, it has mostly been the worst of times. We started the year with her infected by the Batman Who Laughs and fighting Wonder Woman. We end the year with no Supergirl book on the shelves. In fact, the last two issues of her book were given the shameful demise of digital only release. And as the book ends, we have a Supergirl still wanted by the military, reeling from her possession and infection, and trying to find her place in the world.

These dark takes always end the same.

Supergirl is restored to the optimistic, bright, 'compassion for all' character and claims Earth as her home. In the 12 years I have been running this sight, I think I have seen her claim Earth as home 7 times. It's a little ridiculous.

But this is 2020. So we don't even get that!

Here Supergirl says maybe someday Earth will feel like home.

All right, enough lamenting. I come to praise 2020, not bury it. Thankfully, Brian Michael Bendis has always had a good sense of who Kara should be. His name is all over this list, predominantly from the last several months and the House of El. Hooray for that! But it also means there were slim picking from her own book.

Let's jump into the good stuff!

Best Cover - Supergirl #41 by Carmine DeGiandomenico

This is the time where Supergirl is still hallucinating despite being cured of the Batman Who Laughs plague.

The cover shows Supergirl being crushed by these horrific visions. But the nifty thing is how DeGiandomenico makes her the S in an S-shield. So the pressure of the symbol is also implied.

This is very creative. So even though the story is pretty lousy, this image is tops.

Best Non-Comic Use - Supergirl: An Origin Story

After months of Supergirl terrorizing Smallville dressed up like a reject from the Riott Squad, I was feeling dejected. Would anyone understand Supergirl anymore?

Then we got the children's book Supergirl: An Origin Story by Steven Brezenoff and Dario Brizuela.

It's so wonderful and boils the ethos down.

"Earth saved us when we needed help. We should help Earth back."

Maybe we need a Supergirl All Ages book. 

And now onto the best comic moments of the year.

Honorable Mention - Action Comics #1026

Only one Honorable Mention this year.

The Uber-Parasite from another dimension has been released to fight our heroes. He had killed the Superman of his world. And now he wants to feast on our heroes.

Thankfully Brainiac 5 is there to shrink him. 

I love how Bendis makes Supergirl such a loving young person. She thinks this little Parasite is adorable. She even wants to keep him, like a pet I suppose.

This bright, smiling Kara seeing cuteness in things is perfect.

More from #1026 throughout the list.

Honorable Mention - Wonder Woman #750

The Bombshell Supergirl is grieving the death of her sister Stargirl who sacrificed herself to save the world. This was a powerful moment in that book. Supergirl was ready to die to save the world, completely evocative of the Crisis and actually a top ten moment back in 2016!

Here, in Wonder Woman #750 we see Diana helping Kara cope with her grief so that once again she can venture out as a heroic Supergirl again. Nice look back at these characters and this time in their lives by Marguerite Bennett and Laura Braga.

Number 10 - Action Comics #1026

One thing that Brian Michael Bendis brought to Supergirl was strategy and intelligence. Whenever she is seen in his books, she is a smart fighter and a natural leader. 

When you're fighting the Parasite, you need to keep your distance. 

After Conner mistakenly jumps directly into hand-to-hand and almost dies, Kara uses her brain. Picking up a girder, she slams him across the back and then uses that as a cattle prod to push the villain into Brainiac's trap.


Number 9 - Superman 24

As I said, 2020 wasn't a great year for Supergirl. So even cameos, like this one in Superman #24, can make it on a top ten list. 

Still, Brian Michael Bendis and John Timms give us a snapshot of Supergirl when she was an agent of the DEO, actually doing good!

Moreover, we once again see her using some combat techniques, holding an alien at bay with her leg while she hogties him. And then she finishes him off with a double fisted knockout. That second panel she looks fierce.

Plus, using a lasso? Is Bendis saying Kara's pre-New 52 Amazon training happened?

Number 08 - Supergirl #42

I know I kind of trashed this ending earlier. But the truth is, at least we have a cured Supergirl looking to the future here.

Krypto at her side, "Never the end' - a sort of never-ending battle slogan, flying into the screen. It is a hopeful ending. And it did happen in a Supergirl title. 

Better this than the demonic clown look.

I know.  Low bar.

Number 7 - Action Comics #1025

I said earlier how Bendis makes Kara intelligent, smart, strategic. In many ways, he makes her a natural leader (we'll definitely see more of that later in this list).

But she also has wisdom beyond her years. We see here, in Action Comics #1025, she gives Superman some advice.

Upset that Melody Moore has been killed, Superman is almost off kilter. It is Kara that has to remind him of his own advice. Even he can't be everywhere at once.

Again, Bendis makes Supergirl the complex character she should be. She has been through a lot so she knows loss. She is smart, strategic, adept in combat. But she is also bright, happy young woman who can think shrunken villains are cute.

Great stuff.

Number 6 - Action Comics #1028

The Brian Michael Bendis run was coming to an end. In his last issue, he gives us a tour of the Superman universe, including his take on the super-family.

Here we see the bright, cheery, confident, and strong Supergirl we always want. 

Superman thanks her for saving their lives.

Supergirl welcomes Conner into the family and tells him he'll be okay. She has been there. Heck, she can be a mentor of sorts.

The whole page is great. But the Supergirl stuff is just fantastic.

All right!

That covers the first half of my top ten 2020 Supergirl comic moments!

See the rest of the list Monday!


Martin Gray said...

Well done in finding the gold among the straw! I suppose Kara was on trend in getting infected, and those last two books being digital only perhaps protected a few people.... hey, I’m trying here!

Thank goodness for Brian Michael Bendis and friends. I do hope she gets a Wonder Comics series in 2021, or joins Jon in the Legion, without abandoning this century.

I look forward to part two!

Daxam1978 said...

I really enjoyed HOUSE OF KENT probably my favourite story of the BMB era.
It was great to see the "real" SUPERGIRL.
I'd like to wish you, anj,Martin & everyone else who frequents this excellent blog a happy & healthy new year 😊👍

Anj said...

Yes, House of Kent gave me a number of the top ten.

See you tomorrow for the rest of the list!

Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

I approve of this top 10, we had somme bright moments this year.

You forgot the announcement of the last season for the supergirl TV, can be a top 10 of tv series for 2021 ?

Anonymous said...

You've really "taken one for the team" this year, so thanks for making such a strong effort in such a dreary year for Cousin Kara. My own favorite version of Supergirl currently, is the snarky tomboy on least she wants to prove herself in the hero racket when she isn't trolling rock concerts.