Friday, January 1, 2021

Supergirl Best Of 2020 Part 2 - Top Five Comic Moments of 2020!

Yesterday, I posted the first half of my Year in Review, looking at the best Supergirl comic moments of 2020.

As I said then, while Supergirl's own title was something of a disaster for me, she had some very nice moments in the main Superman books. It amazes me that Brian Michael Bendis is the writer of 7 of the Top Ten Moments. That shows you how little Supergirl was seen in 2020 and more importantly how well she was treated in books outside Bendis' purview.

But as I said, I am here to praise 2020, not bury it. 

There are some very nice Supergirl moments to report. In particular, the top two ran so neck and neck that they may as well have been 1a and 1b in my mind. Also, one of the moments today is actually doesn't have Supergirl in it! How is that going to be possible.

So let's jump right into it! Here are the top 5 Supergirl comic moments of 2020!

Number 5 - Other History of the DC Universe

John Ridley and Giuseppe Camuncoli recently released the first issue of this Black Label oversized series looking at the mainstream history of the DCU through the eyes of marginalized and minority characters. The first character was Black Lightning. In the story, we hear how Jefferson Pierce has some issues with the established heroes.

In a wonderful surprise, Ridley seems to understand some of the underlying concepts of Supergirl ... at least my Supergirl. Despite some concerns about Superman, Black Lightning sees Supergirl for the bright, joyful young girl she is. She has survived so much. She has strived. She is a hero. She represents resiliency. Even Pierce wonders if the arrival of Supergirl is some sort of new dawn for the world.

And Camuncoli does a great job of mimicking the feel of the Silver Age without giving us a straight up copy. 

That's pretty great.

Number 4 - Superman #22

Okay, you might glance at the number four top moment's panels and realize that Supegirl isn't there.

This is true.

But as I have said, writer Brian Michael Bendis really treats Supergirl well. She is smart, innovative, strategic.

So when Superman is once again fighting Mongul and a Warworld. we see The Man Of Steel pull out a move from Supergirl's playbook. He does a hairpin turn and flies like a bullet through the planet. Yes, it was at least 4 continuities ago but it is a Supergirl move, from here!

I think that is just brilliant. I mean not only does Bendis have Superman emulating Supergirl, he also acknowledges Supergirl's comic book history. Trust me, not every writer who touches Supergirl recognizes her greater than 60 year history.

Loved this!

Number 3 - Action Comics #1026

Did I tell you that Bendis considers Supergirl as a leader and a strategist?

Here, just as the uber-Parasite has wrecked Conner, the Super-family seems a bit scattered.

It is Kara who takes charge telling the team (including Superman) to listen up and back down. Now that alone, Supergirl becoming the field general, would be a great moment.

But I love that Jon is right there saying 'I think we should listen to Aunt Kara!' That's right Superboy realizes that his aunt is a better battle leader than his father.

Small moments like these, when you splice them all together, show just how much respect Bendis has for Supergirl.

Number 2 - Action Comics #1024

But wait, Bendis recognizes that there is more to Supergirl than being a intelligent warrior. 

She is hope, help, and compassion for all! She doesn't want to see anyone hurting.

In Action #1024, Melody Moore has been killed by The Red Cloud. Superman comes across her body and is crushed with sadness and guilt.

Supergirl doesn't know what has gone down and shows up all smiles. But she immediately sees the anguish on her cousin's face. All the smiles go away. She know what he needs. A shoulder to lean on. Family to help him deal. That's high EQ.

We get this silent panel of Superman just collapsing into Kara. And more importantly, we see Kara holding him up.

Others might have had her enraged, red eyes smoking, vowing vengeance. But that ain't Supergirl.  

This is Supergirl.  Recognizing when people need help. Compassion for all.

Thought for sure this would be the #1 moment.

Number 1 - Action Comics #1027

No surprise that it is another Brian Michael Bendis moment from the recent House of El arc.

With most of the subplots tied up, there is nothing left for the heroes but the wrap-up. 

Earlier Supergirl had wondered why she hadn't been asked to join the Legion and Brainy had hinted to wait and see. She then asks him for some tidbit about her future.

He whispers something into her ear, something we don't hear.

And then she says she'll see him there.

For old school fans, those of us who believe in the Brainy/Supergirl relationship, this was the perfect tease. What is it he whispered? That she joins the Legion? That they fight again in some battle? That they go out on a date and she'll meet him where he asked her to go?

Like I said above, this is all acknowledging Supergirl's history in a new bright way. She has been integral to the wrap-up of the Invisible Mafia story. She has helped Superman emotionally and in battle. And now she gets a little bright spot of her own.

I want to see more of Kara and Brainy.

I want to see more of this Supergirl. 

Enough of the Mistress of the Axe. Enough of the Goth Clown. Enough of the addled hallucinating hero mistakenly bashing her way through homes.

Give me the fierce, strong, confident, compassionate, bright, optimistic Supergirl. 

So that wraps up 2020.

Any moments I missed? Agree with the list? Please let me know in the comments!


Anonymous said...

I'll say the same thing I say at the beginning of every year whether Kara Zor El is at Low Ebb or at Flood Tide, "Behold, I teach you the Supergirl! ...She is that lightning, She is that madness! Apologies to Friedrich Nietzsche...:)


Anonymous said...

Good choices. It's hard to find the best moments when most of the appearances are a panel or two.

I'm not any good at ranking things, so I don't know if I'd fit these into a top 10. I would definitely include them in a top 20, because that wouldn't be hard. There just wasn't that much competition.

In Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last 52 - War of the Multiverses, there's a story called "First & Last Men" by Magdalene Visaggio, drawn and colored by Paul Pelletier, Norm Rapmund and Adriano Lucas, where Supergirl is the one to rally all the Supermen to carry on the fight as Superman falters. She says "Superman doesn't ever give up ... and we are ALL Superman" as she leads Jon, Conner, Steel, Cyborg Superman (Hank Henshaw I think), Lex, probably Zod (I think he's off-panel), and perhaps that's Eradicator in yellow sunglasses, into further battle against the dark Supermen. (I don't love the choice of words, but it suits the theme and the story title.)

In Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last Stories of the DC Universe, story "Man of Tomorrow" by Mark Waid, drawn beautifully by Francis Manapul, Superman travels back an hour, countless times, so he can be as close to everywhere at once as possible, and there's a wordless panel where he pauses from his efforts as he and Supergirl embrace in a hug. I guess just to fortify him for the moment. Kind of a compliment to the hugging moment in Action #1024.

Another nice little appearance is the story "Stay Centered" in Batgirl #50, by Cecil Castelluci, drawn by Marguerite Sauvage. Batgirl is called in to help fight an invasion, but is then turned away by Martian Manhunter because Supergirl has also been called in to handle it. It's mostly about Batgirl being dismissed/overlooked, but the Supergirl moment is good. She shows up holding a takeout coffee cup, and sympathetically offers Batgirl the job if she wants it. Batgirl declines, and Supergirl takes off to handle things. It's just a nice moment - a final (for now, at least) nod to their existing friendship that hasn't gotten focus since early in the most recent run of Supergirl, and in the Batgirl Annual of around the same time. (Hard to say why the friendship hasn't been featured - if you can put Batman and Superman together every single month, and can produce several Super Sons series over the years including a new one that just started, why can't there be a lot of Batgirl/Supergirl stories? All are World's Finest.)

As for covers, the Artgerm variant cover for Dark Nights: Death Metal #3 is a standout, standing tough while surrounded by flame. But we could equally credit any of the 8 or 9 variants Derrick Chew drew during the last year of Supergirl, including the last two that were never printed. I think he's outdone Artgerm, working in a similar style. These were a great relief vs. the Infected "Kiss" Supergirl main covers and stories. All are vividly colored and striking digital paintings. #33, holding up a school bus full of kittens; #34, floating with a very happy Krypto under an arm, surrounded by doves; and several drawings of dynamic action. I guess I might put "Derrick Chew variant covers" as a whole as a single entry in a Top Ten list. (Is that cheating?)


Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

With this top, i realize that supergirl has treated much butter as a meber of the superman family in action comic than her own solo book .. this is sad.

We could also do a top 10 for krypto, he was everywhere too .. and streaky is only appeared in a horrible death metal spinoff.
Sometimes, i fell like streaky the supercat and the supergirl & batgirl friendship are just easter eggs for the fans, the elements are hardly mentioned in the main story.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.

TN - Its funny, the hug moments in Death Metal almost made the cut but with the hug moments at #2, it felt a bit redundant. But I thought about it! Also, the Visaggio moment was just read by me last night! Hard to know if it would have been on the list had it been released earlier! But all good moments

I forgot about the ArtGerm cover, probably because it sold out before I could get it. Beautiful.

French Fan - yes, Krypto had lots of great moments this year, mostly stopping people from murdering! I avoided the Streaky story … I was warned.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

So that's 3 years in a row now that a Bendis written Supergirl moment has made the top spot (I checked). Also 3 in a row outside of a regular Supergirl title. Now that Bendis is leaving the Superman books, it may be time to retire his number...unless he brings Kara into the Legion. I can't believe he would tease those panels with Supergirl and Brainiac 5 and not have intentions to follow through. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Martin Gray said...

I’d say numbers three and four are my picks, but blimey, it’s hard to find these things outside of Action Comics. You’ll remember at the time how excited I was about the Mongul moment, that was such a treat for Olde Time fans like us.

Isn’t it funny that in the several decades we’ve been getting mini-series Superman and Supergirl have never had so much as a dedicated four-issue team-up. When they’re both in sane mode, they always shine. Perhaps Brian Bendis could give us to request it!

Anonymous said...

Does Maelstrom count? I think it was 4 issues. And I liked it.


Martin Gray said...

Wow, well done. I have no memory of this at all. Perhaps I ignored it because stories set on Apokolips tend to bore me. Good creative team, though, I should take a look.

Anj said...


That was 11 years ago! Reviewed here way back when!

Loved the Noto art!