Friday, May 14, 2021

Superwoman: Woman Of Tomorrow - I've Seen This Movie

If you look hard enough around the internet you can find the first 8 pages of Supergirl:Woman of Tomorrow #1. For example, here is Bleeding Cool's coverage: https://bleedingcool.com/comics/supergirl-woman-of-tomorrow-will-hit-store-shelves-on-june-15/

I have tried to be optimistic about this series.

This preview has gutted me a bit.

Now you might say that seeing a suddenly aged to 21, drunk, off-earth Supergirl in bar fights might be bad enough. And trust me, that is bad. For all the obvious reasons.

But really what makes me upset about this preview is that it is basically is an exact copy of True Grit. 

Like, enough is different to make it not be plagiarized. But if you watched the Coen Brothers movie, this preview can be seen pretty easily.

Here is the Wikipedia synopsis of True Grit: Feisty 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross (Steinfeld) hires Cogburn (Bridges), a boozy, trigger-happy lawman to go after an outlaw named Tom Chaney (Brolin) who has murdered her father. The bickering duo are accompanied on their quest by a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Damon) who has been tracking Chaney for killing a State Senator. As the three embark on a dangerous adventure, they each have their "grit" tested in various ways.

 Now go and read the preview. I will highlight some pieces after the break.


Feisty Ruthye is off on her own, riding a horse-like creature into a town. 

She heads into a saloon intent on hiring a bounty hunter to help her capture the man who killed her father. She comes looking for a ruthless man ... you know, someone with true grit.

She offers a bounty of a fancy sword, which she will give this man should he bring back the person who killed her father. The bounty hunter suggests this young girl head back to the farm. He will take her sword and she should trust the job be done.

But Ruthye is very very precocious and is able to verbally stand up to this man. She won't let her collateral be taken without proof. She is going to join this man on the mission.

Much like Mattie Ross is an incredibly bright girl able to verbally spar with everyone she encounters in True Grit. Just like she won't give the $50 bounty to someone without proof that Tom Chaney has been caught.

When the bounty hunter becomes angry and says he is taking Ruthye's sword, a drunk blond girl in the bar steps up as a more ethically upright person.

That's right, Kara ... now 21 to make her being stone drunk in a red sun galaxy bar a little more tolerable ... is drunk and she won't let this ruffian hurt Ruthye or steal from her.

Just understand this. The first glimpse we get of the hero of our story is her smashed in a bar surrounded by empty bottles.

But think about True Grit's Rooster Cogburn, the drunk bounty hunter with a sense of honor. Hmm.

Even powerless and drunk, Kara is able to handle this guy.

But do I really need to see a cursing drunk Kara? Is that why she is the heart of the DC Universe, as King described her once more?

Seriously, these 8 pages read like the first 20 minutes of True Grit.

Ruthless man = Man of True Grit.

Ruthye is the protagonist, a precocious young girl looking to avenge her killed father = Mattie is the protagonist, a precocious young girl looking to avenge her killed father.

Kara is a drunk, but with skills and honor. Joins Ruthye on her mission =  Rooster is a drunken bastard, but with skills and honor. Joins Mattie on her mission.

So let's see if an arrogant character joins them on the quest. I mean, every Rooster Cogburn needs a Ranger LeBoeuf.

But frankly, I don't like this at all.

(Except the art which is beautiful.)


41 comments:

  1. Lord, I hate this so much. Even with the art.

    Great spot!

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  2. Seems like you're too busy looking for nits to pick on with the preview. You do realize that the Coen Bros. movie was also a remake, yes? :)

    KET

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  3. Let me guess, Ket, as with the Supergirl TV shows, you know all the behind the scenes details and everything that’s coming up.

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  4. Martin, I've seen this comics 'reaction' movie serial before, as well. It's a repeat of the usual demands for nothing but fan service.

    As a character, Supergirl has always deserved more than that.


    KET

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  5. If by ‘fan service’ you mean producing something fans of Supergirl might enjoy - a happy, centred young woman who enjoys her place in the universe - I’ll take it. Instead of such fan service, we get writers fannying about with Kara, darkening her, plugging her into their depressing world views. And the book inevitably dies.

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  6. Well this is the whole thing.

    I know True Grit was a remake.

    Kara isn't Rooster Cogburn.
    Kara shouldn't be Rooster Cogburn.

    Our introduction to Kara shouldn't be a sad drunk Kara in bar fights.

    If you want to write Rooster Cogburn in space with a DC hero, Starfire is a better analog. Lady Quark. Shadow Lass's ancestor.

    That makes sense.

    I don't mind True Grit. I love the story.
    I mind True Grit as a Supergirl story. That makes little sense.

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  7. I wouldn't necessarily connect it to True Grit. It is such a classic generic story it could come from anywhere. I have seen this setup so many times that it might as well start with "It was a dark and stormy night".

    This isn't what bothers me though. This bland start could go anywhere, even some place good.

    My issue is that Supergirl isn't in the comic. Change Kara to literally any other DC character and the story will work better.

    I have read just about every comic with a Supergirl presence since her first appearance, and what's on these pages just isn't Kara. It might be what DC wants Kara to be, but it is so far away from Kara that using her name is just pointless. Otto Binder would turn in his grave.

    I mean Kal could be made into a juggalo if DC wanted to, it's their character to do what they want with. But there is no point for me to buy the comic because I when I say I'm a fan of Superman, I mean something beyond the name. Juggalo Kal isn't Kal in my eyes. And this isn't Kara. Not in any sense that means something to me anyways.

    I'm not missing a Supergirl comic in my collection by not buying it.

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  8. The best thing this comic will do is get people to talk about art. It is so gorgeous it's ridiculous. This could have been a Supergirl comic for the ages if it had been a Supergirl comic.

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  9. "If by ‘fan service’ you mean producing something fans of Supergirl might enjoy...,"

    Martin, it HAS to be more than that in order to sustain a decent-sized audience for the entire limited run.

    You know what I mean by 'fan service', so I don't need to explain why your preconceived expectations for this are already terribly flawed.


    KET

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  10. Tom King's Batman was very disappointing, so I wasn't hopeful of his take on Supergirl. However... With the current run of Batman being equally crap (Bruce Wayne is skint again; that's never been done before, right?) I can only think the dreadful decision-making is DC itself, not the writers. It feels like DC is becoming a new WWE, in that it's letting all the pen-pushers at the top make the creative decisions and taking all the creativity away from its actual roster of creative talent.

    I will not be buying this series of Supergirl. I've learned my lesson. But if it goes well I may be tempted to buy the collected volumes... Then again, with the collected volumes being released only in hardcover now instead of any paperback editions, I may just skip that as well (all my collected volumes to date are pb).

    Maybe I'm being to harsh. But hey, DC got me here.

    I hope everyone is keeping well and safe.
    Thanks for the platform, Anj. :)

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  11. "Maybe I'm being to harsh. But hey, DC got me here."

    Well, considering how poorly the last Supergirl ongoing ended, it's pretty easy to view anything DC Comics publishes next with a jaundiced eye.


    KET

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  12. @KET I don't see why using a proper Supergirl character would be in opposition to audience size. Orlando wrote a proper Kara and he outsold Harley at a point. The roadkill Kara by Houser et al that this is a continuation of sold horribly. The comic sold so bad it didn't even go to print.

    It makes sense. Normal Kara has a much wider audience. You could hand kids a Supergirl comic. No parent that knows what they are doing is buying post-Houser Supergirl for their kids.

    I mean King will drag an audience for sure, but he would have pulled an audience with not-roadkill-Kara as well.

    All this does is alienate the reliable long term subscribers for a quick one-shot payday. Tom Kings fans will not stay after his run. Their comments on the Internet are basically variations of "I would never read Supergirl, but I will read it when Tom King writes"

    This is not sustainable long term.

    I don't think anyone disagrees with the notion that a comic needs to be more than fanservice, but writing a great story and holding true to the character is not mutually exclusive. If the writer thinks it is, it is the wrong writer.

    Tom is the wrong writer.

    Even if Tom succeeds he didn't sell Supergirl well. He sold something wearing a Supergirl costume well.

    That means nothing to me. Tom sells a lot of not-Supergirl characters well.

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  13. "Well, considering how poorly the last Supergirl ongoing ended, it's pretty easy to view anything DC Comics publishes next with a jaundiced eye."

    Very true, KET. I still hope this new run is a success though; with only a preview to go on it's still very early days. Who knows, between now and next month I might even change my mind about buying each new issue. I seriously doubt it, but I can never say never. I'll see what the news about it is like and how light my wallet feels nearer the time.

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  14. Can anyone explain something to me?

    What was even the point of breaking character and turn her into a bad drunk?

    All it does it make it feel like a cheap cliche copied from a spaghetti western, True Grit or whatever your poison is.

    There are so so many ways Ruthye could have recruited her with Kara staying in character and with a unique take that felt appropriate for the title.

    I mean, he didn't even break character to give us something special or unique. He broke it to deliver something truly unoriginal.

    /K

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  15. "@KET I don't see why using a proper Supergirl character would be in opposition to audience size. Orlando wrote a proper Kara and he outsold Harley at a point."

    But Orlando's SG run sold poorly, and got cancelled. Only resumed its numbering when Bendis needed to send the character away on a mission, which then led to the Hauser run.

    "The roadkill Kara by Houser et al that this is a continuation of sold horribly. The comic sold so bad it didn't even go to print."

    Actually, the end of that run didn't go to print because of COVID-19. Let's not confuse your passion for a fictional character with the grim realities of the comics marketplace at that time.


    However, this is pretty much where the character is ON HER OWN right now, thanks to that run. Publisher didn't reincarnate Supergirl, or retcon the Hauser run. So it still counts as a possible starting point for a new adventure.

    KET

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  16. "Can anyone explain something to me?

    What was even the point of breaking character and turn her into a bad drunk?"

    Seems allowable, when Kara Zor-El has been seen drunk on TV. Blame Mon-El for that. :)

    KET

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  17. Ignoring covid deterrents on sales, looking at digital, Orlando's worst sold comic still outsold Houser with a margin. Looking at precovid, Houser sales were abysmal in stores as well.

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  18. "Ignoring covid deterrents on sales, looking at digital, Orlando's worst sold comic still outsold Houser with a margin. Looking at precovid, Houser sales were abysmal in stores as well."

    Semantics argument. Neither can be considered a stellar run on the Supergirl
    character. She can do better.


    KET

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  19. "Seems allowable, when Kara Zor-El has been seen drunk on TV. Blame Mon-El for that. :)"

    Yeah, that's not the same thing. Which you probably indicated with the smiley :), but... really not the same type of drinking. It's closer to Alex kind of drinking, but even worse.

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  20. It’s just crappy, as if Kara has no one with whom she’d like to share her birthday, or who would wish to celebrate with her. It’s not true. So she gets pissed and is delighted to find a fight.

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  21. "Yeah, that's not the same thing."

    Nope, it's called, 'recreational drinking'. Still led to being stoned and drunk. Then Kara fell asleep at the DEO, so she's wasn't available to go to work.

    KET

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  22. "It’s not true"

    It IS at the beginning of this story. Self-denial is a pretty powerful thing.


    KET

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  23. Yeah, sure. Superman, Superboy x 2, Lois, Jerome, the other heroes of the DCU, sundry civilian friends, the Legion...

    But keep being contrary for the sake of it, Ket.

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  24. "But keep being contrary for the sake of it, Ket."


    Missing the point, Martin....even though you just cited the obvious relatives. Kara didn't feel like she could have a intimate conversation with any of those people regarding her self-doubt crisis. That's why she brought along the dog.


    KET

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  25. I have to hand it to DC for one thing. They are playing with open cards with this big preview. It would have been worse if I had paid for it and found out after the fact. Now everyone can decide if it's for them or not.

    If Supergirl is nothing more than a costume, gender, origin and a stat block, then this could be Supergirl to some people.

    I guess it depends on where you come from. A non-Supergirl reader might not know more. This could be a Supergirl to them, maybe with time it will be THE Supergirl to them.

    For a lifer, this is clearly not Supergirl. Because the core is all wrong. It's good CSS with a bad backend. For some, that won't matter. For some it will.

    Either way, this is what we're getting.

    Am I disappointed? Omg yes. But I will take some comfort in not paying for it this time at least.

    /C

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  26. Tom King wrote Superman in character for his Up in the Sky "Walmart" 12-part series. It was quite good. It seems DC is in love with this bad characterization for Supergirl. I don't think anyone knows why. It's certainly not because it sells well.

    There were at least a few post-Houser appearances where Supergirl was in much better shape. In Action #1026, 1027, 1028, and Superman #28 - all Bendis. He might have sent her to space, but I don't think he can be blamed for how things worked out after that.

    There was also a one or two panel appearance in Batgirl #50, where she was clearly in good standing with the Justice League and headed out for a mission.

    So, how she gets back into bad shape - well I guess King is going to tell that story? Obviously it's going to be depressing.

    Of the slate of books that were cancelled last spring, Supergirl was actually the best-selling, around or above 20K. That's about where DC drew the line, apparently.

    T.N.

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  27. "In Action #1026, 1027, 1028, and Superman #28 - all Bendis. He might have sent her to space, but I don't think he can be blamed for how things worked out after that."

    Nope, but thanks for playing apologist.

    Bendis jobbed the character out as support for his nostalgia-laced take on Superman. And then Supergirl got jobbed out to Death Metal, and her solo series pretty quickly became an afterthought that finally got put out of its collective misery. No need to sugarcoat it.

    Oh, and the sales semantics really does not prove much of anything, since they're usually estimates on what units went to brick and mortar stores, not actual buyers....which is part of why DC Comics never releases actual sales figures.

    KET

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  28. I'd like to welcome "Blonde Sonja: Super She Devil with a Sword" to the DCU. Our host has rightly pointed out this is a wholesale appropriation of Charles Portis' Novel "True Grit", and of course, it is...however Bailing Out some angry or effete Princess or Princeling has been keeping Red Sonja on the spinner racks since the Nixon Admin. This is DC's Big Idea apparently, turn Kara Zor El into a Sword wielding Mercenary of some type. I wouldn't even dignify this by calling it mere plagiarism...its the patently pathological belief that Supergirl doesn't work unless we keep making the same mistakes with her.
    Let me also say this, we open with Supergirl alone on a barbaric red sun world, drinking herself stupid on her 21st birthday (when did she get to be college age? I wonder, last we checked she was a HS Sophomore, but then she went thru a similar time warp in 1982 in TDNAOS), exuding rock bottom defeat. This tells me more than anything else that at the end of this mini, Supergirl will become Superwoman and become that bitter super spinster social worker exiled on the moon. At this point I am in "Prove Me Wrong" Mode.
    Nonetheless, I will reserve final judgement for the book itself, but right now all the auspices are terrible.
    At this point I'd love to be proven wrong...but I don't think I will be...

    JF

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  29. William Ashley VaughanMay 14, 2021 at 11:03 PM

    I will get this for the art which looks like what would happen if Winsor McKay had come back from the dead and decided to draw a superhero comic. Unfortunately, this comic doesn't read like Winsor McKay wrote it. I agree with Anj that King pretty much stole the opening from True Grit. McKay would have come up with something more imaginative.

    If King has any sense he will diverge from True Grit immediately by having Supergirl tell Ruthye that she will not be committing murder for her and she was foolish to expect anything but danger and betrayal from the kind of person who would. Of course, if he had any sense he wouldn't have bothered with the drunk Supergirl nonsense to begin with.

    The only thing I like about this is that even drunk Supergirl won't steal or allow someone to be taken advantage of. The only ray of hope I see is that at least King avoided rage-filled Supergirl. In this sequence, she tries to avoid a fight and uses just enough force to subdue the bad guy and no more. However, if King wants me to respect him as a Supergirl writer, he will have to do better than this.

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  30. Thanks for all the comments.

    It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

    But all I really want is a heroic Supergirl, bright and hopeful, operating on Earth and kicking butt.

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  31. At this point, just read "Don't Meddle in my Daughter". It's basically Supergirl having a daughter who also becomes Supergirl and she tries to protect her.

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  32. "I'd like to welcome "Blonde Sonja: Super She Devil with a Sword" to the DCU."

    Well, good luck with that, since the sword totally disappears by the third issue's cover. Must not be all that important anymore. :)


    "Our host has rightly pointed out this is a wholesale appropriation of Charles Portis' Novel "True Grit""

    ...which is still untrue, despite a few tangential similarities.

    You guys keep propping up "Pedestal Purity Girl", when Kara's first appearance here packs a lot more intrinsic Supergirl character detail:

    1. When we first get a good look at Kara, her face naturally bursts out into a big, wide smile.

    2. Tells us it's her birthday. She just turned 21, so she's celebrating being 'of legal age' off Earth, where she can actually feel the effects of the ale she's drinking.

    It's a standard young archetype ritual on display here, not to be confused with True Grit, since Rooster Cogburn certainly wasn't age 21 in that tale. Kara's still Supergirl, but she's never called herself, "Pedestal Purity Girl" as well.

    3. Despite being a bit inebriated, Kara still has her principles of "truth" and "justice" when she declares that she's taking that sword away from the 'he-man' lunkhead, and rightfully giving it back to the girl. "And I don't steal, 'cause it's wrong. Even if it's my birthday, and I deserve it."

    "But all I really want is a heroic Supergirl, bright and hopeful, operating on Earth and kicking butt."

    Understood. However, this is decidedly an off-Earth tale, which may actually address DC Comics' continuing problem with 'what to do with Supergirl', which has gone on for far too long. We'll see what happens. If the company eventually positions her as a cosmic ambassador of Earth-learned principles, that could be a new beginning of hope.


    KET



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  33. I enjoy differing opinions on this blog.

    But the thing is, they are opinions. So when someone comes on and forwards their opinion by just denying derisively the other persons, it is a drag.

    So everyone concentrate on your opinions, not trying to rip apart someone else's opinion in a vile way.

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  34. "Our host has rightly pointed out this is a wholesale appropriation of Charles Portis' Novel "True Grit""

    ...which is still untrue, despite a few tangential similarities.


    For example, the above response is insulting. But I guess I can say that the writer is wrong just as easily.

    A young girl's father is killed.
    Despite her young age, she strikes out on her own to hire someone vicious to avenge her father's death. And also, despite her young age, she is quite intelligent, capable of handling herself.
    She ultimately hires someone who is drunk but with honor.

    Those are very specific sentences.
    Which story am I talking about? True Grit? Or this preview of Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow?

    If that's tangential. Than everything is tangential.

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  35. Ah Said What I meant, and Ah Meant Whut Ah Said...

    LONG LIVE BLONDE SONJA!! There is Nothing Wrong with Drinking By Yourself at age 21...NOTHING disquieting about that...I mean you'd think she'd throw a party, invite her friends, except apparently SHE DOESN'T HAVE ANY FRIENDS because DC "doesn't know what to do with her" which in turn dooms the supporting cast of the moment to instant irrelevance.
    Not for nothing but how many Red Sonja stories begin with the Titian Haired Mercenary drinking alone in a tavern....dozens I'll wager.
    For that fact, Robert E. Howard's estate should sue as well :)
    I am a proud acolyte of "Pedestal Purity Girl" I think if anything she deserves a higher better pedestal than the second hand plagiarized junk DC has foisted on her to date.
    But as I said before I'll reserve final judgement once I read the actual floppy, who knows this mishaugas might work, I doubt it, but ya never know.
    "Blonde Sonja: The Pedestal Purity Girl with a Scimitar"....oooh I like that, very Stan Lee unctuous and bombastic....

    :)

    JF

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  36. Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

    I don't know what to say about this beginning ... I have the perfect impression that there are perhaps a dozen authors (books, comics, films, etc ...) who try something new for hundreds of remakes deja-vu and re-examined.

    And for the 21-year-old, I read on a fan site that a Kryptonian year equals 1,39 years on Earth. So 15 years (krypton) x 1,39 = 20,85 years (earth) ... so kara is almost major on arrival!

    Companies ask their new employee to fill out questionnaires to check their knowledge, s why don't you do the same on the characters?

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  37. She doesn’t actually specify whether she’s talking Earth or Krypton years, and I doubt any of the Silver/Bronze Age systems of measurement necessarily apply about five reboots later.

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  38. Tom is making the character even more disjointed and leaving a salted earth in his wake for the next writer of Supergirl.

    There is no concept of what Supergirl is left at DC. It's basically: Write what you want and call it Kara.

    Next writer looks at the hodgepodge and makes it even worse.

    Or as Tom Taylor called it when he reviewed new Supergirl: "completely unlike anything you have ever seen from a Supergirl story before."

    That's the nice way of framing "ignoring the character and not caring about what came before".

    I call it hodgepodge.

    Tomato tomatoe

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  39. Newsarama agrees with you: https://www.gamesradar.com/supergirl-woman-of-tomorrow-1-covers-preview/

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  40. No credit given. Ah well ...

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