Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Supergirl 2021: A Year In Review & Best Of Comic Moments #10-#6

I have been running this site now for over 13 years. And each year I put together a year in review series of posts including the ten best moments for Supergirl in comics over the year. 

I am a huge fan of Supergirl. But I understand I have a particular vision of who Supergirl is and what she represents. So I will say up front, this has been a tough year for me as a fan, particularly with how she has been presented in the comics. Luckily we get some moments in Phillip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics run that are wonderful.

Today I will review some non-comic stuff as well as start my top ten comic moments from comics. But to be honest, I really had to look to find 10.

On to the review.

Let's start with the ending of the Supergirl show.

There is no doubt I am very forgiving of this show. The plots haven't always been great. At times Supergirl has disappeared on her own show as the number of comrades has increased. But there is no doubt that this show has increased mainstream knowledge that the character actually exists (something which hasn't always been true). Melissa Benoist has been a revelation and has always, despite whatever is happening around her, shone like sun. Benoist completely embodied my thoughts on who Supergirl is. This last season was something of a miasma. But I am sad to see the show go.

The pandemic has significantly curtailed any non-comic purchases for my Supergirl collection. Friends have sent me some figures and pins they have come across and I am thankful for the community here.

The big purchase was a Supergirl quick sketch from Amanda Conner. A Conner piece has always been a Holy Grail purchase for me so I am thrilled I got to click that box. (I was also thankful that Terrificon happened this summer. I miss conventions.)

As for Supergirl in comics, well ... this hasn't been a good year despite her having two mini-series out 'starring' her, both of which come with a precious new character that the writer seems to want to write more. 

The Future State Kara Zor-El, Superwoman title showed an isolated Supergirl, without friends or family, who felt her dog was the sole 'voice' in her life. If you want her to be a loathsome tyrant queen, you got it!

Supergirl, Woman of Tomorrow by Tom King shows a Kara, once again alone, sad, living a life of perpetual emotional pain. It is a Kara who is out in the universe without anyone looking for her. When she runs into people who know Superman, they all hate him and lash out at her. And she is a side character in her own series. Yes, the cursing, sad, drunken, vomiting Kara is just what I want my heroes to be like!

Neither of those interpretations jibe with who I think Supergirl is. Truly.

But let's concentrate on the positive!

Honorable Mention - World of Krypton #1

We just got the first issue of World of Krypton. The event the plot revolves around is the naming ceremony for Kara Zor-El. 

She does nothing in the book but look really cute and smile. 

But in 2021, we haven't seen Supergirl smile much at all. So I had to include this moment. How wonderful to see this innocent Kara. I am hoping as this mini-series moves on, 

#10 - Kara Zor-El, Super-Woman #2 

There wasn't much going for this Future State mini-series. 

But one thing that I liked was that a drive within Kara in the series was her desire to protect the innocent. Here it is Princess Lynari who is on the run. 

Seeing Kara spring to action and bash a space dragon saying Lynari is under her protection is a nice moment. But the rest of the story was lacking. 

#9 - Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #2

I am a fan of the Peter David run on Supergirl in the 90s. It was a reimagining of the Matrix Supergirl. It was a nice look at religion in a world filled with superheroes. 

Part of that was Supergirl becoming an Earth Angel and sporting flame wings. So even though the wings in this moment from Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #2 are the result of Kara ingesting an illegal Red K drug, and even though she uses those powers to kill a space dragon by flying through its brain, I was happy to see this callback.

#8 - Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #6

There is just something beautiful about seeing Supergirl riding Comet the Super-Horse.

One thing I have never complained about regarding the current Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow series has been the art by Bilquis Evely with color by Mateus Lopes.

Kara rearing back on her white stallion, yelling hiyaaa is a perfect image for a comic based on a Western movie. 

I had very little to smile about in this series but this was one of those rare moments, a throwback to the Silver Age in a modern comic.

#7 - Action Comics #1032

One book which has been a complete winner is Philip Kennedy Johnson's Action Comics. This book is just firing on all cylinders.

Johnson definitely has picked up the 'Superman Family' feel that Brian Michael Bendis had in his run on the book. Supergirl is an important part of the discussions and investigations during the early parts of the Warworld Saga. We will see more from this run as we move on in this list.

Here I like that Supergirl is the scientist in the family, talking Kryptonian and trying to repair a destroyed Kelex. I like that Kara has been portrayed as intelligent throughout her history. And the idea of her repairing a robot is wonderful. In fact, it closely mirrors another top ten scene from 2009 with Kara tinkering with a Kelex. 

Johnson seems to 'get' Supergirl. I hope we see some of her Earthbound acts while Superman is off-world. 

#6 - Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #4

In Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow #4, Supergirl is trying to catch up to Krem who has left a bloody path behind him. We see her helping a victim of Krem's in the hospital, feedinga poor alien who is nursing countless injuries. We see her helping his victims.

But there was something very dramatic about this splash page, Supergirl holding a baby to her tightly, promising that everything will be okay, all while a conflagration blazes in the background.

Supergirl wants to help. She wants to protect. She can't abide by injustice. And this image, so beautifully rendered by Bilquis Evely, shows that perfectly.

If the moment can fit the 'help, hope, and compassion for all' rubric, it is a winner. 

Okay! That is the top half of the top ten!

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the best!


Anonymous said...

Good list so far!

I'd also commend Daniel Sampere for that same Action #1032. He's terrific in all respects, and draws a perfect modern-era Supergirl.

Clicking the link to your 2009 list - well that's quite a different time. To teenage readers today, that would feel as distant as the tail end of the Golden Age might have felt for some of us.

Was Cosmic Adventures THAT LONG ago?!


Martin Gray said...

Well done on finding these picks. The Action stuff is definitely my favourite.

Anonymous said...

Hello from a french fan of supergirl,

Supergirl baby smiling in the mention honorable, i hope to see her again in the following of world of krypton.

I wonder who will be in top 3

Anonymous said...

When you do these lists I like to reflect on my top 10 favorite moments as well. I'm not going to try this year. Even if I manage to put together 10 by deep diving after isolated images or picking most of it from DC Super Hero Girls, in my heart it isn't 10 Supergirl moments. There was no Supergirl book on the shelves in 2021.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Our Host, for even ATTEMPTING a Top Ten Supergirl List in this "Twilight of the Goddess" Year we've got.
Other than Ms Benoist, as far as 2021 is concerned, my topmost Supergirl, is improbably Nicole Sullivan's Kara Zor El on "DC Super Hero Girls". She so off character, brash over confident, irreverent & snarky but it doesn't matter she's a scream in every scene.
Every time she gets the slightest bit of validation it immediately goes to her head and hilarity a year headlined by dismal revamps in Kara's character, DSHG demonstrates that you can innovate with a purpose with Supergirl.
On to 2022!