Monday, April 15, 2024

Joshua Williamson On 'House of Brainiac' And Supergirl

Action Comics #1064 came out last week and was a stellar opening chapter to the House of Brainiac story. I was quite impressed with the execution. If the first issue is any indication, this looks like it is going to be a great arc.

Over on AIPT, Joshua Williamson did a very thorough discussion on his approach to Superman and this story in particular. This is a very in-depth discussion on many aspects of the House Of Brainiac. So it is definitely worth reading in its entirety. Here is a link:

One thing that is clear is that Williamson is thinking about all the characters in the super-family and discusses Superboy, Lena, and others.

He also talks about Supergirl. And that is the part I am going to focus on.

Here is Williamson's section devoted to Supergirl. 

On the surprising arc of Supergirl

“I think everybody’s going to get a moment, particularly the characters that are in space. Lois is still going to be in Metropolis, and she’s dealing with some of the aftermath of what’s happening there. We have a lot of really cool stuff with Lois coming throughout the summer; we’re definitely doing more with Lois.

The character that surprised me was Supergirl. I knew she was going to play an important role. So was Superboy. But Supergirl, I really liked writing her, and she took over a couple of scenes. I found that Kara is also angry. She’s seen what Brainiac is capable of and she’s not afraid of him anymore. But she has enough knowledge to be like, ‘I know what I have to do in these moments.’ And so Kara does some really bold stuff. There’s a moment in the fourth issue, I think, where she does something kind of crazy. She makes a decision to do something that might be a little nutty. And then she’s just like, ‘No, I’m going forward, we’re doing this.’ And that came from just writing her.”

As I said in my review, it feels like Williamson is going back to pre-'New 52' continuity, especially leaning into the 'Brainiac' arc by Geoff Johns. That makes sense given that Brainiac is the main baddie in this arc.

It is hard for me to believe but that arc was 16 years ago and one of the first arcs I covered at length on this site, way back in my first year. 

Way back in Action Comics #867,  a Brainiac drone lands on Earth. And, as in #1064, Superman leans into Supergirl's history with the villain. Here we see just how scared Supergirl was. She melts the drone with her heat vision so she doesn't have to look at it. 

Like 'hug my cousin, I'm really scared' scared. 

Remember, this was a very young Kara who saw people die when Kandor was taken. A Kara who lost her friend Thara Ak-Var. 

At the time, it made sense. This Supergirl was still pretty new to the DCU. In her own title, she was angry, bratty, bitter. I'd take Johns' take on her over Loeb and Kelly in her title every time. She's a kid. She's growing. 

In Action Comics Annual #12, we get to see the Kandor event. There is Thara Ak-Var. And her parents were literally cut in half by the Brainiac force field bottle. 

So scary.

Later in the arc, in Action Comics #870, Supergirl has to overcome her fear and save Earth.

She looks pretty angry there.

Gary Frank is amazing.

And she catches up with Brainiac's solar aggressor missile and saves Earth.

This moment was the first 'end of year review' #1 moment on the site!

The point being that a lot of water is under the bridge since this scared Kara lashed out at an inert drone. And recently, she has been the field commander for the Super-family. So her being angry and maybe doing something crazy to thwart Brainiac kind of makes sense.

Of course, I will need to see this play out. But the fact that Williamson has Supergirl on his mind, is giving her an arc, and what sounds like an important moment, makes me happy. 


Bostondreams said...

In this case too, it's not 'angry for the sake of being edgy' Kara like some of the criticism in New 52. This is 'Angry and smart and bold and well aware of what it will take to fight the most monsterous villain in her history' Kara. I am looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I'll believe it, when I see it.


William Ashley Vaughan said...

Anonymous, after some of the bad Supergirl writing we've been subjected to in the past few years, I can understand your skepticism. However, for me, Williamson has written Kara well enough for long enough to have earned the benefit of the doubt. I particularly enjoyed his work on her in the Superman Knight Terrors two parter.

Anonymous said...

I felt like Action 1064 was one of the best starts for a Superman event in a long time. Crossing my fingers that Supergirl leads the way for the Superfam in space against Brainiac.

Thanks Anj for jogging my memory of that Brainiac story so many years ago. I loved how Kara grew in that story and without her earth would be doomed. I'm glad it's being referenced in this storyline.

Martin Gray said...

That’s a very decent interview (it needs a decent editor, though. Given this week’s Superman #13 I am very optimistic for Kara’s role in the new storyline

Anj said...

Thanks for comments!

I am pretty optimistic!