Adam Graham's Blog: Christians and Superheroes - Posts Tagged "supergirl"

Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & BatgirlElseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl by Barbara Kesel

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


The best of DC's Elseworld stories imagine how our favorite DC heroes would exist if circumstances were different. What if Batman had fought crime during the Victorian era? What if Superman went away while a group of harsher more brutal metahumans became a terror to the population? What if Wonder Woman was an old West Sheriff?

The worst of DC's Elseworld's tales imagine a world where our heroes are unlikable twits. Unfortunately, Elseworld's Finest falls into the latter category.

In this world, Barbara Gordon's parents rather than Bruce Wayne's are killed by Joe Cool while trying to save Wayne's parents. Barbara becomes Batgirl with the help of the Wayne millions and the assistance of her childhood friend and millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. After becoming Batgirl, she puts the city under lockdown and bars all superhumans including the Wonder Woman-led Justice Society and she does this because...

Actually, that's never explained. The Justice Society than confront her and then she defeats the entire Justice Society (because she's Batgirl.) The one potentially good idea was tying her use of computers in this Elseworld tale to her identity in the main DC universe as Oracle.

At any rate, Supergirl in this tale is the last survivor of Krypton and has been adopted by Wonder Woman after crashing on Earth as a teenager. She's been helped out by Lex Luthor and is intensely loyal to him. When Luthor is kidnapped, Batgirl wants to keep the Gotham City investigation herself but Supergirl insists on getting in.

Overall, there's not a lot good to say about this book. The art is rarely bad but it's nothing really good either. The plot is confusing and everyone seems to be improvising. None of the characters are likable or that interesting. One potential exception is the Joker, who in this Elseworld, commits crimes to gain the attention of Batgirl, and also has taken a dose of venom to give him the muscles of Bane, but even that character became a one note.

The same can be said of all the characters. Batgirl isn't really her own character but just acting like Batman. The only exception is that she writes crime novels. Given that she's the autocratic dictator of Gotham City while also maintaining a double life, that's unintentionally silly. Supergirl is just a volatile teenager who screams and throws tantrums.

There's no one to like or care about, so despite the title, this is far from Elseworld's Finest.



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Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & BatgirlElseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl by Barbara Kesel

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


The best of DC's Elseworld stories imagine how our favorite DC heroes would exist if circumstances were different. What if Batman had fought crime during the Victorian era? What if Superman went away while a group of harsher more brutal metahumans became a terror to the population? What if Wonder Woman was an old West Sheriff?

The worst of DC's Elseworld's tales imagine a world where our heroes are unlikable twits. Unfortunately, Elseworld's Finest falls into the latter category.

In this world, Barbara Gordon's parents rather than Bruce Wayne's are killed by Joe Cool while trying to save Wayne's parents. Barbara becomes Batgirl with the help of the Wayne millions and the assistance of her childhood friend and millionaire playboy Bruce Wayne. After becoming Batgirl, she puts the city under lockdown and bars all superhumans including the Wonder Woman-led Justice Society and she does this because...

Actually, that's never explained. The Justice Society than confront her and then she defeats the entire Justice Society (because she's Batgirl.) The one potentially good idea was tying her use of computers in this Elseworld tale to her identity in the main DC universe as Oracle.

At any rate, Supergirl in this tale is the last survivor of Krypton and has been adopted by Wonder Woman after crashing on Earth as a teenager. She's been helped out by Lex Luthor and is intensely loyal to him. When Luthor is kidnapped, Batgirl wants to keep the Gotham City investigation herself but Supergirl insists on getting in.

Overall, there's not a lot good to say about this book. The art is rarely bad but it's nothing really good either. The plot is confusing and everyone seems to be improvising. None of the characters are likable or that interesting. One potential exception is the Joker, who in this Elseworld, commits crimes to gain the attention of Batgirl, and also has taken a dose of venom to give him the muscles of Bane, but even that character became a one note.

The same can be said of all the characters. Batgirl isn't really her own character but just acting like Batman. The only exception is that she writes crime novels. Given that she's the autocratic dictator of Gotham City while also maintaining a double life, that's unintentionally silly. Supergirl is just a volatile teenager who screams and throws tantrums.

There's no one to like or care about, so despite the title, this is far from Elseworld's Finest.



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Published on November 17, 2014 18:37 • 128 views • Tags: batgirl, elseworlds, supergirl
Here are my thoughts on Episode 3 of Supergirl, Fight or Flight:

Positives:

---Calista Flockheart continues to impress as Cat Grant. Other than the interview, I like the character even in the way she's unlikable. Her relationship with Kara/Supergirl is great. The whole idea of Cat as this very difficult person who has some life wisdom that ends up helping her. Her slam on Supergirl as representative of millennials and the challenge that poses is really nice. Love Cat except as an interviewer. (See below.)

---Maxwell Lord is a complex character in the DC Universe and this episode does a good job bringing him in. It'll be interesting to see how he develops.

---I'm not sure the humor was intended but the idea of a Government Agency taking a pass on helping SUpergirl catch a supervillain with a nuclear core in that could level National City because their department only deals with aliens was a hilarious commentary on government incompetence.

---I liked the idea of James having used his Superman watch to call for help had less to do with him not having confidence in Kara and more to do with him being afraid. It's a good character touch.

---There are so many ways to have Superman in the Supergirl universe without actually having his face seen or having to cast the part. We get to see his boots and then he and Kara text, I look forward to having him have a speaking role and his voice being the Charlie Brown *mwa mwa mwa*



The Bad:

---Cat Grant is not a good interviewer. You want an interview with a reclusive celebrity to go well, set them at ease, make them feel like your friend so they'll open up and spill. Maybe save some of the "cattiness" for later to borrow a pun. And you're doing a whole magazine on that, really?

---Also, really, the military was upset that she'd revealed she was Superman's cousin. People probably have assumed the relationship was closer.

---Why didn't Kara let Reactron escape after majorly damaging his power source at the first battle? One of the most puzzling moments in Superhero television was Supergirl staring up with a dumbfounded expression as the villain flew into the air and our heroine sat glued to the pavement.

---Like the government agency having no interest in the human nuclear powered creature, the element of Supergirl's headquarters was on that border between the stupid and the sublime. I'm going to call this one stupid. Setting up your secret headquarters in a vacant office that you don't actually own or lease because you assume that forever no one's going to want it because some guy had a heart attack in there a few months back is just dumb.

---Reactron: Very generic villain. It was hard to engage with him, either sympathizing with him or having a true sense of his threat.

---The reasons for not having Superman take a more active role is contrived, perhaps necessarily so, but still contrived. Just because, Superman had to go through everything all alone doesn't mean that every hero should. That's a pioneer situation where one person blazes a trail, but others get to benefit from their experience and wisdom. Logically, Kara's makes little sense except from an ego sense. It makes sense for the writers and it makes sense for rights issue and the desire for the show to focus on Supergirl, but the less said about her cousin in Metropolis the better because the in-universe explanations are kind of weak.

---Given that Kara used super-eaves dropping, her reaction to the end to James Olsen having an ex-girlfriend seemed a little over the top in terms of how much it discouraged her.

Overall, Fight or Flight features a lot about Supergirl in terms of interesting relationships, dynamics, and some solid action moments. However, the show has some kinks that need worked out. The problem with this episode is that it seemed to try and prove that Supergirl was as good a hero as Superman. She's not there, not yet. At the same time, I think there are some tonal issues. While the series has a lighter tone in the same way as the Flash, it's not quite light enough to get away with the goofy idea of this insurance office headquarters for Supergirl.

Rating: 6/10
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Published on November 15, 2015 12:51 • 84 views • Tags: review, supergirl
A very big improvement over last week:

Positives:

---Supergirl has faced pretty bland and forgettable villains up until this week. This week, they brought Livewire (Leslie Willis) out of Superman: The Animated Series and the result was superb as Britt Morgan really imbues the character with a true sense of menace, entitlement, and nastiness.

---Leslie Willis' somewhat explicit anti-Supergirl rant was uncomfortable to listen to and the reason this episode garnered a TV-14 rating. At the same time, it did bring home the type of junk that many women are subjected to and hits common ground which every decent person agrees on that this is not something young women should be subjected to, but sadly are.

---We really get a chance to further explore Cat Grant's character. Overall, she's probably the most interesting character in the show and we get some great insights into her. Her guilt over the creation of Livewire as well as her protectiveness of Supergirl are explored. Leslie Willis points out that Cat was critical of Supergirl in her magazine piece, but the difference is that Cat was trying to push Supergirl to be better while Leslie was just being nasty. Calista Flockheart is really doing a great job playing the character. I'm beginning to suspect that knows or suspects Kara is Supergirl.

---I loved some of the lines during the climatic battle with Livewire with Cat responding to a lame quip with, "Congratulations, you have the wit of a You Tube comment." And Supergirls, "Oh, ,shut up, you mean girl."

---Family drama is fairly good as we're introduced to Kara's Foster mother and the messed up though realistic family dynamics.

---Witt's explanation of what he was thankful for was very touching and provided some great insight. It's a bit sad since he's obviously attracted to Kara but he's being written as the nice guy who doesn't get the girl who is way out of his league.

The Bad:

---The episode was aired a week earlier than expected due to the Paris attacks and as such there's things in there that don't make sense with Witt saying he was glad to be dealing with metaphorical bombs for once and the fact that Lucy Lane was more fully introduced in that episode which would have made sense of why she could drag James Olsen off to Ohi. I get why this airing was done (the episode was supposed to episode is set for this week) but I hope when DVD releases are done this is put in proper plot order.

---Speaking of Mr. Olsen, this show has the weirdest relationship dynamic I've seen on television with him and Lucy Lane. He moves all the way to National City to get away from her, clearly likes Kara, but is somehow compelled to go out with Lucy. You get the idea that if he knew Morse Code, he'd be blinking it to send a message requesting help.

---The plot point of Kara's foster father having died under mysterious circumstances and the foster mother suspecting Hank Henshaw was not the best handled or set up portion of this episode. The whole "Mentor figure responsible for parent's death" is cribbed from the Flash and the set up would have worked better had we not been getting, "Something's weird with" flashes of Red eyes every week. Still, the plot does have potential for some nice surprises later on.

Overall: At last, Supergirl gets a memorable villain and we get more insight into Cat Grant and Kara's family life. This is probably the best episode of Supergirl yet. 8/10
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Published on November 22, 2015 07:33 • 167 views • Tags: supergirl, tv-episode-review
How does Supergirl manage to balance fighting a mad bomber with watching a well-behaved teenager who will sit in front of video games and managing a moderately busy day at the office. Spoilers follow

Positives:

--The same week Netflix treats us to the exploitative and sexualized opening of Jessica Jones, we get Supergirl kindly offering to babysit for Cat Grant, so she can obtain fictional reward. The idea of kindness without some secondary motive behind it. But it's certainly a welcome difference.

--On the same note, Kara makes a thoughtful (thought not totally unselfish suggestion) to James to resolve his relationship with Lucy Lane which leads to it continuing. It's a very ironic thing the way it leaves her feeling, but it's ultimately a very wise and noble thing that most women wouldn't do, even though it sends her back into the "Friend Zone."

--Also, the scene where she tries to talk the bomber down is played with a great amount of sincerity and caring.

--Supergirl gets put through her paces and Lord tests her to the limit. It was fun to see her use so many superpowers.

--The writers give Maxwell Lord some interesting motivations and Peter Facinelli really gives a great performance. The reveal of Lord as a villain sets some interesting dynamics particularly with the character's history in the DC Universe.

---While it creates a few hiccups, I can definitely understand why this episode wasn't broadcast after the Paris attacks, particularly the scene involving the business bombing. We just have to keep tracking. We're trusting Colonel Henshaw this week even though we learned we couldn't trust him last week because that episode wasn't supposed to air until the week after this one.

---This episode does make a lot more sense of the Lucy-Jimmy relationship and I thought his driving to the airport to help Lucy was incredibly sweet. Still, doesn't explain why he was looking like he was a hostage in last week's show, but for this episode, it was solid.

Mixed thoughts:

---Government ID that changes Department names is good, psychic paper is better. Still, the fact that a woman who can hold up a five story building finds these badges "cool" just shows the innocent nature of Kara. Also, wouldn't have been cheaper to print another ID card.

The Negatives:

---As my summary referenced, this episode wasn't all it cracked up to be. I think the writers wanted to avoid portraying Cat's son as any troubled or problematic due to not being raised by both parents or by being raised by nannies. However, the problem with that is that the comedic value suggested by Kara's predicament doesn't happen and there's little drama in it until Carter gets on the train.

---Because of that the feminist moral of the week seems forced as Cat gives a completely non-applicable lesson to Kara on balancing life and learning to juggle challenges one at a time rather than having it all all at once. There's some merit to the advice, but it's not really applicable. This is an issue that could easily afflict any hero and I actually dealt with it in Ultimate Mid-life Crisis. For the point to actually have any salience, the hero has to be pushed to his or her limit. Kara wasn't pushed. Indeed, her Sister seemed to think so, but there's no evidence of it in the story.

---It's a predictable trope that Maxwell Lord is presented as a government-mistrusting Libertarian whose claims of benevolence in private sector capitalism belie his sinister goals and with Henshaw, we have our sinister military figure. All we need is a corrupt preacher as a recurring villain and we'll have a progressive trope villain hat trick.

Overall:

As Carter observed, what makes Supergirl a hero is her heart and that heart was on display all episode long. Supergirl is the type of hero you want kids to look up to. Maxwell Lord is an interesting character, like Lex Luthor, but more complex. However, the "B" plot for this episode has problems doesn't quite deliver. The greatest potential risk to the series is that there's a tendency to allow the desired message to get in the way of a good story. Still, I enjoyed this episode despite its flaws. 7/10
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Published on November 28, 2015 15:32 • 110 views • Tags: supergirl, tv-episode-review
What's the difference between General Lane and the Red Tornado?

Answer: One is a pestilence that wreaks mayhem and causes massive amounts of problems.

The other is Red Tornado.

***Spoilers Ahead***

The Awesome:

---Supergirl's fights with Red Tornado are simply stunning. They're not quite the stylized stuff we get on the Flash but from Supergirl tunneling underground to Red Tornado generating a hurricane to the awesome final confrontation, these were simply stunning battle scenes. It's a pity that Red Tornado is destroyed as he's been a hero in the mainstream DC universe but the writers can always bring him back if they decide to go that direction

Positives:

---Kara snapping at Cat is set up beautifully as we see her go through one frustration situation after another building up to the moment where she tells Ms. Grant off and then regrets it.

---We got more insight into Cat's character as she encounters her mother. She clears her calendar to have dinner with her mother only for her mom to cancel and she earns our sympathy and then gives some of it by picking on Kara.

---Cat points out that Perry White could get away with throwing a chair through the window if a deadline was missed while she could get away with far less if she showed her anger because of gender. There may be some truth to that. It also may be why she tends to take an arm's length relationship to her employees as opposed to White's much more personable relationship because she feels a need to maintain control and her position and can't take those risks, although she seems to be willing to with Kara.

---I think Kara actually emerges a better and even more admirable character. It's easy enough to be "little Miss Sunshine" if you've not been hurt. Yet, we understand she's a person who's never quite felt like she fit in, is afraid she won't have a normal life, or even have a man in her life. She'd found that revealing herself to the world hadn't helped either. Yet, she's still a kind person despite the hurt which is hard.

---Despite some dubious means to get there (see the negatives), the investigation into the disappearance of Alex's father actually becomes wide open with a lot of questions as to whether he's alive, and whether Henshaw is really Henshaw or an alien impersonating him. Henshaw could have been an alien for a long time and entirely innocent in what happened to Mr. Danvers. Or he could be the mastermind of it all. There's a lot of questions and I look forward to finding out more as the season progresses.

Negatives

---A bit of a continuity slip. In the episode, "Live Wire," it was proclaimed that the villain didn't vote for Hillary in '08 which put the show within the real world's political continuity. However, in this episode, a woman president is referenced by Lucy Lane. I actually prefer Superhero shows have their own President as opposed to the real one because it allows plots involving the President to actually work on the show. However, you really have to decide which way you're going to go.

---That your office IT guy can hack any government system is a silly cliché and I don't really buy it with Witt. Also, in the pet peeve department, 'The Insurance Office' of solitude is back. Grrr.

---Finally, the lead up to a very good scene for Supergirl was the weakest part of the show. James asks why she needs to work out her anger on a used car hung like a punching bag while Clark never did. And she responds by saying that it's different because Clark is a man. James explains he's a black man and they're not encouraged to publicly express anger, so it's okay for him to hit a punching bag.

The dialogue was incredibly unnatural. Why would James ask that? The obvious answer is that either by the time he'd met James, Clark'd found his way of dealing with anger or Kara was a different person. And while I understand the points about social pressures might impact how different groups express anger, the point is force fed and it attempts to change a universal issue of dealing with anger to an issue of race and gender.


Overall: A great episode of Supergirl that has her performing her mightiest deeds yet, while also deepening and enriching our understanding of the character. Yes, her problems are resolved in forty-five minutes or less, but that' the nature of family viewing. Cat grows more interesting by the week and the show has a strong point when it doesn't try too hard to make it. A solid 9/10.
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Published on December 06, 2015 06:56 • 153 views • Tags: supergirl, tv-episode-review
Supergirl loses her powers just when her city needs her most.

*Big Time Spoilers Ahead*

Positives:

---Cat Grant's germaphobia was absolutely hilarious.

---This episode really gave James and Kara a chance to get to know each other as they have a lot of scenes together and it all flows really naturally

--Glad to see our nefarious evil libertarian supervillain Max Lord was out (um distributing disaster relief.)

The Awesome

(Because when this episode was good, it was Amazing.)

--I was nervous about a "She lost her powers" episode this early in the Series but I was very pleasantly surprised by the way went. Usually these episodes give way for comic moments of inconvenience for our hero. Here she loses her powers and then the city is hit with an Earthquake and she's powerless to help anyone. A man dies who she can't help and she's totally heartbroken and her decision to go into stop a robbery with no powers and no weapon is emotionally powerful. The show manages to portray a character whose core strength is her goodness. It's a beautiful moment when she takes the gun from the robber and it's very powerfully played.

---It also plays into a powerful idea of ordinary people reaching out to help others in need, following supergirl's example with James having some great heroic moments himself.

---The reveal that Hank Henshaw was J'Onn J'Onzz was brilliantly done. I can't say that it was a total surprise. The red eyes were a hint but I think the scene with Henshaw blackmailing Alex's father. However, the explanation in the episode that the real Henshaw was dead makes this make sense. J'Onn J'Onzz is a fabulous character, one of the most noble people in the DC Universe and it's a great gift to have him on the show.

----Kara's non-violent solution to the robber is balanced out by an awesome action sequence where Alex Danvers shows her total awesomeness by pumping two clips into an alien and trying to blow it up. The sequence earned the show a TV-14 rating but it was well worth it.

The Bad:

---The idea of Winn discovering Kara needed an adrenaline rush to jumpstart her powers was absurd. On one level, it was contrived. On the other, the idea that the CatCo IT guy found the answer while doctors didn't was dumb.

---As a character, Winn really doesn't work for me. Beyond a growing tendency of providing improbable infodumps, he's also got that sort of pathetic thing for Kara going on. In this episode, it came out as faux moral outrage over James giving Kara a hug because James has a girlfriend. It's self-serving and petty. The character hasn't been well-developed and is either being a plot device or wallowing in a sea of self-pity.

---Lesson in Kryptonian physiology. Getting a broken arm cures the common cold as Kara's cold symptoms disappear completely after that.

---Kara's powers are recharged by her having an adrenaline rush as James is about to fall to her death...and she takes time to change into costume.

Overall: Another amazing episode that shows it's not the powers that makes Kara a hero while revealing there's another hero on the show. Despite a few minor points, it continues a strong run for the show. 8/10
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Published on December 12, 2015 23:50 • 113 views • Tags: supergirl, tv-episode-review
Summary:

Aunt Astra's got a game plan to save the Earth from humans through methods of murder and mayhem we won't like while some mysterious person has hacked Cat's email and is trying to destroy her.

*Spoilers Ahead*

The positives:

---"Seeing Red" established that Kara's got anger issues and this episode right to the core of them about Astra's betrayal and then learning that her mother used her as bait to catch Astra really shows how her life had already been messed with Krypton.

---Astra caring about Kara makes Astra a far more interesting character and it's odd to have someone that Kara so thoroughly hating someone as it's not her typical nature but that goes back to the anger which is shown in a fight where Kara doesn't risk innocent lives and can't bring herself to kill Astra but also one where property damage is at a premium.

---Cat Grant gets played for both comedy and drama as we learn about her minor foibles and then the biggest mistake of her life, having an illegitimate son and then not being part of his life. Her loyalty to Kara when it looked like she'd be forced to resign to save her son was very touching and felt sincere and shows how these character have grown close over the course of the last eight episodes.

---Cat figuring out Supergirl's identity shows she's smarter than the average boss. The minor slip that keyed it was added to numerous clues that Cat had picked up on. It'll be interesting to see what the writers do with the secret. There have been hints of one possible "out" which I hope they don't take. It would be convenient for Kara if her boss knew what she were up to and I also think that given all that Kara has learned about Cat, the strength of the relationship dictates the secret be shared. I think Cat is responsible enough not to plaster it all over the paper, but she might be tempted to abuse her Supergirl connection. But that's something for two weeks later.

---"Superman doesn't kill." So this isn't in the same Universe as "Man of Steel" and it's fair to wonder why the makers of Supergirl figured this out but the makers of "Man of Steel" didn't.

---Finally, Jimmy Olsen recognizes that Winn is pining for Kara and shows some real class in encouraging Winn to make his affections known, and we finally get a little bit of a reveal of what Winn is thinking rather than just guessing.

---Cat's nickname for Winn, "The Handsome Little Hobbit" is awesome.

The Bad

---While the Cat Grant getting hacked plot does allow a development of the relationship between Cat and Kara and some comedy, it's not particularly well-handled. It takes over half the episode and feels like padding and distraction for Aunt Astra's plot to set up a "To Be Continued." Another reviewer suggest a plot to topple Cat would have been an interesting season arc. I wouldn't necessarily go there, but having this play out over four or five episodes and having a more interesting solution than, "Cat's powerful White male nemesis is behind this effort. Shocker!" would have worked better. And a more complicated resolution would have helped too.

--Astra's plot is a little daff. Her plan was to get captured by Kara so to distract the DEO and Supergirl while her men broke into Maxwell Lord's corporate headquarters. The problem is that neither were guarding the corporate headquarters and both arrived before her people were finished. The only difference her being locked up made was to get Kara upset and make sure Astra wouldn't be able to provide support to the operation. Maybe there's some genius twisting we're missing but this plan looks incredibly dumb.

---Kara is a little too easy to let Alex's "explanation" or lack thereof for Hank not being responsible for Alex's father's death go, but I'll attribute it to Kara's trusting nature, but there's a fine line between trusting and naive.

Overall: A great cliffhanger sets the stage for a January return and there's some wonderful character work in this story. Still, the mishandling of the Cat Grant hacking plot makes this a little weaker than recent episodes, so I give this a 7/10.
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Published on December 20, 2015 12:14 • 94 views • Tags: supergirl, tv-episode-review
Showcase Presents: Supergirl, Vol. 1Showcase Presents: Supergirl, Vol. 1 by Jerry Siegel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


This book collects the first two and a half years of the print career of Kara Zor-el, the first and best known Supergirl starting in 1959 with Action Comics #252 where she quickly got her own back-up feature.

In the book, Superman discovers, after more than two decades in comics thinking he was the last survivor of Krypton (at least who wasn't shrunk by Brainiac), that another member of his species survived-his cousin Kara Zor-El, and he responded how any caring big-hearted hero would by thrusting his cousin into an orphanage where she would hide her powers and ensure that she lived a life of loneliness and isolation for fear that she might be adopted. And she must remain in this state so that Superman can use her as his secret weapon.

Oftentimes, in order to enjoy older comics, you have to take off modern blinders and enjoy the books for what they are and I've been able to do that with multiple books but not this one. Because Superman's treatment of Supergirl at this point in her career is the most unSupermanlike thing he does in the Silver Age. Stories often end with Supergirl sad or upset and almost always it's directly or indirectly caused by Superman making her hide in silence.

And because of being unable to reveal herself, Supergirl gets to do very little actual crimefighting, mostly swooping in to stop a natural disaster secretly or travelling somewhere where she can actually be seen (either in time or on another planet.) I think that probably the editors got feedback from kids wondering why Superman was being so mean to Supergirl because there was actually an issue that showed Superman was rooting for her and planned to give her her own fleet of Super robots. You would have never known Superman was rooting for her reading the book before that point as he came off as very mean. We're also treated to a few stories that seek to redo Superboy/Superman stories with Supergirl including her getting a merman boyfriend and other such rip offs.

That's not to say every story is bad. The book not only features Supergirl in Action comics but also some of her guest appearances and the ones in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen were actually fairly good. We also do get to meet Streaky Supercat. Supergirl's Cat who sometimes has superpowers and then loses them until they randomly return. Also, in the initial book, in her orphan identity as Linda Lee, Supergirl wore pigtails but by the end of the book, had a new hairdo that was actually voted on by fans and you can actually see the original ad.

The book does have one really good storyline that a five part story over sixty pages which was very unusual for 1961, and for the Supergirl strip. In it, Superman has finally decided to reveal her to the world, but then she loses her superpowers because of an evil scheme of a female Kryptonian scientist who figures out how to escape from the bottled city of Kandor. She manages to replace Supergirl and pretend to be repowered and hatches an evil scheme to use Luthor to kill Superman and then kill Luthor in order to avoid detection. It's an amazingly good plot for 1961 DC Comics.

It also managed to change the status quo for Supergirl as she finally can stop avoiding adoption. The whole plot does get resolved with a bit of a deus ex machina by a well known Superman guest star popping out of nowhere, still it's a very good story. You just have to go through a lot of so so material to get to it at the back of the book.



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Published on April 08, 2016 17:31 • 95 views • Tags: kara-zor-el, supergirl
Daring Adventures of Supergirl, Volume 1 (The Daring Adventures of Supergirl, #1)Daring Adventures of Supergirl, Volume 1 by Paul Kupperberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book collects Issues 1-12 of the pre-Crisis Daring Adventures of Supergirl. In the book, in her secret identity of Linda Danvers, Supergirl travels to Chicago to continue her education, majoring in psychology to understand the criminal mind.

The art is enjoyable and pleasant. It really does capture the character of Linda Danvers as this sort of sweet girl next door who just happens to have been born on another planet. In her Supergirl guise, she adds the sort of line of sarcastic banter that was standard issue for superheroes of her era.

The adventures themselves are okay. The first Issue suffers from a bit of overwriting as they cram Supergirl's origin story and history into the volume with a lot of expository dialogue. The villains she faces off like Decay, the Gang, or a crime syndicate are menaces but mostly forgettable. The same thing for the New Doom Patrol, who crossover for a couple issues. The most memorable story in the book is Supergirl battling half a dozen one foot tall duplicates of herself was enjoyably silly at a level rarely seen since the end of the Silver Age.

Overall, while this book is by no means essential reading, it was certainly a pleasant, fun, and innocent read featuring the beloved pre-Crisis Supergirl.



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Published on April 13, 2017 05:44 • 64 views • Tags: kara-zor-el, pre-crisis, supergirl
Supergirl, Volume 1: Reign Of The Cyborg Super-MenSupergirl, Volume 1: Reign Of The Cyborg Super-Men by Steve Orlando

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book marks the re-launch of Supergirl in a way that makes it's reality a little closer to that of the TV show. The big difference is that Kara is much younger than on television (still a teenager.)

The book begins with the Rebirth story with the DEO shooting Kara at the sun to help recharge her Kryptonian powers. As a condition of that, she has to agree to work for the DEO under the supervision of two married yet childless agents who will be her parents.

However, Cyborg Superman returns, this time with a startling revelation and a promise to fulfill her dreams of bring back Argo City but with a high cost to Earth.

The book gets a lot right. It really captures the way she feels out of place on Earth and how difficult everything is for her to adjust. It'd be like a smart modern teenager being dropped off in an Eighteenth Century school and you really get that sense of how lost and homesick she is. And she really experiences a lot of conflict.

Yet, she remains the same hero, showing kindness to vanquished enemies and never giving up on people, even on villains. The story really captures the kindness and compassion of Supergirl that the TV show portrayed in the first series that made her such a likable character.

I also liked the idea of her foster parents and the way they were portrayed with her mother even being willing to follow her into space as part of the plot. I love the Danvers as just such really likable and interesting characters.

The art in the book is somewhat inconsistent. There are several pages where facial features are (for no apparent reasons) very non-distinct. There may be a style to this, but given that it's on some pages and no on others it makes the art seem occasionally lazy.

The DEO Director isn't Hank Henshaw/Martian Manhunter and what we're given instead is a very generic director who just constantly shouts, gives orders, complaints, and threatens. It's like Maria Hill from Marvel but with nothing interesting about her.

I like Cat Grant's character on the TV show, but I don't think using that TV portrayal as a basis for the comics works well. For one thing, Calista Flockheart manages to make the character likable when with a lesser star, the character could have become insufferably smug. Unfortunately, that's how she comes off in the comic, particularly in her first appearance she chews out Supergirl for stopping high tech armed robber and getting in the way of her brilliant plan to interrogate them and find out everything about their evil organization. It's Cat Grant not Batwoman here. In addition, while it's okay for Cat to give a one or two minute speech every episode on a 40 minute television, that sort of verbosity in a comic book slows things down.

Overall though, I liked the book. The story is solid and relatable and most importantly, the lead and her foster parents are likable. Even though Kara's younger than in the TV show, these first issues captured everything that made Supergirl appealing in Season 1 with it's incredibly kind and caring lead character without the burden of heavy duty politics that came to define the series later on.



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Published on May 28, 2017 07:10 • 69 views • Tags: supergirl

Christians and Superheroes

Adam Graham
I'm a Christian who writes superhero fiction (some parody and some serious.)

On this blog, we'll take a look at:

1) Superhero stories
2) Issues of faith in relation to Superhero stories
3) Writing Superhe
...more
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