Tag Archives: supergirl

Review: Supergirl #37

Supergirl 037There has been an interesting trend at DC Comics in the past year.  Instead of portraying its young adult and new adult heroines as hopeless children, it has started to show more characterization, dealing with problems that might actually affect them, in addition to dealing with superheroics.  With Supergirl it seems as though the same approach is being taken, though due to the nature of the character it is perhaps not as pronounced.  This goes back to the same problems that all of the Super characters have lobbied against them, namely that with so many superlatives next to their names and their powers, that there is just not as much to draw the reader in.  The characters are never really threatened who cannot be harmed, and while some readers still adore these characters, others find the lack of a real threat to be boring.

What has worked so well for instance for Batgirl is thus a little dulled down here.  Supergirl is still on the Crucible and even though its true nature is not yet revealed, it would seem as though something is not right about it.  This is still an engaging environment for her, only just not as engaging as those faced by either Batgirl or Olive Silverlock.  At the same time, for the first time since Siobhan, there are supporting characters in this series that have more going for them than being stock secondary characters, and there are even two, in Tsavo and Maxima.   Tsavo particularly plays an important part in this issue as his background comes back to haunt him and he is forced to intervene on his home planet with his new allies.

The end result is an issue which shows that this series is moving in the right direction.  So often in this series it has felt like the character was waiting inside her own universe for some kind of purposeful meaning, and it seems as though it might finally be finding it over three years later. I thought that the cover was clever as well, as though it seems to be a representation of Kara’s search for an identity, it is actually tied into the issue in an interesting way.  This is not the best material that DC has to offer, but it is still a fun read and every issue seems to be getting better, and for those that have been waiting for a good time to finally pick up this title, this might be the start.

Story: K. Perkins and Mike Johnson Art: Ema Lupacchino
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

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We Talk Supergirl with Ema Lupacchino

Ema Lupacchino is a relative newcomer to the comic book industry, but she has already made her mark.  With over 100 issue credits to her name, she has already worked on a lot of iconic comic characters including Thor, Vampirella and Lois Lane.  Since issue #30 of Supergirl she has been the series’ regular illustrator.  We got a chance to talk with her about her work on the title, designing battle armours, and choosing the right colour of nail polish.

Graphic Policy: How did you get the chance to draw this iconic character?

karaEma Lupacchino: From what I remember, It happened in just three seconds – Eddie Berganza asked me if I’d  have liked to work on Supergirl and I said “YES”. I was really happy when he named “Supergirl” as the title I could have been working on, I love this character.

GP:  Supergirl is fairly iconic in terms of her costume and her design,  What do you do to put your own personal touch on this character?

EL: What I think is that the costume is not really important in order to define a character – the key is the attitude I give to her. I feel this responsibility every time I have to feature a specific character with the acting, the gesture, the expressions – it’s what describes him or her the most, the costume is just an outfit. This is what I try to give to her, a very specific temper and attitude. It can be a look, a way to move, a feeling. I want her to be as “real” as possible.

GP:  Along with Wonder Woman,  Supergirl is one of  two major DC Comics heroes who are both very strong and very feminine.  How do you find the balance between the two?

EL: Easily – she’s very feminine outside, in her movements, her make up, the way she smiles, these kind of  things. And she’s strong in both her head and heart. Of course she’s Kryptonian and she’s got some extraordinary superpowers, she’s almost invincible, but the real force is in her will. The hardest part of my  work is to communicate all this with drawings … I hope I’m doing it well :)

supergirl - blue nailsGP:  In the most recent issue (#36), Kara is wearing Supergirl-blue nail polish, which is a nice touch for the character.  Did you have any input into that?  

EL:  YES! It was me, I confess! I love blue nails, and since it’s more modern that the classic red one I thought it could be a smart way to show she’s living our timeline.

GP:  Also in the most recent issue Kara is thrown into some Kryptonian battle armor, which looked pretty amazing.  What were your inspirations for the design?

supergirl armourEL:  I was inspired by some pretty amazing concepts, mostly by Japanese illustrators I really love, like Terada for example. Japanese are the best at conceiving sci-fi technologies and I wanted to give a sense of futuristic tech on her armor, in order to help her feel light and comfortable at the same time.

GP:  The series has generally been a mix between Earth based stories and outer-space cosmic stories.  Is there a setting between the two that you prefer?

EL:  Space, of course! On Earth, as our real world, nothing extraordinary really happens – but out there in the space, extraordinary things can be discovered: futuristic technologies, new worlds and races that are very exciting to draw.

GP:  Speaking of outer space based stories, the world which you designed for the Crucible is pretty complex and amazing, between the different environments and an awesome looking space station.  How much input did you get into the design of the planet?

supergirl crucibleEL:  The idea of the Crucible as a bracelet orbiting on two twin stars was written in the script, and I think it’s a very cool idea. I spent a lot thinking about how to design it. You know, there were many factors to consider out there – the balance it should have with the stars’ orbit, the dimension, the details, the dimension of the ships outside. At the beginning I was working on some preliminary studies that didn’t really give the sense of its size, so I asked my friend Emiliano Santalucia to help me in figuring out what wasn’t really working with it. So he suggested to me to draw a huge diameter bracelet in which we can barely see where it ends over the stars. That worked perfectly, thanks Emil!

GP:  Are there any superhero characters that you would like to get a chance to draw that you haven’t already?

EL:  Good questions, I have TONS! :D I really wouldn’t mind to draw Catwoman or Wonder Woman one day.

Review: Supergirl #36

supergirl coverAs one of the outliers in the Superman titles, Supergirl often gets the worst treatment of them all.  Throughout 35 issues the character has struggled to find a singular direction in its stories and character development, instead often getting caught up in the Superman crossovers.  While the initial issues were going along well enough, it eventually got stopped in its tracks by the H’el story arc, and once the series seemed to have recovered from that it was thrown into the Doomed story line.

Below it all is an engaging character that all too often has her character development thrown out the window for the sake of some easy cross-coverage.  While that is not exactly the case here, it is clear that the Superman titles cannot just leave the character alone, which is evident here even in the words of Supergirl, asking to be left alone as she addresses Kal.  There is incidentally relatively few moments in comics where reality imitates art as well as this.  Much as with Batgirl in the Bat-titles, the character of Supergirl really needs some space in order to grow into something more than just another tie-in to bigger Superman stories.  By the end of this issue that starts to take shape, but it is at the expense of other recent developments (such as her budding romance from the other recent issues.)  What happens here at the end is to throw Supergirl into yet another offshoot of her own story lines, once again drawn into space beyond her control, but this story arc at least looks to be engaging (including re-introducing Maxima.)

What happens is that the series once again seems to have some promise to stand on its own, something that it didn’t have since the first year of its stories.  While readers and fans of the character might be waiting a long time for some eventual stability within this title as opposed to outside interference, it would appear that this might be that issue where it starts, even if Superman is here for about two pages.  As one of the few titles featuring a female superhero, this title could definitely use the attention which it deserves from both the fans and the creators, but it is to the creators to make that happen, and hopefully this will be the first step.

Story: K. Perkins and Mike Johnson Art: Emanuela Lupacchino
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Infinite Crisis: scorch your enemies with flames of Rao, as Arcane Supergirl!

Get an early look at Arcane Supergirl, a powerful blaster and the latest champion from Infinite Crisis – the free-to-play MOBA from Turbine based in the DC Universe! On Wednesday, November 26, players can burn down their enemies when Arcane Supergirl goes live in the game!

On the day Kara Zor-El was to be inducted into the ranks of Heralds of Rao, her life was shattered. A traitor revealed the location of the Shrouded Realm of Krypton to the Black, and servants of that evil realm poured into Krypton.

The Hidden Lords of Krypton and the Kryptonians fought back bravely, but the forces of the Black were limitless. When all hope seemed lost, Alura, Kara’s mother and leader of the Heralds, commanded her Flamebird mount to snatch Kara away. Unable to escape the beast’s talons, Kara watched helplessly as her mother was struck down. The servants of the Black closed in on her as the beast teleported to Earth, a planet in the lower realms.

Her home forever lost, Kara swore that no matter the cost, Rao’s last Herald would have revenge on the Black.

agent_arcane_supergirl

Fear of a Black Kid Flash. Not so Much a Female One.

wally westAn interesting thing happened last week when in the Teen Titans version of Futures End that a new Kid Flash was introduced in the wake of the company-wide crossover.  Or more accurately another new Kid Flash was introduced. Earlier this year some fans were upset at the long-awaited return of Wally West to the DC universe, the problem that they were upset that the character was black. While this was not too much different from some other reactions – such as the reveal that the Earth 2 Alan Scott is gay – it is interesting especially after this new female Kid Flash was released to little fanfare or reaction. No one at all seemed to complain about this new character, seemingly also taking over the role of Wally West, though the incursion was potentially just as comprehensive. After all the character is never named and could have just as likely been named Walda or Wallis as any other name (thus allowing a nickname of Wally.)

Although they are based off of general consensus and are generally pretty silly, the so-called rules of the internet cover this topic to a degree, specifically rule 63 which states that for every male character that a female version of this character also exists.  While not absolutely true, it is often the case at least with the most popular characters. Some are direct rip-offs, though very rarely does a character assume the actual identity of the character, though the new female Thor is potentially going to change this. The female characters generally are presented in one of two ways. Either they are a female character that is modified into the costume of a male hero, as in the case of Stephanie Brown in the costume of Robin or May Parker in Spider-Man’s costume, or with separate characters in obviously feminine costumes as in the case with Supergirl and Batgirl.  In these cases though the character is separate and not taking over for the main role. While this in itself could be interpreted as a statement of gender, it is still worth noting that each character has their own self and their own past.

kflashThis being the case it would seem that the problem with the case of Wally West is not that directly of skin colour but that of identity. Wally West was an established character for many, and to change something as deep as skin color for many readers meant a fundamental change for the readers. Is this fair though?  If indeed the female character had been named either Wallis or Walda (I know these are more obscure names) would that have been so easily forgiven?

Before answering that it is maybe relevant to have a look at some of the major black characters from the history of comics. A lot of the major black characters came from a time when being black was a big part of their identity, especially with the introduction of these characters in the silver age.  In the case of Black Panther or Black Lightning, there was no question about their skin color as it was right in their names. While this did not hold true in every character (such as with Falcon or War Machine) it was still a notable part of their identity. In the comic book setting where the suffix “–man” is the expected commonality, it was necessary for a time to distinguish between skin color and gender. Black Lightning is perhaps one of the worst cases of this, as for a time his true identity as a black man is hidden behind his hero facade of being a jive-talking street character. He was not allowed to be educated as a hero, instead he was forced into racial stereotypes. Still those stereotypes existed, and they were even there with other characters. If Black Panther were called White Panther instead, the main association with the color to the character would not be skin color.  Instead, someone would expect that the character has some kind of powers related to the word “white.”

There exists a lot of other names in comics to distinguish one version from another. One major example is the previously mentioned example of –girl which is used almost exclusively for female versions of male characters (with the exception of the Legion of Super Heroes characters as well as Wonder Girl), but in terms of the Flash there was already a descriptor for this difference – “Kid”.

As the character gained more depth though, he was no longer associated with his own name and instead that of another, Wally. He became a real hero in the way that real heroes do, that by association by their non-hero names is almost as evident as with their superhero names. In this way it is not possible to have a character named Batman that is not Bruce or a Superman that is not Clark. The question is though, is whether skin color and gender are so tied to those identities. It would seem as though the answer in both cases is yes, except the more so for skin color. Not all fans, but some fans are willing to make fewer exceptions for a black version of a character than for a female version, and perhaps some of this is tied to identity but some is not.

A distinguishing factor here is the previously mentioned aspect of power. Even Supergirl, who is as much Kryptonian as Superman, is never said to be able to match him in power, despite their powers having nothing to do with their specific gender physiology. Equally Stephanie Brown, for the short time that she took over as Robin was never seen as his equal, even being regarded by Batman as an unnecessary risk to be allowed to act in the role. It is thus the case that female characters rarely break the gender role/stereotype of the female gender, but it is not the case with a black character. Black versions of the white characters are usually just as strong and able at superheroics, and this is likely also part of the outrage over the characters. That in some ways the girls will never compete truly for the title, but that the black men can, and this is the true danger with a black version of a favorite character. A black character makes the original white character replaceable, while a female character only makes a lesser powerful version of that main character. In the first case fans will often reject the change, but in the second case it is more acceptable.

In light of all the commentary about the medium in recent months, be it over the black Wally West or over the comments about the new direction for Wonder Woman, it is important to note that certain aspects of the medium and their fans are still stuck with some outdated thinking.

Supergirl Lands at CBS

Helen Slater as SupergirlEntertainment Weekly is reporting that Supergirl has landed a series commitment from CBS. They are the last network out of ABC, NBC, Fox, and the CW, to land a television series based on a comic character.

Supergirl’s background has varied in the DC universe, so it’ll be interesting to see what they go with for the show. The Big Bang Theory which airs on CBS often features characters from DC Comics. Warner Bros. and DC over the next season will have Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Gotham, and iZombie on the air. They also have Teen Titans, Lucifer, and Ronin in development.

Arrow and Flash executive producer Greg Berlanti and New Normal’s Ali Adler will write and executive-produce with Sarah Schechter.

Supergirl has appeared on Smallville which was on The CW and she also headlined a movie.

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! What’s everyone doing to enjoy it?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – ‘DC Deck-Building’ Expansion and New Game – Interesting.

The Beat – Ike Perlmutter, Philanthropist – If only he wasn’t so stingy when it comes to the companies he runs.

Bleeding Cool – Opportunities Missed: Turning Franchise Viewers into Comic Readers – Pretty sure we’ve been discussing this on this site and our radio show for some time now.

TechCrunch – White House Unveils Patent Protections, Including Crowdsourcing, To Help Find Prior Claims – How about fixing DMCA abuse?

ABC 27 – Comic book creator breaks ground with autistic hero – Awesome to see!

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Alex + Ada #4

Talking Comics – Alex + Ada #4

CBR – Daredevil #36

Comic Vine – Green Lantern: New Guardians #28

CBR – Justice League #28

Comic Vine – The Punisher #2

Comic Vine – Quantum & Woody #8

Comic Vine – Supergirl #28

Comic Vine – Undertow #1

Comic Vine – Unity #4

Comic Vine – X-Men #11

Around the Tubes

So new comic day has come and gone. What’d everyone get or plan on getting this week? Any favorites?

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Comics Alliance – Early Comics Artist Janice Valleau Winkleman Dead at 90 – Our thoughts go out to the friends and family.

CBR – WB Reportedly Wants Joaquin Phoenix as “Man of Steel” Sequel’s Villain – Interesting.

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – All-New X-Men #20

Comic Vine – Batman and Robin #26

Talking Comics – Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #2

Comic Vine – Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #2

Comic Vine – Deadpool #21

Comic Vine – FF #15

Comic Vine – Green Lantern: New Guardians #26

Comic Vine – Harley Quinn #1

Talking Comics – Locke and Key: Alpha #2

Picture Me Reading – March Book One

Comic Vine – Saga #17

Comic Vine – Scarlet Spider #25

Talking Comics – Star Wars Darth Vader #1

Comic Vine – Supergirl #26

Comic Vine – Superior Spider-Man #24

Comic Vine – Uncanny Avengers #15

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #20

Talking Comics – Young Avengers #14

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! Here’s some news for you to spend your Friday with.

Around the Tubes

Robot 6 – Williams bids farewell to “Batwoman” – Everyone is going to wonder what the differences are.

Robot 6 – DC’s Dan DiDio to hear Whoopi Goldberg’s pitch on ‘The View’ – It’ll be interesting to see if this goes better than when they talked Marvel comics.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Animal Man #24

Talking Comics – Animal Man #24

Comic Vine – Batman/Superman #4

Comic Vine – Hawkeye #13

Comic Vine – Indestructible Hulk Special #1

Comic Vine – Justice League of America #8

Comic Vine – Letter 44 #1

Comic Vine – Liberator #4

ICv2 – Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel HC

Comic Vine – New Avengers #11

Comic Vine – Nowhere Men #6

Talking Comics – S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Comic Vine – S.H.O.O.T. First #1

Comic Vine – Supergirl #24

Comic Vine – Uncanny X-Men #13

Comic Vine – Wonder Woman #24

Comic Vine – X-O Manowar #18

Around the Tubes

It was new comic book day yesterday. What did everyone get?

Around the Tubes

The Mary Sue – Natalie Portman Lays Down A Truth Bomb About Female Characters – Good take on the issue.

CBR – ‘Beetle Bailey’ falls victim to military budget cuts – A bit shocked this isn’t donated.

The Mary Sue – These Are Some Sweet Supergirl Re-Designs – Some cool designs.

The Beat – Madefire raises $5.2 million in VC money – Congrats!

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Detective Comics #24

Comic Vine – Earth 2 #16

Comic Vine – Fantomex MAX #1

Comic Vine – Forever Evil #2

Comic Vine – Green Arrow #24

Comic Vine – Green Lantern #24

Comic Vine – Hinterkind #1

Comic Vine – Hunger #3

Comic Vine – Invincible Universe #7

Comic Vine – Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #1

Comic Vine – Quantum & Woody #4

Comic Vine – Savage Wolverine #9

Big Shiny Robot – Sex Criminals #1

Comic Vine – Swamp Thing #24

Talking Comics – Trillium #3

The Beat – Reviewed! Every Issue of Villains Month – the final issues

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