Before we get rolling whole-heartedly and headfirst into SDCC coverage I just wanted to get something off of my chest.
I love Supergirl.
It’s true. I do. Despite being a self-described Marvelite (I think I might have “Marvel” imprinted on my DNA somewhere) I am not above giving a little love to Kara Zor-El. Excuse me, giving a lot of love to the girl from Argo City. This is not a new affection, but it is one that I have a hard time identifying the start of it. It could have come from being put into Supergirl pyjamas when I was a small child or the fact that I watched Helen Slater’s version of Supergirl on repeat when I had my tonsils out. There are any number of reasons that I love the character, despite my lack of serious familiarity with the DCU at large.
My first real foray into the world of Supergirl came through the cartoon “Superman: The Animated Series” which I suppose is not as tried and true as it could have been, but I enjoyed the look of the series even if I didn’t understand how this version of Kara fit in with the rest of everything. It did spur me to check out her appearances in comics, which is better than nothing. This was a character who all but disappeared during Crisis of the Infinite Earths and was resurrected in a series of increasingly confusing ways. While I did enjoy the Matrix and Linda Danvers versions of the character, my main affections have always been for the Kara Zor-El version. Her resurrection in 2004 in the Batman/Superman title was one that was met with joy on my end. While certain things have made me squint (but what comic fan doesn’t end up side-eying the comics they love at some point or another) I haven’t really looked back.
When thinking about this article, I went back and reread a lot of story arcs and appearances from the past few years trying to figure out exactly why I liked her when I hadn’t managed to get into or stay committed to other characters in the DCU in the same way (though I am trying to fix that). I think it comes down to the fact that Kara came back into the comic world right in the middle of my teenage years. She was/is a teenage girl who is the fish out of water. Who tries to fit in and doesn’t always succeed. Sometimes she hands over a part of herself and has to live with the consequences. Her past might be tragic, but it isn’t all that she is. She doesn’t wallow in the fact that she can count her living relatives on one hand or that what she grew up knowing is long gone. She carries on, which is an incredibly strong image to grow up with. To know that people might not accept your differences and that sometimes doing what you think is the right thing can get you into a heck of a lot of trouble is comforting. Despite her out-of-this-world backstory and her amazing superpowers, Kara is in many ways an ordinary girl. She wants to be normal, but she accepts that there is something special about her without coming off too cocky. She likes to knit and often says the wrong thing. It is easy to find things to relate to. It’s easy to read her comics and be like “Yeah, I’ve been there” and feel a sense of camaraderie and know that others are probably feeling the same thing.
Now that I’ve gone all sentimental on everyone for a little while, I’m going to take a quick moment to say that I am currently enjoying the new story arc “This Is Not My Life” that began in Supergirl #65 written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. There’s something fun and oddly familiar about it and the writing is a lot of fun. I look forward to reading the rest of the arc and seeing where it goes after such an interesting start. There is something about the dialogue that just sort of pops, fully of quips and references that I can never get enough of. Throw in the fact that it is a female creator working on one of my favourite characters and I am sold.
It’s going to be a lot of fun. I can tell.