As a huge Supergirl fan, it might be surprising to some that I have not read the Supergirl comics… until now!
I had a lot of free time over the past few months, so I decided to read some of the Supergirl comics. If I hadn’t made it clear already, I absolutely love this character. Her personality, compassion, kindness are all traits that I think are more important than strength and formidability for a superhero.
The Supergirl comics are a bit confusing to get into, because there are quite a few eras. These eras are:
Pre-crisis: Ending with the death of the original Supergirl
Post-crisis: Reintroduction of Supergirl into the DC Comics universe
Post-Flashpoint: Supergirl in the new era, after The Flash realises changes in the original timeline and the altered one
In my big Why-Supergirl-is-awesome post, I talked a bit about writer Sterling Gates. He wrote a few Supergirl stories for the Post-crisis Supergirl. So I decided to start with that, right from the beginning. I have a few thoughts on those comics.
The first 10 or so issues were bad. The stories were weak, and Supergirl wasn’t…well… Supergirl. While I do understand that they were trying to capture her inexperience being a superhero, she simply did not have the personality that Supergirl has. The following 10 issues were even worse. The stories were just weird. I’m not sure what the writers were on when they decided to write those, but they were really bad. The following issues were an improvement, until Sterling Gates took over. Then the stories got really good. Kara was more natural and relatable. He was able to capture the essence of that character perfectly.
I never did end up reading the New52 Supergirl series as I read that it wasn’t as good as some of the other New52 series out there. But I did end up reading Adventures of Supergirl, also written by Sterling Gates, and based on the TV show, which I look forward to every week. There, he brought in characters from the show, and you can basically read the book as an aside to the TV show. Those comics were good. The Kara that you love in the show is the same Kara that’s in the comic books. Filled with compassion, empathy, selflessness and kindness. There are some great stories told in that with some very nice quotes. If you do like the show, and want to read a single comic series, read that.
I have also finished reading the latest Supergirl comic book series, Supergirl Rebirth. From my understanding, they’ve tried to capture that same essence of Kara that’s present in the TV show and some of the better comics. They seem to have gone back to her essence – compassion, which emanates throughout the comic book series. You particularly see this in the last book of the series (issue #20), where she prevents an alien from killing the villain.
With issue #20 comes the end of the Rebirth series for Supergirl. DC comics, in all their wisdom has decided to cancel the Supergirl comics. This comes with the addition of Brian Bendis to the writers that work for DC. Apparently, he wants to pitch in his own mythos and tailor a new comic book series for 18+. All garbage I couldn’t care less for.
If I’ve said this one, I’ve said it several times before: I only support DC comics because of Supergirl. I am a huge Supergirl fan. I’ve never bought a single non-Supergirl comic book, and I never will. I don’t really care much for comic books, but Supergirl is the exception to that. With the cancellation of the Supergirl comic book series, at least I can say I have a little more money saved every month.
Unfortunately, the cancellation of the comic book does not bode well for the character. I’m certain she will be back. But in a time where there is so much potential for the character to become great (both with the fantastic Rebirth series and the amazing performances by Melissa Benoist on the TV show), it just shows that DC have absolutely no idea of the potential this character can achieve. Either that, or they don’t want the character to become great. Either way, they end up losing my support.