Sunday, 9 October 2011

"Exciting" New Looks: Supergirl

Supergirl 1
Writers: Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Penciller: Mahmud Asrar

DC binned off the top work Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle did with Supergirl (turning her from a typical comics sassy-megabrat into a well rounded character) to make room for this relaunch. A rather hasty relaunch too considering Brian Wood was supposed to write this series until he was given the elbow at the last minute.

What a scandal! I like his work on Northlanders and recently read his New York Five collection. He’d have been perfect on Supergirl! But no! Instead we’ve got Michael Green and Mike Johnson (never heard of them) running the show.

Essentially this is a 20 page fight scene which covers the following amount of plot: Supergirl crashes to Earth. She doesn’t know why.

Thenceforth she fights blokes in giant robot armour and Superman turns up in his crap new costume. The End.

Presumably we’re supposed to be ‘intrigued’ by the ‘mystery’ as to Who She Is. Unfortunately this was the exact same set-up with the last Kara Zor-El reboot in Superman/ Batman and the first year or so of her last title (which was pretty crap until Sterling Gates took over.) So it’s the same old, same old.

In typical reboot / retcon / same old story tradition it looks like the ‘action’ is going to unfold at a typically decompressed / glacial pace. Maybe we’ll find out ‘who she is’ by issue 12. Perhaps she’ll get a secret identity / something to do around issue 36. If we’re lucky Streaky the Supercat will re-debut somewhere around 2028.

If that wasn’t enough to put me off the horrific new costume’s proved a clincher.

The over-fussy collar has the meddling fingerprints of Jim Lee all over it. As for the lower half…would either Lee or penciller Mahmud Asrar be prepared to take responsibility for that?

Comic book heroines typically have more skin on show than their male counterparts but I’ve never seen a superheroine outfit which puts so much ‘crotch cleavage’ on display.

From the splash panel it looks like Supergirl is wearing a top with a shield-thing over her genitals. Let’s keep our fingers crossed this look doesn’t take off in cosplay competitions…

Asrar’s depiction of the costume in action sequences is similarly ludicrous. She’s almost falling out of it in this explosion:

And the ‘get up’ doesn’t look practical to run in here:

I Tweeted Asrar to say ‘Supergirl’s got a bit of a camel toe problem hasn’t she?’ He, flying in the face of the evidence, Tweeted back ‘No.’

Look at the facts!!! This is the equivalent of having Superboy scamper around with his testicles dropping out of his shorts. RIDICULOUS!!

Admittedly it makes a change from the sort of boob-centric depictions of superheroines we typically see but it’s completely unnecessary. Why can’t she just wear a pair of knickers that fit her?? How about that? Why do superheroines always have to wear something preposterously low or high cut? Or is this another part of DC’s strategy to appeal exclusively to 12 to 14 year old boys and piss everyone else off?

I won’t be buying Supergirl 2 because I’ve got enough sources of irritation in my life without paying £2.30 to be confronted with more of Asrar’s eyewatering camel-toe costumery.

It’s a shame because he’s a good storyteller and the rest of the issue looked great.

That’s me finished with this for the time being. Let me know when she puts some pants on.

On a chirpier note here are two of her previous classic looks. I actually like her 1980s hairband outfit! And here she is wearing it for the first time in the final panel of Supergirl 17 – which seems to be shoe-horned in to match the costume that was being screentested in the Helen Slater film and was later ditched.

The hotpants look is also a favourite! The choker, puffy sleeves, neckline and small S logo was a bit ‘busy’ but Curt Swan always made it look good. And here it is in the first Supergirl story I ever read – ‘When Kryptonians Clash’ from Superman 365. Did the world ever ‘shower her with the credit she always deserved?’ No.

1 comment:

  1. Funny, you've never heard of the new writers whereas I read a few of their Superman/Batman stories, including an excellent Supergirl entry, and know Brian Wood only from this month's horrendous Supernatural comic.

    The Seventies Supergirl costume is my absolute favourite, but to my eyes Curt Swan always made it look boyish on Kara, whereas when drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger or Bob Oksner, say, it was just gorgeous.

    I like the headband too, especially for the reason behind it - ha, Kara was an out citizen of Krypton whereas Superman passed!