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Supergirl Premiere

I was a half-hour or so behind…but otherwise, I basically watched this pilot “live.”

supergirl_01

Though I’d had no particular high-hopes when the show was announced, and stuck to my usual avoidance of trailers and news and stuff about development (failing to completely avoid some character names that would be in the show)…over the last several weeks I found myself interested.

Then curious.

Finally, just truly looking forward to this.

After all that…I saw several commercials…and was eagerly looking forward to the premiere.

supergirl_02

This was a pilot episode. So we were introduced to a lot of stuff, in a rather cheesy fashion at points. But it sets things up. And certainly left ME ready for the next episode.

We see Krypton, and “the origin” and such…we even see Superman (with creative lighting, though). We get Kara, her adoptive family (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman‘s Dean Cain is the father, Helen Slater of the 1980s Supergirl film is the mother). We see Kara in her private life, are introduced to the supporting cast–her boss, Cat Grant; “best friend” Winn, and office newcomer James “Jimmy” Olsen.

We learn some interesting stuff about her adoptive sister Alex, and meet Hank Henshaw, albeit one who does not pilot the doomed ship Excalibur.

Kara brings friends “into the fold,” setting the stage for stuff to come, while we see her perform super-feats and get some practice using her powers.

And like sister-show The Flash we get a teaser scene at the end to give a sort of “sub-plot” to be unraveled as the season progresses, with a character I wonder at my lack of familiarity even as I’m willing to roll with it.

And though it’s my initial reaction–and I’m typing this immediately post-viewing, to get some initial thoughts down before I can be influenced by others’ thoughts, reviews, discussions, etc.–I really very highly enjoyed this.

While I’m typically rather averse to gender-and-race-bending characters, given this is something wholly separate from the comics, we’ve already had numerous versions of Supergirl herself, and my understanding is that this technically will share a universe with CW shows Arrow and The Flash and there’s been effective character developments there that I totally overlook and enjoy…I’ll overlook it here.

James Olsen holds a lot of potential to me–getting away from the annoying down-on-his-luck dude-in-distress cub reporter and giving us an adult, cool, confident character with plenty of charisma in this episode alone. Hank Henshaw is a bit of a name-drop, but given the ties to “my” era of Super-comics, I’ll take it, and hope for some interesting developments there, given what the character was and became in the ’90s and early 2000s Superman comics.

I hope I keep up with this and don’t lose track of it. My enjoyment overall suggests this will be one of my initial watches each week, and at least for this first episode…this is truly an immediate favorite show for me, and a welcome guilty pleasure (even if it should be no surprise, given my history with Superman).

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Supergirl #50 [Review]

Queen

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inkers: Jon Sibal & Mark McKenna
Colorists: Nei Ruffino, Pete Pantazis
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artists: Michael Turner and Peter Steigerwald
Asst. Editor: Wil Moss
Editor: Matt Idelson
Published by: DC Comics

After quite a bit of foreshadowing, last issue provided the culmination (or so I’d thought) of Lana’s story. Where I’d thought it was going to be cancer or some other terminal illness and that DC would actually allow the character to be killed, that issue ended with Supergirl barging into the morgue and finding a cocoon where Lana’s body should have been. This issue opens some time after that with General Lane and his grunts finding the re-grown body of his daughter Lucy and discovering that she’s actually alive, despite being thought dead when her super-suit exploded awhile back. We then pick up wtih Gangbuster (in a new, weird-looking costume) busting into some alien hive and getting Supergirl out…as she’d been captured off-panel since the previous issue. The hospital Lana was in has been grown over by a cocoon, as we find out that the Insect Queen lives once again, having spent the past year preparing Lana’s body to be taken over. Supergirl and the Queen fight, and it’s not hard to guess what happens by the issue’s end. We have some definite closure to things, while elements are left open to coming stories…but this issue’s events are not likely to be simply brushed under a rug.

The art by Igle is quite good. In and of itself, I have no problems with the art.

The story is also quite strong as what it is. I have never had any interest in the Insect Queen stuff with Lana, and have zero nostalgia for the silver age stuff…it was actually the Insect Queen story in the main Superman book several years ago that led me to bail on the Superman titles entirely for a brief time. As such, I was quite dismayed to see it becoming a focal point for this storyline. To its credit, the actual, overt Insect Queen stuff is basically limited to a couple brief bits last issue, and now this issue, rather than being a huge part of the overall arc. I’m interested in seeing where Supergirl herself goes from here, as Gates has continued to grow the character and give her surprisingly realistic reactions to things instead of the usual, simplistic cliches one would normally expect.

What I dislike most about this issue is the ties back to the Superwoman story, as I to this day cannot be convinced that the Lucy Lane I’ve read for 15-some out of the last 20ish years is the same character…whether this is Gates claiming the character or simply doing the best with the hand dealt, I’m not sure.

In addition to the 40-page main story (which has a 26-page chunk with no ads!), we also get a short bonus tale by Jake Black and Helen Slater (the actress who played Supergirl in the Supergirl movie in the 1980s).

A Hero’s Journey

Writers: Jake Black, Helen Slater
Artist: Cliff Chiang
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Wil Moss
Group Editor: Matt idelson

This short is pretty simplistic and straight-forward: it’s a recap of much of these first 50 issues of Supergirl. I recognize Black from his TMNT work, and it’s cool to see his name popping up like this. While the story is basically recap, it does add a bit to the Supergirl character, as we are reminded how far she’s come, and the changes over the past 17 issues or so have been brought both betterment and clarity to the title as well as the character in the title. I also quite enjoy the fact that Ron Troupe is still around and being used again lately…he is just as important a character to me as any of the supporting cast of the Superman family of titles…and I like a great deal better than, say, Steve Lombard or the current interpretation of Cat Grant.

The art for this story is clean and fairly simple, reminding me of any of a number of animated works that don’t use too much in the way of detailed lines to get things across. Again, that works for this story, though I don’t think I’d care much for the style on any ongoing basis for this title.

As a whole, I think the only “weak point” of the issue is the cover. Turner had a significant role in bringing this version of the character into contemporary continuity, but the art used for the cover just doesn’t work for me–it seems extremely out of place, especially given how far this title and the character have come over the past few years. Maybe it’s just over-nitpicky, but Supergirl’s ears on this cover make her look like an elf, and her physical build just seems out of proportion with the way she’s portrayed lately. As with most books, though…the issue can’t be judged solely by the cover.

Story: 3.5
Art: 3.5
Overall: 3.5

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