I was sad to recently learn that Supergirl is coming to an end on The CW. She was part of a comics-related group of TV programs including Gotham, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash, Arrow, Constantine, Legends of Tomorrow, and Agent Carter. Hey, who has time for any shows that are NOT comics-related anymore? Of course, I was thrilled to see another comics character lead who’s a woman, so that made me very happy.
Her comic recently came to an end as well. Sigh.
However, the longer I think about it, the more concerns I have about Supergirl.
DC STRUGGLES WITH HER COMIC
Even since the New 52 began, both Kara and her cousin were trying to match the success of the Batman family of books.
I’ve honestly lost track of how many times the Girl of Steel has changed creators, sadly. Does it mean that the various teams have been doing a less-than-adequate job? Not in my opinion. Frankly, I love the notion of Kara as a disaffected teen who has a few anger and family issues. I understand the desire to have someone wearing the “S” on her chest be someone respected, but Superman already fills that need for me.
I’m not surprised that The CW never brought the Red Lanterns team onto the series. Why? Because that requires explanation as to who they are and where they come from, not to mention the expense of special effects. Kara flying will probably cost enough for now.
I see that Geoff Johns had something to do with Supergirl, and that’s a good thing. He’s been pretty successful helping bring DC characters to the small screen and adding a “super” character to that line-up will be a real feather in his cap, seems to me. Of course, he’s busy with Stargirl right now.
NO ROGUE’S GALLERY, NO SUPPORTING CAST
On my Wayne’s Comics Podcast, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several Supergirl creators about her, and I’ve voiced some problems I’ve had with Kal-El’s cousin.
For instance, she tends to fight baddies known for taking on other heroes, and that most often includes Superman’s villains. Brainiac is a perfect example. She needs her very own rogue’s gallery. Seriously.
Not only that, but she has few people around her that can translate well to the small screen. Silver Banshee? Really? A girl who screams like that? I don’t see it!
Of course, this opens the door for the creation of friends and enemies who could help energize the comics. Hey, Harvey Bullock and Harley Quinn won fans on Batman: The Animated Series, and they’re showing up in comics and TV!
MAKING SUPERGIRL LIKE SUPERBOY?
Another problem I have is making Kara have the same experiences a young Clark Kent went through.
I mean, I enjoyed Supergirl in Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League: Unlimited. She was a newbie, and it was a lesson to learn – just because you’re that powerful, it doesn’t mean you’ll know what to do when you fight evil.
But Bruce Timm and company did that already! We need to see a new, fresh take on Supergirl, and an alien teen with issues still rings right to me.
Don’t all teens feel like outcasts and aliens, after all?
Should she live on a farm with the Kents? Again, we’ve seen that. I’d rather she her in a more urban environment, having to face more complicated good-and-evil choices.
SHE NEEDS TO MAKE MISTAKES, THEN LEARN FROM THEM
One of the problems Superman has is that he always knows exactly what to do, then does it. That’s wonderful in real life, but when we readers can easily figure out what will happen, that makes for dull reading.
And again, isn’t this what’s been happening with Superman? I truly admire his morality and ability to tell right from wrong, but I’d love to see Supergirl have to learn some lessons the hard way. Oh, and maybe meet some other great DC women like Batgirl or Wonder Woman along the way!
I’m sure this isn’t the end for Supergirl. I imagine she’ll make appearances on the other CW superhero shows at times, which I will look forward to. As far as comics go, she’s probably taking a break for now. I still think, though, the right creative team could hit a home run with her. Time will tell!