espanolbot: (Default)
[personal profile] espanolbot posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Ah, Supergirl, along with Batgirl one of DC's most recognised B-List superheroes. Also one who has undergone a fair bit of revision over the years, sharing that category of character with Hawkman and Donna Troy for overcomplicated, contradictory backstories. But, to simplify things, I'll focus on Supergirl Classic, the Kara Zor-El version.

Like with Batgirl, Kara Zor-El isn't strictly speaking the first version of Supergirl. Prior to her 1959 debut, there were various other characters who took up the name (Super-Sister, Queen Lucy: Super-Girl, Superwoman etc.) But the character who'd become the template for Kara came in Superman #123 (August 1958), where after hearing Superman reject Lois' advances for the umpteenth time, Jimmy Olsen uses a magic totem to create a superpowered girlfriend for his BBF... only for her to be too powerful, and promptly die saving Superman from a Kryptonite meteor.


After how popular this character proved to be, the following year they debuted Kara Zor-El in Action Comics 252! Let's have a look...


Yes, thanks for pointing out that you weren't a homunculus created by Jimmy rubbing his totem, Kara.

Superman flies to the wreckage, only for Kara to climb out, already in full costume and speaking English, something which surprises Clark.

She explains that she's from a colony of Kryptonians who survived their planet's destruction, thanks to the chunk they were on being large enough to keep a breathable portion of its atmosphere. However, the explosion still caused their chunk to slowly turn into Kryptonite, which they attempted to counteract by wrapping their new home in a layer of lead they happened to have lying around.

However, when a meteor shower punches holes in the lead layer, Kara's dad goes to work building a rocket to save his daughter, just how his brother Jor-El did to save his son.



Wow, real compassionate there Supes. Dick.

Superman gets Kara a disguise, and has her committed to the orphanage, telling the administrators that she's all alone due to her entire community dying suddenly.



...And that's pretty much it in terms of Supergirl's debut story. Following this, she became a member of Superman's background cast, until the time came to reduce the number of Kryptonians hanging around, as some folks thought that this took away from Clark's "Last Son of Krypton" status.

Interestingly, Otto Binder, the co-creator of Supergirl, also created Mary Marvel, who'd have her own spin-off book all the way back in 1945. This is curious considering how later writers seem to have a whole thing of making the pair fight as some kind of commentary on women in superhero comics (like in Final Crisis).

Following the character's iconic death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jeph Loeb later rebooted Supergirl in a manner which... I wasn't really a fan of. Mostly due to the creepy sexualised way they treated the character (underaged girl introduced walking nude through Metroplis while everyone oogles her, for one example, and the many many panty shots), and partly due to her being an INCREDIBLY unpleasant person until the Sterling Gates semi-reboot.


I don't really want to go on a rant about how much I hate the Jeph Loeb version of Supergirl (a character born seemingly from a more than slightly sexist view of teenage girls and a SHEDLOAD of bad writing), but I did enjoy the character arc DCAU's Kara had. And the current TV version seems good also.

Date: 2016-12-18 07:22 pm (UTC)
janegray: (Default)
From: [personal profile] janegray
She explains that she's from a colony of Kryptonians who survived their planet's destruction, thanks to the chunk they were on being large enough to keep a breathable portion of its atmosphere. However, the explosion still caused their chunk to slowly turn into Kryptonite, which they attempted to counteract by wrapping their new home in a layer of lead they happened to have lying around. However, when a meteor shower punches holes in the lead layer

It's like the universe was playing whack-a-mole with them. I'm surprised it didn't start raining, just to deliver that little extra "fuck you" to the colony.

Date: 2016-12-18 10:16 pm (UTC)
ozaline: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ozaline
I always thought Kara Zor-El was more compelling than Clark in some ways simply because she remembers Krypton, and it added a different layer to her trying to fit into Earth society.

I do think there were some flashes of a brilliance in her reappearance in Superman/Batman and the pre-Gates stuff... Though it's drowned out in a lot of subpar writing and various writers not knowing what to do with her.

Gates Run and everything since has been pretty good IMO, but I really appreciate the pre-Crisis stuff... having recently read through the Silver Age Omnibus Vol 1, I specially like how in the Siegel stories, he'd use simple visual clues to solving the "mystery," of the story like Kryptonians driving on the left side of the road.

Date: 2016-12-18 10:18 pm (UTC)
skjam: (fanfic)
From: [personal profile] skjam
Bizarrely, Batgirl & Supergirl's canon first meeting in World's Finest does not pass the Bechdel Test, even though it appears to at first.

Date: 2016-12-18 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] scorntx
I do like Zor-El's thought process.
"We have a month before our atmosphere kills us! I shall spend that time making an escape rocket for my daughter, and ONLY my daughter!"
"Er, Zor-El, wouldn't it be an idea to spend that time trying to, I don't know, find a way to save everyone else as well?"
"... That's crazy-talk, Alura."

That's some vintage Silver Age logic, right there.
Also, the obligatory "Superman's a dick" comment.
"I'll take care of you like a brother... now go live in this orphanage. Your powers will require training... which I'm not going to give you. And don't let anyone see you committing any heroics. And don't try to contact me, either. Good luck with that grief you must be feeling, cousin."

And the Loeb Supergirl was just terrible.

Date: 2016-12-19 04:25 pm (UTC)
bradygirl_12: (superman (santa shield))
From: [personal profile] bradygirl_12
I always thought Kara Zor-El was more compelling than Clark in some ways simply because she remembers Krypton, and it added a different layer to her trying to fit into Earth society.

*nods*

She probably would have a tougher time adjusting due to her being a teenager by the time her part of Krypton was gone, though I never liked the modern moody/nasty teen version as we see here.

As far as Silver Age Superman, I doubt he'd be allowed to take in a female teenager as a single guy. And there were no Ma and Pa Kent to raise her, as in this era they'd died just before he started his career as Superman away from Smallville (he had been Superboy, as we see in the movie ad). In the Silver Age, no navel-gazing! Buck up, girlie! :) But they were more of a stiff-upper-lip kind of thing with occasional showings of grief as we see Kara suffering after her tale is told. And that hug between the cousins is really nice. :)

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