Get ready for Supergirl Month! To coincide with the October 26 debut of the CBS live action TV series, DC Comics is unleashing a wealth of new and classic material.
A prequel comic featuring Kara Danvers, the Supergirl who's gained a legion of fans for star Melissa Benoist even before the series airs.
A one-off special for the current DC comics version of Supergirl, a transition tale that takes up the cliffhanger that closed her last series and moves the character into a place closer to her small screen counterpart. A new ongoing series follows in November.
A Best of Supergirl trade paperback dipping into the Maid of Might's proud - and sometimes daffy - history.
Paperback editions of the two Supergirl Archives.
A kid-friendly digest of Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade.
An omnibus of the Sterling Gates/Jamal Igle Supergirl run that's the obvious inspiration for the new TV show from Flash and Arrow producer Greg Berlanti.
Yep, it's going to be a great October!
In my imagination.
Because we're getting none of this. It's been announced today that DC Comics' tie-in publishing event will be a dollar reprint of the first New 52 issue from 2011, with a bit of TV branding up top.
Now, I don't know the comics business from the financial side, but when DC thinks the market can bear a series starring the distinctly unloved Telos (Who? Exactly), surely there's room for a bit of a splash around the debut of a Supergirl TV series? The CBS marketing team has done a stellar job building anticipation with images, interviews, trailers... that leaked first episode, nothing to do with them, honest!
One way or another, there's massive worldwide anticipation for the upbeat, girl power adventures of Supergirl. It seems bonkers that DC Comics - now based in Burbank for better synergy with the TV and film side of Warner Bros, supposedly - seems determined to deny the event. Supergirl's comic was cancelled a few months back, just as a promising new set-up and creative team was bedding in. It ended on a cliffhanger that has never been resolved.
At the same time, Supergirl vanished from the Justice League United book, and there's been not a single reference to his cousin in the Truth storyline that's filling the pages of the Superman line. If it wasn't for the presence of a spectacularly Silver Age Kara in the excellent, underrated, out-of-continuity Justice League 3000 series, you could be forgiven for thinking DC had forgotten her altogether.
What the heck is going on? Even if the fans of TV Kara don't buy in droves - and I can't believe a fair few aren't curious about the character's comic forebears - a canonical Supergirl should be somewhere in the publishing line. Even if it's thought she can't sustain a series, despite much evidence to the contrary, she should have a regular spot. Justice League member. Frequent guest star in the Superman books. Co-star of a new Legion of Super-Heroes book... something.
So, it seems DC hasn't the will, or the nous, to at least try to cash in on Supergirl's moment in the red, yellow or green sun.
I'm not giving up, though; I want to see Kara get her due come October. I'll be tweeting @comixology to see if there's a sale of Supergirl titles planned, similar to the current 99 cents Batman bonanza. Please join me... And if you're inclined to tweet @DCComics asking for a new series for one of their most iconic characters - adding #showmesupergirl, maybe - that'd be great too.
It is interesting to wonder why DC's other major 'derivative woman hero character', Batgirl, has seemingly carved out a respectable following that Supergirl hasn't found for whatever reason.ReplyDelete
Creative lightning in a bottle, perhaps? Maybe if the Babs team had applied themselves to Kara it'd be the other way around.Delete
Hmmm...Did the Flash and Green Arrow comic books get a bump in sales after their TV counterparts became hits? I'm willing to wager they didn't, and that may be the reason why DC is not exerting any effort on Supergirl in the comics.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure they got a massive bump, but at least they were out there.Delete
Well put, Mart.ReplyDelete
I appreciate that Reno's comment above may very well be accurate, but at the same time one cannot help but get the impression that DC is missing a golden opportunity here. It's as though DC has given up trying to attract new readers. Telos??!
The Supergirl TV show looks fabulous with a positive vibe and a fun take on its lead character. Perhaps therein lies the problem--"fabulous", "positive" and "fun" all seem to be no-go areas for the "Post-New-52-DC-You" (or whatever we're calling it this month) which seems to be heck-bent on dour "realism".
As for re-releasing #1 of the most-recent New-52 series--it may be a brilliant comic, I've never read it, but that costume is hideous. It looks like one of those anime statues you'd find in the back of the Previews catalogue that seem to be shooting for erotic but just look uncomfortable.
Footnote (to your piece), the latest issue of the ever-wonderful Back Issue magazine has Supergirl covered, though it was apparently just a happy accident that its release came at the same time as the TV show's debut.
Bring on the TV show!
The first issue wasn't brilliant, it was competent, but depressing. As you guessed, wrong for a tie-in release to a fun TV show.Delete
I get BI digitally, and I've been enjoying this issue lots, it's great to see attention on some of the lesser-known Kara stories, such as the late Adventure run.
There are many theories as to why - some more vocal and/or angry than others - but the simple fact is that DC doesn't do synergy when hit tv shows or movies come along. That's probably why they're the creative and financial powerhouse they are today.ReplyDelete
It's a real head scratcher, isn't it?Delete
All great ideas Mart.ReplyDelete
You should be working for them!
That'd be fun - and you get to have the next cubicle!ReplyDelete
I think they're taking a "wait-and-see" approach to things with Supergirl as well as give the character a break from any new storylines. They'll want a new series to resemble the TV series rather than a Batgirl/Black Canary-style soft reboot. It'll be much easier to follow a demand for a new book than interrupt a creative team.ReplyDelete
That seems far too cautious an approach - the buzz surrounding this series has been great for months, surely it's more of a cert to bring in sales than - yes, him again - Telos. Even a six-month mini to test the waters...Delete
It could be worse: they could have followed up the storyline they were working on, and Supergirl would be getting the "Truth" treatment.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I'd hate to see Supergirl with a flare power that wears her out, feeling distanced from a world that fails to understand her. Oh, hang on... :)Delete
Spot on, man, spot on!Delete
DC Comics can't seem to ever do anything quite right. They have great books currently on sale, they have awesome characters, but they do weird things like promise 12 issue runs, cancel them after four, then change their minds again and let them run for twelve (Omega Men) and all of this quite publicly. It makes me wonder sometimes if anyone is actually in charge over there, and if so, are they maybe bipolar (no offense to bipolar people, I assure you) and just go with sudden mood changes when they strike.ReplyDelete
I sound so bitter, I know, but I have always been a DC guy, from childhood on, and I just wish they could get it together over there because I think their characters deserve to be seen and enjoyed in cinema and TV the way Marvel's are, and somehow they just can't seem to get it done. (The great TV shows are not really DC's doing)
I was a DC kid, too, and it continued well into the supposedly-terrible 90s when they were still producing great stuff like JLA, Legion, Starman, etc. For me, something turned in the early 2000s, and the company has never really recovered as a creative force.Delete
Fair questions, Hector. - you don't sound so much bitter as a loyal customer wondering why a company no longer seems to wish to sell to them.Delete
There really was so decent Nineties DC stuff, Brigonos. Even though I've all the Starman series in issues, for example, I've just bought all the trades. What, from today, would I want to double-purchase in a decade's time?
I'll tell you what I believe DC's creative downfall has been. Marvel edged them out by building a cohesive shared universe from Day One. Not everything matches up perfectly but it's different than the DC model where every editor basically ruled over a separate shared universe than every other. DC's major characters just do not fit smoothly together. When Marvel pretty much permanently eclipsed DC, they began copying the wrong things. DC's heroes were always shining icons, great warriors for justice with fewer flaws. For about two decades DC has tried to dirty them up in this mistaken quest. At this point DC should just give up chasing Marvel's success and go back to owning their own as best they can. Let their heroes be the heroes they once were and be the alternative people enjoy. Batgirl, Bizarro, and the two Justice Leagues are a good model for that (even if I personally find Hitch's static, overly photo realistic stuff that co-stars rubble more than people inexplicably popular) and accept that without a true reboot where everything starts from scratch in an interconnected way they will be number two for eternity...Delete
Absolutely. Let DC be the aspirational universe.Delete
Those are absolutely brilliant ideas that I'm ashamed to say I didn't think of myself! Yes, DC is a mess. Why is it that TV studios and toy companies are presenting popular versions of the characters that are iconic and fresh but not the comic book company itself? I think DC's "trinity" of DiDio, Johns and Lee need to be fired, as well as Diane Nelson. While I despise Jenette Kahn for killing of Supergirl, I can't imagine that she'd have been so passive and allowed there to be such a mess as there is today. Same goes for Julius Schwartz, for example. While "Supergirl" may be a TV series and not a movie, the enthusiasm and publicity would make you think otherwise ... I dare say that aside from Cavill's popularity/ hotness, Supergirl is probably more popular than Superman ... I mean the character isn't even the center of attention of what was supposed to be his movie. Unless there's STILL such fear over a female super hero costing money instead of making it and/ or the fallout from "Supergirl" the movie, it doesn't make any sense to not cash in by putting out a comic book to go with the TV series, sold in department stores and book stores where people other than regular comic book readers might go to look.ReplyDelete
However, aside from her monthly book, I will give someone at DC credit for putting out almost all of Supergirl's previous library available digitally and there will be new trades next year in stores ... which book stores will possibly order. But, considering someone can go to a comic shop and pick up an issue of Green Arrow or The Flash and have some connection to the TV series, there's nothing but a reprint of a cancelled series for Supergirl which just seems silly at best.
Thanks for the kind words I just can't get my head around the fact that they're not giving a Kara a big push right now. Even if powerful individuals don't like her, she's giving them an opportunity to make some money - don't they owe it to their shareholders to at least try for a cash grab?ReplyDelete