DCU Superman Book Club Week 4: Happy 60th Anniversary Supergirl!

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s recurring guest star of Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited and featured point of discussion on the 7/10 episode of DC Daily… Supergirl!

After three weeks of solid action and adventure starring Superman, this week’s focus shifts to the last son of Krypton’s ensemble of allies with Supergirl being the first to garner this particular spotlight due to 2019 marking 60 years of her wonderful adventures in comics and beyond.

To commemorate her anniversary, a multimedia adventure is on-tap and here’s what to watch and read:

Watch:
-From Superman: The Animated Series, “Little Girl Lost” parts one and two (season 2, episodes 27 and 28)

Read:
-Superman Adventures #'s 21 and 39 (best read after viewing Little Girl Lost)
-Supergirl (1996-2003) #'s 75-80

Discussion Questions:

  1. Little Girl Lost was Supergirl’s very first debut on television (animated or otherwise) and the beginning of her adventures in the DC Animated Universe. What’d you think of her introductory TV adventure and how she was adapted for the DCAU?

  2. Superman Adventures #39 picks up where #21 left off and features one of Superman’s most legendary adversaries, one that has surprisingly never appeared in any other DCAU productions.

What are your thoughts on this character’s appearance in this issue and would you like to see them in a future DCAU production?

  1. In the comics and beyond, Supergirl has sported a wide variety of costumes (and identities) over her 60 year history. Her STAS outfit was created for the series and later made its comic book debut in Supergirl (1996-2003) #51, with its final mainstream DC continuity appearance in #80 of the same series.

That said, what do you think of Kara’s STAS/comic costume and where do you rank it amongst your favorite looks for her?

  1. Beyond Supergirl’s 60th anniversary, another theme for this week is beginnings and endings. Supergirl’s TV adventures began in STAS in 1998, while the comic book adventures of the Linda Danvers Supergirl ended in 2003 in the Many Happy Returns arc of her ongoing series (as stated above, issues 75-80), which was penned by Peter David and drawn by Ed Benes.

Did the Linda Danvers Supergirl get a satisfactory conclusion in her final comic story? Do you think Linda’s decision to try and spare Kara was wise or, given how it could have had dire consequences for the multiverse, foolhardy?

Spoilers are welcome in this discussion which concludes next Friday, the 19th. Get your cape on and let’s take flight into the adventures of Supergirl!

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Excellent nice to see this is multimedia. and I agree the introduction of Supergirl into Superman Canon 60 years ago was pure genius!

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So much work this week. But it is Supergirl

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@Vroom

Thanks for mentioning

Peter David Supergirl 75 to 80

As the series final arc

It gives great insight into both Linda and Kara.

At the end, Kara is where you want to be, caring yet unyielding in the face of evil.

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@Turok You got it and thank you. Many Happy Returns is my favorite arc of Peter David’s run on Supergirl.

I’m not an overly big fan of David’s Supergirl in all honesty (it’s good, sure, however I like other Supergirl titles before and after much more) but I felt that everything in that arc came together quite swimmingly.

It’s also a good fit for the beginnings and endings theme I noted in my OP.

Thanks again.

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Thank you for this favorite of mine topic

  1. Given the ongoing embargo against Kara Zor-El, I think what they did was absolutely amazing. For every stupid rule, there will be people finding ways to work around it. We didn’t get Kara Zor-El, we got Linda Danvers. We didn’t get Kara Zor-El, we got Laurel Gand. We didn’t get Kara Zor-El, we got Kara In-Ze. And while they were basically creating all these in-continuity permutations of Kara, why not play around a bit? We get a bit of an Elseworld’s Kara here. Where Kara Zor-El was humble and caring, Kara In-Ze is brash with attitude. This gives us a fun wild adventure in Little Girl Lost. One that I happily watch over and over. Is this Kara Zor-El? No, at least not the young version of her. This is something different. This is Kara In-Ze and she is rocking a new costume to show it. A good costume that fits this new temper.

Is it a perfect intro to this new iteration? No. There is something troubling with Kara In-Ze:s personality when we first get to know her. She just lost everything in the worst possible way, and the personality just doesn’t rhyme with that. What is deeply needed are a few transitional episodes to see her develop into this go-getter. We really need something along the lines of what takes place in the Superman Adventures that’s part of this read. The nightmares and trauma, and overcoming those.

With that said, I have few other complaints. Little Girl Lost are among the best episodes ever animated by DC. And while she is not Kara Zor-El, Kara In-Ze deserves to be remembered with all the love. If DC brought her back in some new comic or animated series, I would throw my money at it.

  1. Brainiac is such a good adversary himself. But he is not the star of this issue. It’s the fraction-Brainiac that makes this issue truly worth remembering, and Kara’s relationship to both Brainiacs.

Though starting off as a Superman villain, I always find the best Brainiac stories are with a version of Kara, because she knows him in a way that Superman never will. For her, Brainiac is the bogeyman, the monster that haunts her nightmares. And her journey of overcoming that and ending that circle of fear with finding love in one of his descendants is so brilliant.

Kara In-Ze’s mother has enough hope, help and compassion for all to change brainiacs horrible code. That love from her parents is what made her who she is.

Give us more Brainiac in the DCAU, and keep delving into that history.

  1. I think I would rank this costume somewhere around third place. My number 1 being the original blue dress and yellow belt, and my number 2 being the classic red skirt. I don’t think the white should ever be worn by Kara Zor-El. It’s too far from her iconic look. But on Kara In-Ze or Linda Danvers, it looks really good.

  2. Many Happy Returns is so perfect in every way. The comedy is great. It respects the original silver age version, while having a good time with the craziness of the time. I love that the Kara Zor-El that lands has her timid silver age emotional personality. It’s such a far cry from the powerful maid of might who fell against the anti-monitor and is a reminder of how far she came during her too short life. I loved that Linda tried to replace her and ultimately learn that it can’t be done. In an infinite number of universes there was only Supergirl in one universe who could prevent the ending of everything. It reinforces the meaning of the sacrifice Kara Zor-El made when she alone took on the anti-monitor. The underlying reason of Kara Zor-El:s death is one of the biggest shame spots in DC history. But moments like this does make amends.

As for Linda Danvers own ending. I don’t know. I’m not really happy with her ending in issue 80, but how many endings of a beloved character are ever satisfying? Reading Supergirl: Wings Elseworlds story afterwards, was the better farewell of the character for me.

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@Coville You’re welcome, I’m glad you’re enjoying it.

Regarding Superman Adventures #39, what’d you think of the villain whose name rhymes with God and commands people to “Kneel!” quite often?

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He was in issue #21 no?

Well Zod’s badass. I’m alway happy about a Zod appearance.

Same thing here. Kara’s history of remembering Krypton works in the favor of using Zod as a villain.

It’s an interesting twist to have them both being immune to kryptonite as Argonians for the sake of the story. I don’t think it’s a good decision in the long run though, and it doesn’t make much sense as travel between the sister planets seems pretty frequent.

I do think Zod works better in context when he is more “for Krypton! (with me as leader)” and less against the House of El (or In-Ze) specifically. The Krypton series uses him much better than most comics. However, given the style of Superman Adventures this usage fits the fun adventure style, and is a good read.

I will happily see more Zod.

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@Coville You are correct, Zod was in Superman Adventures #21. I clearly got my wires crossed on the issue numbers for that question (even after proofreading my OP ten times). Oh well, it was late and I was semi-tired :slight_smile:

It is surprising that Zod hasn’t been seen in the DCAU, especially on STAS. He was however on the Ruby Spears Superman series.

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Wait, so this is the 60th anniversary of the debut of Supergirl, and no one’s doing anything with it? That kinda sucks. I know she probably doesn’t have enough pull to warrant something like with Superman and Batman, but a big, celebratory one-shot like they did for Wonder Woman’s 75th would be pretty cool.

Also, watching the first episode of Little Girl Lost, and one of the funnier bits Superman and Supergirl basically fighting the voices of TT’s Robin and Starfire.

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Okay, so just finished Little Girl Lost, so I’ll answer the question about that:

“Little Girl Lost was Supergirl’s very first debut on television (animated or otherwise) and the beginning of her adventures in the DC Animated Universe. What’d you think of her introductory TV adventure and how she was adapted for the DCAU?”

First off, I want to mention an interesting thing about it is the placement of her introduction. The episodes before this, for those who don’t know it, was “Apokolips…Now!” Arguably one of the darkest stories in the series (which is surprisingly pretty dark at some points, more so than even Batman’s at times), it ends with Superman being tortured half to death by Darkseid himself as Metropolis is being ravaged by his parademons, winning by the skin of his teeth, and at the very end watches Darkseid casually murder Dan Turpin with his Omega Beams.

So with that in mind, Little Girl Lost feels like a solid aftermath story getting Superman back in a better mindset. In my head, that’s part of why he goes to the wreckage of Krypton in the first place – to get away from the planet he just barely saved. When he says something along the lines of “there’s nothing here but death,” I don’t think he’s just talking about the lack of life signatures and the desolation around him. I think him being overly protective of Kara and trying to make her keep herself secret, while alluding to her silver age origin (without the cruelness of throwing her to an orphanage), is also Clark remembering what happened to Dan Turpin and didn’t want someone who he cares about dying on his watch again. However, seeing Kara rise up to the occasion and fighting off those same forces, landing a solid and definitive victory together, helps Clark get back to more his own self.

As for Kara herself…the embargo to make her not Kryptonian I think is a silly rule, but I think of all the other ways to get around it, this was probably the least weird and purest to the original source (I mean, having her be an ectoplasmic shapeshifter in the 80s was…a decision). Personality-wise…I agree that she’s definitely a lot more mischievous and spunky than the original Silver Age Supergirl, but honestly, I think that’s only for the better. This take has more life and personality and is far more compelling than she is even in her starring role in the Supergirl TV show.

I think there’s a good point that she’s probably a little too chipper for having just woken up from her entire planet dying, even if I believe there’s six months in-between her waking up and seeing her in Smallville. I definitely would have liked to see some fallout from that, considering my favorite comic take on the character is the New 52 where it’s a huge part of her character growth. That said, I could maybe see the idea that part of it is her purposefully putting on a brave face to hide the pain – she puts on an act of being fine and normal, so she doesn’t have people looking at her like a wreck or a freakshow. You could maybe look at Kara’s decision to collide into the comet to save the day in this episode as her thinking, “well, if I do die, at least I’ll be with my parents and friends and…everyone again.”

I mean, I don’t know how likely that is that this stuff was on their mind when they were writing this, or if they were just used to writing Barbara Gordon as Batgirl and put that template on Kara, but I like to think that’s the case to further flesh out her character.

Also, a thought I had as I was watching this again – I wonder if Jeph Loeb had this story in mind when he eventually brought back Kara proper in “The Supergirl from Krypton” and that’s where Darkseid kidnapping her to make her a Female Fury came from…

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@Jay_Kay Yes indeed, Scott Menville was the voice of the male Intergang thug. I thought that was fun. Who knew Robin was in Intergang?

“Apokolips…Now!” is my favorite episode of STAS. I agree that Little Girl Lost was a breather after how heavy AN was, especially given how cute and cheerful Kara generally was.

My favorite part of Little Girl Lost is the introduction of the Furies. STAS was my first exposure to them so it’s a special episode for me.

I was reminded of the Supergirl from Krypton arc of Superman/Batman while rewatching this episode too. I wouldn’t be surprised if Loeb was influenced by LGL, given how influential the DCAU generally has been on the comics.

Thanks for your comments =)

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Ok so I’m not going to procrastinate this week. Watched the 2 eps from STAS earlier today. Wow I forgot how much I loved that show. Also what a great tan Clark has LOL. Though I an not a fan of Lois I did like her in this show. My Supergirl Knowledge is a little muddy was her being from Argo new to her story was she not from Kandor?
I know why you really pick this though. Its because Supergirl gives you a shout out isn’t it!
“It was such a nice day I thought I’d you know Vroom!” (8:30 into eps.)
Loved the animation for Supergirls intro get job really it looks amazing especially when she is flying with the Canadian geese.
Lashina was great she is one of my favorite Furies. Stompa probably had the best line though with “Now Im gonna have to put my foot down!”

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(accidentally posted before I was done.)
This was the first version of supergirl that I new so I love her like this. Sweet and Lovable.

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@Aquamon You caught that too, awesome! high five

She can “vroom” at any time as far as I’m concerned :wink:

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As I recall, in the original comics, Argo was a city that blew away from Krypton’s destruction and worked for a while as its own sort of refugee colony until the ground started turning into Kryptonite, so Kara’s parents sent her away on a rocket to Earth.

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I just was reminded of something – does anyone else think Kara using the fake name of Karen with Jimmy was a little nod to Power Girl?

Also with Jimmy, seeing them work together made me like them more as a potential couple than the Supergirl show ever did.

@Jay_Kay You might be onto something with Karen, as there are all manner of subtle comic references across the DCAU, plus it’s fitting to Supergirl in a way. Good thinking.

You also raise a good point about the DCAU Kara and Jimmy versus their CW counterparts, and I agree. I never bought into them being a couple on the CW as it felt forced and was romance for the sake of it and nothing more.

With the DCAU version, there did seem to be a little spark between them. As we know, Kara would ultimately end up with someone else while Jimmy got conned by that lady with a thing for metal.

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I think comic characters by their very nature are more expressive in their emotions.

I think it also helps that Kara In-Ze is younger than Melissa. When you get older the youthful playfulness fades a bit from your eyes even if not in your heart.

If we take the example of the chemistry between Kara In-Ze and Jimmy. I would be hard pressed to find any live adaption where you get that kind of energy between people closing on 30. But yes, the chemistry between Melissa-Kara and James was closer to flatline than it had to be.

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Wow glad I got started on this one early 54 pages for #21 of SA! I so thought it was going to be a quick read being that its based on a cartoon. Good story. Now to get ready for BvS WaL!

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