Over the last few years the character of Supergirl has grown in popularity due to her getting her own show. In addition Supergirl has had a comic run since the beginning of the New 52. However, her portrayal hasn’t been that accurate of late to what I am accustom to seeing from her. So the question is what happened to Supergirl?
For some, you might not have noticed any change but, for me it has been quite a large shift in the character. Now as far as her earlier history I am not very familiar with. I know she dies in Crisis on Infinite Earths and as far as I know she doesn’t appear again until the Superman/Batman comic in the early 2000s. In which she appears as for the first time like she had never existed in the past. I am guessing this is do to the Crisis and Zero Hour events. Not entirely sure, so if someone knows put it in the comments, anyway back to her character.
I was first introduced to her character in the Superman animated series, as I imagine many of us were, and she could be a bit of a hot head sometimes but her heart was in the right place. She wouldn’t think twice about running into a fight and she was a very strong character that separated herself from Superman. You continued see that growth continue as she joined the JLU and got several episodes dedicated to her.
When she reappeared in the comics around this same time, the character we got in their was also like this. She was lost and trying to find her way and she had difficulties adjusting to life on Earth. As she proved when fighting Darkseid, she was still a force to be reckoned with.
For the most part she was brash and didn’t always think things through, but she was still a kind person who wanted to do the right thing. Also she was very much wanted to impress her cousin, while also setting herself apart. As we went into the New 52 Kara for the most part was the same and even saw her join the Red Lanterns, which I think was an interesting route to go with the character. She can succumb to rage, but overcome it.
As we shift closer to Rebirth and the release of her new show, there was a change to her character. No longer was she the feisty girl of steel, but basically a female Clark Kent. Now, why they changed her character I am not entirely sure. I speculate since they probably couldn’t do a Superman show they tried to make Kara like Clark instead. This was sad to see since she was already her own character and could have made her show much better if they stuck to her character’s roots. Instead we have mild mannered reporter Clar…I mean Kara Danvers.
Now let’s compare the two live action portrayals of Supergirl from Smallville and her current incarnation in her television series. I have no problem with the Melissa Benoist as Supergirl and I think she could pull off her older version. Laura Vandervoort played Supergirl in Smallville and she had a much more accurate portrayal of the character. Actually, I think they took it a step up and made her almost a teacher to Clark as she was much more experienced than her cousin. Like in the comics she was her own character that wasn’t just trying to be a female Clark. Now, Supergirl just feels like its shoving feminism in our faces. This would be unnecessary if they hadn’t changed her character, since she was already a strong female character who didn’t take crap from anyone.
Like many comics now, they have put in elements from the movies and shows and Supergirl’s comic is no different. Her new Rebirth series is basically just like her show, with some different characters, but for the most part is the same. I know that these are the money makers, but it has always bothered me when they take too much from their live action counterparts and I feel it should be the other way around.
Ultimately, Supergirl is a good character who has seen a fundamental change in that character recent years. Hopefully, she will eventually start to shift back, but for now I am not impressed with the writing she is receiving in both her show and the comic.
(Originally created on October 6, 2017)