Saturday, January 14, 2006

Supergirl is better than Superlolita

Pre-Crisis Supergirl is still the only Supergirl as far as I'm concerned.

Take a look at these panels from Superman v1, #313 (July 1977).

Check out that smirk on Kara's face. It says "You poor fool. You just have no idea, do you?" Moments before soiling himself, Amalak realizes as Supergirl snaps the chains that held her while unconscious what a really poor choice of career he had chosen in Kryptonian-assassination. Amalak is one of those lame villains who is a threat only because of some lucky piece of technology they stumble across. A monkey is stupid, but give one an Uzi and they are one dangerous primate (At least until you disarm them with the promise of a bannana).

Is Superlolita as cool as this? I don't think so.

Pre-Crisis Supergirl was also, if I recall correctly, one of the least objectified females in comics, which may have a lot to do with the failure of her title and character and eventual bumping-off in CoIE.

Such a shame to go from this to this.


  1. Well, you see, it might be sad, but it definetely isn't surprising. Turning art to a commodity usually does these kinds of things...

  2. It's not surprising; it is sad, but what's even sadder is that Marvel and DC have over the past few years taken their cues from what was selling for Image and Top Cow in the 1990s.

    Objectifying women in a superhero comics medium we want to get more young readers into? Bad, bad, bad. Being unoriginal about it makes it even more reprehensible.

    Julie "Be original" Schwartz?: now spinning like a rotisserie chicken.

  3. (And yes, I'm fully aware that given actual real-life harassment accusations levelled against Julius Schwartz, that's either a bad or ironic comparison for me to make.)

  4. "Bully said...Marvel and DC have over the past few years taken their cues from what was selling for Image and Top Cow in the 1990s."

    It's called "Desperation".

  5. I like how she lets him shoot 3 times before she cleans his clock.

  6. In this case, I'm not sure if it's art following life or life following art. But the current version looks like half the high school kids I see during the warmer months here in NYC and some of them in the winter, too, with their little fur jackets that end about 6 inches above where their jeans start. and there's a fair amount of skin showing in between.

    It's a fine line between objectification and showing off and not caring. In one view, Kara is being objectified; in another, she's simply being shown trying to fit in with her peers.

    The only real difference is that the males in comics aren't drawn quite the same way as real guys dress, with low cut jeans showing off more of their skin than one would usually want seen.

  7. Sure. Yet as a character she has no real peers yet, except for her what she has absorbed through exposure to the Amazons and popular media.

    As a product, Superfnteen is drawn that way so the consumers can identify with the idea of what she should look like. In the early 70's the pre-CoIE Supergirl even wore a french-cut bikini costume supposedly designed by fans (one costume even had all of her skin concealed neck to toe, including sleeves and gloves). As the character received depth she was written past all that and matured, being less objectified. It was clear to the editors then that story, not purty "hurrrrrr hurrrr" pictures would make the sales. Unfortunately, she did suffer through poor writing and direction for years.

    That said, It's doubtful that the communion dress-wearing Kara will ever return given today's marketing desperation.


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