It's been forever since I updated this, my first thread on KMC.
I wasn't sure I was going to do it.
In the last few years the tone of things at KMC, DC, and Warner Bros has changed the way I view things.
Briefest summary: I am familiar, because of my background, with a small plethora of Abrahamic religions. I've noticed that DC seems as of late to be borrowing heavily, and I mean HEAVILY from Judeo-Christian "End Times" writings.
Much if not most of this is deliberate. Read the CNN piece on Zach Snyder, "Man of Steel" movie director, if you think otherwise.
The specific problem, though, is that all of the writings and works and productions conform to the "bad guy" side of things, at least, again, according to Abrahamic religions.
It's made me wonder if I'm not somehow promoting the wrong thing even when doing something I thought of in times before now as innocent, like posting pictures and images, and video, of a favorite hero/heroine.
It occurred to me, however, that I might be able to relate fan love with a gentle cautionary warning and so achieve 2 aims at once.
Any for whom the following has meaning:
2 Corinthians 11: 13-14, (King James Version)
"13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."
... consider CAREFULLY "Do Superheroes in general in any form of media TRULY promote the values I want myself or my family to have? Should my children read or watch any of this material if they are not already firmly grounded in morally upright teachings?"
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, the reason I'm updating should be fairly obvious to anyone who is a fan of the Kara Zor-El character:
Warner Brothers recently began airing a Supergirl TV series on CBS!!
More significant to this particular thread? They are using the Richard Donner era (i.e. Pre-Crisis era) as the era they're drawing Kara from! The hidden but still present younger me is thrilled! Hence why I am typing this at strange hours and am struggling to present coherent thought!
Doubtless there will be many places reviewing the new CBS Show.
I'm debating whether it's worthwhile to write my own synopsis of each episode, because the level of coverage is anemic now, but growing at a rate that convinces me it won't long stay that way. If it doesn't, for completeness' sake, I'll fill in the gap.
One angle other places likely will NOT cover, however, is the actual comic book source or sources for what we see. Fortunately, I have a reasonably sized collection, and can provide background info that fans might appreciate.
Right off the bat, a few things struck me as absolutely amazing:
-- the age of Kara in the TV series is early to mid twenties
-- Kara is more appropriately called Superwoman than Supergirl
-- Governor Jeb Bush of Florida commented that he thought actress Melissa Benoist looked "hot" in her costume.
This immediately called to mind to mind the following, which will hopefully be view-able for a time to come even for people who have not yet registered for this board:
Story Title: "Something Swims the Timestream!"
The Governor of Florida aspect is perhaps the most remarkable echo from the comics seen today. I'd be surprised if anyone else noticed that, even among the posters I know to be trivia hunters on other forums.
Other details, however, even in CBS-altered form, will be easier for fans to spot.
Note, for instance, that Melissa Benoist, playing Supergirl aged 24 or thereabouts, wishes to be called Superwoman instead of Supergirl. Jimmy Olsen wishes now to go by James. And Ms. Danvers is now a co-worker of "Jimmy's".
New viewers might think these are all new developments.
Arguably, however, they took place in a November more than 50 years ago ...
I left the URLs above as URLs so that they will (theoretically) be accessible even when the thread archives again. Allowing them as blue hyperlinks above would have thwarted that. However, now that such is (mostly) assured, here are picture links that can be clicked on:
If I note a reasonable response to the above, I'll continue with more at a later date. Kara's opponent from last night's show was pure pre-Crisis Bronze Age, for instance, and I have little doubt from the previews that they'll be mining more from this period before long.
Memories are quicksilver. Notwithstanding, the TV episodes have generally exceeded my expectations. Feels like a love letter to the Silver and Bronze Age renditions of the character.
I'm going to give as detailed a summary as I can muster without aid.
Be warned: This is NOT the thread to read if you don't want to know what happened in the TV series so far. I'll go from general to specific at the drop of a hat.
I missed the first few minutes. Presumably the exposition was as brief if not briefer than the trailer. Planet explodes, Kara having been sent by her loving parents just moments before that happened. Gets stuck somehow in the Phantom Zone. For several years. Eventually freed by some noteworthy event. Crash lands on Earth. Found by Superman. Homage to Action Comics #252. Except without the detour to Midvale Orphanage. Taken in more or less DIRECTLY by the Danvers, who already have a daughter of their own named Alexandria or "Alex" for short, played by Chyler Leigh. No nickname for Kara, whose name is short enough as it is, not even "Linda" or "Linda Lee" or "Linda Danvers" or some such permutation. I wonder if copyright complications are part of the reason for this or if this was simply director's choice. Seems surprisingly natural though, as there are a surprising number of women with the name "Kara" born in the last 20 or 30 years.
KARA Danvers works at National City newspaper. As an assistant for the boss of the building, who apparently is so powerful she owns several more: Cat Grant. Here the series seems to be following the surprisingly progressive line of the Superman Family comics that Kara was featured in during the late 1970s and early 1980s. People who are bit players in the regular series have matured and gained clout, sometimes considerable clout. Jimmy Olsen, transplanted from the Daily Planet in Metropolis, has gone from a teen photographer and cub reporter, to respected photojournalist JAMES Olsen. Pulitzer prize winner, too, if memory serves, which, a month removed from first viewing of this show, it might not.
The show has changed Jimmy from the freckle faced red-haired youth he used to be in notable ways. He is at once both less and more relate-able to me for those changes. Quite interesting.
Jimmy's traditional role has been partially assumed by a character named Winn Schott. In regular Superman lore, this is the villain known as The Toyman.
It will be interesting to learn what the backstory is for THIS version of Winn in the show. For now, far from being a villain, Winn is not only Kara's co-worker, but also one of her best friends.
She needs friends. Cat Grant is the boss from hell in this pilot, and not just for Kara. In fact, their first conversation has Cat asking Kara to prepare several hundred workers for termination. The magazine Cat owns has been undergoing slipping sales. Without a change, stat, she'll be forced to pull the plug. Seems she couldn't care less, either. SEEMS that way ...
Cat tells Kara the newspaper she came from (The Daily Planet) has few problems with sales because they ALWAYS have one noteworthy news source:
Superman. He is always an interesting and photogenic topic for readers.
National City? Needs his equivalent.
"Want to help?", Cat asks Kara. "Go find me a hero".
Kara unwinds from the stress of work with the dating scene.
She rebuffs Winn's offer of a movie only because she had accepted an online date invitation earlier. So now we meet Alex Danvers again, all grown up.
Because Kara needs someone to sound off on about life's troubles.
And because Kara needs help in figuring out which dress to wear.
Alex tells Kara she has to be on a plane to Geneva in 2 hours, but helps Kara anyway. Doesn't help. Kara's date turns out to be a jerk, who ditches her midstream. Just as well.
Kara has more important things on her plate.
We learned in the prior scene with her sister that Kara has downplayed her true abilities for the better part of a decade now. Trying to blend in, be normal.
She has powers, invulnerability redoubtable strength, flight, etcetera, but she hides this fact from the world. She's not even 100% certain she REMEMBERS how to fly now, it's been so long.
This changes, now. In an instant. In the immediate aftermath of the date ditching, Kara overhears an emergency news report, blaring over all channels. "Plane bound to Geneva ... now about to CRASH land!"
No time for subtlety now. Kara is in the alleyway outside in an eyeblink, doing everything she can to jog her memory and take flight. One bound! Two bounds! ... gliding, no, not right ... Come on, PLEASE!!
On the the third or fourth time she makes it. It's breathtaking. It IS the same plane her sister is on. Alex is scared for her life. You can see it in her eyes.
But then Alex sees Kara. Alex watches transfixed with the rest of the passengers and National City as Kara JUST manages to right the plane, slow it's descent, maneuver it barely, BARELY through the cable tent of Otto Binder bridge and plop the plane gently enough into the river to save the lives of all the people inside. Quite a treat to watch on giant screen TV. Special effects have come a LONG way since Helen Slater's time even for the Big Boys, let alone TV studios.
Even prior trailer exposure failed to lessen the impact.
What a scene.
'Bout the only person I can think of who is unhappy with all this ...?
Chyler Leigh's character.
Kara is so flush with excitement you can almost FEEL her deflate when Alex comes in an asks her "What were you thinking?!? How could you EXPOSE yourself like this?"
Alex is concerned because she knows that people fear the unknown, let alone an unknown that happens to be an alien with vast physical powers. She is worried her sister will find out what ELSE her heroic reveal to the public will entail before long.
Kara, despite the warning, does exactly what Alex surely does NOT want. She immediately finds the most trustworthy non-family confidante she can to share the previous night's experience: Winn Schott.
At first, Winn does not believe her. When they meet on the roof, Winn even thinks from the tortured way Kara is trying to explain herself that Kara is gay and trying to tell Winn she is a lesbian. Happily, that is NOT the case. Kara pointedly tells Winn so. No, she is, in fact, the girl that saved the plane. She wanted to tell somebody who not only would understand but, unlike her sister Alex, would be HAPPY for her.
Winn does not believe her. He thinks Kara is pranking him because she teased him about his conspiracy theories on aliens just the day before.
Until Kara goes to the edge of the roof.
And falls off.
Winn is, understandably, aghast. He rushes forward horrified, knowing what will happen next, knowing what he will see when he gets to the edge, but ...
He doesn't see that. Kara instead somersaults right back up with her flight ability and does a 3 point landing!
"Y-you're really HER...!"
For the next few scenes we're treated to a montage of Supergirl outfits from years gone by, some flattering, some not so much. The show happily makes Kara a chooser of modest dress, settling on the look anyone who has been following the show now recognizes.
Along the way we see her humorously involved in a car chase or two and confronting robbers merrily shooting away.
National City now has its hero. Alex is saved, the other plane passengers are saved, and the jobs of several hundred employees of Cat's magazine are now saved, too. Cat brands the still mysterious woman "Supergirl", and tasks her people with finding any info on her that they can. Kara, forgetting herself, perhaps, just a bit, balks at the name and confronts Cat in her office soon afterwards.
"We can't name her that! That is soo anti-feminist!"
The second line is a paraphrase, the first is verbatim, but Cat, for whatever set of reasons, takes the time to set Kara down and back in her place:
"What's so bad about being a girl? I'M a girl. And your boss. And rich. And powerful. And talented, and intelligent and beautiful. So if you perceive Supergirl as anything less than excellent, isn't the real problem ... you?"
Anyone who has seen the pilot trailer will have seen this scene, of course.
What is NOT seen, however, is Cat's immediate follow-up:
" ... and if you're so smart, Kara, can you come up with even ONE good reason I should not be firing you right now?"
Now THAT's a bad boss. Despite having a few questionable superiors of my own over the years, I can safely say I've never had anyone THAT bad before.
Do such people really exist??
Makes even J. Jonah Jameson look like a model of patience.
Fortunately for Kara, whether Cat would actually at that point have followed up on her threatened termination of Kara, (and she actually SAYS it is a carefully worded termination seconds later) James Olsen comes in, assesses the situation and credits Kara with the lead that gets the first photograph of Supergirl in any media. Cat stops short, gives Kara a reprieve and tells Kara that she's going to have a tough time in life if she doesn't learn to take proper credit for herself when it is due.
Oh, in case I haven't mentioned it yet, James knows who Kara is.
If not made clear here, as Kara must rush off to battle the baddie of this Episode, Jimmy was Superman's pal, just like in the Silver Age comics.
But more on that later. Kara's got an emergency to deal with.
Wait. This is a fire with ... no actual flame?
Kara gets shot with a green dart as she flies toward it.
And drops seconds later.
Men in Fallout style uniforms rush toward her as she slips into unconsciousness ...
Fans of the comics will recognize that as the name of a villain called "Cyborg Superman". Might be a little villain in Henshaw here. We find that he, or his group at least, shot Kara down and captured her. Just so they could have a little chat.
Kara cannot understand what happened to her. She's strong enough to lift buses and save planes and bend steel like children's modeling clay. Earlier she even laughed to herself while taking high caliber bullets. Now a single dart takes her out? To the extent she can't even break some straps.
But Henshaw explains he is part of a group that has resources not available to most others, and knows of weapons and phenomena the general public can scarcely imagine. The DEO. It has members from all strata of society dedicated to protecting the planet from extra-terrestrial threats. Including Kara.
Oh, and it has one member that she herself might actually be familiar with ...
... Alex Danvers!
Kara cannot believe her eyes. Although Alex explains that she warned her, and convinces the DEO to dispense with any cuffs or straps, Kara is understandably angry. They discuss the ramification of recent events. We learn Kara's escape rocket somehow managed to attract a vehicle filled with prisoners on its desperate flight from Krypton. How?
Who knows. It's alien tech, and Kara was, like, 12 at the time.
Importantly, though, these prisoners are special in Earth terms, coming from regions unknown and, powers and abilities that MAY rival those of Supergirl herself. Luck of the draw, perhaps.
In surprisingly short order, then, we find ourselves having left the complex. Kara, though still feeling angry and hurt, and betrayed soon finds herself matching against Alien Escapee #1, Vartox. There apparently is somebody like this in the comics. What their backstory is, I have little idea, save that it is very different from the one present here. This guy apparently matches a rogue called "The Persuader" who has an ax that can cut through almost anything.
He strikes Kara with it, but fortunately never lands a solid hit on anything vital with her unless with it is with a blunt or flat part. It hurts but does not permanently damage her. Nevertheless, he gets enough of an advantage that Kara is soon lain out nearly helpless before him.
Enter big sis! Alex comes with DEO agents and shows and throws enough ordinance around to convince Persuader or Vartox that he really should leave her sister alone. He retreats.
Time for the good guys AND bad guys to regroup.
Kara managed to have a spirited enough scrap with Vartox that some of the evidence of the battle includes a piece of his Ax. From this, the DEO is able to determine what the composition of Vartox's weapons are. It's apparently nuclear or atomic in some fashion, which is what enabled it to hurt Kara. Significantly they learn the metal can only be heated to X temperature before it explodes.
After calling it a day, and getting a good night's sleep, etcetera, we find Kara back at the office. James meets her on the roof after some verbal repartee.
He presents Kara with a gift from her cousin.
Well, something that can be fashioned into useful material anyway.
Further, we learn James not only knows Clark Kent personally, and that he's Superman's true friend, but that part of the reason he came was to keep a distant but watchful eye on Superman's cousin -- Kara.
Cue Round 2 with the Ax baddy.
Long story short, Kara proves to be strong enough and tough enough to take Vartox to the point where that ax is heated with high intensity heat vision and explodes. Whereupon he apparently realizes he cannot take Kara without such a weapon, and has therefore failed, and, well, he comes from a society where failed pledges and lost honor cost a man a LOT at the end of the day.
Seriously doubt we'll see Vartox again.
I'll have to rewatch the pilot sometime.
I remember one of the TV Series' "big bad"s hints there is much more to come.
So far this claim has held true! I must say I'm impressed with how much the writers have actually packed into this show for the relatively small amount of screen time these characters have had to date.
Anyway, that's more or less Episode 1 of Supergirl.
More (hopefully) to come in the near future ...
In a previous entry a little earlier on this page, I showed two sources for Kara earlier being called Superwoman, as this TV show now starring Melissa Benoist presumably almost wound up calling her. The latter of those entries is from a story that contains a feat I actually do not now recall anyone showcasing anywhere before in any respect thread. If it uploads here through KMC's own Image Host Provider, I'll also give it a TinyPic sending so even people who aren't registered here might get a chance to see it. Note that you can get rid of the advertising by clicking and loading the links below, closing their tabs, and then merely clicking on them again. The 2nd time they appear will be ad-free.
Recall now that Doomsday himself was (originally) destroyed by Entropy -- the condition of things in the DC universe at the end of time. Watch what even happens to the monster here who wields control over time and has survived for countless millennia. What effect do these all-destroying conditions have on Kara herself?
As promised, a link at the bottom featuring a "TinyPic dotcom" link of Kara lightly weathering what originally not only took out the monster featured in THIS story, but the Superman-killing monster Doomsday himself many years later.
Nearly every time I return to this thread, I get the feeling of entering a time machine. Sadly, or perhaps not, Supergirl's show doesn't seem to have sparked interest enough to reignite message boards as active as DC's official forum used to be. The show has lost more than a little of the moral compass it used to have, too -- Season Two's transition from mainstream CBS to The CW has meant the show tries to cater to special interest groups. Perhaps it's just the environment, but that change has meant it's very much harder to identify the Kara Zor-el of old.
At any rate, I keep stumbling upon some images in my archive that seem worthy of sharing. I don't have the free time I possessed a decade ago when I first started this thread, and were therefore reasonably diligent about providing reference information; that will have to come later. In the meantime, though, I don't see a reason this should stay on my hard drive, or whatever the equivalent for a phone is these days; not when there are potentially new fans who might be able to enjoy this for the first time ...