Mike Johnson & Kate Perkins Taking Over Supergirl in November 2014

Supergirl #36 (2014)

Newsarama recently published an interview with Tony Bedard, current writer on SUPERGIRL, describing the challenges he faced during his stint on the book and a couple upcoming stories. At the time, it seemed like Bedard was discussing long term plans, but that’s due to the misleading Newsarama title, “Supergirl gets fresh start in October”. CBR just pointed out that the November solicitations show Bedard being replaced by original New 52 SUPERGIRL writer Mike Johnson and a new partner, Kate Perkins. Bedard’s interview now appears even more a retrospective than at first read.


On sale Nov 19, 2014

The new writing team of Mike Johnson and Kate Perkins enroll Supergirl in the Crucible Academy! Against her own will, Kara has been selected to join the mysterious academy, which promises to train her and other beings of cosmic importance to serve the forces of good in the universe. But who’s pulling the strings behind the academy? And what are Kara’s chances of survival if she decides to drop out? Guest-starring Superboy!

source: DC Comics

I don’t have any opinion on the change in writers; I’m just surprised after reading Bedard’s interview. The good news, for me, is that interior and cover artist Emanuela Lupacchino is still on the book. I haven’t been reading the book recently but I loved her art on AME-COMI GIRLS, so I’m interested to see what the main SUPERGIRL book looks like when given to her.

Bedard’s experience makes it clear that we can’t expect much in long-term storytelling on a “top tier” character because DC editorial always have their own goals which individual writers must somehow work in.

Tony Bedard: Biggest challenge? Trying to get her some friends. Trying to get her a life. Trying to give her a reason to use her powers for good that goes beyond just being Superman’s cousin.

When I picked up the reins on Supergirl, poor Kara had been through one disappointment after another. She lost her parents, her planet, and her only friend on Earth. She had been used and tricked by multiple people, including her first love. I wanted to give her a break!

But the thing I learned on the Green Lantern books is that if you’re doing a top-tier character, you often have to play along with events in your sister-books, and that’s certainly been true on Supergirl. So between a new Lobo, a stint in the Red Lantern Corps and Superman: Doomed, it’s been a challenge to stay on target with what I want to do for her as a character.

The intrusion of Lobo, Red Hood and the “Superman: Doomed” storyline into Supergirl’s book have only served to derail what was supposed to be Kara’s story. I find it discouraging that DC editorial see Supergirl and other members of the super family as props to Superman’s story even in their own books. Female characters already get treated as props in men’s stories far too often, so this misguided editorial meddling is doubly frustrating. It discourages me from reading the book knowing that Superman’s story will always take precedence over Supergirl’s. Isn’t the point of solo books to give characters a chance to shine on their own? I like the superfamily books to feel like they take place in the same world and make appearances in each other’s book from time to time, but “events” should stay in their own books, guest stars should serve the needs of the characters who own the book, and the solo titles should be allowed to play out their own coherent storyline. This shouldn’t have to be spelled out to DC Comics editorial, but they’re a bit thick.

There was another interview with Bedard on CBR last month that talks about Supergirl in RED LANTERNS, JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED and all the crossovers. I will have to bookmark that as a reference, because I am completely out of touch with all the places Supergirl is appearing nowadays and can’t keep up. This, folks, is how you lose readers.