Profile: Supergirl 1
Kara Zor-El, Supergirl 1
First appearance: Action Comics #252, 1959. Her reintroduction was in Superman/Batman #8, 2004.
Current status: member of DCU again.
Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: during the Bronze Age, when she first had a solo series during the early 1970s, she’d be depicted quite a few times reacting to a failed romance by sobbing. Since her re-intro, or during the time between then and early 2007, they overly sexualized her with the way they draw her skirt almost sliding off her hips on the cover art. (Example: issue #21 of the current series.)
What’s wrong with how this was done? Her characterization during the early 70s was awkward at best and hardly at all a good way to depict someone dealing with failed love life. And today, as welcome as Kara’s return to the DCU is, it was still very awkward. To make her a beautiful Maiden [of Might] is important, certainly, but that doesn’t mean they should overly sexualize her, as they seem to have done since 2004.
Most surprisingly, no serious attempt has been made to give her an ongoing secret ID and regular civilian life, nor has she gotten any supporting cast of her own. Instead, we seem to have a case of the pointless Captain Boomerang Junior being a special guest star, as well as the various other DCU members who’ve made too many guest appearances since the series began.
But the most disturbing thing of all about whatever direction they’ve attempted to set up is that Kara may or may not have been assigned by her father Zor-El to slay Superman(!) out of a family-based grudge. The way they kept at this, you’d think it was some kind of a tasteless running gag. And that he may have even used her as a tool, either for slaying, or for exorcism of evil spirits that possessed some Kryptonians after being released from the Phantom Zone. A ludicrous, nigh-offensive story this was, co-written by Mark Sable, that may have (hopefully) been abandoned after issue #19.
Since Kara’s new series began in 2005, it’s lost a considerable amount of audience, and I suspect the only reason it got as much of an audience as it did when it began was because Jeph Loeb, at least at that time, was the writer. And thanks to their disinterest in allowing the writers a free reign to establish a secret ID and supporting cast, that may have been what really lost the new series its audience, with little garuntee for now that it’ll be able to regain it again successfully.