Girls and Supergirls

The most recent “Supergirl” series has really been plagued by bad artwork — Sure, there are lots of comics with rotten artwork, but it seemed that the main character was actually designed to look like a misshapen, anorexic parody of the bubbleheaded blonde pop tarts that’ve turned into recent “Entertainment Tonight” fodder. Lookit this:


There are no clean jokes I can make here.

Hey, kids! It’s a comic about a really skanky girl with an eating disorder and an unbelievably poor fashion sense. If this were a realistic comic book, Nightwing would’ve spent the whole comic making Supergirl sit in a deli and eat sandwiches. After that, Oracle would’ve shown up and taken Supergirl out to buy some clothes. No reason to flash everyone in Metropolis every time you go flying somewhere, right? And after that, they’d set her up with an appointment with a good psychologist to help her out with the eating disorder.

And seriously, the comic has gotten quite a bit of criticism from female comic book readers. They say (correctly, I think) that DC has made Supergirl into a bad bubble-blonde stereotype, that girls who read the comic will think it would be healthy to be that skinny, that for a company like DC that has been trying to reach out to female readers, this comic is a really, really lousy way to do that.

DC has been working pretty hard on making their comic books more diverse and have made a pretty strong effort to pick up more female readers with their new Minx Comics imprint. People have been asking why DC hasn’t worked harder to attract female readers to some of their mainstream comics, particularly Supergirl…

Well, DC recently unveiled a new version of the character — and she looks… normal.


She still has the belly-shirt, but it’s no longer skin-tight. The skirt is longer. Her proportions are no longer supermodel-anorexic, but much more normal for a girl in her upper teens.


Even the posture seems to be more realistic. I’ve known lots of people who’d sit just like that. Yeah, it’s not stereotypically superheroic, but it’s nice to take a good break from the stereotypes, too.

You’ve already got some of the more immature fanboys whining that she looks fat — except that, again, she doesn’t look fat unless the only females you’ve ever seen are anorexic supermodels in comic books. DC has clearly decided — and again, correctly, in my opinion — that they have a decent chance of picking up some new readers, especially teen and preteen girls, with the new look.

Anyway, Tony Bedard is the new writer, and Renato Guedes is the new artist. Looks like their first issue will hit stores sometime this August.

(Oh, and some more artwork, plus another interview with Bedard, can be found here.)

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