Friday, 4 January 2013
I disliked it when, having streamlined Superman mythology, Byrne presented new versions of the greatest absurdities:
Lori Lemaris, a mermaid;
Mr Mxyzptlk, an omnipotent five dimensional imp;
Zod, even though as a pocket universe Kryptonian and even though almost immediately executed by Superman;
Supergirl as a pocket universe artificially created being - even though this was an attractive version of the character.
Surely there were new stories that could have been told?
I have not been reading DC more recently. I know that they have brought back the Kryptonian Supergirl and even Krypto and have had to do something else with Power Girl's continuity. Originally, they did a good job of transforming Power Girl, the Earth 2 version of Supergirl, from the Kryptonian Kal-El's cousin into the Atlantean Arion's granddaughter programmed with spurious memories of a Kryptonian origin.
At that stage, some of the rewriting of continuity, especially by Frank Miller and Roy Thomas, was clever and evocative. Consider these statements:
the Golden Age of superheroes happened decades ago in another universe;
the multiverse existed until everything changed in the Crisis.
These read like fantastic reflections of our collective experience of living through the twentieth century. "The old order changeth..." The past is another country. Our parents' childhoods, decades ago, seem to have happened in another universe. The War(s) changed everything...
So I liked Power Girl turning out to have been Arion's granddaughter (like Alan Moore's Marvelman finding out that his memories were of a parareality program) and starring in her own mini-series although I would not have wanted Supergirl back. Her death in the Crisis had meant something - and then the Crisis changed continuity in any case. When someone said, "How can Supergirl come back? She's dead!", I replied, "It's worse that that. She never existed, Jim."
A version of Bizarro appeared in Byrne's introductory mini-series but I really thought that that was going to remain a one-off. Monthly comics have to bring everything back. Maybe Superman: The True Story (see previous post), if it ever exists, could feature just a one-off appearance by a scientifically created Supergirl?