Baltimore: Superman Panel
The Baltimore Comic-Con Superman panel was moderated by editor Matt Idleson and included the new creative team behind Superman, Action Comics and Supergirl, which will begin having a closer relationship with each other (which one fan in the crowd unfortunately referred to as “the Supergirl book becoming a three-way with Action and Superman“). There was Geoff Johns, writer of Action Comics, James Robinson, who recently began writing duties on Superman, and the new Supergirl team of Sterling Gates and artist Jamal Igle.
Towards the end of the panel, Johns pointed out his Uncle Roger who was sitting in the audience and had first gotten him into comics as a child.
Supergirl #35 is the first issue under the new creative team of Gates and Igle. It is said to be a perfect jumping-on point, with a quick introduction to Kara Zor-El, including her origin and place in the DC Universe. And since it is part of the “New Krypton” story arc that will be running through the Superman books, Gates will touch on the recent discovery of her parents being alive. The story will also introduce a smear campaign by Cat Grant after she publishes an article in the Daily Planet entitled “Why the World Doesn’t Need Supergirl.”
Gates will also be giving Supergirl a rogues gallery of her own, starting with a “tussle with Silver Banshee”. Robinson commented that Gates and Igle are “going to be one of the greatest combinations that DC has seen for a long time.” Igle himself said that he was so impressed by Gates’ writing that he felt he had to step up his own game on art chores. He added that Gates will defeat fan criticism of the teen Kryptonian, as he has made Superiglr “not only a likable character, but a sympathetic character.” Gates himself explained that he wanted to portray Kara as a fun, teenage hero rather than one focused on angst.
Several fans asked about the previous Supergirls and if they would be referenced. The panel pointed out that Linda Danvers is appearing in the Reign in Hell mini, but that otherwise they wouldn’t really be referenced as they don’t affect today’s Supergirl stories nor have any impact on Kara Zor-El’s life. But that doesn’t mean Supergirl isn’t going to have a more experienced mentor. Lana Lang, recently fired a LexCorp’s CEO, will be joining Kara and lending her advice from time to time.
I asked Johns who was running LexCorp now that Lana was gone and Lex was still a criminal. Johns said “Keep reading.”
When asked if Supergirl would have a secret identity, Gates smiled and said “Good idea.”
I met with Jamal Igle afterwards and looked over the artwork for the next issue of Supergirl, folks, and it looks wonderful. I also asked Jamal if Kara would be getting a new costume soon, since several fans have been critical of her exposed stomach and a new costume was hinted at in Final Crisis #3. Jamal Igle replied that he had submitted a subtle re-design but that it was felt there was no need to change her look completely now since she was still recognizable on sight and no one wanted to mess with that.
I’m also guessing that DC may be a bit protective of a costume that was designed by Michael Turner, who sadly left us so recently.