Supergirl has lengthy been an analog for all the things good on the earth. Her and her Kryptonian cousin are sometimes utilized when the DC Universe wants heroes who’re pure-hearted and powerful. But of the various issues that Kara Zor-El has gotten to be, a teenage woman is not actually one of them—her alien superpowers typically take priority over the younger woman who holds them. Add to that many years of being drawn by older males and beholden to the bodily unrealistic aesthetic of different feminine superheroes, and also you may understand that Supergirl has not often gotten to be a woman. But all of that modified with Mariko Tamaki and Joëlle Jones’ SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER, which lastly put the concentrate on Kara’s teen years as she involves phrases together with her burgeoning superpowers.
As younger adults, we’re so typically pressured to develop up before we wish, or come to phrases with the grownup nature of the world once we’re nonetheless in adolescence. There’s one thing radical about giving younger ladies the area to only be younger. In Supergirl: Being Super, Tamaki and Jones create a world for Kara the place she will get to find herself and her powers on her personal phrases, all whereas struggling by means of the trials of puberty via a Kryptonian lens. Honestly, it is a distinctive and wonderful expertise.
Even although traditionally puberty has typically been used because the spark for tremendous powers, we do not all the time get to spend time with the heroes as they have been earlier than their lives modified and even whereas their world is shifting. Supergirl: Being Super subverts that, pulling the main target from the established legend of Supergirl and her well-known cousin, shifting the highlight onto Kara Danvers—a younger teen athlete, loyal good friend and nice daughter—as she strikes via highschool making an attempt to work out her place in a world that she’s not even positive she comes from. There’s an influence to seeing our heroes wrestle by way of the identical formative moments as we do, whether or not it is class pictures or popping a nasty zit. (Though fortunately none of us have needed to endure by way of a coping with a Kryptonian spot, as readers of the ebook can attest.)
Seeing ourselves mirrored within the pages of our favourite comics is an important half of being a fan, and there is one thing magical a few story that is so centered on the experiences of teenage women, who for years have been written out of comics and their fandom. But Tamaki and Jones slam girlhood smack bang into the DNA of each web page of Being Super, and the ebook is all of the stronger for it. By embracing Kara’s human aspect, they make her strengths much more nicely outlined. Kara is not only a highly effective alien being, she’s a great one that cares about others, and proper and fallacious. Though she comes from Krypton, she was raised on Earth by human mother and father who love her deeply, and that duality is what finally makes Kara robust.
That’s to not say that Kara’s exploration is nearly her coming of age on Earth. Jones and Tamaki deftly make the most of the higher risks in Kara’s life to cope with actual points that all of us face rising up, from the onset of her powers, to the potential exploitation of them, to her final battle with a well-known foe. One of probably the most heartbreaking moments in any of our lives is discovering that the people who find themselves meant to look out for us, those who are supposed to form us or train us, can typically imply us hurt. Whether intentional or unintentional, the primary time we’re betrayed by an grownup it’s devastating, and in Kara’s case it is lethal.
Learning who to belief is a big half of rising up. As our hormones take management of our our bodies, the strains between need/want and protected/hazard can typically blur. For Kara, her first steps in assembly an fascinating and probably dangerous new pal have all of the hallmarks of a nasty selection. She retains it a secret, she leaves the individuals who care about her and she or he follows this new individual. But it is solely when she realizes that she has to take heed to herself and her personal sense of proper and improper that she breaks free and saves herself, her greatest pal and her hometown. It’s uncommon to discover a e-book for younger folks that offers with poisonous relationships in a means which by no means blames or judges, simply explores and interrogates, making an attempt to shine a light-weight on how we will create protected, strong relationships for ourselves.
Ultimately, although, Supergirl: Being Super is about love. It’s about studying to like ourselves, loving and letting go of our buddies and reaching out and being open to the potential of totally different and new sorts of love…like that of a sure superpowered relative in Metropolis.
Rosie Knight writes about Young Adult comics and the DC Universe normally for DCComics.com. Follow her on Twitter at @RosieMarx.