Supergirl is back in the monthly mix at DC Comics! SYFY WIRE can exclusively report that Kara Danvers will return to her regularly scheduled adventures this August with issue #21 of Supergirl.
The new Eisner Award-winning creative team of writer Marc Andreyko and artist Kevin Maguire is taking over the title and taking Kara in an entirely new direction.
That’s not all. Supergirl is also getting some updated threads as part of the new approach. We’ve got your first look at four new Supergirl costumes, as designed by artist Jorge Jimenez. These outfits range from faithful variations to Kara's classic duds to a wildly different suit. (Check out all the different looks in the gallery at the bottom of the page.)
The new designs will be part of the current storyline introduced with Issue #21, which will send Supergirl on a cosmic quest to learn more about Rogol Zaar. He’s the planetary-crushing villain introduced by Brian Michael Bendis and Jim Lee in Bendis’ debut story in the landmark Action Comics #1000. Kara and her cousin Superman were involved in a huge battle with Zaar, who claims to have been the true source of the destruction of Krypton. The new Supergirl story arc will be directly connected to the storyline running through Bendis’ weekly mini-series, Man of Steel.
For Andreyko, Supergirl is a character who holds a special place in his heart. “It’s really exciting for me to get to write Kara,” he said. “Some of my favorite Supergirl stories were obviously things like Crisis on Infinite Earths, the first comic to make me cry as a kid. There was also the great stories that Paul Levitz did with artists Keith Giffen and Steve Lightle back in Legion of Super-Heroes back in the '80s. To get to play with that characters is such a treat. “
SYFY WIRE talked with Andreyko about jumping on board and taking Supergirl on a galactic adventure. The veteran writer, who has worked on titles as varied as Wonder Woman ’77 and Jeepers Creepers for Dynamite, explained the importance of the new costume designs, and how the designs came out of the story they’re telling.
Andreyko also talked about working again with his old pal, Brian Michael Bendis, just as their award-winning true crime Image Comics series Torso hits its 20th anniversary.
Read the interview below, and remember that Supergirl #21 goes on sale August 8.
How did you land this gig?
I asked. (laughs) I knew they were going to do something new with Supergirl and I pitched myself. Because I have history with Brian, and history with DC, I pitched them my idea and everyone seemed to like it, so here we are!
You and Brian go way back, having collaborated on Torso 20 years ago. Did you two discuss linking the Supergirl book with what he’s doing in Man of Steel?
This Supergirl book spins directly out of the events in Man of Steel, so the books are very complementary to each other. I’m following Brian’s lead, and he’s got a lot of epic stuff planned for Superman. And while the books are complementary to each other, you don’t have to read both to enjoy them, but if you do, you’ll enjoy the story more. The first year of the book is definitely tied in to things that are revealed during the Man of Steel miniseries.
The solicitation blurb for your debut issue, #21, says Kara goes off into space to learn more about Rogol Zaar. Safe to say we’re getting a big cosmic Supergirl story?
The baseline story is very big. She’s trying to learn why he does what he does, where he comes from, and if there’s anyone else involved with him. It’s a detective story in space. She’s looking for answers to the questions that have been raised by Rogol Zaar. There will be familiar faces, some new faces, all sorts of challenges facing her, and also some potentially new supporting characters who will hopefully be well received and stick around for a while.
Who are some of these familiar faces we'll see? Green Lantern is one of them, correct?
That ventures into really big spoiler territory, so I will say that there are some classic space DC characters that we haven’t seen in a while. But that’s as specific as I’m going to get for fear of alarming the DC Spoiler Police across the hall from me (laughs).
What is it about Supergirl as a character that interests you as a writer, and made you want to tackle her in an ongoing?
She’s a fascinating character because technically she’s older than Clark. He was a baby when he came to Earth. She was already a teenager when Krypton got destroyed. Unlike Clark, who grew up around humans, she lost everyone she knew and loved. For her to come to Earth and take on the mantle of Supergirl as a way of qualifying herself as Superman’s cousin, there’s a lot of interesting mental and emotional ground to explore with Kara and finding her place in the universe. She’s dealing with a lot of stuff that she buried and was stirred up by Rogol Zaar’s appearance. The external journey of her going on this quest through space mimicks her internal, emotional journey in finding out who she is and where she fits in. Your characters always have to have an emotional journey. Otherwise, it’s like you’re just watching someone play a video game.
You're teaming up with Kevin Maguire on this. I know Bendis considers him one of the all-time great DC artists, and that he doesn't get his proper due. Why is he the perfect artist to tag team with on this book?
Basically, the right artist for any project is Kevin Maguire. He’s an absolute genius, an underappreciated genius. If you told me I could go back in time and tell 16-year-old me that I would be working with the artist from Justice League: International, I would be like, "C’mon. That would never happen."
He has some of the best grasp of facial expressions and character acting of almost any artist working in the business. Working with someone I’ve admired for more than half my life is a win-win. Plus, he wants to draw Supergirl. He’s excited because it’s one of the few DC characters he hasn’t drawn extensively. To collaborate with someone who has that much talent and experience is just a privilege.
Let's talk about the new costumes Kara will be wearing. Jorge Jimenez designed them. What's the inspiration and reasoning behind the new looks?
The primary one that’s on the cover to Issue #21, that glorious Terry Dodson cover, is not a permanent new costume. She’s traveling in space, so there’s a lot of technical stuff she has to adapt to and be concerned about. Having a costume that can adapt to different environments and planets that might not have access to a yellow sun is important. It’s part of her arsenal now, but it’s not a permanent costume change. It’s a "what suit is most effective for where she is and what she has to do" costume. It’s a practical costume, and the details around it will be revealed in the first few issues.
Safe to say the hoodie on her costume is the most durable hoodie ever made?
Yeah, it is. And let me say, I’m a big fan of hoodies. I have way too many hoodies for a guy who lives in California. But yes, Kara’s new costume is practical that happens to be fashionable. It’s not couture that you wear to the Met Ball only once, as you walk the red carpet; it’s functional fashion.
We know Brian has big plans for Superman and his titles, and he's bringing his Jinx World books under the DC umbrella, too. I'm wondering if you guys have discussed working together again on a book? It's been two decades since you did Torso -- you're due!
Brian and I have been friends going on, gosh, 25 years now. We didn’t really have a chance to work together again after Torso because I was primarily at DC and he was the Marvel guy. Now that he’s here at DC, it’s just a thrill to get to work with him again. In the 20 years since we were doing Torso, we’re both entirely different and better writers. And Brian has always been super collaborative, so getting to work with one of my best friends here at the DC Universe has been nothing but a joy for me. The excitement that he brings in is really setting a tone for me and a lot of other creators here in terms of collaboration and celebration of what we love about these characters.
I would love to do some creator-owned stuff with Brian down the line. But that would have to be something that we discuss at least a year or so down the line, because he has so much stuff on his plate, and so much lined up, that … we’re not against it, we both would love it. But it’s not something that’s planned right now.
And also, here’s kind of a funny point with Brian and me. This is the first time since 1938 that two writers from Cleveland are working on the Super books. During the 80th anniversary of Superman. There’s some nice symmetry there. Hopefully we can live up to the greatness of the characters that Siegel and Shuster created all those years ago. To get a chance to honor those guys is a privilege and a nerve-wracking proposition. But we’re having fun so far.
What do you think of the new costume designs for Supergirl? Let us know in the comments below!