The funny thing about comic books is that their stories do a job of representing the time period they were presented. Supergirl’s first comic series (Affiliate Link) was printed in 1972 by DC. When Supergirl was first introduced in the 50s, she was wearing a dress. By the time she had her own series, she was wearing a puffy shirt and hot pants as a costume. Seriously.
Beside Supergirl’s hideous 70s outfit, another indicator of the times were the choice of story plots. I would even go as far as to say the stories were sexist. While Superman was busy beating up unstoppable villains, Supergirl was helping other girls work out relationship problems. An example would be Supergirl issue 3, where she doesn’t fight any super villains at all. At the end of the story, we see Supergirl crying because she was not able to get a date for the Valentine’s Day dance.
Now let’s take a step back and look at this scenario. Supergirl is stronger than Superman because she is his older cousin (it’s a long story, take my word on this). Now, for someone so powerful, we see Supergirl crying on the ground over boys. Seriously. I know this was a comic series geared toward girls. But if you ask me, it sends the wrong message.
Luckily, modern comics have been improved over the years. Supergirl is now portrayed as she should be: strong mind, will, and strength. If you are a fan, a good place to get Supergirl graphic novels is at Things From Another World. I love seeing all the cool stuff they have at that site.
I’m not sure why Supergirl was crying. I mean, she’s got super strength, X-ray vision, and heat vision. She could have easily burned her way through the wall of loneliness and gotten a date. But I guess sometimes it’s easier to cry and hope someone will come to your rescue. I mean, come on, with all her powers she could easily find a date without breaking a sweat. Maybe she was just having a moment of weakness, or maybe it was just a convenient plot device to drive home the idea that being popular and having a date is important, even if you’re Supergirl. Either way, it’s safe to say that modern interpretations of Supergirl are much more empowering and less stereotypical.
Leave me a comment below if you are a fan of Supergirl, or if you hate to see Supergirl crying.