Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Supergirl: An updated hero from an obsolete stereotype


I don't think much of Supergirl...

I'm not just talking about the upcoming television show starring Melissa Benoist as the big guy's cousin from Krypton.

I'm talking about the whole premise.  It's almost insulting if you dig deep enough.

Supergirl, the character, was born in the late 50's functioning as everything from the female counterpart to Superman to a love interest for Superboy. 

Let's cut to the chase, there's nothing that interesting about the character.  She's an also ran with superpowers and a skirt.

Does that sound chauvinistic as hell?  I suppose it might except that what all those politically correct defenders miss is that the character is nothing more than a misogynistic retelling of the Superman tale.

It's the same tortured existence we've seen before with the stereotypical protagonist discovering and then agonizing over what to do with their "super" abilities.  From there comes acceptance of his/her fate leading to a career of crime fighting and world saving with a few moral dilemmas nobody could identify with thrown in for good measure.

Typical comic book stuff.  Not a lot of depth there and really none should be expected.  It's a fantastical character after all born from  super-powered heroes with origin stories that involve radioactive spiders, nuclear accidents and alien planets.  Even Batman, a hero with no super powers, is unbelievable as he teeters on ledges of Gotham city like some brooding gargoyle ready to pounce on evil doers. 

Supergirl comes from an age of sexist female stereotypes with perfect hair, heaving bosoms and fits of emotionalism.  She's a product of an time where Hellboy or Spawn would be considered obscene if not  outright pornographic.

Does that even fit the image of a modern, self directed woman?  From the sneak peeks we've had of the series it seems Supergirl is at least as concerned with picking out the right outfit for a hot date as she is saving the world.

Far from a pillar of modern womanhood, Supergirl is little more than her counterpart's story line presented in a more titillating context.

 There are far less insulting examples of female super-heroines on TV and in comics with far more depth.  

I'll take a pass on this one...