Friday, January 29, 2010

Hal Jordan: International sleaze


That's Guy Gardener's (supposed) widow you're hitting on there Hal-ly boy.  I don't believe for a moment that you share her grief.

I also don't believe that's tenderness you're feeling.  Go back and speak to your nurse friend, she'll explain it all to you.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Promotional Flash ring!

Pretty cool huh?

It will be given away with copies of the Flash #1 in April.  News found courtesy of the Speed Force blog.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25, 2010

So, this turned out to be a tie-in week

Spoilers ahead for GLC: Blackest Night #44, Blackest Night: The Flash #2, Starman: Blackest Night #81 (resurrected title), The Phantom Stranger: Blackest Night #42 (resurrected title), Power Girl #8 (not a tie-in, amazingly), Superman/Batman #68 (Our Worlds at War tie-in).
GLC: Blackest Night #44
Hoo boy this was fun.  Mogo turns up to save the day!  I cannot wait until he faces off against zombie Xanshi.  Next issue: Guy Gardner faces off against everyone.  Oh yes, this is why I buy superhero comics.

Blackest Night: The Flash #2
This is very much a middle issue - we saw the Rogues vs the ex Rogues, with some great scenes between Captain Cold and his sister, and some illuminating (pun intended) panels demonstrating his level of emotion.  The other half of the book delat with Barry acquiring the blue ring of hope.  He tries to save Bart, and Solovar anf Eobard Thawne turn up to provide extra harrassment.  I like that Barry is a member of the Blue Lantern Corps - from what I've read of him in Rebirth and a few other bits and pieces, it does seem to fit his personality quite well.  However in the context of DC superheroes, when you say hope to me I still think of Superman first and foremost.  Ahh well, this is a good mini and next issue will hopefully resolve everything nicely.

Starman: Blackest Night #81 (resurrected title)
I was definitley dubious about this, given Robinson's recent attempts on Cry for Justice, but I needn't have worried, this turned out well.  I've read one other Starman issue which was really very good, and he has kept up the standard here.  There's some incredible art, I can't quite work out by who as the credits list the various tasks as Colours, Letters, Layouts and Finishes, yet no penciller or inker.  I'm assuming Layouts means pencils and Finishes means Inks (broadly speaking), but I couldn't say that for definite.

I think y'all should buy this issue.

The Phantom Stranger: Blackest Night #42 (resurrected title)
Also pretty good.  However it probably won't make much sense if you're not reading other Blackst Night stuff.  Zatanna's on the cover but isn't in the book.  In fact it is mentioned why she's not there, within the book.

Power Girl #8
Jeez, I know Power Girl is meant to have a big chest, and I know Amanda Connor specialises in doing sexy art, but this cover is ridiculous.

Inside it is good fun, Vartox gets even more sleazy than he was last issue, Karen can't help laughing at the Pregno-Ray and she gets to wear the gorgeous ballgown from the Women of the DCU poster that Adam Hughes did.  She even has the earrings in too.  Nicely done, Ms Connor, nicely done!

Superman/Batman #68
An Our Worlds at War tie-in.  I know, what?  Our Worlds at War was a tie in published in 2001.  I thought it was mid 90s and had to google to check the date.  When I mentioned my surprise at the banner in the comic shop they said it was cos the DCU timeline is all in flux now.

But, you see, I buy Superman/Batman because it's not tied in (or shouldn't be tied in) to regualr DC continuity.  I know it brought us Kara back, which is great, but on the whole the other tie in issues have been rubbish.  Blackest Night for example - 2 issues of utter crap.  Although that might be my disdain for Man-Bat, Solomon fucking Grundy and Bizzarro speaking.

Anyway, I was not remotely excited about this issue.  Somehow it surprised me.  Despite Batman looking like All Star Goddman Batman and Supes somehow being all gritty (so wrong), it was fairly enjoyable.  Not particularly memorable, but enjoyable.  There was some retro 70s esque exposition going on which was quite fun.

Over the last few weeks I have also received the following trades - Green Lantern/Green Arrow volumes 1 and 2 (wonderfully funny!), Superman: Last Son (reviewed here) and Wonder Woman: Bitter Rivals.  The WW book was great, as I knew it would be.  Greg Rucka had the golden touch for writing Wondy I think.

I have also ordered Fallen Angel volume 1 (the PAD book which was meant to be Linda Danvers after his Supergirl book was cancelled) and the first Trinity book, by Mat Wagner, not the weekly series.  I borrowed this Trinity book years ago and was quietly impressed, so thought it was high time I bought it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A prediction

I write this on Wednesday night.  On Friday night I am going out for my old work's late Christmas do.  On Saturday I expect I shall be hungover, but I am also getting a hair cut in the afternoon.

What's the liklihood I'll come out with the world's worst hairdo?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Superhero sign names

Continuing on from my previous post, I give you more ideas of what sign names I would give the various superheroes.  I've also now edited the previous post to give pictures of each hero.  Makes more sense that way.

Regarding Guy Gardner, I've now decided that Guy's sign name should be linked to his lapels, as that is a very distinctive jacket he's wearing.  I do believe no other GL has a uniform quite like it.

How about Power Girl?

It would be the shape of the boob window.  No question.

As for her civilian name, a pun on Starr seems easy, so the sign for star then, whilst you lipspeak her first name.

As for the Wonder family.  Take Wonder Woman:

Before I said you'd just sign Wonder+Woman.  But to make it an actual sign name, you could trace the W shape on your chest and lipspeak either Diana, Wondy, or Wonder Woman.

For Donna Troy:

Again, easy.  Do the sign for sparkle all over your torso and lipspeak Donna.

For Wonder Girl (Cassie) I think it would very much depend on her outfit.  For an early version of her costume:

Whether she's wearing her blond hair short or she's wearing a wig, the goggles are a mainstay.  So let's make the sign for goggles (either on her forehead or her eyes), and lipspeak Wonder Girl or Cassie.

That's all for today's lessons, I'll be back in a few weeks with more!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Action figure wishlist

If I could have anything, I'd want:

Green Arrow in his Mike Grell unfiorm:

It's the sleeves and hood which make it so attractive to me.  That and the tunic style top.

Mia in her black uniform:

Mia is very very cool.

Big Barda:

Barda's on the left.  Now imagine she doesn't have her boobs out and that's what I want.  All teh Barda figures I have seen so far reduce to her to a sex object, aren't delicate enough, or aren't chunky enough, or are a combination of the 3.  I want her in full uniform, big and with character in her face.  is that too much to ask?

Grace Choi:

The tattooed 6 foot Amazon would be awesome.

Rose Wilson (Ravager):

I'd like her with a ponytail please.  She's not Rose without the ponytail.

Battle Armoured Wonder Woman:

I'd like pretty much that toy, except I'd like the helmet and wings to be removable.

Have you got anything on your wishlist?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Events! Comics and LGTBTI Deaf and Disabled ones!

Bristol Comic con, right.  I only found out about this a few months ago and was reminded of it again in the last few weeks.  This year they have actual real DC creators there.  Guess who?

Phil Noto of Batgirl and Ramon Bachs of Red Robin.  Both do the art for their titles.

Waaaaah I can't go :(

It's slap bang in the middle of my next BSL course and I can't afford to miss a day.  Waaaahhhh.  Could you imagine Supergirl as drawn by Ramon Bachs?  And Phil Noto I'd just want to compliment on Stephs new costume.

If anyone reading this is going do you fancy getting me a comission?

And in other news, something else I can't go to.  Glasgow Museums have an exhibition on titled A Spot of Bother: LGBTI Deaf and Disabled cultures.

Norfolk's a wee bit far away from Glasgow.  The exhibition is on until the 21st Feb.  If anyone reading this does go would you mind coming back and telling me how it was?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Aquaman: Kingdom Come action figure review!

Oh yes, I succumbed.  The story goes thus.  I head into my friendly local comic book shop one wet Thursday.  I ask them about the possibility of getting a Black Lantern Wonder Woman.  They say they shall check for me.  I thank them and I leave.  As I go past the shop window I notice a very special looking toy.  It turns out to be kingliest Aquaman I ahve ever seen and I decide I must look at it closer.  I go back in the shop, I examine it and I decide I must buy it.

I go back to work in the afternoon, in a very good mood. I get home, take him out of the packaging and coo rather a lot.  The boyfriend thinks I'm a bit odd, but he indulges me.  Hark, hark at the pictures:

Let's get the good things out of the way first.  His face is fantastic. He looks old, he has personality in his features and the facial hair is detailed and has depth.  His head hair has streaks of grey in it, which to my mind look a bit odd but I understand it's a faithful representation of the comic art, so i'll let that slide.

The gold chain mail is done really well.  The gloves are detailed as is the sword belt.  The sea horse on his tunic has been painted really nicely and the gold bits are embossed.  The cloak and tunic flow just right and is slightly bendy.  In short, the clothes look like they would on a real human person.


Regarding the accessories, the sword is pretty big and works well positioned in his hand or in the sword belt.  I like the look of both it and the sword.


 He also stands up easily and is stable.  That's kinda a rarity amongst my stuff.

All in all, this is a beautiful figure to look at.  He is only the second male figure I've got (ignoring the minimates), the first being Ares, so this should be an indication of how impressed I was with the figure in the shop.

Now I've got the good things covered, lets get to the bad things.

The articulation is fuck all.  Only one leg moves, which is useful to get him to stand up, only one arm moves at the shoulder (the sword bearing one), and there is no movement at all in the elbows waist and head/neck area.  The wrist of the sword bearing arm does swivel.   This isn't enough to make me dislike the figure, it's more of an annoyance.

The second complaint is that he can't hold the trident.  Try as I might, it will not slot into his fist, as there is not a big enough gap to squeeze it through the fingers.  This is a bigger complaint as not being able to accessorise with an accessory is kinda ridiculous.  So currently I have the trident on the shelf in front of him.  In the efforts of fairness I should point out that over at Action Figure Blues they have no difficulty with this and their figure can hold the trident.  I guess I've got a duff run.

All in all, I'm really happy with the figure and would recommend it to Aquaman fans, but beware of the trident!

If any of you are interested in viewing the rest of my collection you can see it all over at the Action Figure Blues forum.  And if you're even remotely interested in these kind of things then the AFB forum is a great resource for finding information and they've got some pretty shit hot customisers posting pictures of their work.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Comic review party time

Yes dear readers, it is that time of the week again where I wax lyrical about ther stuff I bought.  Sadly this will not include Batgirl #6 as I forgot to pick it up.  What a dunce.  Anyhow, there will be spoilers ahead for Adventure Comics #6, Action Comics # 885, GA/BC #28, Catwoman: Blackest Night # 83 (resurrected title), The Power of Shazam: Blackest Night #48 (resurrected title) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31.
Adventure Comics #6
OK, the cover has a dinosaur on it.  I knew I was gonna like this issue.  Lex Luthor is a really manipulative, power obsessed bastard.  Superboy finally realises he can stop fretting about his genetic makeup and resolves to just be himself.  The art continues to be gorgeous and when Conner met up with Cassie, Tim and Bart at the end I probably gave a little gasp.  Manapul draws a beautiful Tim, not such a great Bart, but a great Tim.  (Image nicked from James Ashelford's blog)

Nect month is a Blackest NIght tie in, so I'll get that, but from March it's focusing on the Legion of Superheroes, who i don't give a stuff about, so I shall be dropping it.  Thsi may cause problems when folloing this years Super family event, but I'll have to cope.

Action Comics # 885
The art in this is sometimes wildly off key and it took several minutes of hard thinking to remember what had happened in this issue.  Maybe I should drop it.  But then I think that with the Superman crossover coming up, will I understand the main plot is I'm not reading Adventure Comics, Superman and Action Comics?

And then the odd issue of Action really impresses me and I'm sucked back in again.
But then I get an issue like this week's one, where I don't really care about the main story and I certainly coudln't give a stuff about Captain bleeding Atom.  I'm pretty certain that I won't be going back and re-reading these issues.  Maybe I should drop it.

GA/BC #28
Bad, bad characterisation of Dinah here - her dialogue seemed very strange.  We find out more about Cupid's background and see Mia get to be awesome again.  But honestly, when isn't she awesome?

Looking back at Cupid's background - the evil government have made her crazy by injecting stuff into her brain via her nose cavity (yes really) and this compound has induced memory loss, given her super strength and increased the levels of the chemical that people feel when they are in love.  So essentially they've made a super strong lady who's driven by her hormones.  Driven by her hormones to obssess/love/lust after men who she will then attack, fight, kill, rape, abuse or generally take advantage of.

Yeah, that's not trading in sexist steroetypes at all.

DC you suck.

Catwoman: Blackest Night # 83 (resurrected title)
Now this on the other hand, this did not suck at all.  This was awesome.  Selina has to rescue her sister from the crazy Black Lantern guy who tortured her before, and who Selina susequently killed.  Harley and Ivy turned up and came up with a pretty inventive way to dispose of the Black Lantern - a venus fly trap endlessly digesting him.  Yum.

Well, I say awesome. It was awesome up till the end when her her sister was turned into Selina's next nemesis.  That was a crap outcome.  Boring, old and tired.

The Power of Shazam: Blackest Night #48 (resurrected title)
This also rocked.  Osiris and his friendly Crocodile mate (last seen in 52) are given Black Lantern rings.  Osiris manages to fight off the urges of the Black Lantern (far more effectively than Wonder Woman did, let's be honest), and succeeds in destroying both himself and his crocodile friend.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #31
Again, a good issue.  And for once a cover that isn't all about the sexy nakedness.  Buffy learns to fly, fins out about Xander and Dawn, is a jekr about it then gets better and combines forces with Willow to defeat the goddesses.

I must take issue with the blurb for next month's issue that states 'Buffy has fucking superpowers'.  We know she's got superpowers. She's a damn slayer.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

So, it's snowed quite a lot over here recenly

For about 4 weeks we've had snow.  That's pretty damn unusual for the UK.  My American readers would be very surprised at how much chaos and worry this has caused, given that some parts of the country have only had a few inches of snow (and still people can't get to work and the trains can't run), but that's the UK for you.  Some areas have been able to measure their snowfall in feet, but not mine.

With that in mind, and because most of the snow has now gone from my part of Norfolk, I'd thought I'd post some of the prettier pictures.

A rose in my garden, the weekend before Christmas (how or why it was still alive I have no idea):

In the city, 23rd Dec:

At the local park in January:

In Buckinghamshire last week:


There you have it.  Very pretty, a complete arse to cycle in and very cold.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Words that should be used more

Words that I particularly like that just aren't used enough:

Cross (as in I'm quite cross.  Not as in a cross of wood)
L'espirit de L'escalier  (ok so that's more of a phrase)
Masticate  (I'm actually undecided about this one, it's rather harsh but also somehow exacting, and good)

What are your favourite words?  What would you like to see, read or hear more of?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Coming out in comics: more amazonian happenings

This post, found via WFA, looks at subtext in the Gail Simone run of Wonder Woman.

Apparently we are gonna get a gay Amazonian couple soon.  That would be good.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blogger's playing silly buggers

A few times now I've scheduled posts, put in a future date, hit publish, and instead of it going into the scheduled pile it's been published immediately but is viewable with a date in the future.

Is this happening to anyone else?  It's very frustrating.

(In self promotion news - New readers... has We3, Scary Go Round, Teen Titans Year One and Azumanga Daoih reviews up, as well as a link to our facebook group, go have a look!)

Coming out in Comics: Superman and Adam Strange

Check out this cover of Superman: World of New Krypton #11:

Well I saw that and thought it was the most homoerotic cover ever.
Why is this?  Partly it's the poses - they are sticking close to each other, grinning at each other with a conspiratorial look.  We can clearly see Adam Strange's arse, and you could claim that Superman's leg is poisitioned somewhat coyly.  So why did I think Gay! when I saw it?

I think it is a combination of things:
1) We rarely see men's arses displayed and highlighted quite so (Green Lanterns aside).  Usually women's bodies are shown off in this manner.  So when I see men being positioned like women I read it as gay.  Obviously this relies on cultural structures defining what it means to be 'man' or 'woman and what it means if you veer from these norms.  I'm not proud of my thinking.

2) As a culture I think we are still very used to tallking about hotness in terms of the male gaze, so even if we see hot men, we assume the intended audience is men, not women.  So when we see stuff that shows hot men objectifying themselves, we call it homoerotic, not hot images used for women's titilation.  There is an exception to this of course - which is the images used in teenage girls magazines, or topless blokes in films aimed at teenage girls, and stuff like that.  But I'm not aware of similar things explicitly aimed at, or generally labelled as such and recognised as being aimed at, adult women.

3) We are unaccustomed to seeing 2 men have an equal, close relationship that is purely platonic and not sexual.  If we do see men being close friends the authors or artists usually go to great lengths to include a female love interest, to assure us that the characters are still hetero males.  This image is lacking women, so when we see them Supes and Strange looking at each other in a way that was probably intended to look like they were planning and plotting the way out of their fight, we read it as sexual.

4) Relatign back to point number 1, there are the poses themselves.  They don't look ready to fight, they look like they are pirouetting in mid air.  They are off balance - this is an artistic tactic used to sexualise women.  When it's used on 2 men who are focused on each other like Supes and Strange are, it looks like they have a sexual link.

Then there's the thing about equating femininity in men with them being gay - again, I'm not proud of my thinking.

5)  Lastly, the boyfriend thinks Adam Strange is particularly camp.  I'm not so sure of that one, but seeing as when I showed it to him and asked his opinion of it, he immediately yelled gay, I thought it was worth including.

In conclusion, I think that 1), my base reactions show I'm not as lliberated as I thought, and 2), regardless of the liberalness of my views this cover will provide slash fodder among fan fic writers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Digging stuff out from the archives..

A while ago I wrote about J'onn J'onzz getting genderswapped into Joan J'onzz.  I never did post a scan, so here we go:

It's not the most progressive thing in the world is it?   It is however, a fun read.  And in it's defence it tries to be satirical.

Changing tack slightly, I think more people should be made aware of the existence of the Beefeater.  He had a Sybil Fawlty like wife and was created so the JLE could feature a caricatured, inept, posh Englishman.  He looked like a fool:

Lastly, there was a delightful Tremors rip off.  If you liked Tremors may I recommend you track down and purchase Justice League Europe 24 and 25.  Particularly because the man controlling the giant worms also had a giant tuning fork ready to hum with your hatred.  I shit you not:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ragnell on the monstrosity of DC's treatment of Wonder Woman in BN

Go read it here.  She's put it far better that I could have done, even if I could write about it, I instantly lost the will to live when I saw the horrible horrible costume.

The rest of Blackest Night is pretty much great.  I did still enjoy WW: BN 2, but that doesn't mean there aren't a truckload of problems with it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Comics Reviews!

Featuring spoilers for the Batman 80 page giant, Blackest Night Wonder Woman #2, Superman: WONK #11, Suicide Squad: Blackest Night # 67 (resurrected title), Weird Western Tales: Blackest Night # 71 (resurrected title), Red Robin #8.
Batman 80 page giant
This wasn't quite what I expected.  It's a collection of rather unusual stories.
  • The Dick/Damian one was a bit heavy handed and obvious for my tastes.
  • Alfred acts like an absolute dick - he must know full well the position he was putting the young woman in, taking her to a fancy do like that, with her prostitute clothes on.  He doesn't come across like a good person, he comes across as a controlling, greedy man who likes to believe he is good. I do not want to read about this Alfred.
  • The Saint story was good and took a couple of surprising turns.
  • Veil in reveiled shows a lot of promise.  Although this story was a bit weak - too much of the damsel being saved by the man for me - I'd love to read more about Milicent Mayne.
  • The Catwoman story, written by ivory Madison, is why I bought this issue.  The art is all photo realistic, which I found unusual, but is good nonetheless, and the story was completely unexpected.  An old couple had been hiding underground for the last 40 years, and just come up so the wife could be admitted to hospital.  This was touching and well executed.
  • Poison Ivy's tale takes it's inspiration from the concept of mother nature and the maiden/mother/crone triumverate.  Intriguing.
  • Mr Freeze and the Commisioner did nothing for me.
  • The final one page story was a nice ending to the collection.
Blackest Night Wonder Woman #2
The idea and layout of the cover is fantastic:

Unfortunately Mera's face ruins it for me.  In my head that's not what Mera looks like.

This book filled in thsoe moments between Mera taking on Diana, and Diana getting the Star Sapphire ring (in Blackest Night #6).  It worked for me.  As for the Bruce/Diana smooch - I reckon she's just pleased to see him, and a kiss is far more expressive than a hug.  And she's a wee bit stressed anyway.

Superman: WONK #11
Very suggestive cover:

Good issue.  Enjoyable and bringing this particular part of the story to an end.  I look forward to Krypton: The Last Stand and War of the Supermen.

Suicide Squad: Blackest Night # 67 (resurrected title)
OK, I really don't like reading Simone's individual issues.  I'll get Secret Six next month and I'll probably enjoy both together, but individually?  I can't be doing with them.

Weird Western Tales: Blackest Night # 71 (resurrected title)
Waste of time.  I don't like the Western genre and I care nothing for the characters.  Not even the Ray.

Red Robin #8
Ahh, to end on a high note!  Loved it :)
We get to see Tim's battle strategy and pretty much just how awesome he is, in everything.  Great end to the arc, neatly executed and very smooth.  You shoudl all be reading this.

I also bought the Kingdom Come Aquaman figure.  A review will be going up shortly.  In summary, it's nice looking but has a lot of faults.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hah! A wonderful example of culture bias

This post looks at one of the oldest (yet found) female figurines that has recently been dug up in Stuttgart.  More specifically, it looks at how the archeologists et al have deemed it an early example of porn.

The writer then goes on to pull apart this assertion and show how the men commenting on this don't seem to be able to a) get past their own views on what constitutes pornography and b) coem up with any other reasons as to why figurines of women may have been created.

Gender blind and religion blind then.

Go read it.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Poll results!

Well that was interesting.  For my poll on space travel 2 of you said you wouldn't want to go.
The question was:

Space travel - do you think in the next 70 yrs we'll have:

The full results were:
Cheap travel but I don't want to use it - 0
Cheap travel and I'll be first in line - 4
No cheap travel and I wouldn't want to go anyway - 2
No cheap travel but I'd go if I could - 4
Bugger cheap travel, I'm going with the Russians - 1

Wow, someone's rich!  Would you like to take me with you?

Those of you who wouldn't want to go, would you care to leave your reasons why? You can do so anonymously if you wish.

Thanks for participating everyone!

Friday, January 08, 2010

500th post: In praise of Supergirls

This here posting is my 500th entry on this blog.  What better way to celebrate than to talk about one of my favourite and one of the most enduring characters, Supergirl?

Note: I am not including any comments on the pre crisis Kara Zor-El or Matrix before the PAD run, simply because I haven't read these.

Recently, well a few months ago now, I re-read my PAD Supergirl trades - Supergirl and Many Happy Returns.  This series was critically acclaimed and a favourite with fans.  It has heavy religious themes, Christain based, using angels, demons and concepts of heaven and hell.  For someone like me who adores religious and mythological discussions I basked in it.  At the start of the run we discover that the previous being using the Supergirl moniker, Matrix, has merged with a dying human named Linda Danvers.  They later became an earth born angel.  Matrix uses Linda to connect with humanity and Linda uses Matrix to redeem herself of her sins, of which she has committed a great many.

This run had a variety of different artists on board and so showcased a number of different styles.  From the first trade we have:

She's tall!  She's muscly and imposing and graceful and elegant.  I love everything about this page - the composition, the colours the inks, the poses, the facial expressions.  It's wonderful.

Later on Gorilla Grodd has taken control of Supergirl's mind, and true to comics form, her outfit mysteriously changes:

What I find interesting about this is the similaraties between this outfit and the one Kara Zor-El (post crisi) wore when she was mind controlled by Darkseid:

It's the facial expression and the trousers I think.  And the heels.  Granted, it may well be just coincidence, as good-women-who-turn-evil are nearly always drawn in similar styles.
The other interesting this about this evil-Supergirl(matrix) is how when she is regressing back to her good self, her hair becomes more normal and less bouffant.  Isn't it odd what mind control can do to you?  [/sarcasm]

By the end of the run, Ed Benes was doing pencils but had yet to develop his emphasis on tits and ass art. (see here or read any recent Titans issue). The result is some characters are sexy but not plastic.  My avatar is an Ed Benes Linda Davvers Supergirl and a full image can be seen here:

That image is the back of the Mnay Happy Returns book an features the pre crisis Supergirl who visited for a few issues and Linda Supergirl. This is one my favourite ever comic images because it shows the two girls' very different personalities and also because Linda has such an engaging look on her face.  Kara is sweet, optimistic and ready for a fight, but Linda is actively challenging you to a fight.  Linda looks cocky, self assured, tough and like she could break anyone with one punch.   This isn't a one off fluke image, throughout the book the girls strengths and traits are shown through the art as much as through the words.  It's such a pity Benes doesn't produce art like this anymore.

By this final trade the story had moved away from it's earlier religious themes and the appearence of the pre crisi Kara Zor-El led to some interesting alternate universe shenanigans.  I won't spoil anything here, but this trade is one of the most fun stories I have ever read.  Linda Danvers has grown so much from the start of the run and is now truly heroic, but also rather sarcastic.  There are some great silver age jokes and the two supergirls interactiosn are delightful.

The whole earthbound angel story was retold in the Elseworlds book, Wings.  Again with very different art, this is a short version of the PAD run and is well worth hunting out (click to enlarge):

When the PAD run ended and Linda Danvers as Supergirl was no more, we were not starved of female Kyptonians adventures.  Or at least, sometimes we weren't, for Power Girl was on the scene.  Unfortunately she has had her past retconned so many times it can be difficult to know what her origin is meant to be, when.  Originally she was the Earth 2 version of Supergirl, but since Crisis on Infinite Earths she has also been an alien from an unspecified planet brought here by a Symbioship and a time travelling Atlantean and generally confused.  Her story was retconned yet again in Infinite Crisis and she is now back to being an alternate universe Supergirl.  I recommend reading Power Girl to learn more about her and why she's great:

For she is great, she's not a copy of Supergirl she is her own woman.  She currently has own series, drawn by the the brilliant Amanda Connor.  I review these as they come out and it has proved to be a cheeky, light hearted, satirical and throughly enjoyable title.  Karen Starr is portrayed as a confident and composed young woman who doesn' suffer fools lightly.  Her are some scans from the series:

And now we have the current Supergirl run. As with Power Girl, I review each issue as it comes out and back in September 2008 I did a long post about how the whole run to that date had been, well I used the word ruined then, now I think that is too strong a word, but there are definite problems with it.  Should you choose to read it, it will give you an overview of this inarnation of Kara-El up to issue 33.

The title has improved massively since I wrote that post and will reach it's 50th issue in February 2010.  2009 marked the 50th anniversary of Supergirl's creation and she will be heavily involved in 2010's War of the Superman crossover event.  I can only hope that this will lead to more people picking up her solo book and becoming a fan.

I could talk about so much more now - I could mention Supergirl in Wednesday Comics, Supergirl in Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Linda Danver's reappearence in Reign in Hell (which admittedly I haven't read yet), other Elseworlds books with a Supergirl figure in, or all the future and alternate universe Supergirls there have been.  If I did that I'd be here for a year and a day, so instead I shall point you towards the Supergirl Comic Box Commentary's round up of the best Supergirl moments of 2008 and 2009.

Happy reading everyone, and here's to another 50 years for Supergirl and 500 posts for me.  Thanks for reading.