Looking for Supergirl

An old friend of mine who has the most darling little girl just emailed me a query:

[My wife] got [my daughter] a Supergirl backpack to take to preschool, and she loves it so much I think the time may be right to introduce her to comics via some Kara Zor-El adventures. Are any of the old Adventure stories collected in a vaguely affordable format? Either way, any particular starting places you would suggest? Keep in mind that she’s three, so the Peter David and/or Jeph Loeb incarnations are just right out.

Here’s my response.

Unfortunately, there’s nothing easily available that I’m aware of.

There is an issue of the old Superman Adventures comic run dedicated to the cartoon version of Supergirl. I think it was #21. (It’s also done by Sarah Dyer and Evan Dorkin, so it’s good.)

All of the collections are the modern stuff, which I agree is not what you want. Supergirl may appear in some of the Justice League Unlimited cartoon-based comics, but your best bet might be looking for cheap back issues of the old Superman Family dollar comics.

I’m posting this because 1) I’m hoping someone can come up with some better suggestions than I could and 2) it is REALLY ANNOYING that one of the few well-known female superheroes has NOTHING available that a child can read. This is one of the biggest holes in DC’s output available today, because little girls LOVE Supergirl.

Later on in our conversation, the idea of the Supergirl Archives came up, but those are so outdated and cheesy that I only recommend them to adults who can appreciate how different attitudes were in that fargone era. (“Welcome to Earth, long-lost cousin! Let me lock you away in an orphanage and keep you secret from everyone!”)

8 Responses to “Looking for Supergirl”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    Johanna, I’m still fuming that the Legion character features Superman, instead of Supergirl. (I do like the new cartoon a lot, but they missed a great opportunity to expand the DC audience by switching to the old stand-by, Superman.) I would love for them to do a monthly book based on Supergirl as presented in the JLU cartoon. I would buy every issue and all the trades to show my support. And I currently don’t buy any DC or Marvel monthly titles!

  2. Ray Tate Says:

    Hi, Johanna

    It may be a little more mature than you want to go, but when getting nostalgic for a time women where just as powerful and smart as the men of DCU, I always find myself pulling out Supergirl & Batgirl: Elseworld’s Finest. Beautiful art by Matt Haley and an excellent story by Barabara Kesel. No female character gets crippled, raped or killed either.

    Batman teamed up with Supergirl in two excellent issues of Brave & Bold from the pre-Crisis #147 and #160. In one they put the kibosh on Dr. Light, which has special resonance now, and Supergirl had her own series in the bronze age called “The Daring Adventures of Supergirl.”–these were fun but not silly stories featuring the Girl of Steel in all her glory rendered gracefully by Carmine Infantino. You should be able to pick these up on the cheap, since their rarely in demand.

    Also, it may get lambasted by a lot of people, but the uncut international version of the Supergirl film is a delight for Supergirl fans. It’s neither stupid nor ugly. Helen Slater makes a superb Kara Zor-El, and personally I think it’s better than Superman. Maybe not Superman II, but I think it’s definitely better than Superman.


  3. Scott Says:

    As much as I like that Elseworlds’ Finest, I think it would be a little intense for a pre-teen.

    The Supergirl Adventures ish of Superman Adventures is my favorite of the run and a very good choice, IMHO.

    A really nice Silver Age Supergirl story appears in the recent Greatest Imaginary Stories Ever Told collection (reprint Jimmy Olsen #57) in which Jimmy and Supergirl get married. I like it better than anything I’ve read in the Supergirl Archives.

  4. Mikester Says:

    I think I may have mentioned this on my site before, but I’ve had a number of young girl customers enjoying the current Supergirl & The Legion of Super-Heroes comic. There may be a lot of characters they don’t know, and maybe they don’t know everything that’s going on in the book, but I don’t think that’s as much of a problem for kids as it is for adults.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  6. Lyle Says:

    I like that suggestion, Mike, especially since DC’s been pretty good about collecting the new Legion in TPBs.

  7. Rick Olney Says:

    Yeah, a three year old will really enjoy that.

  8. The Sixth Feminist SF Carnival Says:

    […] But Johanna Draper Carlson, at Comics Worth Reading, still wonders if there’s a Supergirl that’s appropriate for, well, girls. Read “Looking for Supergirl,” and see if you can think of any suggestions for her friend’s daughter’s bookshelf. […]




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