I recently graduated but the nerd inside of me missed learning things, so after the recommendations of my friends I looked for some free online courses on Coursera. One of the courses I am following is called Superhero Entertainments and is offered by Ian Gordon at the National University of Singapore. It is a super interesting course and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys superhero movies and television shows and wants to learn about their histories. Anyway this week we had a short assignment where we had to choose our favourite superhero and explain why. At first I really wasn’t sure who to choose since there are so many that I love. Eventually I chose Supergirl for many reasons but also because of the release of the show. In my short paper I explain why I think Supergirl has great potential and how I think that will transform into the show’s success. My paper is already submitted but I thought it might be nice to share here. So take a look:
Supergirl – the New Girl in Town
Supergirl made her debut in 1958’s Superman #123 (Marnell, 2015). She is most well-known as Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman, sent to Earth to protect him. This year a new television series adaptation of Supergirl was released. This created a lot of buzz around her potential as a television series but also as a new iconic figure. There are many superheroes that I admire however I chose to write about Supergirl because unlike many others, I believe that she is greatly underrated. Even as I write this paper, Word indicates that “Supergirl” is not a word whilst Superman is. This metaphorically demonstrates her current status and presence in society. Therefore, in this paper, I would like to explain why Supergirl is, in my opinion, the best superhero ever due to her growing potential.
Firstly, Supergirl encompasses all the great aspects that most admired superheroes have: cool powers, a secret identity, love interests, action scenes, and acts of heroism. However, one factor that differentiates her from most famous superheroes is her gender. Supergirl is the first show to feature a female comic-book superhero since Birds of Prey, 13 years ago (Sims, 2015). In current society, feminism is an increasingly prominent theme in the media making it relevant and appealing to women across the globe. One article states that the show “isn’t a radical feminist piece of art but it is entertaining, empowering and totally unapologetic about its protagonist Kara Zor-El’s gender.” (Gray, 2015). In the show, Supergirl is portrayed as a relatable young girl. The struggles she faces in her career, with her sister, in finding her role in the world, and living under the shadow of her male cousin (Marnell, 2015) are all issues that many women face. Furthermore, her personality is bubbly and represents that of a “typical” girl. Many other female superheroes have extremely strong personalities that can be intimidating to young girls. Finally, Supergirl, as seen in the show, appeals to a younger audience as she balances romance, action and comedy. In comparison to shows such as Gotham and Arrow, I believe her appeal will widen to a larger and possibly different audience making her role as an icon unique.
Some may say that Supergirl is just a female version of Superman. After all she has a similar job, personality, background etc. and although this is true I think that benefits Supergirl. As learned throughout this course, Superman is such an iconic figure in the world of superheroes. Being related to Superman draws initial attention to Supergirl. However, as we get to know her better, I believe that more and more people will learn to love her for her.
In conclusion, Supergirl is a relatable, bubbly, and typical young girl who can act as a role-model for other young girls around the world. This is why I believe that she is the best superhero ever and that with the launch of her show, more and more people will come to love her too.
Gray, E (2015) “’Supergirl’ Is The Feminist Superhero We’ve Been Waiting For” The Huffington Post accessed online at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/supergirl-the-feminist-superhero-weve-been-waiting-for_562fa3ebe4b06317990f85e7
Marnell, B (2015) “Supergirl origins and evolutions” The SuperHeroHype, accessed online at http://www.superherohype.com/features/356735-supergirl-origins-and-evolutions-2#/slide/31
Sims, D (2015) “Supergirl takes flight” The Atlantic accessed online at http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/10/supergirl-takes-flight/412438/
Who is your favourite superhero and why? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @thelydiareview
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