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DC Daily Planet: Supergirl and Suicide Squad

Hi everyone! Welcome to the all-new, not-all-that-different edition of the DC Daily Planet! My name is Meg and I’ll be doing my best to channel Lois Lane for you every week with a selection of the most interesting and relevant stories from all corners of the DCU, DCEU, and DCCU from here on out. So! Without further ado, let’s get started.

We’re a grand total of two episodes into CBS’s Supergirl. With last week’s premier pulling some pretty awesome numbers, and despite some predictable second episode ratings drops, things are looking good for Kara Danvers and her superhero’ing career.

The show is generating some great buzz and rightfully so; both the premier and Monday night’s episode, “Stronger Together,” maintained a snappy pace and a bright, optimistic, self aware tone. While it’s still ironing out some kinks as far as pacing and dialogue are concerned, Supergirl is looking like it’s on a positive trajectory for its first season. 

That’s the good news. Here’s the not so good: DC editorial has yet to make any sort of comment as to whether or not there are plans to bring back any form of Supergirl comic book.

In June of this year, as part of the Convergence event, the New 52 Supergirl ongoing was canceled after its fortieth issue. It was a move largely assumed to be the result of plans to do a tie-in relaunch that would coincide with the premier of the show. Why her book would need to be canceled to ‘make room’ for a TV tie-in series is beyond me, especially considering that both Green Arrow and Flash kept their ongoings in addition to the tie-ins they were given for their respective shows, but I digress.

There has been no talk in any capacity of giving Kara a comic book again, tie-in, ongoing, or otherwise. And with solicits for everything being released up to January of 2016 available, the potential for a big announcement to piggyback on and help push the show’s success doesn’t seem likely.

This is a strange move for more reasons than I can really count, not the least of which being the apparent willingness to leave money sitting on the table. In an interview back in September, DC co-publisher Jim Lee gave an incredibly vague non-answer when pressed with the question. It does not inspire confidence.

We’d be remiss if we did not use that as an opportunity. If you look at all the shows, we’ve tried to do things that both tie in directly into the core mythology of the show itself. But a lot of times you see the best stories featuring, let’s say Green Arrow or The Flash, those are the ones which see the greatest lift when a show becomes a hit. I think you’ll see an interesting mix of Supergirl content come out, some of which will closely mirror what’s going on in the show, but there’s some of the great stories that we publish that we will put out.

I think it’s exciting to see one of the key franchises lifted and showcased and we have really high hopes for it.”

(via IGN)

Confused? Yeah me too.

The situation reads as if DC believed both The Flash and Green Arrow to be “built in” successes as characters but are waiting on Supergirl to “prove” herself successful before making any effort to help snowball that success.

It’s the paradoxical logic we see time and time again: the complaint that female-centric franchises “don’t do well” in terms of merchandising when there is rarely any merchandising to be had geared towards female audiences.

Now, all of this could be network related. Both Arrow and The Flash find their home on the CW while Supergirl airs on CBS so I’m not without totally without hope that there could just be something fans are unaware of causing delays behind the scenes. But regardless of whatever the possible root of the problem is, I do hope DC makes a move soon. It would be a massive missed opportunity and huge disappointment to not take action; especially when so much of the initial Supergirl marketing was geared towards female demographics. A tie-in book could very well represent the first stepping stone into comics for many young girls who are excited about the show.

Now for some updates on another corner of the DC Expanded Universe.

Empire magazine has spent the past week releasing solo covers for characters in the upcoming film Suicide Squad with high-res images from the set and some cast interviews contained in each issue. Reactions have been (justifiably) mixed. The only way I can really succinctly describe the overall aesthetic of these character designs is ‘heavy handed’— something we already knew from the initial cast photo and the trailer that were released months ago. 

At least, if nothing else, Katana seems to have grabbed the longest straw in terms of overall design for the film. She looks amazing.

Katana, Suicide Squad

In slightly more nerve-wracking news, Will Smith and director David Ayer gave some semi-concerning remarks about a potential love triangle being established between Harley, The Joker, and Deadshot in an interview.

Smith says: “Harley is the biggest troublemaker, but Deadshot’s actually eyeballing her a little bit,” (…) “There’s a pretty ragged romantic triangle there.”

While Ayer follows up: “It’s about [Harley] breaking free of The Joker and becoming this fully actualized, independent person,” (…) “That really is a metaphor for everyone’s journey here.” (Via CBR)

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with love triangles or romantic subplots. But I can’t deny there’s a certain amount anxiety that comes from the phase “becoming a fully actualized, independent person” in conjunction with “a pretty ragged romantic triangle.” Especially in the context of a character like Harley Quinn who has a history of being launched into cheap, sensationalized abuse narratives at the hands of careless writers as misguided shorthand for “character development.”

Luckily Suicide Squad is still nearly a year from release, which gives a huge window of time for more interviews and clips to clarify the matter (for better or worse).

Finally, in Wonder Woman film news, The Wrap has reported the casting of Nicole Kidman in an unknown Amazonian role. This is the second major supporting casting announcement for the 2017 film after Chris Pine was announced to be playing Steve Trevor, a potential love interest for Diana.

ICYMI:

The trailer for AMC’s new series Preacher, based on the Vertigo comic of the same name, dropped earlier this week. AMC’s got a pretty successful history with both comic adaptations and “gritty violence” as a genre so I can’t say any part of this trailer is surprising (or all that interesting) to me. 

https://youtube.com/watch?v=UNgI2sRzr8I

And while the comic book front is looking a little bleak for Kara, the figure department is looking bright. DC Collectibles announced a 12.5 inch resin statue of Supergirl in the likeness of Melissa Benoist. It’s going to cost around $130 USD and it won’t be shipping until May of next year but look how great she looks.

Supergirl Statue, DC Collectables