Supergirl Cries For Justice

Cry For Justice #3 CoverJustice League: Cry For Justice by writer James Robinson and painter Mauro Cascioli continues, with its third issue arriving this week. You can see a preview here. For the interest of discussion, I’ve posted the first few pages below. I’m sure you can guess which page has fanboys and frustrated fangirls talking. This page was first revealed a few months ago in the back of a few DC titles. I know DC cop a lot of flack for their treatment of female characters. The main sore points would be the stuffing of Green Lantern Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend into a refrigerator and the lack of a memorial in the Batcave for the assumed-dead Stephanie Brown Robin. However, since then DC have made some good strides I reckon. Brown is now back, as the new Batgirl. They’ve put more females such as Vixen, Dr. Light and Zatanna in the ranks of the Justice League, and have even given Supergirl briefs to conceal her modesty, as she does wear a short skirt and fly around a lot.

The page in question, below, seems to put the focus on Supergirl’s teenage chest. The character is portrayed in sultry poses more often than any other character and this page would seem to continue that somewhat controversial trend. However I don’t think that’s the point of this page (though the assumed menage a trois Hal Jordan had last issue isn’t helping the cause of this series). I recall during the awesome, and mammoth Death and Return of Superman storyline, that similar panel compositions were used. The Superman family is large, and expanding. There are more characters with “S” shields on their chest in the DCU than ever before. That “S” is what citizens look up to and respond. They see the “S” first. It’s a symbol of power and hope, and an artist can use that to their advantage. I could just be clutching at kryptonite straws here, and although Supergirl’s team-mates seem to be staring at her bosom, she’s not the kind of girl who uses her sexuality like that. She wasn’t raised that way by the Kents. Then again, a midriff baring costume probably isn’t the best choice either, but at least it gives her room to move, and punch baddies who may be distracted by her…”S.”

It is a good composition and obeys the rule of thirds and all that, and if Superman were to replace Kara in the same position, no-one would bat an eyelid. But by reading the dialogue, it becomes clear that both creators are using the scene to reinforce what the reader is thinking (ie, “That Supergirl sure is perty.”) and having the male characters agree. Perhaps it’s just a matter of page design supporting a certain mood in the story and in that way, it works.

Cry For Justice #3 p1

Cry For Justice #3 p2

Cry For Justice #3 p3

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