Posts Tagged ‘Cat Grant’

Cat Grant, President Marsdin, and Elizabeth Holloway Marston All Went to the Same College

May 16, 2017

supergirl

Last night’s Supergirl was one of the best episodes of the year, in no small part due to Lynda Carter guest starring as President Marsdin and the long awaited return of Calista Flockhart as Cat Grant. They even got to share the screen together before the Daxamite queen Rhea, played by Teri Hatcher, shot Air Force One out of the sky. Luckily Supergirl was there to save Cat, and the President was able to save herself when she revealed that she was actually an alien. It was all a lot of fun; one of the things that makes Supergirl special is its depth of amazing female characters, both heroes and villains, and they were out in full force last night.

After the plane crash, everyone was wondering how Cat Grant got on the plane in the first place. It turns out that she was old friends with the president, and that they’d gone to college together. Marsdin was her RA in the dorms of Radcliffe College, and that choice of university is a very fitting one.

Supergirl has been making sly references to the history of Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter’s President Marsdin, and fittingly so. When you’ve got Lynda Carter on board, you’ve got to have some Wonder Woman fun! Her name seems to be a double reference: Marsdin is reminiscent of Wonder Woman’s creator, William Moulton Marston, while Olivia appears to reference Olive Byrne, Marston’s partner and a major inspiration for Wonder Woman. With tonight’s episode, we got a shout out to Elizabeth Holloway Marston, the third member of the Marstons’ polyamorous relationship, co-inspiration for Wonder Woman, and a graduate of Radcliffe College.

Having already earned a BA from Mount Holyoke College and a law degree from Boston University, Elizabeth went to Radcliffe College in 1919 to get a master’s degree in psychology. At the time, Radcliffe was a women’s college; women weren’t yet allowed to attend Harvard itself, so Radcliffe was Harvard’s sister school. While at Radcliffe, Elizabeth worked with her husband researching systolic blood pressure and helped create the lie detector test, and eventually graduated in 1921 with her third degree.

Having Cat Grant and President Marsdin go to Radcliffe too is a delightful deep cut reference to Wonder Woman’s history, and that the writers at Supergirl took the time to make it speaks of their respect not just for their titular character but for Lynda Carter, Wonder Woman, and the women of the superhero world generally. William Moulton Marston didn’t create Wonder Woman on his own; Elizabeth and Olive contributed to the character in ways we’ll probably never fully know, and they deserve to be remembered as a key part of her history. With last night’s episode, Supergirl did just that in a small, enjoyable way. It was a cool moment in what was an absolutely great episode that has me so excited to watch next week. Did you guys see that ending? It’s crazy! Such a good cliffhanger!

The Trailer For CBS’ New Supergirl Show Is Delightful And Action-Packed

May 14, 2015

supergirl

Supergirl can never catch a break. She’s constantly overshadowed by Superman, of course, what with him being the originator of the entire superhero genre and all. Her 1984 film didn’t go over terribly well, and is regularly cited as an example of why there are so few superhero films starring women these days (even though Superman IV: The Quest for Peace made only a million dollars more than Supergirl three years later; and yet male-led superhero movies remain the norm and Superman’s been back to the big screen several times since). Her comic book series over the past couple of decades have been generally unremarkable, and the one major bright spot, Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade by Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones, never caught on like it should have.

But now, Supergirl has a new showcase with her own hour-long television show. The show premieres this fall on CBS, where it will air on Monday nights, and the network has released a six minute trailer:

I am very excited for this show. One thing that DC’s television division understands (and that their film division seems to not understand at all) is that diversity of tone is a good thing. There are lots of DC properties across a variety of channels, and they’re all different. Arrow is dark and moody, Flash is light and fun, iZombie is weird and quirky, Gotham is… well, Gotham kind of sucks. But the point remains: They’re all different.

Supergirl seems to be going for a mix of Superman: The Movie and The Devil Wears Prada, which is an interesting combination. While most superhero shows have romantic elements, few tread too far into the realm of romantic comedy. Supergirl appears to be embracing that genre in a cool way that looks like it will work well with all of the superheroics. It’s a smart angle that should appeal to viewers who aren’t interested in DC’s other superhero shows. A lot of the internet commentary thus far has praised (or chastised) Supergirl for courting a female audience, and women are stereotypically rom-com fans, but I think a lot of guys will be into it too. Who doesn’t like a good romantic comedy? It’s got comedy AND romance. That’s double the fun. Plus Supergirl is a superhero romance comedy, which means THREE times the fun.

Melissa Benoist seems like she’ll be a great Supergirl, and the rest of the cast looks like a lot of fun too. Calista Flockhart seems to have the mean boss thing down pat, Mehcad Brooks looks to be a surprisingly suave and charming Jimmy Olsen, and everyone else is suitably enjoyable. Plus, as Wilfredo Torres (@mightyfineline) pointed out on Twitter last night, Supergirl saves more people in this trailer than Superman did in all of Man of Steel. That’s all I want out of my Super-entertainment, someone who saves people who need help, be it from accidents, natural disasters, or bad guys.

So yeah, I’m pretty excited to check out the show! It’s great to see a superhero property with a female lead, and I’m glad it’s something different tonally. It looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun.

Superman/Wonder Woman #1 Review OR Could Have Been Better, Could Have Been Worse

October 9, 2013

supww1a

Given my many qualms about this series, I was expecting to be unimpressed by this first issue.  However, given my love of Wonder Woman, I set my qualms aside in the hope that it would turn out to be a well done, fun book that I enjoyed.  Turns out, neither happened.  It wasn’t bad, but nor was it particularly good.  While I liked a few things and others I didn’t care for, altogether it just felt bland to me.  More on this momentarily, but first:

SPOILER ALERT!!

I am about to tell you about all of the action AND all of the romance in this new series!

You’ll know it all!

So if you want to read it yourself first, run away!

Providing both action and romance, an adventure on the high seas is intermingled with a deep conversation about Clark and Diana’s relationship in this first issue.  Out on the ocean, a huge storm has kicked up, an airplane is in distress, and Doomsday is somehow involved.  Meanwhile, during the date night these aquatic shenanigans interrupted, Clark and Diana talk about whether or not to keep their relationship secret.  Clark likes the secrecy, Diana does not, and ultimately things appear to settle on the secrecy side before a move to the bedroom is postponed by the aforementioned oceanic disruption.

The action side of things is fine.  Superman gets punched straight out of the ocean and through an airplane, Wonder Woman angrily dismantles the guns on a naval ship, and then Doomsday shows up and fights Wonder Woman for a bit.  There’s no real explanation for the storm or Doomsday, but this is a set-up issue.  I’m sure we’ll learn more about that next month.  The action is nothing new or innovative, and they go a little hard with the splash pages and two-page spreads, but it’s not bad or anything.  Standard superhero fare, really.

The relationship side of things didn’t work as well for me.  I’m not a fan of the relationship in general because I just don’t find it interesting, and hearing them talk about it, Diana to a friend and then both Clark and Diana together, was kind of dull.  I just have no investment in it, so their issues and insecurities surrounding the relationship don’t do much for me.  The writing and art didn’t help either.  Again, it’s not bad by any means, but it lacked spark.  I wanted this book to sell me on this relationship, to show me what I’m missing in terms of why and how this is an interesting pairing, and I didn’t get that at all.

What’s worse, the way the relationship was discussed ultimately made me rather annoyed with both of them.  The New 52 has set up a universe where superheroes aren’t particularly beloved, and they’re out saving the world while humanity is more afraid and wary than grateful.  This can’t be fun, obviously, but Superman of all people should not get bogged down by this.  He’s SUPERMAN.  He should be able to let it go, and to understand the importance of rising above it.

Instead, he’s kind of antagonistic about it.  When Diana mentions sharing the wonders of his Fortress of Solitude with the world, segueing into a discussion of sharing their relationship with the world as well, Clark wants none of it.  He replies:

We give them everything.  This is ours.  At least for now.

There’s an irksome self-pity and self-aggrandizement in “We give them everything”, and a certain degree of entitlement in “This is ours”, like the world doesn’t deserve to know about his fortress or his relationship.  They’re too good and special for “them.”  To me, Superman is the last person in the universe who would have an us vs. them mentality when it comes to the rest of humanity, no matter how little he may be appreciated.

A similar frustration, and the us vs. them framework, show up again with Wonder Woman later in the issue.  When the naval ship shoots down the plane, thinking that Superman and Wonder Woman had attacked it, she angrily tears the guns off the deck, yelling:

WHY? We try to help you, and you fire on us?

Frankly, the naval crew just saw Superman blast through an airplane.  How were they to know he was punched out of the ocean by Doomsday?  It’s a reasonable mistake to make.  And yet there’s Wonder Woman losing her cool, furious at “them” for shooting at her and Superman.  Who the missile wouldn’t even hurt, by the way.  She’s a demigod and he’s the goddamn Man of Steel.  They would be FINE.  If she was mad that the pilots she rescued might have been injured, that would be understandable, but clearly that’s not the “us” she was referring to.

The rest of the issue was average, blandish superhero romance/adventure, but this antagonism towards humanity, this seeming inability to understand where they’re coming from and why they might be scared of superheroes, really rubbed me the wrong way.  When Diana offered to train Clark in combat because he’s more a wrecking ball than a fighter with any sort of finesse, she said:

You have things to learn, and I’m just the woman to teach you.

Initially I read that as a reference not just to combat but to Clark’s relationship with humanity and penchant for keeping secrets, that Diana would help him open up and share more with the world.  But then she flips out and starts wrecking a boat, furious at the stupid humans who dared misinterpret what was going on.  I know it’s not a huge component of the book, and I’ve blathered on about it longer than it deserves, really, but I hate when superheroes are dicks.  Both of them kind of were in this issue.

Of course, there’s much more going on in the book.  We get a look at the supporting cast, starting with Cat Grant, Clark’s website pal.  Clark Kent’s website is perhaps the least interesting Clark Kent story that’s ever been done (though on the plus side it did make me think of @CK1Blogs, an absolutely hilarious Twitter account), and the whole content/number of viewers discussion was just plain dull.  Cat is pals with Aaron Lord, though, who I think is a new character.  If he’s any relation to Max Lord, that could be interesting.  In the old DC universe, Max Lord took over Superman’s mind so Wonder Woman killed him.  In this universe, I have no idea what Max Lord has been up to, but perhaps some of the animosity will carry over.

What I did love was Diana’s supporting cast, an Amazon named Hessia who appears to be based in London.  It’s great to have another Amazon around, and I’m curious to hear the story of why she’s not on Paradise Island and turned into a snake like the rest of her Amazon sisters.  I think she could be a fun character, and I hope she gets more to do than dole out relationship advice to Diana.

All together, I feel pretty ambivalent about this book.  Charles Soules’ writing was okay, but just okay.  The pacing was sort of interesting, flipping back and forth in the story timeline and occasionally interweaving the date night/fight narratives.  He didn’t sell me on the relationship, or even pique my interest in it a bit, but the story moved along.

The art was fine, with occasional flashes of impressive work and occasional duds.  I don’t think that Tony S. Daniels quite has a handle on how he’s drawing Diana yet, and his work with her felt a little inconsistent, but that should come with time.  He also got saddled with a lot of scenes with people just standing around talking at each other, and it’s hard to make that exciting.  The action scenes were better, though they went to the splash page well a lot, and in close succession.

Overall, the issue added up to a fairly bland read for me.  I was neither enthused or outraged, and everything balanced out into a neutral, meh sort of feeling.  I hated the antagonism towards humanity and the us vs. them mentality, but I really like Hessia.  The action scenes were mildly interesting, and the romance scenes were mildly dull.  It all leveled out into an issue I neither cared for nor disliked.  I’m really curious to hear what everyone else thought about it, so please let me know in the comments.


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