It’s kinda nice when someone says the thing I am trying and failing to say. I knew Bob Chipman (who’s going all indie and getting all academic and smartypants) talked about Superman, 1978 right before Man of Steel came out in 2013. (Chipman’s short blurb is here.)
But then he later presented a full fledged 50-minute analysis of Superman, 1978,* why it works (where other Superman movies don’t) and how it’s impacted the Superman canon and cultural zeitgeist (a lot!). There are notices about how Warner Studios tried to suppress his piece on copyright infringement grounds. I hope that got
So when ranting about Supergirl, 2015 (the television series), I can point to Chipman’s summation and say This is Superman. That is not.… but then I need to explain why Supergirl needs to be Superman (that is, to experience the same paradigm as Superman did) before experiencing its many, many subversions. The short answer being: Because it’s an important step in gender equalization for us to see that a woman can do the space-Christ thing, and be adequately good at it. Really, our repertoire of women Christ figures is really scant.
And since we didn’t see it in Supergirl — the first two episodes were essentially a treatise on why women can’t / shouldn’t superhero — we’re going to have to wait until someone else gets to do it in another franchise.
And this highlights part of the reason I’m still having trouble getting this essay out. Some parts of it make me a bit outragey.
* There are notices about how Warner Studios tried to suppress Chipman’s Superman piece on copyright infringement grounds. I hope that got resolved. In case it didn’t and my link doesn’t work you can look for it here, and then, if necessary watch it on Vimeo.