New SUPERGIRL Writer Injecting 'Fun & Adventure'

With a new writer on Supergirl #20, Earth-2 comes a bit closer to the heroes of the main DCU with Power Girl guest starring in his first issue.

The surprising team-up was revealed on the cover and solicitation for May's issue of Supergirl, just as writer Mike Johnson leaves the title and Michael Alan Nelson comes on board.

Supergirl #20

DC readers didn't get much of a chance to check out Nelson's writing on his last DC book, with his run on The Ravagers cut short by the publisher.

But Nelson gets another chance to mold part of the DC Universe as he takes over Supergirl in May, working with current artist Mahmud Asrar. The change is among several DC is making that same month, including another Super-family change: Justin Jordan writing Superboy.

DC has already indicated that 2013 will be a big year for Superman, from the new movie Man of Steel to the new comic by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee, and Nelson implied his title will be part of those plans and more in the DCU.

Before writing Ravagers, Nelson was best known for his work on indie series like Fall of Cthulhu and 28 Days Later. He brought some of that horror sensibility to Ravagers.

But with Supergirl, the writer is continuing the story of Kara's "coming of age," while also promising to add a sense of adventure to the book while developing a rogues gallery for Kara.  Newsarama talked to the writer to find out more.

Newsarama: Michael, first I have to ask about the solicitation and cover for your first issue. Power Girl becoming Supergirl? Can you confirm whether Power Girl is in the lead role as you take over the book?

Michael Alan Nelson: "Lead" role might not be the best way to put it, but she certainly has a pivotal role in the events of the issue. Her presence results in some unexpected complications for Supergirl. All I can say is that it's a really good thing for Supergirl that Power Girl is there. Until it's not.

Nrama: Is Power Girl's appearance coordinated at all with Worlds' Finest and the plans for that title?

Nelson: I can't speak to what's going to happen with Worlds' Finest, but I can say that her appearance is part of the complication I mentioned earlier. How much of that affects Power Girl later on, we'll just have to wait and see.

Nrama: Then before we talk about Kara, what's it like writing Power Girl?

Worlds' Finest #12

: I think there's a joy to Power Girl that Supergirl doesn't have just yet. Not that she's bouncing off the walls giggling all the time, but that she sees the world through that filter where Supergirl is still dealing with the fallout of some personally traumatic events. And that's been the key to finding the difference in their voices. I see Power Girl as more of a "glass half-full" to Supergirl's "wait, I have a glass?" It's been a fun but interesting challenge.  

Nrama: Let's back up and talk about your overall plans for the Supergirl title and what we'll see from Kara. So far, we've seen a sort of "alien teen/coming of age" approach to Kara. Will we see more of those stories, or is your hope to give the book a bit of a new direction?

Nelson: The alien teen/coming of age aspect is a really big part of who she is. Growing up as a normal teen is difficult enough. It's a chaotic, painful, beautiful disaster that we all have to learn to navigate. Having to navigate that terrain on an alien planet in an alien culture all while having super powers just adds to the chaos.

But that said, I really want to add some adventure to her life, both personally and "professionally."

Supergirl is a rich and incredibly complex character. I want to explore how those complexities affect her attempts to adapt to living on Earth, how she forms relationships, how she reacts when those relationships fall apart — all while dealing with problems that only an alien teen with god-like powers would have to deal with. I said that I think there's a joy to Power Girl that Supergirl hasn't found yet. The key word in that sentence is 'yet.' It's my hope to tell a story that shows her journey toward finding that joy and sharing all the devastating lows and breathtaking highs along the way.  

Nrama: What challenges or villains will Supergirl face during your first story arc?

Nelson: Oh, that would be giving away the store! But I will say that one thing we're all actively working on is building Kara's rogues gallery. We're going to see several adversaries present themselves to Supergirl, adversaries specific to her.

I won't give specifics as to the first villain we'll see, but I will say that this nemesis comes from a very unexpected place. And the genesis of this particular villain leaves Kara with some pretty desperate questions that lead her to, perhaps, some erroneous conclusions.

Nrama: Will we see some of her life outside the Supergirl costume?

Nelson: Quite a bit, actually. The truth is, she's a lonely girl who can't really relate to other people. The fun is going to come from watching her try to overcome that issue. We're going to see her strengthen her personal relationships, develop a few new ones, and then see those relationships tested in some interesting ways.

Relationships are a minefield for teenagers, whether they're platonic, romantic, or those confusing ones that fall somewhere in between. Add in the added dimension of "things want to kill you on a daily basis" and things can get...complicated.  

Nrama: How much will Supergirl be involved in what's happening with Superman over the summer and further into 2013?

Nelson: She will definitely be involved for a while. But when we get to my first few issues, I'm going to focus on Supergirl and really hone in on her as a character before she gets drawn into larger events affecting the DCU. She's got some pretty big things to deal with on her own. Other DCU characters may have appearances, but it's going to be pretty Kara-centric.

With that in mind, things are happening that are eventually going to draw her into the greater DCU in a way that will turn her world completely upside down.

Nrama: So does that mean she'll be involved in events involving the rest of the DCU?

Nelson: I'm sure she'll have some involvement, perhaps more and more as the series continues. But as she does become involved in the rest of the DCU, I see her as a strong lead-character more so than a supporting cast member. And that could have some interesting consequences with her relationships (or lack thereof) with other members of the DCU.

Nrama: It's all pretty cryptic, so I'll just finish up by asking if there's anything else you can tell us about the future of the Supergirl title as you take over?

Nelson: Only that I hope to make readers excited about Kara's story. There are some big things coming up and we're going to be having a lot of fun. You're not going to want to miss the ride.

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