Fan News

Supergirl: Chasing the Idea of Home

Supergirl: Chasing the Idea of Home

By Amy Ratcliffe Monday, June 5th, 2017

Kara’s longing for her Kryptonian home is at the heart of her debut Rebirth collection. But what does that mean for Supergirl…and for Earth? Writer Amy Ratcliffe shares her thoughts in this exclusive comic book breakdown.

The stories of Supergirl and Superman are rooted in the heroes being thrust onto a new world and finding their way. They were launched into unfamiliar territory and learned to harness the powers Earth's sun gave them to keep the planet's citizens safe and sound. They were separated from their families and everything they knew, but instead of wallowing in bitterness, they embraced the future and used their billowing red capes as an umbrella to protect those around them. But their willingness to be heroes on Earth doesn't mean they never miss their place of birth, and in SUPERGIRL VOL. 1: REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMEN by writer Steve Orlando and artists Brian Ching, Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy, we see Kara's struggle with home.

Home is one of those words that means something different to everyone. It's nebulous, subjective, personal—pick a word. We all bring our own memories, experiences and baggage to the table when the notion of home is discussed. If we no longer live in our hometown, we can recall it in extremes with either rose-colored glasses or "thank Rao I got out of there when I did" sentiments. Kara definitely remembered Argo City through friendly, softening lenses.

Kara's memories were almost undoubtedly affected by the fact that she was forced to leave home. Her parents, Zor-El and Alura, sent her away to protect her. A red kryptonite sickness was sweeping through Argo City and killing its citizens. Zor-El believed he could stop the devastating effects, so the idea was that Kara would return once it was safe. It was a selfish decision for a man claiming to be invested in protecting the greater good of the Kryptonians.

Case in point, Zor-El banished Lar-On to the Phantom Zone because the latter had contracted the dangerous virus. When he dropped onto Earth, the DEO treated him. They quarantined him, sure, but they didn't do anything quite so dramatic as put him a dimension frozen in time. Zor-El said Lar-On was too much of a risk to have around, but he was supposed to protect Argo City citizens—not send them away when they're in trouble and pleading for help.

I suppose I should point out that Lar-On would have died along with the rest of Krypton if he hadn't been banished. It's something.

Witnessing Zor-El's decision led credence to DEO Director Cameron Chase's assessment of Krypton. She called the planet's culture toxic; she cited Kryptonians being uncaring, self-serving and arrogant. She learned about them through the Sunstone that traveled to Earth with Kara and was not impressed. Based on what we've seen of Krypton in this story and other media, Chase isn't entirely wrong. Kara and Clark do seem to be the best of them sometimes.

Later happenings in the story bolstered the unflattering qualities Chase pointed out. Zor-El returned in Cyborg Superman form and decided inhabitants of Kara's new world must die in order to restore Argo City. He knew Kara missed her home and took it upon himself to fix the problem. In creating beings that were kind of abominations of Kryptonians, he completely missed the point and didn't seem to learn any lessons from the initial destruction of his world.

Though, yes, Kara hasn't been happy on Earth, Zor-El's solution isn't what she wanted. She's only been adjusting to her new planet and powers for a few months. When you've spent all of your 16 years on literally another world, it's going to take a while to settle. I admit I wasn't thrilled with her being a jerk to Jeremiah and Eliza, but I get where she's coming from. Besides being uprooted from her home and missing her previous life and family, Kara never got closure.

Argo City and Krypton fell apart after Kara was sent away. She didn't get to say goodbye. She didn't get to be there at the end. It's a level of loss impossible to wrap your head around. Therefore, home is understandably a sensitive subject for her.

In some ways, the appearance of Zor-El via Cyborg Superman helped her close the door. She realized there was nothing wrong with missing where she came from. Remembering the past and occasionally taking a minute to imagine what could have been doesn't diminish the experiences she's having now or vice versa. She's not having the easiest time fitting in on Earth, but she has the Danvers family and she has Cat Grant (we should all be so lucky to have a Cat Grant in our lives). Oh, and she has super powers. It could be worse.

The situation with Zor-El helped her let go of her old home and appreciate her new one.

How do you define home? Let me know your thoughts on that as well as Kara’s initial Rebirth adventure in the comments!

Amy Ratcliffe writes about Rebirth and DC Super Hero Girls for and covers Supergirl for the #DCTV Couch Club. Look for her on Twitter at @amy_geek

SUPERGIRL VOL. 1: REIGN OF THE CYBORG SUPERMEN by Steve Orlando, Brian Ching, Emanuela Lupacchino and Ray McCarthy is now available in print and as a digital download.

Read More