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How often it feels like the one day we are without something is the day we need it the most? Not long ago, the battery in my car died… So I worked from home while my wonderful dad went out and got me a new battery and replaced it! My point is, the one day my car doesn’t start is also the day several people who do not have cars ask me if I’m available to give them a lift. It’s the subtle ironies in life that keep it interesting, right? And the one day that Kara says, “The world can go without Supergirl for one day….” is the day the world ends up needing her the most.
In this installment of the Maid of Steel podcast, Karen and I (Emilee) discuss season 1 episode 7, “Human for a Day.” The episode originally aired on December 7, 2015. A guest star of note was the man under the hood of Jemm, Charles Halford, whom Constantine fans, like Karen, will recognize as Chas Chandler! We really enjoyed the use of this obscure D.C. Comics character, and hope you did too!
Earthquakes and Earthlings
The day earthquakes hit National City is the day Supergril is without her powers. As Karen and I discuss on the podcast, we were both very captured by the story in this episode. It was more the blaring hand-waving we needed to do that we didn’t really enjoy! But story-wise, Kara having to experience life as an honest earthling and learn how to be a hero in spite of her impotence, that was all very excellent.
As a huge Smallville fan, I reflected on all the times Clark lost his powers on that show and compared it to how Kara dealt with it here on Supergirl. Unless I’m mistaken, I don’t believe Clark ever “blew out” his powers due to expenditure, but he did find himself frustratingly without them on several occasions. Each situation had its own bundle of issues he couldn’t address through the normal means. I liked those episodes because the writers didn’t make his vulnerability the antagonist, they actually needed him to step up and be a hero in spite of his vulnerability. Although we didn’t get that from Kara immediately, it did eventually happen. Kara transformed the antagonist in this episode from her own vulnerability into the earthquake, and the repercussions of it, in order to make this a stellar episode.
In both shows, the heroes eventually find a means to talk their way out of a jam they used to punch their way out of. What is so interesting to me, and perhaps a little disappointing, is that for a woman (Kara) who has such a natural inclination to help people, she starts off by seeming to think that her only contribution to the world is through the use of her powers. She enters this episode feeling heartbroken and confused over the loss of her powers, and so she’s blinded by the fact that there is plenty a normal human can do. Thus, her vulnerability is the antagonist. I kind of wish that they’d had Kara Danvers, and not an inert Supergirl, stop that robbery… because it feels like Kara needed the encouragement, not Supergirl. When Supergirl is Supergirl, she’s on point and knows her mission. But what about the girl behind the superhero?
And it is this reason, and only this reason, that I agree with the words Maxwell Lord said on the broadcast. I don’t agree with his methods or the way he implements his ideas, but I do believe that when we idolize people (or idolize certain qualities that we possess), who are literally only human, there is a greater tendency for the let-down to change our perspective of the world in a more fundamental way. It’s not wrong to look up to people or to use people as role models, but in the end, everyone makes mistakes and we must account for that. Otherwise we do render ourselves incapable of making good choices. Our understanding and competence is lopsided and dependent, imbalanced.
But of course, Maxwell Lord will use every opportunity to push his own agenda forward, and he’s preying on the fear and vulnerability of National City in order to do so in this episode. Somehow, he managed to turn the blame of a man’s death from the natural disaster onto Supergirl by merely associating the absence of their heroine with that situation. He knew enough about anatomy and medicine to diagnose the man’s problems, but he had no means of saving her. Interesting. It’s almost like he wanted that to happen.
Cougar’s Comic Corner
This is a week of homework you do not want to miss out on! Karen guarantees that if you enjoy the shows encompassing the DC Universe of television, you are going to like this comic.
The New Frontier us a multi-award 6-issue series and tells the origin stories for several popular characters and gives a well-rounded picture of the Justice League. Later, after its release, The New Frontier is identified as an Earth-21 story.
Check it out and report back! What did you think?
Digital First: The Supergirl Edition
An announcement was made that sometime next year, a Supergirl comic will be hitting the digital comic platforms! This comic will tie directly into the show, as these reports claim, but any other news regarding the content or its release have not been revealed. To learn more or to preorder, please check out Supergirl: Digital First Vol. 1 on Amazon!
The winter f— episode of which there will be no more until January is next week! “Hostile Takeover” will air on December 14.
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