James Gunn and Peter Safran have laid out their future plans for DC Studios, and the results are pretty exciting. Having the ship steered by someone with a clear vision and an obvious love of the source material is exactly what DC movies need. Speaking of comics, Gunn recently tweeted the inspirations behind DC's new direction. He was careful to say that while these books are significant to upcoming projects, DC Studios won't be adapting them all. It's great news because the comics serving as "touchstones" are all excellent!

DC Studios may not be directly adapting all the books Gunn mentioned, but we know one recent comic that is definitely getting a movie: "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow." The eight-issue miniseries from Tom King and Bilquis Evely (whose art is absolutely phenomenal, as are the colors from Matheus Lopes) first hit stands in 2021, wrapping up the following year.

It might seem surprising to adapt such a recent tale, but King and Evely have crafted a truly unique story about the Girl of Steel. Even cooler, is that King, one of the best writers working in comics today, is involved in the project. Just read "Mister Miracle," "Vision," or "Strange Adventures" and you'll be a believer. Or, better yet, check out "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow." Not that the book needs my help, since it's currently selling out everywhere, but let's delve into why this comic is worth your time.

Like Superman, But A Girl

I grew up completely enamored by "Supergirl." As an adult, I know the 1984 film is not very good, but there is a part of me that will always love it. l was pretty obsessed with the Superman movies as well, but it's fair to say that between her role as Kara Zor-El and also as the titular protagonist of "The Legend of Billie Jean," Helen Slater was one of my earliest heroes. I'm certain "Supergirl" is the reason I grew up with such a soft spot for Kara and wound up interested in reading her comics.

Created by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, Supergirl debuted in "Action Comics" #252 in 1959. She developed quite the convoluted backstory over the years — even by comic book standards — and DC wiped her out of existence in 1985's universe-shattering event "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Writer Marv Wolfman explained in the intro to the collected volume that Kara's death was meant as a way to bring Superman back to his roots as the only survivor of Krypton. It's understandable. Supergirl was the result of DC trying to capitalize on Superman's popularity and not too much thought was put into Kara initially beyond, "what if Superman, but a girl?" The movie's dismal box office performance probably didn't help either. There were other supergirls in the wake of Kara's demise, but it was a long while before the original made her triumphant return to DC Comics.

Who Exactly Is Kara Zor-El?

Supergirl has become much more of a household name over the past few years thanks to her eponymous Arrowverse TV show (which began on CBS) starring Melissa Benoist as the Girl of Steel. The character was also a staple in later seasons of "Smallville," played by Laura Vandervoort. She will be portrayed by Sasha Calle in "The Flash." It's unknown if the actress will reprise the role for "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow," though with all the changes being brought about by DC Studios, it wouldn't be surprising to see someone else stepping into the Maiden of Might's trademark red boots.

Kara Zor-El may have gained some popularity, but truth be told, there aren't a lot of great Supergirl comics to choose from. That's part of why King and Evely's work is so perfect for adaptation. King isn't the first writer to give Supergirl agency and a personality distinct from her cousin Kal-El, but he is one of the only ones to really dig into who exactly Kara is. With so many writers having retconned her backstory over the years, it's not so easy to understand her. Unlike Superman or Batman, her origin hasn't become this fixed aspect of her mythology. It's often changed, and with it, a lot of what we think we know about Kara. Tom King told Screen Rant that this isn't a different version of the character, so much as it's a "pure" one. The comic really distills Kara to her essence. He also said that Frank Miller's "Batman: Year One" was a major influence on "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow," which makes a lot of sense.

What Is Supergirl: Woman Of Tomorrow About?

"Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow" is a space western, centering on a young girl named Ruthye hoping to enlist Supergirl to murder her father's killer, à la "True Grit" (Tom King has cited both movies and the novel as inspiration). Ruthye has an understandable thirst for vengeance, but Kara is only on that planet to celebrate her 21st birthday by getting drunk all alone — well, except for Krypto the Super-Dog of course. In order to do this, Kara goes to a planet with a red sun, leaving her and her faithful pooch severely weakened, though far from helpless.

What a brilliant way to begin a Supergirl story. A common complaint about Superman and by extension Supergirl, is that these characters are too powerful to be interesting. King finds several clever ways of disproving this theory. For one, he immediately throws Kara into a situation that leaves her vulnerable but also proves how desperately she longs to be normal sometimes. What's more relatable than that?

As far as Ruthye's revenge plot, Kara just wants to hang out and get wasted — she waited until her 21st birthday! — and more importantly, she's no killer. So, as much as she sympathizes with Ruthye's plight, Kara isn't taking on the job. I won't divulge why Supergirl changes her mind, but I will say issue no. 1 ends on a rather gut-wrenching note and I was hooked.

Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes do absolutely incredible work bringing this intergalactic adventure to life. The visuals in this book are stunning and every time I thought I'd seen the coolest panel yet, the next issue would somehow top it. It's the perfect marriage of art and story.

A Truly Great Supergirl Story

I don't want to spoil a thing, so I'll just say that this comic doesn't play out at all the way you think it will. I already loved Kara Zor-El, but Tom King and Bilquis Evley's story honestly blew me away. It was heartfelt and lovely, but also thrilling. I would say that King definitely accomplished his goal of giving us this character in her purest form.

In that same Screen Rant interview, King also explained that it was originally going to be Supergirl in the position of Ruthye, with someone else acting as her mentor, perhaps Lobo. However, it wasn't until it was suggested to him that Kara be in the mentor role that the story truly clicked into place. King explained, "Supergirl is not naive. She doesn't have to evolve into John Wayne, she already is John Wayne."

Kara and Kal-El may be similar in terms of their powers and unwavering moral compasses, but their experiences couldn't be more different. Like Kal, Kara lost her home world of Krypton. Yet, while her cousin had to reckon with being the last of his kind while growing up in the loving home of the Kents, Kara had to watch her entire planet and everyone she loved die before making her own trip to Earth. She is so much more than a female version of the Man of Steel and if you're not already a fan, this comic will make you one.

The fact that this is the Supergirl story being adapted promises a bold new direction for DC, one I personally can't wait to watch unfold. Well, what are you waiting for? Support your local comic shop and go buy a copy of "Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow" before all of them are gone!

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