Rob at Talkin Bout Comics writes about the unfortunate reaction to the Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in Eighth Grade preview over at Newsarama. A lot of the comments at Newsrama (although, to be fair, not all) tend to read like “She needs longer hair. She doesn’t look like a girl.”
I don’t think a lot of these commenters actually know what young teenage girls look like.
I personally feel like the short hair suits this version of Supergirl. It’s a little tomboyish, sure, but it’s practical for fighting crime (do you really want to be worrying about your hair getting in your face when battling the bad guy?). She’s 13 — why does she need eyelashes to make her prettier or more girly? I think she’s cute and looks appropriate for her age.
Which is kind of my other point — these people complaining about how this Supergirl looks don’t seem to realize that maybe it’s not for them. I’m a big fan of a lot children’s entertainment, sure, but I can’t stand most of Nickelodeon’s TEENick shows or Disney Channel’s live action programming. But I understand they’re not trying to get me to watch. I understand that kids want to see other kids that kind of look like them (except maybe with better clothes). Kids — and yes, girls — should get their own comics. If I like them as an adult, that’s cool. But they weren’t made for me. I have no problem with that.
I think Rob (or rather, his daughter) says this more clearly than I ever could:
“I showed my nine year old daughter the pictures of Supergirl from the preview and asked her if she knew who the character was. She did. I asked her if she thought the character looked like a girl or a boy, and she said that she looked a little bit like a boy. The reason she cited was how messy her hair seems to be. She then pointed out something that should seem pretty obvious to most people, and that is that the character’s name is SuperGIRL… She’s a girl. I don’t think her sensibilities were offended by the character design at all, and she had no difficulty identifying the character or the character’s gender. She thinks the comic looks cool.”