The Maid of Might takes center stage in the latest animated DC Universe Movie starring the 31st Century heroes inspired to assemble by the legacy of her famous cousin. A threat emerges from the past that could destroy the future unless Supergirl rises to the occasion
Superman’s cousin is no shrinking violent. Supergirl was first introduced in the late 50s in the DC comic Action Comics #252 as an attempt in the era to diversify its readership and a more colorful backstory to its already iconic tentpole hero. “The Supergirl of Krypton” written by Otto Binder started a myriad of adventures, that centered on the Man of Steel’s teenage cousin who had also escaped the planet Krypton’s destruction. Unlike her male counterpart, Kara Zor-El arrives on Earth as a young woman, and not a baby who gets adopted by the Kents and grows up with an understanding of Earth’s cultures and traditions.
Over the years and as her narrative expanded, Kara emerges as a hero in her own right who ascends to great deeds and is as marketably powerful as Superman. In one of the most significant moments of the landmark “Crisis on Infinite Earths” story arc of the mid-80s written by Marv Wolfman and George Pérez, Supergirl sacrifices her own life striking a mortal blow to the villainous architect of the earth-shattering events, protecting her cousin, Superman. At the conclusion of the 12-issue maxi-series, the entire DC continuity was rebooted and Superman emerges as the planet Krypton’s only survivor, effectively erasing the existence of Kara Zor-El, at least for a time.
Several attempts had been made in the following decades, to revitalize the character. Still, it wasn’t until the new millennium when an interstellar life raft crashes into Gotham Harbor and is excavated by Batman, that Kara’s Modern Age story began to coalesce and speak to a new generation. The (re)appearance of Supergirl in Superman/Batman #8 intrigued audiences who embraced the Girl of Steel, who had all the powers of Superman, but none of the inclination or desire to become a hero, or even what that meant. Upon her arrival, Kara feels crippled by the Earth’s 21st Century technology and it leads to a cataclysmic confrontation with Darkseid who attempts to seduce her to the dark side.
Since then, Kara Zor-El has found her way, and even during The New 52 reboot (following the events set in motion by The Flash during the FlashPoint story arc, and the untimely interference of the atomically charged and dangerous curious Dr. Manhattan) has remained a constant in the DC continuity. The heroine was also recently featured as a mainstay of the televised primetime “Arrowverse” universe portrayed by Melissa Benoist for six seasons in “Supergirl”, and the character will play a pivotal role in the summer’s upcoming blockbuster The Flash starring Ezra Miller, Supergirl is undoubtedly a cornerstone character in the pantheon of heroes appearing in DC comics.
It was inevitable that she’d eventually come to the foreground of her own animated movie and Kara Zor-El returns to play an important role in the latest animated adventure and DC Universe Movie Legion of Super-Heroes that shines the spotlight on the Girl of Steel and the legacy of heroics that she is an integral part of into the 31st Century. Voiced by Meg Donnelly in a story written by Josie Campbell and directed by Jeff Wamester Kara continues to prove her place as a prominent powerhouse while exploring her own individuality in a world where her cousin is among one of the greatest heroes ever known, and the expectation is that she follow in his cape.
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Longtime readers of DC Comics are more than familiar with the Legion of Super-Heroes. A group comprised of young people from all corners of the galaxy, inspired to use their super-powered gifts in defense of all that is just and good. The Legion appeared in live-action on the aforementioned Supergirl television series. The character of Brainiac 5 was a critical part of that ensemble cast and plays a significant role in this animated adventure rekindling that romantic relationship that was famous in the books with Supergirl.
As portrayed by the voice actor Harry Shum Jr. in the animated movie, this iteration of the Legionnaire is closer to the fan-favorite that has appeared in the comics. The film also centers on Brainiac 5’s own legacy — the character is after all related to one of Superman’s greatest adversaries and the narrative brilliantly involves a threat that is not only extremely relatable by today’s social standards but one that comics enthusiasts have debated often. The animated DC Universe Movie Legion of Super-Heroes has all the qualities that
The Animated DC Universe Movie LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES | starring the voice talents of Meg Donnelly, Harry Shum, Jr., Darren Criss, Jensen Ackles, and Matt Bomer is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.
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