On Thursday, DC Entertainment announced a forthcoming Supergirl prequel comic from beloved YA author Mariko Tamaki, with art by Joëlle Jones. The Supergirl TV show, which switched to the CW joining The Flash, Arrow, and Legends of Tomorrow for its upcoming season, picks up with Kara during her young adulthood, finding light drama in her struggle to keep her entry-level job in journalism while fighting bad guys. Supergirl: Being Super, however, will focus with laser precision on the coming of age Kara experienced before the events of the show took place. It’s also worth noting that Tamaki and Jones’s comic will depict Kara as experiencing her powers for the first time at 16, while the CW show gave Kara her superhero origin story later in her life.
“Clearly,” Tamaki told DC, “I’m a writer with a devoted interest in adolescence, so it’s been a thrill having the opportunity to explore the alien side of 16.” What exactly an alien 16 year old experiences is up to Tamaki in this mini-series. DC’s press release for the comic illustrates a very specific struggle, one Kara will probably go through alone.
Imagine this: You’re an alien. You have super powers. You are SUPERGIRL. But you’re also 16, a teenager just trying to survive the day-to-day life of high school. The upside is, yes, you can fly, you can crush diamonds with your bare hands. […] As Kara turns 16, her powers begin manifesting in bizarre hot flashes, glowing zits, symptoms that are becoming harder to control. That’s right, two words, ALIEN ZITS.
We don’t see her regular zits glow in DC’s preview imagery, but it’s clear that Jones, who’s signed on to work purely in DC Comics, has a unique aesthetic that feels both lyrical and realistic. Her version of Kara makes unhappy faces, looks bored while scrolling on her smartphone, and wears hoodies in dark abandoned places she probably shouldn’t visit alone.
The first issue of the mini-series is due on comic book stands December 28, and each subsequent issue will feature 48-pages of story.