Friday, September 01, 2006

Maid of Steel

Today, Comic Art Friday salutes the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, which first opened to automobile traffic 50 years ago today.

The Richmond-San Rafael Bridge — officially the John F. McCarthy Memorial Bridge, but in my 30 years in the Bay Area, I've never heard anyone call it that — often goes unsung in the shadow of the nearby Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, but at the time of its completion in 1956, it was one of the longest bridges in the world. The RSRB recently completed an extensive seismic retrofit, during which two workers lost their lives.

Some years ago, my car blew a head gasket on the RSRB as the girls and I were traveling to an Oakland Athletics game. We were rescued from the span by a friendly Caltrans tow truck.

So I was thinking...

Honoring a bridge that's made of steel...

...nicely sets the stage for a Comic Art Friday dedicated to the Maid of Steel.

(All bow to the King of Segue!)

One of my favorite superheroines has been enjoying a renaissance of late. Supergirl, famously killed off by DC Comics during the 1985 mega-crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, is now headlining two — count 'em, two — regular series: a revived Supergirl book, written by Joe Kelly and illustrated (most months, anyway) by the team of Ian Churchill (pencils) and Norm Rapmund (inks); and the current incarnation of Legion of Super-Heroes, which, effective with the May 2006 issue, was retitled Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes. The latter book is scripted by Mark Waid, and features the art of Barry Kitson, a talented Brit whose work bears some similarity to that of longtime Justice League penciler Kevin Maguire.

Since Supergirl is undergoing a major upgrade and renewal — not unlike, say, the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge — what say we rock a little Kara Zor-El today?

Supergirl, old school: This cute pinup by Michael Dooney reminds me of the Supergirl of the 1960s, when the legendary Jim Mooney (no relation to Michael Dooney) was her primary artist.

Back in the day, Supergirl was cute and fun and every bit as interested in boys as she was in beating up bad guys. In fact, during much of Mooney's run as artist, Supergirl was as much a romance comic as it was a superhero book.

Supergirl, new school: This pen and ink drawing by Brandon Peterson reflects a more modern sensibility. Peterson's take on the Last Daughter of Krypton bears the stamp of artist Jim Lee, probably one of the two or three most influential comics artists of the past 15 years.

It's interesting that even though Peterson's drawing style shows a 21st century edge, he chose to depict Kara in her classic '60s era costume, as did Dooney in the picture above.

Supergirl, flight school: This fun artwork by Ty Romsa shows Kara in her element, soaring above the clouds with the greatest of ease.

Romsa's portrayal of Supergirl is cutting-edge, employing a sleek modern style as well as Kara's current midriff-baring costume. Romsa's Kara also resembles (though probably unintentionally) actress Helen Slater, who played Supergirl in a 1984 feature film costarring Academy Award winner Faye Dunaway and seven-time Oscar nominee Peter O'Toole.

And that's your pre-Labor Day Weekend Comic Art Friday. I'll be grilling large hunks of dead animal flesh this weekend. How about you?


2 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Joel offered these pearls of wisdom...

That...was a kewl intro. Kudos! You may bow :)

6:31 PM  
Blogger Crashtest Comic offered these pearls of wisdom...



7:08 PM  

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