I was thinking about the post I made yesterday
. The idea of Guy as Kara's mentor was largely a joke, but the more I think about it, the more I can see it as, weirdly enough, a genuine way to make the character more approachable/appealing.
Kara is growing on me, honestly. She really is. I still think the "being programmed to kill Superman" angst and the crystal spikes are a pretty silly idea, but I think at her core, Kara has the possibility to be an appealing character.
The thing is, for me, the appeal of the post-Crisis Kara is that she's, deep down, a stupid teenager. Hey, I can sympathize with that. I was a pretty stupid teenager once myself. I think most of us were. We know what it's like to be angry and lost and confused, to have to live up to the seemingly impossible expectations of authority figures who couldn't possibly understand what we're going through, while trying to get out from the overpowering shadow of those same figures...
Or maybe it's just me. :-)
Kara's the most appealing for me when she gets to act like a teenager. Crushing on Nightwing. Even the inappropriateness of her relationship with Boomerang. The whole issue where she was at school (except for the end...WE can't just fly away like that). Even her "Thinking isn't my strong suit" sort of self-deprecating joke. These are all things I resonate with, and I'd imagine a lot of youngish women would too.
Kelly's actually really good at that part, I think, but those threads get lost with everything else going on, and well. Honestly. The end product isn't very appealing to me.
I was thinking though, a big difference between a teenage character that gets on my nerves and a teenage character that I actually like has to do with the presence of a guiding figure. The constant presence of a truly guiding figure has the advantage of reminding me that yes, this character is a teenager
and she's going to make stupid mistakes and be incredibly silly. The guiding figure starts to provide a stabling influence, someone for the teenager to bounce off of, rebel against, grow accustomed to, allowing for the exploration of different sides of the character.
Ideally, the guiding figure gradually earns the reluctant respect/trust of the teenaged character and through that respect/trust, the seeds of the growing hero start to become visible.
Some teenaged characters don't need the presence of a guiding figure, being self-sufficient enough to operate largely as a miniature adult. However, Supergirl's clearly not equipped for that. She's all fire and attitude with no experience, and honestly I think she needs someone to reign her in. Superman is too distant of a figure to really cut it. Batman is too scary. And Diana has her own problems.
But Kara needs someone or something, I think. Original Kara had Clark, who might not have been perfect, but he was much more of a presence there than he is now. Most sidekick characters really come into their own through their relationship with their mentors. Kara would really benefit from that chance.
You know what I think would work? After this current mess with Power Boy and the Outsiders and everything else. I want Clark to have a good look at his cousin and realize, hey, she needs discipline and guidance, more than I can give her here. And ship her off to military school.
By military school. I mean Oa.
Seriously. The Green Lantern force is hierarchal, authoritarian, and has strict rules. Admittedly the Earth Lanterns are all crazy idiots, but they're focused and directed crazy idiots, and if nothing else, maybe a breather away from Earth would be of benefit of her.
I don't think Kara should necessarily show in the GLC book, but heck, if she can spend a few issues of Supergirl hanging around the Outsiders without showing in that book, she can do the same thing with the Corps.
And the Corps are full of characters that are smart, empathetic, compassionate, and would not have a whole lot of patience for teenage angst. They have respect for Superman, but he's not the overwhelming presence on Oa that he is on Earth, so she'd have some time to escape his shadow. And EVERYONE is an alien and out of place on Oa, so she shouldn't have trouble finding friends within the new recruits.
And considering that the Corps include everything from lizardmen, germs, mathematical equations and planets, a Kryptonian that grows spikes is not that freaky.
There's also the advantage of quite a few potential role models. I mentioned Guy in my last entry. He's got the educational background to understand her issues, and well, a lot of experience with being angry and juvenile. But there's also Soranik Natu. Soranik's cool, professional, competent and independent. There's Boodika. There's Kilowog. There's even Salakk.
Okay. Maybe not Salakk.
The advantage of the setting is that it's a really good place for her to really experience being a teenager, without all the baggage that comes from being on Earth. It's a good setting for action. (There's no reason Kara can't help out on some of the rookie missions, after all.) A good place to develop a rapport with many different types of characters: kids and adults, and explore some new aspects of her personality.
And finally, there may be a solution to my real problem with the Kara Zor-El character right now, which is the apparent lack of real altruism. I don't have any trouble with flawed or erratic superheroes, but ultimately I'd like to see some sign that they're doing this because they genuinely want to help people. I don't get that from Kara yet.
But maybe exposure to the sort of everyday, professional type of heroism we see in the Corps (akin to what we see in firefighters, cops or military in the real world) may reach her where the flashy superheroics on Earth can't, inspiring her to find her own inner hero.
Mostly I just think it'd be fun!