Supergirl #38 (Comics Review)

DC’s Supergirl experienced yet another creative team change about 2 months back, and thankfully, it has been a good change for once, with a team that is focused on empowering and developing the titular character without making her suffer through yet more angst and family issues that were so… roughly executed in the first three years of the rebooted title. Putting the character in a school-environment in outer space has done wonders for the character as far as I’m concerned, and that’s what I want to see more of, as this particular story is developed further.

The first 2 issues by the new creative team did a lot to flesh out the new phase of Supergirl, as the titular character met some new people, honed her abilities further, and learned more about the wider galaxy. At the same time, she has also had somewhat of a tough time fitting in, having had to contend against some natural biases among her fellow students at Crucible Academy, and that’s where this book really excels I think. Goes without saying that the art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy, Hi-Fi, Rob Leigh and Tomeu Morey has also worked out really well with the new direction.

One of the things that has kind of bothered me about the new direction with Supergirl is the inclusion of Superboy, aka Kon-El, the original Superboy of the New 52 continuity. He died during the events of Krypton Returns, having sacrificed himself to make sure that the planet survived the terrible plans that H’El had for it, and that his… friends Superman and Supergirl survived as well. It was kind of an emotional moment but the fact that it was written (or co-written, or consult-written) by one of the most boring writers at DC, Scott Lobdell, made me dislike the whole thing.

Kate Perkins and Mike Johnson have brought back Superboy, and have actually softened the whole blow of that mini-event. Their Superboy feels very much like a contemporary character for Supergirl, rather than someone who is included just for kicks. The way that his arc intersects with that of Kara’s in this issue is entirely natural and only goes towards furthering the many mysteries of Crucible Academy, given his status as a clone.

And I also liked that the meeting between the two wasn’t packed with needless angst and anger and what have you that has characterised their relationship to date (Kryptonians hate clones). It is a meeting of equals and that alone was the most refreshing thing in this episode, though things might still take a turn for the worse.

The issue isn’t entirely about these two however, since Kara and her new friends have to content against a group of Crucible rejects who have gone down the villains path and are intent on causing some galactic mayhem and general all-around trouble for the academy. This feeds into more opportunities for the development of Kara’s supporting cast, and that’s just as well since I find them to be very interesting and if they are developed properly, then they can definitely becoming some long-term members of the title.

On top of everything else, while we as readers know that something nefarious is up with Crucible Academy and its leaders, it is nice to see that the students also become aware that all is not well.

This issue could well be a yet another setup issue, but I think that it moves forward the meta-story forward significantly and that’s what I liked about it. The writers are also slowly moving away from the seriousness of the previous arcs, and are making this a more fun series than it has ever been before in the New 52.

Emanuela is the artist here, with Ray on inks, Hi-Fi on colours and Rob on the letters with Emanuela and Tomeu on the cover. At times, the art is pretty brutal, especially in the fight scenes, but then it is also quite fun and easy-going in the moments when we are initially with Kon in Italy and he is attending Roma Con with all the cosplayers around. There’s a really great juxtaposition at work here, and since the overall tone of the story is upbeat, it filters down into the art as well, and really firms it all up.

Another great issue for this new creative team.

Rating: 9.5/10

More Supergirl: #21-23, Future’s End, #36-37.

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Posted on January 25, 2015, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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