Friday, January 18, 2019

Review: Supergirl #26

Supergirl #26 came out this week and feels like something of a tipping point for me and my patience with this new direction. You know what that's like, right? When you are reading a comic and you just think 'what am I reading?' Or more importantly 'why am I reading this?' Or even worse 'who chose this direction for this book to go in?'

I keep going back to the last issue of the Steve Orlando/Jody Houser run. A young Supergirl trying to figure out teenage life and super-heroing. A Kara Danvers who is feeling awkward at school and maybe having romantic feelings for the first time. A Supergirl who is stepping out from her cousin's shadow as a young hero. An optimistic young woman learning on the job, embracing Earth as home, and appropriately headstrong.

That all worked.

Now we have an edgy, vengeance-fueled Kara, alone in space, spitting on enemies, toting a Liefeld-ian gun, and being casually threatened with rape. This doesn't even feel like a Supergirl book. She is a part of an Omega Men story. Replace her with Maxima or Donna Troy or Starfire and there is no major change to the plot.

This doesn't work.

Now I know. I don't 'own' Supergirl. I have a version of Supergirl I like and that history seems to think is the default. I don't think I like this story or this Kara right now. I have sort of gone along with this direction for now seeing maybe some glimpses of things which could work. But this issue seemed to tip me towards the 'not working' side of the scale.

And perhaps the biggest shame is that the art on the book is so gorgeous. Kevin Maguire's stuff is beautiful. As always, his expressive work is top notch. The covers by Yanick Paquette and Artgerm are eye-catching. It is just such a mismatch with the material.

On to the book.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Young Justice (1998) #1 - Supergirl Homage

Count me among those folks who were thrilled when Brian Michael Bendis announced his Wonder Comics imprint and Young Justice #1 specifically.

I am a fan of classic Conner. I am a fan of Cassie. And I am a huge fan of Amethyst. So knowing they were coming back, in a way that makes sense and that honors those characters, tickled me. I was on board. And the first issue didn't disappoint. It was a rollicking good time with the reintroduction (somehow) of these classic versions of the Young Justice characters with a big dollop of Gemworld on top. Bendis and artist Patrick Gleason are solidly on their game.

I have always wondered why I didn't collect the first Young Justice series from 1998. I was in the middle of residency and I wasn't reading an extended pull list. That probably explains it best. Somehow it slipped by. What makes this doubly amusing is that I was all in on Peter David's Supergirl book which was still on the shelves at the time. Back then, I tended to try anything David wrote.

But like the current run, this team consisted of Conner, Tim, and Bart. Others would join shortly afterwards.

I was reading reading the Waid Flash which occasionally had Impulse crossover. I had read the early Kesel Superboy stuff too. But somehow it missed this.

I recently ran across some of the issues in the bargain bins and grabbed a handful, including the old Young Justice #1. I was surprised to find a Supergirl moment tucked in it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Supergirl Shrine: Imaginext Figure

One of the things that I am always amazed about is the generous nature of the comic book community I am part of here on social media. Every so often there'll be package awaiting me when I get home from work from a comic of blog friend I have made here. And I do my best to return the favor when I can. #topsecretproject is always a favorite part of my con season, getting books signed for friends.

This Christmas season I got a fantastic package from great friend Russell Burbage, the founder and curator of the Legion of Super-Bloggers. Russell helps keep my on track on that site as I maintain 'Fridays with Anj' there.

The package had two pieces but I'll be covering them in separate posts.

First off, I got the Supergirl figure from the Imaginext Series 5 line.

I cannot tell you how happy I was to get this. I see these mystery figure toys all the time. There is often a Supergirl or Streaky figure that I would love to own. But I just can't gamble like this. Imagine if I ended up with 6 Green Arrows and no Supergirls?

So I never pick these up in their raw form. So to have Russell open up a pack, see Supergirl, and think of me was a wonderful. Merry Christmas to me!

On to the figure!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Bullet Review: Supergirl Movie 1984

It had been many years since I had seen the Helen Slater Supergirl movie.

Probably too many years.

At some point in the recent past, a blu-ray edition was released and as an early Christmas gift I bought it for myself. This is a pretty slick package with a blu-ray of the 'International Cut' with a 'Making of' documentary. It also had a DVD with the Director's Cut. (So many versions! What is this?  Blade Runner?)

Now I remembered seeing this movie and not being overwhelmingly impressed. And I know that it has faced some wrath from people for the campiness and nonsensical plot. So I went in with almost no expectations.

You know what.

It isn't *that* bad.

I don't think I have it in me to give this a blow by blow synopsis/review. Instead, I think I'll hit on some of the high points, comment on some of the low points, and shine a light on some of the crazy things that I liked.

So expect this to be a sort of glossing over of the movie.

And expect a lot of compliments to be heading Helen Slater's way.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Review: Adventures of the Super Sons #6

Adventures of the Super Sons #6 came out last week and was a decent issue in this fun series. Writer Peter Tomasi has been having a fun time throwing the boys through the dustier, Bronzier corners of the DCU. With the usual insane interplay of Jon and Damian, these loosely held together adventures have been a trip.

This issue brings us to some of the more science fiction-y parts of an older DC Universe. And I am all for it. The two DC nods we get here are two little known and underutilized properties. So count me in.

But for me, this mini-series is starting to feel a little choppy in its approach. Since Tomasi is trying to tell one story that is spanning this whole title, rather than individual episodic plots, the story holding it all together are looking a bit frayed. We really are bouncing all over the place without the connective tissue to feel cohesive.

Scott Godlewski is on art this time and brings a Barberi-like style to the proceedings. At least that part still feels smooth.

We're halfway through. I hope this tightens up a bit the back half.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Review: The Last Siege #8

The Last Siege #8, the final issue in this mini-series, came out this week and was a bloody finish to an incredible story. No big surprise on the visceral factor. I compared this movie to 'Seven Samurai meets Braveheart' at some point. But there was for me a surprise at the end of this story. But as I have heard Landry Walker say in the past, 'give the audience what they need, not what they want.'

There is so much that I have liked about this book, all spelled out in prior reviews. To reiterate, there is a very cinematic feel to this story, leaning into certain film genres like 'spaghetti westerns' with extreme close-ups getting more and more focused.

The art has been raw and gritty with Justin Greenwood managing the pacing and page layout expertly. Sometimes it is just a panel of an eye. Other times it is a battle of armies. Other times, the panels tilt more as we read, mirroring the action of the characters. Colorist Brad Simpson started out with a palette of purples and grays but quickly has moved to oranges and yellows as the battle field has gone ablaze.

For me, it is the story that fuels this. Tomislav, the absentee prince who returns home from carousing to find his land in ruins. Istva, the warlord king who thinks fear and power leads to nobility. And most importantly Lady Cathryn who has to grow from innocent girl playing with dolls to battle scarred leader over the course of days. It is truly her story. She is the one who grows here, changes.

I am sad to see this book ending and would recommend folks seek out the trade. It is definitely worth it.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

DCSHG: The Fortress Of Solidarity

Thanks to folks who feed me Supergirl information that I would otherwise be oblivious to.

I admit that if there is a hole in my standard Supergirl perusals, it is DC Superhero Girls. I think my focus is so drawn to comics and the show that the ancillary stuff sometimes falls to the wayside.

So thanks to all those who told me I should seek out DC Superhero Girls Episode 521, 'Fortress of Solidarity'.

You can see the two part episode over on Youtube here:

It is as close to a holiday episode as you can get with the usual fun look at the DCU. One thing that has grabbed my attention in the few episodes that I have seen this season is that there has been something of a running thread about Supergirl and her feelings of loneliness.

That started in 'For the Girl who has Everything', a story where she is missing her family and is looking for some control, some world where she is more preeminent.