Friday, October 23, 2009

Review: Supergirl #46


Supergirl #46 came out this week and was the conclusion of The Hunt For Reactron. It was a pretty wild ride with lots of great scenes. Going into the arc, all the creators talked about the wild and huge action scenes and they weren't kidding.

And surprisingly I was right about something for once. We did get to see another manifestation of the Flamebird entity. And it/she did play a huge role in the eventual ending of the story.

But the best thing for me is that we are nearing the closure of the Reactron storyline. He has been kicking around since the early days of New Krypton. And while he has been a great villain for Supergirl ... murderer of her father, specific powers to thwart her ... he has been a bit overexposed.

But I am getting a bit ahead of myself here.

Remember that the last chapter ended with Thara, Chris, and Supergirl shackled in red sun fetters and powerless before a raging Reactron.

Luckily, at the beginning of this issue Chris realizes that his tactile telekinesis is uneffected by red sun radiation. He is able to disassemble the devices on both himself and Thara, leading to close quarter combat that temporarily disables Reactron. They then release Supergirl from her chains.

I wish that a more thorough description of Chris' powers comes soon because it is getting a bit too confusing for me to anticipate what does and does not effect him. So green Kryptonite has been shown not to effect him as much as a usual Kryptonian. But gold Kryptonite does effect him. And red sun radiation does depower him ... except his telekinesis. It just seems like the rules are a bit loose with him and may be bent a bit to help move the story along, to fit whatever situation he is put into.

Also I like that Reactron's sadism ends up being a big part of his downfall. He had a chance to simply eliminate the 'Metropolis Three' when he fried Squad K. Instead, he seems to revel in his abilities, talking about how he wants to take his time and savor his pounding of the heroes. And that gives the heroes time to react.




I thought this was a funny little moment. Chris and Thara are sizing up Reactron and how they will square off against him. They body language makes them appear much more analytical as they discuss the range of the gold K blasts and how they will proceed.

And then Supergirl appears between them and shows none of the calculating restraint that they do. She pounds her fist into her hand and talks about 'kicking his butt'. It is a great for a couple of reasons. One, it shows just how confident Supergirl is in this fight. But more importantly, in contrast with Flamebird and Nightwing, it shows that Supergirl has a much greater personal stake in this fight. She has reasons besides clearing her name to get her hands on Reactron.

Despite having three Kryptonians fighting him, Reactron does remarkably well. He points out the upgrades that have been made to his suit since the last time they fought.

For one, the gold Kryptonite seems much more solidly embedded in him, to the point that Chris' telekinesis is unable to remove it. Furthermore, he is able to know shoot a gold Kryptonite beam from his chest rather than simply expose Kryptonians to the rock. Suddenly he has a very powerful and debilitating range weapon.

I love the Supergirl panel above where she is starting to use her heat vision. That is just a great heroic pose! Arms flexed, cape billowing, eyes glowing ... just wonderful. Unfortunately she is unable to immolate Reactron with it. He shoots her with the gold K beam, stripping her of her power.


Thara actually jumps in front of Reactron's next nuclear bolt, a killing shot aimed for the suddenly vulnerable Kara. It is of such power that it knocks Thara out of the fight.

During the battle, Lois actually shows up to witness and report the fight. With Thara out of the mix and Chris and Kara depowered and unconscious, it looks like Reactron is going to murder four more people. No one seems to be able to stop him.

I have to say I think the part of this fight where Lois engages Reactron in combat and actually wounds him by jabbing her pen into his neck seems out of context here. It may have been done to showcase Lois' bravery but instead it somehow weakened the threat of Reactron. Much like Chris it is hard for me to get a true sense of Reactron's powers. Sure I get the gold K and nuclear blasts. But is he even semi-invulnerable? Would a bullet to the eye kill him? Does the suit give him protection thus making the parts of his body uncovered (like where Lois jammed the pen) vulnerable? The fact that he is able to shrug off some Kryptonian attacks but can get hurt by a pen seems incongruous.
And hey ... the bike shorts are blue this issue. Was this a decision by the creative team? Or a coloring error?


And finally one of my predictions turns out to be correct! (Okay, technically I predicted the Flamebird entity would be what freed the three from the red sun chains, but this is close enough).

With Reactron about to kill Chris and Kara, Thara suddenly transforms into the Flamebird avatar. And she is one angry goddess.

With relative ease, she turns the tables on Reactron easily defeating him. She even seems impervious to gold Kryptonite! She yanks the rock from Reactron's chest and turns it to ash. I guess demi-gods don't need to worry about radiation.

This was a great splash page and a intriguing scene. It appears Thara cannot control when the Flamebird entity decides to manifest. The two times we have seen it have before have been when Thara or Chris have been in imminent danger.


Once the shoe is on the other foot and Reactron is suddenly helpless, he starts singing like a canary.

Suddenly some big pieces of Project 7734 are revealed ... and revealed with a respected member of the press in attendance. Lois now knows about Metallo, Mirabai, and the fact that General Lane was behind the sewer system bombing.

Between the bravado, sadism, and cowardice, I have come to really dislike Reactron. He is a true villain. There does not seem to be anything redeeming about him.

And Flamebird feels the same way. She wants to kill him right there.


What I great response from Supergirl! What a great way to show how mature she has become over the last months.

She knows that Zor-El would not want revenge.

Zor-El would want justice.

And with Reactron now powerless, Supergirl can bring him back to New Krypton to answer for his crimes. Sure, Alura will probably condemn him to death but at least there would be a semblance of due process.



Reactron is imprisoned in a crystal much like To-Var was at the beginning of the Flamebird/Nightwing arc.

And so there isn't much left to do except tie up the loose ends.

Thara and Kara have a nice moment where they forgive each other and restart their friendship. Kara apologizes for not believing Thara that she was Flamebird. Supergirl also thinks that this tangible proof of the old Kryptonian gods means that Zor-El may be in a better place. I am glad that the two have reconciled and hope that their friendship is explored for as long as Flamebird remains active in the DCU.

And yes, Supergirl is seen crying again but this time it makes sense and does not seem to have been done for a cheap emotional punch.


And it is fun to see how easily they slip back into a comfrotable and amicable relationship. I thought this was a nice moment as the issue nears its end, showing how they can joke and kid with each other. Just last issue they were trying to beat up each other. Too fast to be such chums? I don't think so.

It does seem a little breezy given that Kara's father's killer is trapped in a little crystal just a room away. But you can't be heavy and morose all the time. I like the Supergirl/Flamebird friendship. So it was a good little exchange to show them acting like friends.

Before Thara leaves though, she reveals to Supergirl (off-screen) just what is wrong with Lana.

So the issue ends on something of an ominous note. Supergirl is going to New Krypton with Reactron. But when she comes back, she will have a talk with Lana that 'won't be pleasant'. That's weird.

Okay, let's start hearing the guesses about Lana's illness again. This issue Lana says she has been having headaches, nosebleeds, and has been vomiting. My initial guess is brain cancer. But it has to be more than that right?

Anyways, I thought this was a nice ending to the Hunt For Reactron storyline ... a brief arc which moved both Supergirl's and Flamebird's stories forward. I look forward to seeing what Alura's idea of justice is.

Overall grade: B+

22 comments:

TalOs said...

Hmmm, I personally thought Supergirl should've rightfully crippled that evil bastard Reactron by crushing ALL of his fingers (to the very bone even) and THEN trap him inside that pocket size Phantom Zone prison which I hope from there the Kryptonian council and their people are more then happy to give their blessings to Alura to be the one who personally gets to be head him as he so rightfully deserves for the callous, cold blooded committed murder of not only their beloved Zor-El but others loved ones who fell victim to this evil demon path of destruction.

I really loved that scene where Thara officially confirms that she IS harboring the actual Flamebird entity as well as both her and Kara being able to move past their differences and are best friends all over again, heh. ;)

I loved this issue and I also can't wait for Lois to lay the rightful smack down on her so called 'father' (if you can even call him that) for all the evil he has brought upon his secret return as well as for brain washing and then using his own younger daughter in his evil war at the end of the day too.

Ah crap, this continues in to a main Superman title so it looks like I still can't drop Superman or Action Comics if it's meant to include Supergirl in it all still. *sighs* :/

Saranga said...

Yeah I liked it. A lot.
I enjoyed the manifestation of Flamebird and the post fight scenes the most - the actual fight itself i wasn't too fussed about. But then again, I didn't care too much for any of these crossovers. It's a perosnal preference and to be fair, it's been done reasonably well, on the whole.

Argocitycub said...

Why do i feel that the Flamebird entity is a wanna be Phoenix from X-men.Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

It seems like Supergirl got "saved" a lot this month, bother here and in Blackest Night. I don't mind her getting into extreme peril and all like that, but she should also be self reliant and self rescuing. Allura and Thara both had to save her bacon this month and that is a bit much for me.
Did enjoy seeing Felix turn into a blubbering coward as soon as the tide turned against him, the fate of all bullies so it seems.

John Feer

Yota said...

I liked the issue, but I totally agree with Argocitycub.

http://fc06.deviantart.com/fs6/i/2005/087/a/2/D_a_r_k___P_h_o_e_n_i_x_by_greatLP.jpg

--Yota.

Gene said...

Hate to be in Reactron's shoes next month. Wonder if Gen Lane will use him as a martyr or a bargaining chip, depending on Reactron's fate on Krypton?

Mart said...

Fabbie review, as ever, especially great comments on the body language.

Maybe Lana has some 'I was a Manhunter sleeper agent' disease - death by rubbish event?

Yota, I can't get your link to work. Darn.

Here's my review of the issue (hopefully!): http://dangermart.blogspot.com/2009/10/supergirl-46-review_23.html

Anj said...

I loved this issue and I also can't wait for Lois to lay the rightful smack down on her so called 'father' (if you can even call him that) for all the evil he has brought upon his secret return as well as for brain washing and then using his own younger daughter in his evil war at the end of the day too.


Thanks for the post.

I think the Lois/Sam Lane confrontation is going to be one of the better plots of this whole storyline.

I especially hope that when the truth comes out about Lucy that Lois apologizes to Supergirl.

Anj said...

I enjoyed the manifestation of Flamebird and the post fight scenes the most - the actual fight itself i wasn't too fussed about.

I agree with you. This was as much about Thara/Kara as it was punching Reactron. I think those scenes were very well done.

Anj said...

Why do i feel that the Flamebird entity is a wanna be Phoenix from X-men.Just an observation.

I don't deny it.

I think the first time we saw it was in the Action Comics Annual and it looks fairly Phoenix like.

No universe destroying yet.

Anj said...

Did enjoy seeing Felix turn into a blubbering coward as soon as the tide turned against him, the fate of all bullies so it seems.

I did like that. And bully is a good word. He is all bravado and arrogance until the first threat comes along. Then he becomes a sniveling toad.

Anj said...

Maybe Lana has some 'I was a Manhunter sleeper agent' disease - death by rubbish event?

Wow.

Imagine if they went back and referenced Millenium.

It would be interesting.

Saranga said...

Re Flamebird/Phenox comparisons - I was thinking more of Linda Danver's earthbound angel during the Flamebird's scenes! But then again I'm not a big Marvel fan.

And-Ru said...

Hi!

Here's what I thought:

http://bottlecityofkanga.blogspot.com/2009/10/supergirl-6-special-guest-star-greg.html

I'll be happy when these crossovers ease up. Will we ever see Linda Lang again?

She's getting to be a guest star in her own book which is a shame as Sterling Gates does a great job writing her when he gets the chance.

Mart said...

I love Bottle City of Kanga reviews. And if it's open season on linkage - begging Anj's indulgence - here are my takes on Supergirl and the issue of Power Girl which Kanga namechecks:

http://dangermart.blogspot.com/

Adam Smasher said...

Nice issue. Hope Lois' father falls hard. Writer did a great job making me hate these bad guys. Curious about Lana.

Wish there weren't so many cross overs and I could just focus on Kara. Most of the time I don't read the other books, just check out the reviews on line. It would be nice to have a story arc that is confind to the pages of Supergirl alone.

Anj said...

And-Ru wrote:
She's getting to be a guest star in her own book which is a shame as Sterling Gates does a great job writing her when he gets the chance.

Adam Smasher wrote:
Wish there weren't so many cross overs and I could just focus on Kara.

I think we all agree that we would love to see more Supergirl-centric stories. After next month's Reactron epilogue we get the Silver Banshee issue and then the Lana issue so I think we are getting there.

Supergirl's inclusion in New Krypton was great because it probably brought in a lot of readers. But I also look forward to a little distance soon.

Saranga said...

Re the typicality of the zombie story, I think the Black Lanterns could be more accurately described as revenants: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revenant_%28folklore%29

If you want to believe wikipedia. But I think in this case it's probably right.

Anonymous said...

another option

maybe lana got a nose job.
....

now, don't laugh or flash me me about this but, I heard from six feet under- that when you get a nose job people a few years later tend to bleed because of the pressure up in the nasal cavity.

-ealperin

Mart said...

Hey, maybe she has Jean Loring up there with a flamethrower?

Saranga said...

@ealperin: heh, that could work. we already know Kara doesn't like Cat's breast implants!

Anonymous said...

To Saranga: I actually meant "flame" instead of flash in the post. But, that's a good point. ;)
-ealperin