Well, I had an absolutely fabulous time at the Baltimore Comic-Con over the weekend. It was 2 days stuffed with all things comics. In fact, I was so busy meeting and chatting with the creators that I really didn't shop for comics all that much. I have a lot of things to talk about ... my conversations with Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle, other Supergirl related questions I asked folks, commissions, and news. I am trying to organize my thoughts as well as finish my reviews of comics from last week.
I thought the best way to start my reports was to post this Linda Lang commission by Jamal Igle. Prior to this, my commission collection has been strictly 'Supergirl in the Matrix costume'. But with the rumored news of Jamal Igle leaving the title and with my unabashed love of the title over the last two years, I really wanted to get something from Igle that would be a celebration of his run on the book.
I love this commission, Linda adopting the classic 'costume reveal' pose. The addition of Linda was a key part of the change in the title and I love the 'look' that Igle created for her. This commission including the coy smile on her face captures all that. I thanked Jamal profusely but I'll do it again. Thanks for this great piece.
I will post the rest of the news soon I promise ... I am trying to organize my scribbles of notes and memories.
Justice League of America #48, written by James Robinson and drawn by Mark Bagley, marked the end of the 'Dark Things' JLA/JSA/All Stars story arc and was the inaugural mission of this new Justice League team.
Throughout the arc, I talked of being worried about the conclusion. Could Robinson answer all the questions I had in my mind? Well, after reading the issue, it seemsmy worries were premature. While they all weren't answered, they were at least acknowledged ... hinted at as being the basis of a future story.
For me, the fun part of this story was the coming together of this JLA team. It felt like all the members had reasons to doubt themselves a little, wonder if they deserved the name ... if they could really be the Justice League. In particular, Dick acted like he had big shoes to fill, feeling uneasy at being the League's Batman. So to see the members get to know each other, get comfortable with each other ... the tactics, the powers, their roles on the team ... that was very entertaining.
Most of the JLA, JSA, and All Stars are on the moon battling the Jade/Obsidian fusion being, the Starheart-controlled Alan Scott, and countless constructs.
The Jade/Obsidian creature is frightening thing, lashing out with dark energy. But it is really focused on Donna and Kyle, retelling the emotional baggage of the Jennie/Donna/Kyle romantic history.
Unfortunately, some of the teams' big guns, including Supergirl and Power Girl, have been left on Earth for fear that they would fall victim to the Starheart's chaotic presence.
Luckily, Mr. Terrific has deduced an answer to that presence. Don't ask me to explain the science here ... it's comic book parlance, but I don't know if I quite get it. The bottom line is he has a designed a machine that sets up a counterfield, one that will allow the remaining heroes to head to the moon and join the fray.
Robinson does a good job of stressing the characterization is both Power Girl and Supergirl in this scene. Mr. Terrific calls upon Power Girl's scientific prowess to help him build the machine. She even gets to say why she rarely deploys her science mind in the JSA. Her role there is brawn. Mr Terrific is the brains.
But Robinson shows Supergirl some respect as well. She says she understands the schematics, acknowledges her family's Science Guild heritage, and is able to pitch in. Nice that Robinson understands that piece of Kara.
As always, I love the small moments of character development as much as big action sequences.
But the battle rages on the moon. Finally Jade-sidian is captured, enveloped by a spell of restraint by Dr. Fate.
I've always been a fan of Fate so I was glad to see him get a piece of the action here.
While captured, Jade and Obsidian suddenly separate. But it isn't Fate's doing.
Suddenly Jade manifests as a White Lantern. Even the Starheart on her palm is white. She even sports a White Lantern ring.
This is the 3rd or 4th splash page of Jade in this arc and each one has really been marvelous. I wonder who has the greater love of the character ... Robinson or Bagley? This is really a striking page.
And while a White Lantern, Jade is finally free of Obsidian.
And she also has a vision ... told that she must balance the darkness and that Obsidian will save her friends. And is that Eclipso!!
I have to say I was really worried that the Jade/Obsidian fusion wouldn't be explained by Robinson, that it would simply stop at the end of the story. Here it is shown that it might be a whole story of its own. That was very reassuring for me.
The peace is short lived, as is her White Lantern form. Almost immediately she becomes Jade again ... and almost immediately Obsidian succumbs to the madness of the Starheart and attempts to join with Jade once more.
Kyle's ring, drained by the Starheart before, is replenished by Jade. I haven't seen that before. Interesting.
Repowered, Kyle does the best thing he can ... remove Obsidian from the area, flying him Earthward.
Supergirl, Power Girl, and Congorilla arrive on the moon and begin battling among their friends. In the midst of the scrum, Batman finally figures out how to end the whole mess. Dick realizes that the Starheart can't control Jade, probably fears Jade. And he also knows that Alan Scott has shown signs that he is trying to regain control. If Jade can weaken the Starheart, maybe Alan can defeat it.
In another revelation, Jade senses she has drawb some of the darkness from the Starheart into her. Visually, we have seen this by the darker shade of green she manifests. It is a nice mix of the visuals and the story.
Jade has been the focal point of this arc so it is appropriate that she saves the day. She painfully drains the Starheart, absorbing its chaos power into her. This allows Alan Scott to shake off its influence and regain control. Just like that ... it's all over.
There is a great splash page at this point of Green Lantern shedding the Kingdom Come green armor and returning to his original costume. It is superb.
With the battle over, there is nothing left to do but wrap things up.
First we see that Jade and Obsidian need to remain separated or they will fuse again. This must be related to the White Lantern vision. Moreover, Green Lantern barely has control of the Starheart. Any major chaotic event might tip it's influence into the forefront again.
Jesse Quick officially joins the JLA.
But my favorite panel was this last one as Starman, Donna, and Bill bask in the victory. Bill must be Robinson's mouthpiece about the complaints of the JLA lineup. 'We're not so bad.' In this story, they weren't.
And Supergirl? In the last issue of JLA, I wondered why she wasn't affected by the Starheart. Robinson gives us a tease.
That's right!! It's the black-garbed Supergirl from waaayyy back in Supergirl #5! There was never a clear cut explanation of what the 'black clad Supergirl' was back then. Was she a clone of sorts, a separate being? Was she the 'evil' parts of Kara, ripped from Supergirl? And what exactly happened at the end of that story when Wonder Woman lasso'd them and asked them who she was. I wasn't really happy with that story or that ending. What happened? Did they merge? (Subtle hints from Kara's costume made me think so.) Or did she escape? Is her chaotic presence still in Kara? Is that what shielded her from the Starheart? I am very intrigued by this.
So a nice, if understated, ending to the Starheart threat, Jade as a reborn hero, a new League acting as a team, and a bunch of new and interesting plotlines hinted at. All in all this was a very good issue.
Last review I praised Mark Bagley for his ability to keep up with the art chores on this compressed storyline. This issue was the first time it felt a little rushed ... rough in some places, sparse in others.
How could I not review Tiny Titans #31, the 'All Super' issue.
Much of this issue was in the FCBD 2010 DC Kids Sampler so some of these panels might look familiar. That said, there is so much DC history bubbling under the surface of this kid's book, that I eat up like cotton candy.
Like last month's Super Friends, this issue is on nice glossy paper. Are all the DC Kids books getting this upgrade?
The majority of the book revolves around a birthday party for Superboy's imperfect clone Match. The party is attended by the super-family and is being held in the Fortress of Solitude.
I showed this panel before but look at how distressed Supergirl is at the cake being frozen. That panel is too precious. But it is nothing a little heat vision can't fix.
Of course, Lex Luthor is half-'father' to Match just as he is Superboy. So Lex shows up.
It was a little difficult to explain this to the Supergirl's at home. As I have said before, Tiny Titans allows me to start discussing bigger DC issues to them, easing them into continuity issues. So they get that Trigon is Raven;s dad. And they get that Deathstroke is a bad guy. But a half-DNA genetic father ... a little trickier.
Anyways, funny that Superboy acknowledges that he has also struggled with his genetic make-up as well.
Meanwhile, the 'Brainiac Club' which includes some of the Tiny Titans heads to the North Pole for some experiments.
When Supergirl runs into them, she invites them all into the Fortress for hot cocoa and cake.
Tiny Titans universe is such a fun little place. A school bus with intergalactic villains? No need to fight! Let's all go to a birthday party instead.
Superboy recognizes them as the potential threat they are, especially since just about every version of Brainiac is present.
But when he is questioned as to why they can't be in the Fortress, he can only say that they do 'weird things'.
I sort of like how Supergirl thinks the best of them rather than jumping to conclusions.
The party unravels when Match thinks Psimon is a snow cone. I don't get to say something like that too often in comic reviews.
But I love how Supergirl wishes she had a Bizarro clone. That has to be a nod at the current story arc!
This issue kept getting better though. The Legion of Super-heroes shows up to pick up Brainiac 5. There is an emergency in the future and they need to leave right away.
Brainy looks pretty cool as he explains the conundrums of time travel. Why rush ... that emergency hasn't happened yet. Why not relax since the time bubble can drop them whenever they want.
But it was truly spectacular to see the 'Little Legion' along with the 'Tiny Titans'. Even here, Lightning Lad need to lighten up.
I had just written about how I am continually surprised at how much the Donner look of Superman is reflected in comics.
In a hilarious ending story, Beppo summons a Brando-esque Jor-El. Jor-El thinks Beppo might be Kal. Beppo answers all the questions with eeps and ooks. Jor-El doesn't know how to respond. Luckily, the mirror Phantom Zone villains are there to explain things away.
As always, this comic was a silly romp ... perfect for the supergirls at home but with enough inside jokes to keep me smiling along the way. I am always happy when I am done with this book.
Justice Society of America #42 came out last week, the penultimate chapter to 'Dark Things'.
From the outside, I have to say I am impressed that this story came and went so quickly. While officially 5 parts, it has been building for a bit in Justice League. And, more incredibly, all the issues were drawn by Mark Bagley. That's 5 issues in 2+ months by one artist. Compare that to ... oh let's say ... Justice League Cry For Justice which suffered from near endless delays ... from initial announcement to initial release to final issue being put out. And all that without Mauricio Cascioli doing every page and panel. Yes, I know there is a difference between penciling and painting. But there is also a difference between respecting a deadline and fan expectations and laughing at them. The bottom line is I would like to thank Mr. Bagley for not only being a great artist (his work has completely won me over in the last couple of months) but also for being a timely one.
As for the story, James Robinson has written each issue and the plot has been building and building nicely. My concern has always been the payoff. Are things that have happened in this story going to be explained enough to satisfy me? I can't always say that Robinson has met that goal elsewhere. In Superman, for instance, many plots were started ... many things hinted at ... and just left to wither on the vine without explanation.
Will there be an explanation here for why the Starheart chose now to return? Why was Jade inside? Why the Black Lantern symbol when she touched her father's Lantern? Why take over Alan Scott? Why did the Starheart pick Earth to run roughshod on? While the periphery of the story (heroes and villains being overwhelmed with chaos energy for example) I can just roll with, I need more explanations of the roots of this plot ... why the story is happening.
Last issue ended with Kyle Rayner showing up on the moon as an emissary of the Guardians. They want to shut the Starheart down even if that means killing Alan Scott and severing it's link to humanity.
Now Jade has just come back to life, is dealing with some sudden guilt for not having gone to see her father immediately after being resurrected, and has lingering feelings of love and abandonment with Kyle. When you add all that together, Jade becomes pretty confused and upset. So upset, that she decides to join her brother Obsidian in protecting their family (despite Obsidian being obviously controlled by the Starheart).
Now I don't know if she literally wanted to join her brother, but that's what ends up happening. We get a Rebis-like concoction of Jade and Obsidian.
Does this sound like an interesting twist of events? Does it look frightening and strange? Yes and yes. But again, and maybe this is a bias to Robinson I am going to need to work on, I asked myself 'is there going to be an explanation for this?' Why did they merge? Is this part of the Starheart's plans? Or is this just something thrown in?
The Obsidi-Jade amalgam seems quite powerful however, heaving out bolts of black and green energy that fry the heroes.
The League at least gives it the old college try to talk this monster down, pleading with Jade to fight whatever is controlling her and help the JLA free her father.But it doesn't work. It seems Jade's broken heart over Kyle is still raging a bit. Look at how Jade blasts Donna, reminding Donna that at one time she also loved Kyle.
I suppose old emotional wounds never quite heal.
Nice use of coloring in this panel, Donna in green within the blast. And very good art by Bagley. You can 'feel' Donna getting buffeted by the ray.
While that battle goes on, Dr. Midnight has freed Starman from the gigantic Harlequin construct we saw last issue. It is a bit of a let down. Midnight says he simply threw a blackout bomb and the two slipped away unseen. I guess unthinking constructs might allow that to happen.
Somehow Starman is still kicking despite having his chest gem ripped out 2 issues ago. He has been dying on screen for a while. One thing I did like here was the heroism of Dr. Midnight. Nothing is going to stop him from trying to find the gem and resuscitate Starman. Midnight is woefully overmatched here but it doesn't stop him from doing the right thing. That's what heroes should do.
In fact, Midnight walks in on some pretty powerful people talking, including Alan Scott who is playing with Starman's gem.
Faust somehow senses that it isn't really Alan Scott up there, but an upgraded construct that includes skin tones and stubble. A convenient slight of hand? Sure. But even so, why would the construct need Fate to keep the JSA contained when all the other constructs have been doing just fine containing the rest of the JLA/JSA/All-Star teams. And why would Scott make this construct more realistic than the others? Am I asking too many questions here?
Midnight realizes he needs to free his friends to get the gem and so while the construct and the JSA'ers talk, Midnight sneaks behind Fate and removes Fate's helmet.With the helmet of Nabu off, the captured heroes are freed of their bonds and smash the construct to bits. Midnight retrieves the heart and (I assume) runs back to Starman. I suppose it took some intestinal fortitude for Midnight to do that. He is really the hero of this issue.
But if that wasn't Alan Scott, that means Scott is somewhere else.
And it turns out he is on Earth getting a little bit of Blond Justice. Incredibly, he seems to be able to withstand the combined attack of the Supergirl and Power Girl. Power Girl does get in one good shot, a wicked right cross that sends him sprawling.
I just have to take a moment to say how happy I am that Supergirl is on a team. And it is great she is in such a headlining book as Justice League. JLA sells more than twice what Supergirl sells. But maybe this exposure will lead some people to try her solo book. But I always thought that Kara should be in a team book.
To turn things more to his advantage, Scott makes Power Girl get 'chaos-mad' again. While Supergirl tries to keep Power Girl in check, Scott must realize that things on the moon are getting out of hand and so teleports away. With Scott gone, Power Girl reverts to normal.
I post this panel to again applaud Mark Bagley for his craft. Power Girl and Supergirl look like the same person but years apart. Not many people can pull that off ... making them look similar but not the same.
As for the team on the moon, they are having a hard time with Obsidi-Jade and the multiple green energy constructs around the place. I do like that the constructs are a mix of old time JSAers like the Al Pratt Atom as well as JSA villains.
During the battle, Dick finally realizes that he's Batman and that mindless brawling isn't going to work. He needs to use strategy. He is Batman after all. I suppose it makes sense that Dick is going to have some growing pains in the role of the Dark Knight. That said, he led the Titans forever and had no difficulties leading that team into battle formations then. As a result I am a bit torn in my feelings about that moment.
One thing I am not torn about is the continued use of multiple images to show Jesse Quick's speed. That is phenomenal.
Batman does indeed figure out how to defeat the Obsidian/Jade being. After being taken down by Mr. America's whip (really?!) and some bat-bombs to the face, Dr. Fate shows up and blasts her/him.
But before the JLA/JSA can take a breath, Alan Scott shows up saying he wants to play.
So we are a mere 22 pages away from the ending here. I have a lot of questions and hope that most of them will be answered. I suppose the chaotic nature of the Starheart might mean that much of what is happening is random and cannot be explained. That said, I am really hoping that the 'why's' of this story are addressed. I usually expect some underlying answers to a story like this to be answered in the second to last chapter. We still have a climactic battle to come ... so some explanation usually happens before that.
And since there aren't many answers here, most of the issue is just action, punches being thrown and verbal barbs being exchanged. There wasn't much movement forward from part 3 to part 4. It's not to say I haven't been enjoying this story. I have. I just am really hopeful that I get a decent payoff here.
Smallville offers an exciting glimpse of what's to come for Clark Kent in the show's final season with the October 8 return of V's Laura Vandervoort as Clark's cousin Kara, who has been MIA for almost two years. "Kara returns in a very heroic way," Laura tells me. "When I found out this could be my last episode, I thought it would be great to see a quick glimpse of her in the uniform before she takes off." Lucky Laura's getting her wish!
Well, we knew she was coming back. But 'in a heroic way' and 'in the uniform'!
I really thought there was great potential for Supergirl on the show. So I am glad they are bringing her back. And it sounds like they have the right characterization.
"You really see her as Supergirl," says exec producer Kelly Souders. "Not the whole outfit, but her wardrobe will have evolved even a little more than Clark's. She's less Kara and way more Supergirl." Watch for Kara to don her new look for a photo shoot after she becomes a media darling following a heroic save that reveals her flying capabilities to the world. To protect her superhero identity, "You'll see Kara in the [brunette] wig and glasses [as] a bit of an homage to her other identity from the comics, Linda Lee Danvers," Laura says.
Might Clark be inspired to further define his own blurred personas? Souders hints, "Kara has a lot of input down the road in Clark's transformation into Superman."
I don't know what to say. I am thrilled ... almost beyond words. I am so hoping to see the blue shirt, red skirt, cape motif. But a Linda Danvers homage! I think I am more excited about that than I am the 'modified costume'.
I am just thrilled that Smallville recognized how popular the Kara character was and brought her back. And I am so happy that they seem to finally have a handle on her character as a hero, doing the right thing. But to add details for the Supergirl crowd is simply fantastic.
I have said it before ... so I'll say it again. It is a great time to be a Supergirl fan.
This Annual includes the Legion, focuses on Brainiac 5 and Kara, and is the re-imagination of Satan Girl. I think many Supergirl fans are eagerly awaiting this one. So any sneak peeks are greatly appreciated. Here are the new panels.
This is a nice shot of Brainy and Supergirl. He looks classically uncomfortable around her while she is all smiles. Very nice.
Another shot, this time with a much sterner look on Cosmic Boy's face. Judging by the costumes on the original three as well as Phantom Girl (on the cover) this story looks like it takes place in the earliest days of the team.
I wonder if Sterling Gates needed to run the script by Paul Levitz to make sure he approved of things. As noted before here, Levitz seemed to love the original Supergirl so hopefully he likes the idea of her crossing over with the team.
Anyways, thanks to Matt Camp for continuing to show us more glimpses of the book!
Well, a week from now I will be standing in line to get into the Baltimore Comic-Con. I cannot tell you how pumped I am to be heading there. This is one of those conventions where I don't even know if I will be looking at the dealers. There are so many creators to rub elbows with.
I have posted about the primary targets I have for commissions as well as questions I hope to pose to some of the creators there.
Now I figured I would post some of the things I wish will happen although they are highly unlikely. May as well have a game plan just in case.
1) A third Jamal Igle commission:
I have never met Jamal Igle but I already have 2 commissions by him, both obtained when friends of mine went to conventions he was attending. They are both Supergirl in the Matrix style costume I prefer, although one appears older and sterner than the one posted above.
I actually am hoping to get a Linda Lang commission from him figuring that is both unique to my collection and sort of a celebration of the current run of the book.
The best scenario would be that one of the other commissions I obtain finishes relatively early so that I can give Igle one of my sketch books late Saturday or first thing Sunday.
Of all the wishes, this one probable will happen.
2) A Frank Cho commission:
This is highly unlikely as I don't think Cho does commissions. I really love his work and getting anything from him would be a coup.
I am trying to think of ways to get something ... even if it is a '3 minute sketch'. Maybe by donating to the HERO initiative or the CBLDF in his name?
This is a pipe dream ... I know.
3) A Matt Wagner commission:
I love Wagner's classical look in his art. I loved Mage. I loved Trinity. I loved his writing in Sandman Mystery Theater and Madame Xanadu. I think he is a legend in the field.
I have no idea of Wagner does commissions but at the very least it will be extremely cool to meet him.
So those are the wishes. The con is a week away and I hope to do some live blogging there!
As I have said before, I wonder how the breakdown of $3.99 comics versus $2.99 comics figures into individual title's sales. With extra dollars going to the more expensive books, the fringe titles might suffer. Let's face it, if you have $12 bucks, you can get 4 $3 books or 3 $4 books.
And, as always, I wonder and worry about the direction of Supergirl sales. Supergirl #54 sold 26,941 issues. This is the lowest number of sales I have seen on the title since I started following things closely.
It is unfortunate because it is happening in one of the stronger story arcs in the book. Finally we have a Supergirl title focusing on Supergirl stories. And it is such a great story with Supergirl reeling a bit from New Krypton.
In some ways I think it almost ironic. Maybe the title is reeling a bit from New Krypton. Sales on those titles seemed to peter out a bit in the end. Maybe this is some backlash to that. Hopefully sales stabilize and the powers that be are happy.
But even other titles with stable sales seem to be affected. Lower titles like Doom Patrol and R.E.B.E.L.S. are also bleeding a bit.
While still hovering over 11,000 in sales, R.E.B.E.L.S. is now showing some erosion in sales. That said, recently R.E.B.E.L.S. was given a clean bill of health with the powers that be saying the title 'is not going any where'. Hopefully, Supergirl gets the same invulnerability.
The unofficial title of the current Supergirl arc is 'Who is Supergirl?', a time where Kara is re-inventing, re-discovering herself after the War of the Supermen and the destruction of new Krypton.
One thing that I have appreciated about Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle, really since they took over the title, is the fact that they have acknowledged Supergirl's rocky past in current storylines. While it isn't in the distant past, the events of War of the Supermen happened. It would be easy to simply ignore the fallout of New Krypton, Gates and Igle are having Supergirl come to terms emotionally ... mentally ... with it. Certainly this has been a much more introspective response that Superman's walk across America. He is looking out. Supergirl is looking inwards.
Facing off against BizarroGirl, a warped version of herself, has shaken Supergirl out of her doldrums resulting in the action of Supergirl #55. And there is a lot of action ... but more on that later.
I figure the first order of business is to officially welcome Amy Reeder to Team Supergirl. Her first cover is haunting and really plays on the 'twisted reflection feel of BizarroGirl. BizarroGirl seems gleefully feral while Supergirl is reflected around her.
The main reflection of Supergirl shows a normally oriented S-shield. Of course, since this is a reflection, that means that Supergirl is wearing a backwards S. This miscue doesn't take away from the strength of the piece. I hope Reeder has a long run as cover artist on the title.
I always appreciate the small touches in this book. Here we see that Supergirl's origin blurb has been updated. It now includes Linda Lang. It also states she now fights for the American way where it once said she fought for the Kryptonian way. It is a small little nuance, giving us some insight to what Supergirl is feeling. I appreciate this sort of attention to detail.
Well, I came up with all sorts of theories about the origins of BizarroGirl but it turns out she is a standard Bizarro from Bizarro world. She was rocketed to Earth by Bizarro #1 himself. he was trying to escape with her to avoid some planetary threat called the Godship.
In classic Bizarro style, BizarroGirl is roped and gagged in the rocket. Why? Who knows. That is the essence of Bizarro.
But it is clear that Bizarro #1 is afraid of this Godship. Whole cities have been destroyed on Bizarro world. What is this threat? Interesting.
But that was there. Now BizarroGirl is on Earth, Supergirl has been petrified by BizarroGirl's 'solid vision', and Supergirl's friends are in danger.
I still don't think BizarroGirl is your average Bizarro. She doesn't backwards speak. She is much more belligerent. She is darker that I am used to seeing Bizarros in the past. And, unfortunately, I think this speaks more to what Supergirl is feeling on the inside. Kara is going through a lot of anguish ... BizarroGirl manifests that in this backwards way.
I mean, here BizarroGirl threatens to roast and eat Jimmy Olsen. That is just wrong.
Luckily for Jimmy, Supergirl arrives to save the day, smashing the petrified version of herself over BizarroGirl.
Turns out the 'solid vision' only seemed to encase Supergirl. When she clubs BizarroGirl with it, the Supergirl statue shatters like a shell.
In a flashback (hee hee), we see the Flash having taught Supergirl how to vibrate through solid objects. That is how she escaped.
It is a subtle touch, one we have seen before, Jamal Igle puts Kara in her skimpier top, keying us in that this has happened in the more distant past. I also like how he has Supergirl touching her chin, that subtle personality quirk that is classic Supergirl.
While Supergirl and BizarroGirl battle into the streets of Metropolis, Cat Grant is up to her old tricks.
She plans to expose Lana as Supergirl's 'Daily Planet Informant'. But before she can tell Perry White about her scoop, she is distracted by a package from a fan ... 'another' package. Most likely it is another doll like we saw way back in Supergirl #38.
It has to be the Toyman.
Supergirl and BizarroGirl continue to brawl. Supergirl saves Gangbuster from having his head pulped by her misshapen clone.
Whether intentional or not, Supergirl does the right thing, slamming BizarroGirl with a left hook that sends her away from populated areas of the city.
I like how BizarroGirl squeals with joy as she flies off screen.
And while Supergirl has certainly used her brawn in this fight, she wins it with her brains.
Freeing Dr. Light, she theorizes what solar radiation will depower BizarroGirl the way red sun radiation depowers her. Supergirl is still a science guild member in her heart. I love the look on Supergirl's face ... a sort of happy pride knowing she has figured out a solution. Dr. Light blasts BizarroGirl from orbit with a massive beam of solar power.
With BizarroGirl suddenly depowered, Supergirl dispatches her with a flick of the finger.
I love how gates' has Supergirl struggle with her 'witty combat banter'. I don't think she has ever said something snappy and perfect. Here Dr. Light even teases her about her victory phrase. It's endearing.
Here is my favorite moment of the book.
With BizarroGirl unconscious, Dr. Light callously talks about imprisoning and studying her. It sounds all too much like Alura torturing Reactron ... and Kara can't be part of something like that. The expression on Kara's face tells it all ... a mix of stress and guilt. It almost looks like she is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
This again shows the maturation process that Supergirl is going through, the ethics she is formulating. It makes me wonder if Supergirl would approve what is happening to Lucy at S.T.A.R. She certainly can't let Dr. Light do anything like that to BizarroGirl.
That powerful moment is followed by my least favorite moment of the book.
To stop Dr. Light from capturing BizarroGirl, Kara punches her.
While I understand the sentiment, while I can guess the emotions roiling through Supergirl that might lead her to do something rash, there are plenty of ways that she could have delayed or incapacitated Kimoyo without this degree of violence.
This isn't the act of a maturing hero.
Rather than letting BizarroGirl suffer on Earth, Supergirl plans to take her back home. Piling into the rocket, she plots a flight back to the Bizarro world.
Will the two Karas be able to thwart the Godship? I like this panel a lot, determination written all over Supergirl's face, the lighting silhouetting her eyes giving it a dramatic flair.
I thought this was a very good issue, really pushing the arc along. While the action was great, it really was the characterization of Supergirl that shined brightest here, especially that moment where she remembers Reactron. Supergirl has really been scarred by New Krypton. I am so glad that Gates and Igle are exploring that rather than shying away from it. If only she didn't slug Dr. Light!
The issue boasts 3 inkers and it is sometimes apparent. The last pages look much smoother than the earlier ones. But Jamal Igle's pencils are solid, Supergirl's expressions saying so much.