Friday, November 28, 2014

Review: Sensation Comics #4

Earlier this week, I reviewed the first part of 'No Chains Can Hold Her', the Wonder Woman story by Gilbert Hernandez that ran through Sensation Comics #4.

I will cover the second part here.

As I said before, this is really a Silver Age story, with a classic Supergirl, and in this part a classic Mary Marvel co-star with Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, for the bulk of this story, Diana is under the control of Kanjar Ro and fighting the younger heroes.

Since Supergirl shines, and since it is a great homage to the Silver Age, and since the art is mesmerizing in its simplistic beauty, I love this story. That said, I do wonder what Diana fans feel about this given she is in the background of her own book's story.

Remember, Wonder Woman is hypnotized by Kanjar Ro. And Supergirl has followed along to help. I love that the colorist got the skirt color right in this issue. Supergirl should be pure Silver Age here, in the blue skirt!

I love Supergirl's opening statement, relaying she is as strong as Superman. And having Kanjar Ro call her an adolescent pest is great!

Despite her youth, Supergirl is mature ... and noted to be so by Diana. Supergirl knows that this fight is only for the leering enjoyment of Sayyar and Kanjar Ro.

In fact, the smiling faces of the villains confirm it. Ro even says that fight of two women is for their entertainment. Creepy.

This is a silver age story and it has some DC cosmic in it.

So I was thrilled ... THRILLED ... that we got this one-panel guest, Hyathis! I am a big Hyathis fan! And even she is feeling the reverberations of the Diana/Kara fight.


Things get even wilder when Kanjar Ro uses his technology to bring Mary Marvel into the battle from her home world ... presumably Earth S! Remember this is the Silver Age.

Mary immediately thinks this is some plot and Supergirl and Wonder Woman are evil robots. Just like that it's a brawl.

I love Wonder Woman's indignation over dealing with 2 super-powered 15 year olds. So much is conveyed by the look away, the crossed arms, the flat expression! Wonderful.

In the most hysterical sequence, Mary and Diana use Kara as a weapon, battering each other with the Maid of Might. That is crazy funny.

There was something almost Tintin-esque in the art here.

But how can you not chuckle looking at this sequence.

It ends even better.

After being humiliated, used as a range weapon, Supergirl blasts both of the other heroes with her heat vision, incapacitating them, and allowing her to confront Kanjar Ro.

Look at that expression on her face. Exasperated!

Great art throughout here.

Seriously, Ro has lots of tricks. He has a Kryptonite beam in his ship which floors Supergirl.

Luckily, Mary Marvel and Wonder Woman recover and head to the ship. Wonder Woman is even free of the hypno-ray effects; they were burned away by the heat vision.

I love the contrast in figures between Mary and Diana.

Mary has to streak Supergirl to a nearby sun to revive her. Kanjar Ron doesn't think they will survive.

But of course they do! After the brief skirmish, all the heroes are smiling. I even like Kara and Mary holding hands. And one leg behind the other, daintily, almost like a curtsy, is perfect for these young women. There is that sweetness of the 50's in this story.

I do think it is telling that Kanjar Ro says that Supergirl and Mary Marvel did the 'heavy lifting'. It is true, the younger heroes were the dynamic characters for most of this story.

The only way to get everyone back where they need to be is to have the three heroes fly into each other at top speed, the resulting energy flinging Mary back home. We even get a peek at Earth S and the Marvel family.

And Wonder Woman and Supergirl head back home.

I absolutely love that last panel. Wonder Woman with a big smile, talking about having a girls' night out.

There is a silliness to this story, akin to many Silver Age stories. But for me, it read nostalgic not anachronistic. How great was it to read a sweet Supergirl trying to do the right thing. Or a Mary Marvel who fights for what's right?

And the art is perfect for the piece.

These tend to be dark times in comics with futures ending in both of the big two. I'll take a moment of insanity as a break from the dour anytime!

Overall grade (whole story): B+


AndNowInStereo said...

I think they corrected the colour of Kara's skirt in the digital version, as some of the panels in Part 1 you scanned definitely didn't match the digital one I read. There was still at least one red-skirted panel though! I can forgive it, I like both.

I liked this story, it was fun, and it's not often you get to see these three characters together. Sensation Comics has easily been worth the dollar a week so far!

Anonymous said...

Yeah well in a perfect world, the proper relationship between Kara and Diana is favored niece to mentoring aunt. So kudos to all concerned for getting that right (because Ghod knows we will never see it again)....but the artwork very primitive and those biceps on poor WW yeesh!
And yes adding Mary Marvel to the mix was a very welcome thing, again we won't see it again anytime soon unless all three women are trying to kill one another or some damn thing.

Landry Q Walker said...


Wha? Gilbert Hernandez primitive? No no no no no...

If all comics looked like this, I'd buy a hell of a lot more comics.

Martin Gray said...

Indeedy! And Kara and Diana didn't have enough SA and BA encounters for there to be a 'proper relationship' between them.

I adored every panel of this issue, it's simply Super-Marvellous-Wonderful fun.

Anonymous said...

Apologies to Landry Walker a talent if ever I saw one, but I calls em' as I see em'. should do one of these for Sensation, update the whole Wonder-Girl, Birdboy, MerBoy triangle...:D


Anj said...

Thanks for the comments!

I will admit to not having read much of Los Bros Hernandez.

I thought this art was simple for current mores but was beautiful and mesmerizing.

As many have said, there hasn't been a lot of teamups between these three, and the few that have been haven't been this fun.

I thought this was great.

Anonymous said...

why in the last panel supergirl have brunette hair?

Anonymous said...

This is great. There needs to be more Supergirl working with Wonder Woman stories.