Friday, May 15, 2015

Convergence: Supergirl Matrix #2

I know the Supergirl show trailer has hit and I promise coverage is happening tomorrow!

Convergence: Supergirl Matrix #2 came out this week and I enjoyed this issue more than the first one. Writer Keith Giffen totally embraces a sort of Looney Tunes look at the DCU here, visiting the more insane corners of the place. He also ramps up the cartoon humor of Ambush Bug, a Giffen favorite. I don't always find Giffen's humor humorous but I  will admit I chuckled a bit while reading this book.

But Giffen also does a good job of showing some character growth in this Matrix Supergirl as she responds to the inane Bug, shows some self-esteem and some intelligence. And we finally see a moment with Lex that made me smile. Alas, Giffen still has her calling herself Kara in this book, a pretty big gaffe in my mind.

If you are looking for a serious look at Earth-6 vs 90's DCU, you should look somewhere else.

The cover by Howard Porter, riffing Action Comics #252, makes me ready to read JLA 3001. Porter drawing Supergirl monthly will be a joy to see. The inside art is done by Timothy Green III. The art is slick and stylized. And while there are some brokeback moments for the exceedingly thin females in the issue, it isn't as nonstop as it was in issue #1. And, after thinking about it, I have decided I love how he draws hair, like a mess of prehensile tendrils.

Last issue we saw that Matrix was going after Ambush Bug and his teleportation technology, hoping that Lex can use it escape the planet. We start out with the Bug and Matrix hashing things out over a cup of coffee. The Bug definitely shatters the 4th wall, talking to the readers, knowing this is a comic book, and even producing a script at one point.

There is a running gag that Ambush Bug thinks Matrix smells like plaster, touching on her 'protoplasm' structure of the time. Matrix would often shift to a purple gloppy mess when injured at this time of her character.

As I said, Bug has some 'comic book knowledge' and seems to be able to tap into some of the nonsense.

He equates this meeting with something from a cheesy romance comic and for a second, the book shifts into that mode. Amazingly, it seems to actually happen in the book as Supergirl wonders what happened.

Silly I know. But I chortled here.

Bug teleports to the Kamandi world where he shares a pint with a rat and brags about his 'relationship' with Supergirl. The rat seems impressed until he learns it is only the 'Matrix Supergirl'. Does everyone know about the other realities?

Supergirl isn't happy about this and again tries to corral the Bug back to Lex.

Before that can happen, Lady Quark arrives. Her world has been pitted against Matrix's by Telos.

But here we have a little bit of that Supergirl intelligence. It is true that Telos said they needed to fight. But he didn't say when. The two of them have time before they throw down. They can investigate answers to escape ... like the Bug.

A brief truce is called.

Unfortunately before the Bug can be captured, he blips away again.

He ends up on the Extremist Earth briefly where chats with another hero, Louse-Man. He is a Spider-Man analog, bitten by radioactive lice. Again, a laugh.

But I also loved how Matrix and Quark are both squeamish around him. Who likes lice??

The end joke of this scene is truly funny. Louse-Man comments on how beautiful Matrix's hair is. Does he have a lice-like obsession with burrowing into hair?

And then we go on a quick tour around the DCU.

We end up on the Legion world at the time of Legion try-outs. Giffen has Matter-Eater Lad (a Giffen favorite) mock the applicants. And then Bug mocks him.

Giffen visiting this time, in this try-out setting, and including Tenzil felt right.

Then we head to the Futures End world. The Binky world.

Then they finally back to Matrix's Metropolis. It is actually a strategy by Ambush Bug. When they arrive, Quark is waiting. And Bug says that Supergirl forced him there to use his powers to escape alone.

Quark thinking that she has been double-crossed restarts the fight.

And then the moment that made the book for me, probably elevating it a full grade.

Lex, seeing the battle, calls Matrix a shape-shifting cretin. That is the last straw.

Kara pauses the fight and then, off-screen, apparently beats the tar out of him.

It is always a good moment when Matrix shrugs off the yoke of people who have been using her. After last issue, where she seemed meek in accepting his abuse, I loved seeing this. Loved it.

But with Lex battered, Matrix and Quark go back to brawling.

The book ends almost too quickly. Bug calls himself a stinker, a classic Bugs Bunny line, and walks away. Outside of the Luthor beatdown, there is no closure here.

After a rough first issue, I decided to throw sensibility away. This is a Giffen book. I should accept the zaniness and embrace it. Between the romance page, the Binky world, and the Lex beatdown, this was an upgrade from last month.  It showed Supergirl in a better light. And the art was engaging.

Overall grade: B/B+


Martin Gray said...

Nice review ie we agree entirely!

Ain't I a stinker?

Jude Deluca said...

My favorite part of this issue was that face Quark makes when Mae's beating the crap out of Lex. Tell me I wasn't the only one thinking of snarky Superman from 'A Superman for All Season.'

Unknown said...

Once again she's "Kara", she even calls herself Kara! SIGH!

Anj said...

I know! Awful editing.