Adventures of Supergirl:Chapter 4 came out digitally yesterday, starting a new mini-arc within this 13 chapter storyline. Writer Sterling Gates continues to have a great hold of the characters' voices. This is still a show Supergirl who is early in her career and so still working out the wrinkles of being an active hero. So seeing her response to difficulties here, both inflicted and self-inflicted is spot on.
The new villain is Vril Dox, an old frenemy of Supergirl's from the R.E.B.E.L.S. days and close enough visually to Brainiac 5 to make their encounters a bit more juicy as a fan. This storyline dovetails a bit with the recent Indigo episode, focusing on computer threats.
Jonboy Meyers comes on board as artist and brings a very stylized look to the book. I'm used to a more cheesecake-y take with Meyers but he reels that in nicely here. There is a jagged sort of electricity here to the proceedings, best scene in a panel shown below. And that Cat Staggs cover is electric. I like the mix of photo-realism with Supergirl/Benoist mixed with the pixel-y Brainiac screens.
Gates continues to shine, no big surprise. There is a wonderful mix of character moments, nice little riffs on his prior runs, homages, and action that really makes this crackle.
The last mini-arc started with Supergirl disrupting a football game. It ended with Supergirl flooding a sewer site while trying to apprehend Rampage.
CatCo's response? #Sewergirl. It turns out that rescue interfered with the water system of the city.
Again, this is early in the show's run when Supergirl was dumping oil into the water and trying to become an inspirational hero. Later in the show we see Cat ardently defend Supergirl from her detractors.
But early on? I guess all is fair game. And if pouncing on Supergirl sells some papers, that Cat would go with it.
James calls Kara to speed into work because a SWAT team on the premises. Initially Kara is worried that they are there for her. But she is surprised to see that instead they are after Winn.
We learn more later but I liked how Winn tells Kara not to look into things any further. This is a warning and shows that maybe Winn is stronger than he initially might appear to be. He doesn't want his friend endangered when he can handle thing on his own.
This also is intriguing because this is clearly pre-Toyman reveal. That relationship might be an easy reason to jump to his being arrested.
We have learned a lot about Cat over the show. She started out as something of a callous narcissist. But since then we have learned about Adam, her struggles as a woman in a position of power, and even a story she buried that haunts her.
But again, we are early. Kara and the staff don't know any of that yet.
So we get a sort of a maximum 'Devil Wears Prada' feel to Cat here. She could care less about the SWAT team taking away an underling. All she wants is her latte so she can recover from an all night party.
I think JonBoy Meyers was born to draw Cat Grant. This is the Cat in my mind's eye. Impressive!
Heading to the CatCave, James reveals that Winn was arrested for doxxing someone.
This might be my favorite exchange in the book. Kara has to let James now that doxxing is threatening, intimidating, and dangerous ... especially if you are a woman on the internet.
It makes me wonder about Kara's past encounters. But the stern look on her face, bathed in the glow of the monitor, is a perfect representation of her sentiment. When art and words complement, comics is the best medium.
On a slight down continuity note, that is the most hair I have seen on James ever.
When the system boots up, James and Winn are greeted by V.R.I.L., an acronym. VRIL says he is Winn's 'helper daemon', a supposedly souped up Siri.
I have seen enough horror movies and read enough Oracle stories to know this isn't good.
But initially VRIL seems to be helping, pointing out that Winn's personal information has now been leaked. It includes false information like he was behind a terrorist attack in Leesburg Virginia. That info seems to rile up the SWAT team who has him in custody.
Now doxxing and internet threats were just on the show. So this resonates a little.
And a Leesburg reference is always appreciated.
As I said, there was a lot to like in this issue. This is my favorite action panel. Supergirl rips the top of the armored SWAT vehicle off to grab Winn. I know the 'glowing eyes in a dark face' is an image that has been overused to death. But when used sparingly and it makes sense (the sun is behind her, of course it'll be blazingly bright around her and her face will be in shadows), it is a nice effect.
Claiming she is 'grabbing the terrorist', she takes off with Winn.
Again, it's early in her career. Interfering with a SWAT team and leaving with a suspect can't be looked upon as a good act. I wonder if we will see fallout.
Safely away, Winn reveals that he has uncovered proof that the world's best hacker, someone nearly unstoppable, isn't human. He is an alien named Vril Dox. V.R.I.L. is no helper daemon. And now he knows Kara's secret identity and has a helpless James in the office.
I can't help but see some similarities between this opening chapter and last week's episode. I also saw much of the ideas of Master Jailer in Rampage chapter discussing sentence lengths. I don't know if this synergy was done on purpose but it does resonate nicely. I also wonder if Winn's knowledge of alien codes and viruses in Indigo will be born here.
I thought this was another entertaining chapter in the Adventures of Supergirl. Between the learning Supergirl, the discussion with James, the stylized art and a certain Coluan, this was a great opening chapter.