Thursday, May 19, 2016

Review: Free Comic Book Day DC SuperHero Girls

I've been pretty remiss in my coverage of Free Comic Book day and for that I apologize. Hard to believe that was already two weeks ago.

My local comic store opens the doors, has a local artist, and runs a big sale on Free Comic Book Day. There is a 2 book limit which is frustrating for a long time customer like me. And yet, I understand the desire to have free books around for new readers.

I was a bit surprised that there was nothing #Rebirth from DC Comics available. You would think that re-designing the DCU could be promoted here. Instead we got a reprint of Suicide Squad to help promote a movie 3 months away.

But let's be honest, the main draw for me was the free DC SuperHero Girls book, a glimpse at the upcoming 'Finals Crisis' graphic novel which is around the corner. Written by DCSHG mastermind Shea Fontana with art by Yancey Labat, the book focuses on Supergirl while introducing new readers to this world.

We start with a look at gym class and Diana sparring with Cheetah. It is a way to let us immediately learn that Wonder Woman is the cream of the crop, the best student at the high.

An overhead announcement tells the students to head to the auditorium.

This was a nice crowd shot letting us see some of the students at the school Sure we see the main characters. But Hawk and Animal Man are there. Flash and Green Lantern look like friends, a nice riff on classic DC. And there is Vixen.

So Fontana has a lot of toys to play with.

Principal Amanda Waller reminds everyone that finals begin tomorrow. Babs tells her AI Oracle to set her alarm. Nice!

But Supergirl seems upset by the announcement.

I love this little lip-bite expression, showing us that she is a bit worried. We see this expression again later in the book making me think it might be a little personality quirk. As someone who loved the classic 'finger to the face' quirk we saw in Supergirl's Silver Age, I like touches like this.

Panicked but the announcement, Supergirl flies away from the school and heads to Smallville. There she laments to the Kents that she is quitting the school. She can't deal with finals.

I love this whole page. Supergirl shouting at the heavens is great. And then saying exams are her Kryptonite is funny.

We flash back to Krypton where Kara is mercilessly bullied by other girls in her class. They tease Kara for riding her horse Comet (!!!) to school. They tease her for having the S-shield sewn on her backpack. They actually push her in the mud! It can't be an easy life for Krypton Kara.

Still, we see she is a great student. In her science class, she shows how she has created a solution that can increase a crystal in size. This scientist Kara is a well-established part of her character from the earliest issues in Action Comics.

Her solution works.

But looking out the window, Kara sees one of the Mean Girls untying Comet and letting the horse free. Kara has no choice but to run out of the class and grab her runaway steed.

The growth solution topples over and suddenly the crystal grows huge, destroying the roof.

How sad to see this mud covered Kara running to catch Comet while her bully laughs in the background.

As a result, Kara gets an 'F'.

Looking at this crying defeated Kara isn't easy.

No wonder Finals feel like Kryptonite.

Thankfully, the Kents give her a chuck in the arm and tell her she can handle this. And with that support, Kara feels she can fly off.

Funny that 'butt' is considered harsh language on the Kent farm. Supergirl is a sort of adorkable sticky sweet character.

On the way back however, Supergirl is shot by a Kryptonite arrow. Someone is gunning for the SuperHero Girls.

Let the guesses begin.

My guess? Ravager. How can you not have Ravager in this book? And who better to be hunting the heroes!

This book was beautiful and fun. And how nice to see some backstory for this Supergirl. So much fun.

It is a great peek into the DC Superhero Girls world. And it was free!

Hope everyone grabbed it. And hope everyone grabs the Finals Crisis graphic novel.

Overall grade: A


Anonymous said...

Great review as always Anj! Pretty much tracks with my impressions on the issue.
Loved how Supergirl was front and center most of this issue, and that they
showcase her past and motivations.

Surprised you didn't mention about Harley Quinn's "Mistah Q" comment... I keep
hearing Arleen Sorkin's voice every time I read that line :D But the best part,
and the one that I'm sure we all can relate to was Supergirl's reason for bailing
on school -- Finals. "Tests were my kryptonite even before kryptonite was my
kryptonite" had me rolling in the aisles!

The Krypton flashback scenes were great, though I have to admit hit alittle too
close to home watching the bullies pick on poor Kara, and the teacher just not
caring to do anything about it. But like any good superhero, Kara picks herself
up and keeps on going.

During my first read of this, I was slightly annoyed that Supergirl got jobbed
out like that at the end, but after reading it a few more times, one could say
you take out the big fish first in the pond. Will have to see and can't wait
for Final Crisis to come out!

To TPTB : Keep It Up! LOVE IT!


Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon there is a diff between being "Jobbed Out" and being the leading edge of the Big Impending Peril, Kara is there clearly to emphasize the serious nature of the mystery threat. Its not like she suddenly can't defeat Bizarro in a fair fight or overcome red-k irradiation all by herself.....:)
I am otherwise totally signed on to this particular storyline regardless of Supergirl's goofy Red Keds.


Anonymous said...

To add to the DCSHG, check out latest video of DCSHG ... DO NOT MISS IT!! Besides
some great Kara / Barbara screentime, the line "My mind says 'Don't use heat vision
on your friends'... but my gut says 'CAAAAAKE!'"