Adventures of Supergirl Chapter 10 came out this week and continued to mine the show's universe in a very entertaining way. As readers, we have seen a mystery slowly unwind before our eyes. What seemed to be a 'escaped inmate of the month' first few chapters has become a villainous riddle involving Fort Rozz and the mysterious Facet. Each chapter has brought us deeper down the rabbit hole leading to this issue where we finally get some answers.
No surprise, writer Sterling Gates has really done a wonderful job on the story. From the villains' motives to the interaction between Kara and her supporting cast to the homages to Supergirl/DC history, this whole book has been a treat. But for fans of Gates' initial run on the character, this chapter will really resonate as we get to see Kara interact with Alura. There was a lot of friction between the two back then. And even if this Alura is AI, we see some of that here as well.
This chapter we also get the treat of Cat Staggs on both the cover and the internal art. Staggs' art has an inky weight to it. It feels like a cousin to Sean Phillips or Alex Maleev. And that weight works here given the story here. I also like the cover here. This moment with Alura was the defining one for Kara for a while, a moment of heroic self-sacrifice from her mother. Given the slow humanizing of Alura, the cover strikes a nice contrast.
The New 52 chapter of the DC Universe is coming to a close. There is a
#Rebirth. There is a scrubbing away of the angst, hate, and dismal
nature of the characters. There is a return to a more classic feel,
leaning on legacy.
But such a change cannot happen without major upheavals. And one such seismic shift is in the Superman books. The New 52 Superman is 'dead'. And the Pre-Flashpoint Superman, stuck on this world, might have to pick up the mantle.
Superman:Lois and Clark by Dan Jurgens and Lee Weeks was supposed to be a 12 issue maxi-series. Despite decent sales, the series was truncated to 8 issues. At the time I wondered if it was because DC didn't have faith in this version of the character. Now I wonder if it was done to synch up this series with the #Rebirth initiative.
Superman:Lois and Clark #8 came out last week and was the last issue of this title. How this Lois and Clark will amalgamate into the current DCU is still unknown. But we know that super-son Jon will be starring in his own title. These folks are here to stay.
But with the title suddenly ending, a bunch of plots that have been in this book are suddenly closed or left wide open. I don't know which irks me more.
The art is done by Weeks who brings a strength to the scenes and power. I can't quite name it, but it is both neat and gritty. And that has worked well here.
Plus this series starred Hyathis. That always makes me happy!
It is the end of a brief era.
The New 52 chapter of the DC Universe is coming to a close. There is a #Rebirth. There is a scrubbing away of the angst, hate, and dismal nature of the characters. There is a return to a more classic feel, leaning on legacy.
But such a change cannot happen with casualties. And the New 52 Superman, who has had an uneven four plus years, is one of those spots being expunged. I'll praise him in a bit. But right now my job is to bury him.
Superman #52 came out this week, the last issue of the Super-books pre-Rebirth. It is the end of The Final Days of Superman. It is the end of this Superman. And as such, we get to see this version of Superman say goodbye.
I have had my issues with this Superman. I have had a lot of issues with him. And yet, I was surprisingly moved by this issue. Writer Peter Tomasi has done a very good job in the post-Truth books to make this Clark much more likeable, much more heroic. So to see him settling his affairs was touching.
The art is done by Mikel Janin is fantastic. I love Janin's smooth work. It is stellar. And there are a lot of big splash pages, reminiscent of the all-splash page Superman #75, where Superman first died. But is is Janin and Jeremy Cox's colors are the real hero here. This book is soaked in oranges and reds. It feels like it is on fire.
For convenience sake, during this review I will use the following key:
Superman = New 52 Superman
PreFP-Superman = older pre-Flashpoint Superman
Fire-Superman = Flame avatar Superman, Denny Swan
This is the end ... or is it. Prepare for me to blow your mind with a theory when this is over.
#Rebirth is here. The DC Universe:Rebirth special was released yesterday. Everything is going to be different ... hopefully.
But the fallout of the New 52, the lame duck period of the pre-Rebirth DCU, and poor overall sales preceding the reimagining are still palpable. Sales for April were released and show that DC still has an uphill climb.
I have been enjoying the new direction of the Super-titles since the Peter Tomasi began the 'Super League'. The Truth tasted like ash in my mouth.
While this arc includes a dying Superman and a reinvigorated Clark/Diana romance, overall it has felt much more classic.
But has it been embraced? Has word on the street bought sales?
Well Superman #51 sold over 38K. Batman/Superman #31sold 34K. Action Comics #51 sold 32K.
These aren't overwhelming numbers. And I don't think that sales have improved.
Maybe with #Rebirth, new readers will come take a look.
Perhaps more interesting has been the idea that the pre-Flashpoint Superman is going to take over the lead role in the Super-books after #Rebirth. It seems that the New 52 Superman will be gone.
So why does DC have such faith in the pre-Flashpoint Superman? Is it that he represents a return of hope and heroism that Geoff Johns has said is the backbone of #Rebirth? Is this version selling gangbusters in Superman:Lois and Clark?
Superman:Lois and Clark #7 sold 20K.
I am interested in seeing how this transition happens. This Superman is older than the New 52 one. I don't think he can simply walk into the other Clark's life.
My hope is #Rebirth will be a little jolt to the super-books. Maybe new readers will come!
And what does the lame duck, pre-#Rebirth sales look like for lower selling books whose cancellations have been announced?
Take for example the wild, fun, continuity-bucking Justice League 3001?
JL3001 #11, the penultimate issue, sold just under 12K.
So long, JL3001! A few, wise readers knew ye!
I will try to commit these numbers to memory. Because it will be fascinating to compare these to the post #Rebirth sales.
Count me as one of the people who was very disappointed with this summer's Batman v Superman movie. I found it to be something of a dark, joyless, bloated mess. There were plot lines that made no sense.
But I am not here to curse the darkness.
Instead I am here to praise the light.
I have commented here about how much I have been enjoying the shorts of DC SuperheroGirls. And the site decided to do their version of the conflict. Batgirl vs. Supergirl is the latest short on the site and is 1000% worth watching. Here is the site link: http://play.dcsuperherogirls.com/en-us
I have to believe that the impetus for this short was the movie. And this is the perfect response.
Supergirl and Batgirl are relaxing in their dorm room when Wonder Woman calls. The cafeteria is going to close soon and Diana asks if she can bring back something for Kara or Babs.
I love that the picture of Diana on Babs phone is the Amazon stuffing down pizza. Perfect.
Diana tell the two friends that there is only one piece of superfood cake left. Babs and Kara talk about how wonderful the cake is with its quinoa center and cauliflower meringue.
Not exactly my perfect cake.
But as there is only one piece left, the two realize that the race is on.
Who will get there first?
There is a whole array of bat-nets and superspeed and jet packs.
But the absolute best line comes from Supergirl.
I'm paraphrasing but she basically says "My mind says 'don't use your heat vision on your friends' but my gut says 'CAAAKKKEE!!'"
It is fantastic. Hysterical!
The race/fight spills through the halls and into the cafeteria. Crazy Quilt, Lady Shiva, and the rest of the student body has to run, duck, and take cover as Batgirl snares Supergirl and spins her into the wall.
That must be some cake.
The two end up collapsing in laughter, realizing how silly this conflict is. They are friends. They can split the piece of cake.
But do they end up eating it?
You'll have to watch yourself to see the ultimate punchline.
I won't say this is a rebuke of the movie. But to see a silly little skirmish erupt over pastry, one that ends in laughter and realization that friendship is more important ... well, this was light years better than the movie.
The DC Comic solicits for August were released last week and it is a big month for Supergirl. People better start saving their nickels and dimes!
The company will now be 2 months into #Rebirth so new titles and new directions are everywhere. For Supergirl fans, we finally have her Rebirth special which will lead into her new series. I can't wait.
SUPERGIRL: REBIRTH #1 Written by STEVE ORLANDO • Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and RAY McCARTHY • Cover
by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO • Variant cover by ADAM HUGHES Supergirl turns to the shadowy organization known as the D.E.O. (Department of
Extranormal Operations) to restore her lost powers once and for all! But as a
fateful experiment sends Kara Zor-El rocketing toward the sun, disaster strikes
at home in the form of the lost Kryptonian werewolf Lar-On! All the epic action
of the brand new Supergirl series starts here!
There is almost too much to love about this solicit.
We already know that Supergirl will be working with the DEO alongside scientists Jeremiah and Eliza. Here, the plot includes the Kryptonian werewolf Lar-On. I know the character from one of my favorite stories of my childhood in World's Finest #258. So that sort of deep cut, Kryptonian lycanthropy, makes me think Steve Orlando is going to shine here.
But as a bonus, we get interior art by Supergirl-alum Emanuela Lupacchino! And a variant cover by Adam Hughes!
At the end of last week, The CW Network held their upfronts, discussing the upcoming seasons of their programming.
Looking at the network's schedule, I am amazed at how much DC programs will be available. Our favorite heroes dominate the 8pm hour Monday through Thursday. And it all kicks off on Mondays with their new show Supergirl.
As I said recently, I am thrilled the show got renewed. I am glad that the cast and staff seems (for the most part) intact. And I love the fact that it retains its day and time. Supergirl will remain appointment watching on Monday, kicking of the week in a super way.
I love this image, the promotional shot for the show. I like that Supergirl is staring straight into the camera in this iconic flying pose. Just fantastic.
This is a great issue which sets up the Legion book for the upcoming year while showcasing Supergirl. Waid polishes up the character, differentiating this Supergirl from the sullen one which was in her solo title.
Waid makes her a living legend, teaming up with other heroes.
And Waid adds the wrinkle that Supergirl doesn't think any of this is real. She believes she is dreaming it as part of Tarukor.
We recently heard about Tarukor over in the Adventures of Supergirl chapter 8 by Sterling Gates.
I love when writers reference the rich history of the Superman mythos.
Superman/Wonder Woman #29 came out this week and is an important issue for fans of the super-family for a number of reasons. The Final Days of Superman is coming to an end as #Rebirth is right around the corner. This arc is basically the foundation for the upcoming super-titles. So within this issue, we get some set-up for the Supergirl book, the Super-sons book, and the upcoming Superman books. Previously, we have seen the beginnings of the New Superman book.
Despite having to reset the landscape, writer Peter Tomasi does a great job making this story be compelling on its own. There is more to this arc than just establishing where the #Rebirth books will be in the next couple of months. Tomasi is dealing with the fallout of The Truth. And for the most part, I have been very satisfied with this read. There is something very classic about the feel of these characters. Gone is the deconstructed, brooding versions of these characters. Instead, we get heroes.
All that said, this book is probably the last issue of the Clark/Diana romance. And, surprisingly, there isn't any romance in this issue at all. I wondered if this would be the place we would see one last kiss. Instead, there is one last brawl. As someone who never really understood the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship, I still felt let down that there wasn't one last tender scene.
The art on the book is just wonderful. The cover is by Karl Kerschl and showcases Supergirl and Wonder Woman in action and both look determined. The internal art is by a favorite of mine, Jorge Jimenez. Jimenez shined on an arc of Smallville and brings a stylized kinetic feel to his work. His stuff really catches the eye. And as he is on the upcoming Super-Sons book, it makes sense for him to be here.
And let me say it is hard to write a review when there are three Supermen in the book. So, for clarity:
Fire-Superman=bad guy avatar
Superman = New 52 Superman
PF-Superman = Pre-Flashpoint Superman
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.
DC Comics Bombshells #12 came out last week and was a tremendous end to an incredibly entertaining first year. I will admit to being surprised at how fantastic this book has been. This a WWII book written with the social conscience of present day starring pin-up model versions of the women of the DCU. Kudos to the creative team for putting those concepts together into a brilliant story.
The plot has been moving forward quickly bringing us to this moment. The Bombshells are finally unified, defending London, and fighting an undead army of Tenebrau and underwater monsters. I have been clamoring for the time when the separate character threads would finally merge into one. And so we get this action-packed, war comic. But war is hell. And always has casualties. There is loss here; loss that feels natural and necessary. And heartbreaking.
Writer Marguerite Bennett has really shined on this book. Each character has a unique personality. There are varied and engaging storylines. And there is real emotion here.
The art on this book is done by Bombshell veterans Laura Braga and Mirka Andolfo. And both bring their A game here, giving us the energy of battle and the depth of emotion. I will admit, I shuddered at one page in this book because the art and words meshed so beautifully. On to the book!
Adventures of Supergirl Chapter 9 came out this week and it was a game changer. Writer Sterling Gates and artist Carmen Carnero deliver one of those fantastic comic issues which is completely action packed while also moving the plot forward. It isn'y easy to accomplish both of those. So when it happens in comics, it makes me very happy.
As readers, we have been wondering about who the villainous mastermind. Rampage, Vril Dox, and Psi have all mentioned a woman who has pushed them to attack Kara. Now, finally, we get to see who that is. And things looks pretty scary for Supergirl. Facet has knowledge and power. And that makes her dangerous.
But outside all the reveals of Facet, and there are plenty, we also get more insight into who Supergirl is and how she interacts with her sister Alex. Kara is such a straight shooter in this universe. She's honest and doesn't hide her feelings. She doesn't like deception. Whether it comes from villains or her sister, she doesn't like mysteries.
The art on the book is fantastic. The cover by Cat Staggs gives us the first shot of Facet's crystalline form. And I am a sucker for images of heroes reflected off the surface of their villain. And the inside art by Carmen Carnero is just as impressive. This is a battle heavy chapter and Carnero shines with the action.
Action Comics #52 came out this week, the next chapter in the #Rebirth prologue The Final Days of Superman. Writer Peter J. Tomasi has been given the keys to the super-kingdom, sifting through the plot lines and mega-arcs that has preceded him. Tomasi's charge must be to hit a mini-reset button, bringing the Superman mythos back to a more classic, more established, and slightly more stable super-books.
For the most part, Tomasi has done a fantastic job here. Gone is the brutish Clark from The Truth. Instead we have an almost repentant Superman dying, settling his estate, and trying to bring in the 'flare avatar' Superman. Seeing the Trinity acting as friends here, seeing an incredibly brave Lois, seeing the older pre-Flashpoint Superman using his brains before his fists all feels right.
Unfortunately, at least for me, Tomasi brings back the Clark/Diana romance. And, unfortunately, it still reads incredibly awkward. No one has been able to write this relationship in a way that makes me accept it. It just doesn't make sense for a Kansas farmboy and an Amazonian princess/goddess to easily be together. And I still don't know why Supergirl isn't part of this posse chasing the avatar.
The art on the book is by Dale Eaglesham and Scot Eaton and they do fine work here. There isn't anything that wowed me on the book. But nothing was distracting either. I don't mean to damn with faint praise. On to the book.
I have been reviewing Legion books every Friday since the beginning of the blog, covering the 5 Years Later books and now the Threeboot Legion.
I am starting to cover the Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes issues over there. Surprisingly, I have never reviewed any of those books on this site!
So, for the foreseeable future, I will be posting a link to that review here on Saturday. Feel free to pop over there and leave a comment and look around. The site and other contributors are all great!
First off and most importantly, we are getting more episodes. I loved this show. The character was bright, optimistic, fierce, and learning the ropes. The relationships between the characters were the backbone of the show. Kara and Alex. Kara and Winn. Kara and Cat. Kara and Jimmy. Kara and Hank. They all had heartfelt moments and character arcs. We had action. We had it all as Supergirl fans. And I loved it. The show could have been canceled. It wasn't. That is the most important part of this announcement. We are getting more episodes.
Now, maybe there is an old-school feeling that moving from CBS to The CW is a demotion of sorts, a loss of prestige. But, as been said ad nauseum, the show 'feels' more like a CW show than a CBS show.
And, of course, it opens up the possibilities of more crossovers. Certainly, a time/space warp could lead to a DCLOT crossover.
But there are some concerns.
For one, the production has fled to Vancouver. So the whole feel of the show being in Hollywood/California is going to be gone.
Second, the reason CBS let the show go was that it was too expensive to produce. It is doubtful/impossible that the CW will be able to front the budget of last season. So will there be a drop in the effects. Will stories be written differently, avoiding big action sequences. Will there still be wire fighting? That said, I think the Flash has done a fine job with effects, so maybe it won't be noticeable?
I am not an accountant. I don't understand production budgets. But maybe the $3million dollar 'license fee' per episode will disappear since Warner Brothers owns CW. Maybe that money can be shunted to the production? Of course, the show has to make money for the network so maybe cuts are coming.
Lastly, will the very structure/cast of the show change? Will Kara be in a different city? Maybe her new role in CatCo takes her away from National City? Will David Harewood? Will last season be 'forgotten'? Will we pick up were last season ended, with the mysterious pod?
I have faith that the production company and Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler will do the show right. They clearly love it.
But the unknown is scary. Let's be optimistic.
One thing we don't need to worry about is the Alex/Kara relationship disappearing. Both Chyler Leigh and Melissa Benoist hit social media last night to thank CBS and promote the next season.
Back in Adventures of Supergirl #7, Supergirl is tossed from one dreamscape to another as she tries to fight Psi. In the story, writer Sterling Gates and artist Emanuela Lupacchino throw a ton of Supergirl history at us, showing us different costumes and bringing up the storyline of different incarnations.
My favorite deep cut reference was this barbarian warrior claiming that he was one of the 'Wolves of Nightflame'. Nightflame is a one-time villain from back in Supergirl's Adventure Comics run.
Who is Nightflame?
Adventure Comics #421 was cover dated July 1972 and sports an eye-grabbing cover by Bob Oksner. Supergirl is in the clutches of monstrous looking beings while behind her looks a beautiful woman wielding a flaming sword and screaming 'Now Supergirl you must die!" That is Nightflame.
While this issue is the only story that Nightflame appears in, this story is somewhat infamous. For one, Nightflame's origin is unbelievably intriguing and somewhat insane. Second, the story concludes with a veiled racy finale, something that a person well-versed in double entendre might call climactic. Others might say that in ends with a little death, in all that phrases meaning.
I don't know how you could walk by this cover and not buy the issue. Oksner's work always impresses. But Supergirl looks rightfully terrified here. The things are all over here, clutching her legs, pulling her hair, and holding her down. And Nightflame's sword looks like it is coming out of the page. That has to be a big sword!
As a comic fan, I love peeks behind the creative curtain. I especially love process pieces where we see the evolution of creative ideas in comics. So these sort of things always make me happy.
Now right off the bat, I will say I love this design way more than the New 52 Supergirl costume. The one piece leotard isn't a bad idea but the fussy details of the red crotch guard with all the corners and piping was just too much. Add to that (mandatory) high collared cape and the kneeless boots, and the New 52 look just never resonated with me.
And long time readers of this site will know that I love the red skirt, the v-shaped belt, and overlong sleeves are elements of my 'perfect' Supergirl costume. And, amazingly, they are all here.
The article also gives some of the details.
First off, I love the full length cape and I love the fact that it flows over the shoulders. It calls back to the red shoulders of the Crisis-era headband costume without completely aping that look.
I find it amusing that the V-shaped skirt and belt are described as being 'similar to the show' when the show is similar to Matrix. But who cares. I'm glad to see them.
And after having a shorter hair style for a while, I like the return of
the longer blond locks. An S-shaped part is a nice detail.
There is something 'classic' about this look, if Matrix/Linda Danvers is your classic.
Submitted for your perusal.
Red cape over the shoulders? V-shaped belt and pleated skirt? Pointy sleeves?
Over at the DC Superhero Girls website, the second season of shorts has started. And the first episode is all about Supergirl.
I don't find that surprising as Supergirl was introduced to the DCSHG universe in the cartoon special on Boomerang. Since everyone hasn't seen that, this short gives a nice little intro to the character of Kara in this universe.
This is a young Supergirl learning how to control her powers while adapting to Earth. This whole show and universe is completely endearing. But, no surprise, I like when Supergirl gets a bit of the spotlight.
The episodes starts with Supergirl being named Hero of the Month.
I love that Supergirl is a drawing when the announcement happens. And I am doubly happy that she is drawing a horse.
Supergirl being arty and crafty is a sort of thread in her history.
And she always has had a love of horses.
We get to hear some of the other students talking about Supergirl and what they like about her.
Poison Ivy talks about how Supergirl gaining power from the sun is plant-like.
Harley Quinn talks about Supergirl knowing how to make an entrance as we see her clumsily land.
And Batgirl says Supergirl always comes through to save the day.
When we hear that, we see a clip from the Boomerang special with Supergirl wrapping Granny Goodness up in a flagpole.
This is something of an info dump. We learn the source of her powers, her awkwardness, and her heroic ideals. And we see her powers in action.
There are a couple of fun scenes as well.
Here Supergirl is absolutely giddy that she successfully used her heat vision to roast her friends' marshmallows. She laughs and claps at her own efforts.
And then we see her unsteadily land on the school's roof only to recover and sport an iconic pose.
But how could I not show this which lets us see that Supergirl wears bike shorts under her skirt. This is now a 'tried and true', 'dyed in the wool', essential part of Supergirl's costume. We have seen it in comics, on the show, and now on the cartoon.
An oft-repeated thanks to Jamal Igle and Sterling Gates for adding them to Supergirl's costume.
This Supergirl is fun and sweet and optimistic and just at the beginning of the hero's journey. I like her.