Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: DC Bombshells #27

DC Bombshells #27, the print version of the digital first comic, came out this week. As always, since I read the floppies, I am behind the time.

The issue includes another chapter in Supergirl's journey home. Writer Marguerite Bennett has given us a new take on the character. Crushed by the sacrifice of her sister Kortni, this Kara is depressed and powerless. She decides she needs to head home to Russia to try to gain some normalcy but those plans are waylaid when she is discovered by Russian spies, German spies, and Lex Luthor on her train ride home.

I don't mind this Supergirl working her way through this emotionally. We saw how close she was with Kortni. We saw how she was ready to sacrifice herself to defeat the Tenebrau. She is still quite young. I imagine this is what would have happened had Kal died in the Crisis instead of her.

But what I really like is Bennett giving a new riff on an old Supergirl power. At least as how it is portrayed in this issue, I am very intrigued.

The art on the chapter is by Adventures of Supergirl veteran Carmen Carnero and really works well here.

Now while I enjoyed the Supergirl piece, the bulk of the book focuses on the Zatanna/Raven/Ivy/Harley story. And this has yet to grab me. I have talked about how I don't like when this book veers towards being an 'agenda book'. Here I didn't like how Bennett is getting bit too cute with her writing.

On to the book.

While on the train, Supergirl has a vision of an impending derailment and disaster. She sees the danger ahead, a new power.

I am hoping this is a new interpretation of the old Supergirl power of super-intuition! Could it be that she has some brief precog, intuiting what will most likely happen?

Super-intuition is joked about, a sort of sexist remnant of the Silver Age where it was really called a super-version of female intuition. So seeing it updated in a way is pretty nifty.

But the question then becomes if Supergirl can somehow intercede and change the future she sees in her vision. Can she prevent the tragedy. It reminded me of The Dead Zone, where the main character not only sees the future but can change it.

Ripping off her little black dress and donning her Supergirl uniform, Kara decides to face her fears. We have seen how what she fears most is failing. Will she not be able to save people with her powers the way she couldn't prevent Kortni from dying.

I loved this sequence from Carnero. The defiant Kara in panel one. The action hero in panel two. Facing the abyss in panel three. And then that quiet introspection.

It turns out she can change the future.

Using her heat vision, she melts the ice off the rails, allowing the train to pass by.

A precognitive Kryptonian? That is pretty formidable.

But the threats on the train are still there. The Russian spy who was supposed to bring Kara in realizes he can't. So his plan B is to eliminate her.

He pulls the pin on a grenade and Kara grasps it tightly hoping to limit the damage. But given her semi-powered state, it still effects her.

I love that last panel. You feel the concussive effect of the bomb. Brilliant stuff by Carnero.

Steve Trevor and Kara are thrown from the train. Both will survive.

And then Luthor shows up to hand Kara the K-nife he showed her last issue. Encased in the lead box, it won't hurt her. She will need it when she faces her 'true enemy'.

I love how Lex is able to use a some simple physical exam findings to say Kara is fine.

The train pulls away and Kara realizes she needs to find her mother.

I really enjoyed this chapter and this solo Supergirl story. It really reminded me of why I liked this book in the beginning.

But panels like this which happened earlier in the book really just pull me out of the story.

I don't mind some meta-commentary in comics.But this 'definitely not Hogwarts' comment just seemed a bit too cute for me.

A Hogwarts reference in a 40's war book? And really, can't you just name the school something which gets the point across without winking at the audience so awkwardly? Or trust that your audience gets that it is basically Hogwarts?

This sort of over-the-top, 'look at how cool I am', metatextual dialogue is what made me drop Bennett's Josie and the Pussycats. And I loooovvee Josie and the Pussycats. It takes a lot to make me go away.

All that said, the Supergirl story is worth it.

Overall grade (Supergirl story only): B+


Anonymous said...

The Supergirl's subplot was this issue's best part. As usual.

I loved how she combined her powers to stop the catastrophe. I love when a writer gets the Kryptonian Kids displaying their true power or using their powers in unexpected and clever ways. So, Supergirl reversing a wave with a furious shout? Or heat-beaming the rails to prevent a derailment? Awesome.

I find Lex's last words very telling. He regards Kara as a very interesting finding. He doesn't think of her as a person.

The Hogwarts comment was pretty bad. When I read it, I thought "Wait, what?" Ugh.

Off-topic, but Supergirl-related. Injustice 2 is already out, and: a) the Legion of Super-Heroes makes an appearance (You can see Brainiy, Imra, Garth and Rokk here:;
and b) Supergirl's list of moves is full of Easter Eggs. Streaky Strike... Crisis Punch... Hail & Farewell... Elseworld's Finest... R'E'L!?? I'd like to see more references to Pre-Crisis Supergirl and some to Gates' run, but it's always nice when someone acknowledges Supergirl's long history.

You can read more details about Kara's role here:

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. I'm loving the Injustice game and Supergirls arc. Got Kara to level 20. I'm really happy that whatever ending becomes canon in Injustice, it seems Supergirl will have an important role in the future of the series.

Also even more off topic, what do you guys think of the new artist taking over Supergirl in August?
I'm really loving the costume art in the solicit, but I personally prefer the head shape of the earlier artists.

Anonymous said...

"I keep forgetting to stop reading this book", but oy they don't make this easy its a nigh incoherent read, the super sequences alone are all but unintelligible....I had to read this review to get some of these plot points explained. Super Intuition Huh? Last seen in Adventure Comics #397 (coincidentally the cover where Supergirl frets over her new costume design)....I suppose you can get away with something like that in the 1940's setting...but then this is "Bombshells" the editors will forget all about it in two issues and go back to fussing over Vixen and Cheetah or some damn thing.
Which is what I wish they'd do so I could just drop the book in peace...its a good idea gone irrevocable awry.


Anonymous said...

According to the DC Comics Solicitations for August 2017, the current Bombshells series ends with Issue #33 (with a hint that Ms. Bennett will create a new series later).

Anonymous said...

"Also even more off topic, what do you guys think of the new artist taking over Supergirl in August?"

I like his art. I like it more than Ching's.

I hope maybe the new artist will pull new readers in, but a lot of people are still stuck in 2013 ("The main character is still a whiney teenager? Not on my pull list") or in the Cyborg Superman arc.

"Super Intuition Huh? Last seen in Adventure Comics #397 (coincidentally the cover where Supergirl frets over her new costume design)..."

Not to be persnickety, but it was also seen in Supergirl Vol 5 #65.

I agree with the book lacking a direction, though. Looking over an issue I wondered: Is... is she riding a mobile suit Gundam?

"According to the DC Comics Solicitations for August 2017, the current Bombshells series ends with Issue #33 (with a hint that Ms. Bennett will create a new series later)."

Yes. With new heroines, new battlefields... I'm afraid that Supergirl's role will be significantly reduced. Maybe issue #33 will be a good jumping-off point.