Monday, June 26, 2017

Review: DC Bombshells #29

DC Comics Bombshells #29 came out last week, one of the last remaining print issue of this first run of the concept. After stumbling a bit in the middle issues, the title has found itself again these last few issues. For me, this most likely is because Wonder Woman and Supergirl have taken center stage again. And I just think that these stories of the Bombshells heading into Russia has just been more compelling than the Africa side adventure that preceded it.

Writer Marguerite Bennett has also given us a familiar trope for Supergirl, dealing with the existence of Power Girl. And, like many before, Bennett has the two fight each other at first before realizing that they are more alike than different. Bennett also gives us a very sympathetic Supergirl, dealing with grief but still striving to do what is right.

I'll focus on the Supergirl story but this issue also includes a nice opening with Raven, Ivy, and Harley. As readers we are asked the question 'what would you have done' if faced with the horrors of WWII. What are we doing now?

The art is done by Laura Braga and Aneke, veterans to the book. The two styles differ a bit. One is more fine lined and detailed, the other more broad stroked and economical. The characters look great in both versions and the action flows well.

On to the book!

Power Girl has been 'raised' by Hugo Strange and feels that Supergirl is a traitor, abandoning Russia in its time of need. Supergirl knows that Strange wants to change the world, creating an Aryan landscape. So obviously, the two will fight. Well, sort of. Supergirl is powerless and basically gets tossed around.

This Supergirl is definitely a sympathetic character. You might recall that she was willing to sacrifice herself against the Tenebrau in the battle of London. Then Stargirl did in her place and she has been grieving since. She has had self-loathing and survivor's guilt and a loss of her powers as a result.

It is sad to hear her tell Power Girl that she herself doesn't want to be like Supergirl. How terrible!

She asks Power Girl if there is a person in her life that is the foundation of her thoughts. Is there someone that slows the world down. For Supergirl it was Stargirl.

You can see from the wide-eyed look that there is someone for Power Girl. This is true.

In flashback, we see that Supergirl didn't abandon Russia. She was powerless and grieving. But when riding with Wonder Woman, she was able to act. She was able to fight for justice. And she did it to honor Stargirl.

Throughout this fight and discussion, Supergirl keeps bringing up that Strange is a dictator who wants to wipe out anything different. She keeps asking Power Girl about her brief experience on Earth and how that clearly impacts her worldview.

But more importantly, Supergirl keeps talking about some day there will be a moment that will impact Power Girl more than any other, that will inspire her and inform her way of thinking about the world.

The Reaper and Lois have been tracking Supergirl and break into Strange's compound. The Reaper's 'act first, worry about consequences later' approach ends up cutting power to the place. As a result, Steve Trevor's cage, suspended high above the floor, is released and plummets.

Kara, with no powers, rushes to save him. This heroic act of selflessness impresses Power Girl enough that she saves Trevor. And then she knows what Supergirl has been talking about all this time. She won't work for Strange. She'll join the bombshells.

It is a nice showcase for the inspiration of Kara as a hero.

Of course, this being Bombshells, Supergirl sees Lois and is immediately smitten.

But there is one last reveal.

Strange cloned a Superman. Power Girl loves this Superman, a pacifist and hardly the Aryan Ubermensch. It is this love and desire to protect Superman that nudged Power Girl to the light. And now, having dealt with these emotions (and maybe feeling some love again), Supergirl feels her powers returning. I'm glad that we got to see Supergirl both inspiring and inspired here.

I do hope that all these Bombshells in all these different parts of the globe are somehow united before this series ends. I hope we get a big send off just like that Battle of Britain issue was.

And I don't know if this still saves this book from picking up the next volume.

Overall grade: B


Anonymous said...

Leaving some weirdness and awkward dialogue aside, it was a good issue.

It was sad to see Supergirl saying she doesn't want to be her, but Kara getting through to Supergirl using words was nice.

And I loved how she said she didn't wrap up in her grief and she fought alongside Wonder Woman to protect people, even though no one knew about her heroic deeds... it sounds like a certain Midvale's guardian angel, doesn't it?

"Of course, this being Bombshells, Supergirl sees Lois and is immediately smitten."

I thought that it was Lois who was getting smitten in that panel.

So in alternate universes, women who usually are infatuated with Superman have a crush on Kara: Maxima, Lois... I wonder what it tells about Luthor wanting to keep a Supergirl around.

Anyway, I like seeing the two most important women in Superman's life...

... sharing panel time. Why can't we have more of that?

Not sure how I feel about Superman being a Supergirl clone. On the one hand, the irony is hilarious: in this universe Superman is literally a Supergirl with pants. On the other hand, I think it's overcomplicating the character's origin.

And how wonderful is that splash page where Superman, Supergirl and Power Girl fly together up, up and away...

It's a sight we haven't seen in a main universe in a long time, if ever.

garyb said...

I was seeing Lois and Kara mutually smitten.

Anonymous said...

There will be another Bombshell series starting in Aug. (digital issues),
Sept. (print issues) called Bombshells United set on the Home Front (the USA). A synopsis of the first issue says that Wonder Woman will help out Cassie Sandsmark and Donna Troy in the Southwest.

Anonymous said...

A lot of very bright and talented creatives have to work awfully late into the night to turn a sure fire crowd pleaser like a Supergirl-Powergirl fight into a dismal talkative self help exercise. Seriously I had to read the above review to realize Supergirl is still somehow powerless due to depression and survivors guilt.
This book botched almost everything, a female centric superverse, an alternate history of the WW2....too much dialogue, inane breaks into song (in a silent medium no less), an entirely too inflated sense of self regard and action that incite naught but boredom. Sorry I'm just not reading the same book as you guys, I'm hanging in there for Kara but just remember this is at the moment her only "team affiliation" and its a complete disaster....


Anj said...

Well JF, I certainly think this book reached a high point with the sacrifice of Stargirl and has been treading water since. As I have said, we are changing from a character driven book with an agenda to an agenda driven book with characters. And that doesn't always work.

I don't mind seeing Kara working through grief. I don't mind a riff on the JLU Galatea storyline with Power Girl.

But I don't think I am picking up the next volume.

Anonymous said...

First anonymous here. When I wrote: "Anyway, I like seeing the two most important women in Superman's life...", it was supposed to be followed with "(ignoring Lara and Martha's murderous glares)"

"I'm hanging in there for Kara but just remember this is at the moment her only "team affiliation" and its a complete disaster...."

I understand your feelings. Sadly this book has been a missed chance.

However, I don't know if it's canonical, but in the "Justice League vs Power Rangers" crossover, Supergirl is considered a JL reserve member.

Regardless of that I want her to be a JL and Legion member again. Is that too much ask for?