Saturday, February 21, 2009

Review: Supergirl #38


We hit the halfway point of the 'Who is Superwoman?' arc in Supergirl #38, released last Wednesday. What was interesting about this issue was that we not only moved the Superwoman plot forward with a some mind-numbing reveals but we added a few new plot threads to the mix.

All that and an 'Origins and Omens' look at Supergirl with a few interesting peeks into the future.


Newsarama already showed us the first few pages with the mid-air brawl between Supergirl and Superwoman.

What I find compelling about this interaction is that Superwoman seems to have the best intentions in mind for Kara but is going about it the wrong way. Throughout the fight she just keeps telling Kara that she wants to return her to New Krypton because 'who knows what is happening there'.


The fight isn't very long with Superwoman getting the upper hand and knocking Kara unconscious. But not before Superwoman says 'I told you not to come back here. No matter what your mother said!' Kara recognizes the line as pretty much the conversation Thara had with her in Supergirl's room on New Krypton.

Could Superwoman be Thara?


But before Superwoman can return Kara to New Krypton, she is contacted by General Lane. She is ordered to dump Supergirl's body right there and pick up a 'stray dog'.

Superwoman follows the orders and dumps Kara into the ocean. Eventually we see Kara limp home to Lana's apartment, covered in bruises and clearly dazed.



We cut to Metropolis where Inspector Henderson is performing the autopsy on Agent Liberty in hopes of downloading the memories from his integrated super-suit. Before much can be done, Lucy Lane shows up with government orders to turn over Agent Liberty's corpse to the feds.

Lucy is curt and cold, pure military bravado.


But despite losing the body, it appears that Henderson's initial work might be fruitful. The suit's memory downloaded successfully.


Our tour of Metropolis continues as we see Cat Grant gleefully writing a story on the UN's decree that all Kryptonians outside of Superman are banned from Earth. Of course Cat is going to love this story. It means Kara is now banished.

Cat then gets a package from her 'tiniest fan.'


The package holds an old-fashioned appearing sock doll of Supergirl. Cat dismisses it and tosses it in the trash.

But there has to be more there. And Cat, given her history, should be wary of this package. While she might think this is a prank from Kara she should really be worried that it is from The Toyman. And what better visual cure for readers than the shot of Cat's desk in the first panel. There is a picture of her son who was murdered by The Toyman.

Maybe this (presumed) eventual storyline will be the way Kara helps Cat and lessens the venom between them.


Ahhh, but then the big reveal! Or is it a red herring?

The 'stray dog' Lane mentions is Reactron who has gone after his ex-wife. Superwoman breaks into the apartment and grabs him. Reactron opens his chest revealing his gold Kryptonite heart and blasts Superwoman assuming it will kill her.

She chuckles that it tickles and then says 'whoever said I was Kryptonian?'

Whoa!

Now I don't know what to think!

The clues have been mounting in my mind that the best fit for Superwoman is Thara. She is a bit more physically mature than Kara. Her hair is short enough that it could easily fit under a form-fitting cowl. She would know Kryptonese and would have these powers. She might not want to obey Alura but would wish that to be hidden so she could maintain her station. As a result, she could be blackmailed by Lane.

But she should be effected by Gold K, which she clearly is not. Maybe enough of her suit os lead lined to protect her?

But if Superwoman is not Kryptonian, who else fits the bill?

A Daxamite might, but we know it is a lead-lined uniform. Unlikely.

A robot?

Maxima? She actually fits. But I think she is dead. And she hasn't been see in this storyline and Igle recently said that the character is someone seen in the arc. And I think Maxima is Flamebird.

I doubt Superwoman is Lucy Lane. How would she have powers and know Kryptonese? Why would General Lane need to blackmail his obedient daughter?

My latest off the wall guess (and I guess I am still stuck on 'evil clone') would be a clone of Alura. What if the Kryptonite poisoning bolt that struck her included Black K. Remember Kara was subjected to multiple types of Kryptonite. Maybe the bolt effected her as Black K has done in the past and split off another Alura.

That might explain some of the contrary statements Alura has made. Some made by Alura A; others by Alura B. She would be a member of the family of El. She would want to protect Kara. She would hide out on New Krypton, staying in a dusty abandoned room. And maybe Black K clones aren't effected by Gold K somehow.

At this point, I don't know what to think. I guess that is the sign of a great mystery.

After that reveal we have a great 'Origins and Omens' story, written by Gates and drawn by Matthew Clark. The opening shows just how conflicted Kara is bewteen Earth and New Krypton. She has a nightmare where she is literally pulled apart by the people of the two worlds.

There is a great scene with Lana where Kara discusses just how alien New Krypton seems to her now. She doesn't think she fits in but feels obligated to stay with her mother. It shows just how mature Kara has become during her time on Earth. There is the old saying 'You can't go home again.'


Lana grabs her chest and spits up a small amount of blood but hides it from Kara. She tells her that Linda Lang should move home again.

Looks like Lana is sick and is going to need someone to help care for her. That might be the hook to have Kara move back to Earth. Of course, given the UN declaration, she will have to stay hidden. Can anyone say 'emergency secret weapon'?


But look at the visions shown in the Book of the Black Lanterns. Looks like we have a very intriguing year coming up.

1) Kara and Inspector Henderson back to back in battle formation.
2) Silver Banshee
3) Zod, Ursa, Non, and Alura
4) Superwoman and 3 hidden figures
5) Lana in a hospital bed, Kara watching over her
6) Kara kissing someone!

Looks like the Silver Banshee is going to be added to Supergirl's rogue's gallery. And a love interest? Who is that guy she is kissing? So interesting.

This issue felt like a set-up issue for the rest of the year but there were enough reveals to make the Superwoman storyline go from simmer to boil. I thought this issue was great.

Overall grade: A

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

How old is Mon El in this continuity? Maybe she is kissing him?

Just a starter thought...will post more later.

:D

John Feer

TalOs said...

Mon-El? Apparently a young man of around 25 i'd say.

As for Supergirl #38 itself, Man Sterling and Jamal are doing a real number on our girl's title! :D

However in having had said that I have the following 5 question in need of answering...

Q 1: How can Supergirl and Superwoman be on Earth when the official decree goes out that apart from Superman no other Kryptonians are accepted? Wouldn't this in turn mean that both of them would either be arrested or shot on sight even during their brawl?? :/

Q 2: How come Lois being the smart investigative reporter that she is isn't already mainly grilling Lucy over exactly who she's taking her orders from and who instigated Doomsday, Metallo and Reactron attacking the 100,000 Kryptonians including her husband and Supergirl during their negotiations on Earth? If she's apparently been given highest clearance to take back Agent Liberty's corpse then surely she'd know a heck of a lot more then she's telling. (Or not in this circumstance.)

Q 3: Now that the 'no Kryptonians on Earth except for Superman' decree has been put in to action just how the heck are they going to explain allowing Power Girl being the OTHER exception when she's frickin' Chairperson of the JSoA itself!? *Blinks*

Q 4: So if Superwoman supposedly ISN'T a Kryptonian then how is it that a prejudice which that Allura is hasn't picked up on this with all their hight tech New Kryptonian security and stuff along those lines? Are the people of "New Krypton" that stupid not to detect a NON Kryptonian amongst them??

and lastly...

Q 5: Why is Lana so open to having Kara as her "niece"/"Linda Lang" reside with her yet is more then willing at the same time not to be truthful with Kara about her sudden bad health? What? So as not to worry Kara? That's just stupid all together! So if Kara stays with Lana in the end you mean to tell me her Super senses won't be able to pick up on her being sick? Please. *Rolls eyes*

As for that "Origins and Omens" (not the other way around, Anj ;)) back up man that art was equally sweet as Jamal's and the story/hints of things yet to come in accordance to "Scar" have me unfortunately rolling my eyes at Silver Banshee returning YET AGAIN on top of Zod, Ursa and Non (which we've already seen Supergirl fight in Last Son arc) for I'd rather all new rouges being brought in rather then falling back to reusing the old ones yet again only with Superwoman apparently being Supergirl's newest edition, but that scene of Inspector Henderson and Supergirl did have me intrigued as well as seeing a supposed new love interest for Supergirl some time this year too.

Oh and Anj, I think you're totally right on that Toyman guess come that sock puppet doll of Supergirl.

Great, so apart from Reactron, Silver Banshee, General Zod, Ursa and Non as well as Superwoman AND Toyman Supergirl's not going to be going one on one with anybody new?? :/

Don't et me wrong y'all, for I truly do respect and love what Sterling and Jamal have brought to this title and am forever greatful in kindly being more then willing to do so but it's just that "Origns and Omens" bit regarding Supergirl that Scar was on about that has me somewhat a tad wee bit disappointed is all.

Anj said...

Thanks for the great post! Thanks so much for pointing out my backwards 'Omens and Origins'; it has since been corrected.

Q 3: Now that the 'no Kryptonians on Earth except for Superman' decree has been put in to action just how the heck are they going to explain allowing Power Girl being the OTHER exception when she's frickin' Chairperson of the JSoA itself!?

For some reason she just doesn't seem to be included in the super family, instead being more in the JSA family instead. I know she is Kryptonian. But she is Earth-2 Kryptonian. Maybe that is a loophole?


Q 4: So if Superwoman supposedly ISN'T a Kryptonian then how is it that a prejudice which that Allura is hasn't picked up on this with all their hight tech New Kryptonian security and stuff along those lines? Are the people of "New Krypton" that stupid not to detect a NON Kryptonian amongst them??

My guess is she *is* Kryptonian and that last panel reveal is a red herring that will be explained away. But I guess we shall see.


Q 5: Why is Lana so open to having Kara as her "niece"/"Linda Lang" reside with her yet is more then willing at the same time not to be truthful with Kara about her sudden bad health? What? So as not to worry Kara? That's just stupid all together!

Well, I can't comment on Kara's senses not picking up the illness. But maybe Lana doesn't know how sick she is herself.

But I also think that Lana realizes that Kara has enough on her own plate to deal with that adding concern for Lana would seem like piling on. I don't think that is stupid. I actually think it is kind of nice.

Great, so apart from Reactron, Silver Banshee, General Zod, Ursa and Non as well as Superwoman AND Toyman Supergirl's not going to be going one on one with anybody new??

The creative team might be more interested in using 'name' villains to being in and keep newer readers in the early parts of their run. I am sure we will see some new baddies eventually.

The part I did not like about that story was Scar labelling Supergirl a 'scared little girl'. My hope is that Scar is simply underestimating Kara.

Thanks again!

Gene said...

Man, this is the biggest mystery I have seen since "Who shot Mr. Burns?"

Q 1: How can Supergirl and Superwoman be on Earth when the official decree goes out that apart from Superman no other Kryptonians are accepted? Wouldn't this in turn mean that both of them would either be arrested or shot on sight even during their brawl?? :/

It was a UN resolution and how often are those stricly enforced? :P

Q 2: How come Lois being the smart investigative reporter that she is isn't already mainly grilling Lucy over exactly who she's taking her orders from and who instigated Doomsday, Metallo and Reactron attacking the 100,000 Kryptonians including her husband and Supergirl during their negotiations on Earth? If she's apparently been given highest clearance to take back Agent Liberty's corpse then surely she'd know a heck of a lot more then she's telling. (Or not in this circumstance.)

Perhaps Lois does not know that Lucy is involved with these black ops. How come Lois doesn't ask her dad what is going on? She should ask him who Superwoman is...

Q 5: Why is Lana so open to having Kara as her "niece"/"Linda Lang" reside with her yet is more then willing at the same time not to be truthful with Kara about her sudden bad health? What? So as not to worry Kara? That's just stupid all together! So if Kara stays with Lana in the end you mean to tell me her Super senses won't be able to pick up on her being sick? Please. *Rolls eyes*

I agree with Anj, perhaps Lana is too tough for her own good and is underestimating how ill she really is. Unless she is recovering from the mid air brawl she had with Supergirl earlier...

Jason said...

I think the "who said I'm a Kryptonian" comment is a red herring too. I think it's definitely the lead in her costume. Of course it would protect her from kryptonite and no one else (like Reactron) would have no way of knowing that.

Jamal Igle said...

Q 1: How can Supergirl and Superwoman be on Earth when the official decree goes out that apart from Superman no other Kryptonians are accepted? Wouldn't this in turn mean that both of them would either be arrested or shot on sight even during their brawl?? :/

the resolution was passed that day, you're also assuming someone saw them.

Q 2: How come Lois being the smart investigative reporter that she is isn't already mainly grilling Lucy over exactly who she's taking her orders from and who instigated Doomsday, Metallo and Reactron attacking the 100,000 Kryptonians including her husband and Supergirl during their negotiations on Earth? If she's apparently been given highest clearance to take back Agent Liberty's corpse then surely she'd know a heck of a lot more then she's telling. (Or not in this circumstance.)

Lois and Lucy aren't on speaking terms. She doesn't know where Lucy is stationed, what unit she's with or that their father is even alive.

Q 3: Now that the 'no Kryptonians on Earth except for Superman' decree has been put in to action just how the heck are they going to explain allowing Power Girl being the OTHER exception when she's frickin' Chairperson of the JSoA itself!? *Blinks*

Will be resolved in JSA

Q 4: So if Superwoman supposedly ISN'T a Kryptonian then how is it that a prejudice which that Allura is hasn't picked up on this with all their hight tech New Kryptonian security and stuff along those lines? Are the people of "New Krypton" that stupid not to detect a NON Kryptonian amongst them??

dum dum dum, I wonder how they haven't picked up on that hmmm?

and lastly...

Q 5: Why is Lana so open to having Kara as her "niece"/"Linda Lang" reside with her yet is more then willing at the same time not to be truthful with Kara about her sudden bad health? What? So as not to worry Kara? That's just stupid all together! So if Kara stays with Lana in the end you mean to tell me her Super senses won't be able to pick up on her being sick? Please. *Rolls eyes*

Kara has the ablity but doesn't know what to look for. She wouldn't know.

TalOs said...

OMG, Jamal! Hi bro! :D

Jamal said...
A 1: the resolution was passed that day, you're also assuming someone saw them.

You're absolutely correct in making that observation about my motivation in wanting to post that question itself actually. Thank you for answering it.

A 2: Lois and Lucy aren't on speaking terms. She doesn't know where Lucy is stationed, what unit she's with or that their father is even alive.

I knew of the last but I had absolutely no idea they weren't still speaking after their last run in at their father's grave or the fact that Lois had no clue where to find her sister stationed at though.

A 3: Will be resolved in JSA Kewl! Thanks! :D

A 4: dum dum dum, I wonder how they haven't picked up on that hmmm?

Because she IS a Kryptonian after all? So I gather that fans theories about her wearing a lead lined super-suit could be the exact reason for Reactron's Gold K blast not affecting her after all. :/

and lastly...

A 5: Kara has the ablity but doesn't know what to look for. She wouldn't know.

Which actually makes sense when you put it like that.

Sincere thanks for taking time out of your ever hectic schedule in wanting to answer these 5 questions personally, mate! It's truly appreciative that you have! 8D

And I also apologize if these questions of mine made seemed in any way meant in a mean or down putting way to either you or Sterling for please I only ask that you believe me when I say that that truly wasn't my intention at all at the end of the day.

Nikki said...

Is Lana living with Kara in her apartment now? I'm not sure I like that. Secret ID is one thing but it seems like parental supervision.

Yota said...

...I'm lost here.

I don't think it's Lana or Lucy, and I don't think the "who said I'm a Kryptonian" thing was red herring; a lead-lined costume wouldn't be enough to shield her from any type of K, but especially from the blast, which was given with enough force to otherwise tear through flesh and bone. Plus, is it such a concentrated blast that there's no radiative gold K energy?

Yeah, I'm a science kid; I think about these things, very well through.

--Yota

Anj said...

Q 4: So if Superwoman supposedly ISN'T a Kryptonian then how is it that a prejudice which that Allura is hasn't picked up on this with all their hight tech New Kryptonian security and stuff along those lines? Are the people of "New Krypton" that stupid not to detect a NON Kryptonian amongst them??

dum dum dum, I wonder how they haven't picked up on that hmmm?


Well, I can't thank Jamal Igle enough for posting and giving us his two cents. Thanks a million!

But this answer only messed up my brains more. Is this confirming that Superwoman isn't Kryptonian??

Anj said...

Is Lana living with Kara in her apartment now? I'm not sure I like that. Secret ID is one thing but it seems like parental supervision.

I think of their relationship as more mentor/mentee.

But I also think this shows some realism. How could a 16yr old girl live alone, pay the bills, etc?

It was one of the things I didn't like pre-Linda Lang. Who were Kara's bills addressed to? Supergirl? Kara Zor-El? What was the name on her bank account?

The secret identity at least makes real life a bit easier to explain.

Anj said...

a lead-lined costume wouldn't be enough to shield her from any type of K, but especially from the blast, which was given with enough force to otherwise tear through flesh and bone. Plus, is it such a concentrated blast that there's no radiative gold K energy?

Thanks for the post.

I will post the panels tomorrow. But I think the blast is just plain-old Reactron stellar power. I think the Gold K is actually in his chest (like Metallo) and it is the radiation from the Gold K that weakens Kryptonians. They show him open his chest window revealing the rock.

Jason said...

Haha...I understand science...but this is comics. Otherwise I'd be with you on that. But haven't we seen in the comics and in the cartoons Superman use lead-lined suits in situations where he knew he'd be exposed to Kryptonite?

Nikki said...

I was under the assumption that the bills went to Bruce Wayne. Remember he has a trust fund for Kara. With the sale of the Kryptonian tech I would think he added the money to that and released a percentage for debit bills.