Saturday, December 4, 2010

Back Issue Box: Supergirl #52 - Supergirl And Riot Part 2

Today I am reviewing Supergirl #52, the second part of Supergilr (Linda Danvers) scuffle with Riot, a recent villain the current Supergirl fought. I reviewed part one yesterday.

To recap, a recently depowered Supergirl is in Metropolis to let Superman know she is alive. Unfortunately, before she can find him, she runs into Riot and the Prankster. Unsure of her powers, she faces off against these foes.

I have to say rereading these issues, I remember why I loved this series so much. Because it clearly was as much about character growth as it was super-strength.

And much like the Gates/Igle team, the David/Kirk team was a steadying force, a constant.

Despite the fact that Riots are swarming Metropolis, it turn out the original is still in the asylum/prison he was being held in.

And he seems to be taking great satisfaction from abusing his therapist ... physically and mentally. I always thought Riot was more of a goofy character so this level of malevolence made me look at him in a new light. He is pretty creepy.

Back in Metropolis, Supergirl thinks she has run into Steel.

It turns out it's the Prankster operating inside the armor. And he wallops Supergirl with a spring-loaded boxing glove inside a mock-up of Steel's hammer. Ridiculous. But amusing.

The blow sends Supergirl crashing into a nearby building. There, the people don't believe that she is THE Supergirl. Remember, Supergirl is supposed to be dead.

And Linda isn't as tall .... or as busty ... as the Earth Angel Supergirl. I love Linda can't believe she has to defend her cup size to the public. You can feel her sense of indignation. It is a funny little running gag that ran through these earliest issues of this arc.

Riot is working with the Prankster and follows Supergirl into the building and decides it is time to attack.

I love this panel. Supergirl looks just beset by this wave of Riots jumping on her.

It is clear that this Supergirl doesn't have bike shorts. But it was never an issue since there weren't many prurient up-skirt shots. And it is explained that the blond wig is somehow telekinetically attached to Linda's head so it cannot be removed.

I do think that occasionally Peter David tries a little too hard to inject humor into his dialogue. He walks a fine line between what is enough and what is too much. In this issue, it felt like he was trying a little too hard. Riot's dialogue seems forced ... or scripted ... not natural.

Pinned under a mountain of Riots, Supergirl hoists them all and throws them and her into the building's vault.

In an act of quick thinking, she slams the door trapping everyone within and then hits the fire-retardant system. The safe floods with carbon dioxide, in essence suffocating the riots into unconsciousness.

Unfortunately, Supergirl doesn't know her own powers yet. She doesn't have the strength to rip the door off the hinges. Nor does she have the lungs to hold her breath indefinitely. She is about to lose consciousness when the Prankster opens the door to free Riot. Better to be lucky than good, I always say.

She and the Prankster battle out into the flooded streets where Linda hopes to defeat the armored villain by electrocuting him. While it does some damage, the Prankster is still up and is now angry.

Before he can resume his attack, he is chased off by some Team Luthor troops.

And so Supergirl is reunited with Luthor before she is with Superman. Lex doesn't recognize her as the Supergirl he romanced and assumes she is someone trying to pick up the Girl of Steel's mantle.

Linda really has nothing but contempt for Luthor but plays it coy.

After a little investigating, Supergirl realizes that Riot has never been reported as being missing from his prison. Deciding to investigate, she runs into him about to murder his psychiatrist.

Riot is somewhat difficult to defeat. You can't hit him without creating more dupes. Again, showing how smart she is, Supergirl takes a different path. She wraps him up in a sheet and holds him underwater until he gets knocked out. While the end result is perfect, it is interesting that she, in essence, drowns him to win. If he remains underwater a little bit longer, he might be dead.

Just as Riot is choked out, who shows up but Superman.

What a great ending panel. The Matrix/Linda Supergirl had really become family for Superman. You can see how much they mean too each other. This really just conveyed the affection that Superman and Supergirl have for each other. I am sure he might describe Linda as being as close as a cousin.  Her smile and expression are just perfect.

I think I have talked enough about this series for people to know that I loved it. I hadn't read these issues in a while and enjoyed them more than I figured I would. The whole concept of Supergirl having 'died' and needing to convince people she has truly returned was a nice little thread.

And it was also fun to see Linda explore her new power limitation and use her brains to defeat the villains.

And Leonard Kirk really did a great job here, showing us that this was Linda in a costume, a normally-proportioned young woman fighting for what's right.

These are nice little issues and good opening exploration of the new arc this title was building.

Overall grade: B/B+

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