Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Bullet Review: Crime Syndicate #6

Crime Syndicate #6 came out last week, the end of a very interesting and new take on Earth 3. I came to this mini-series on the recommendations of friends. I leave this mini-series greatly saddened.


Because it seems that Supergirl fans can't really catch a break.

You might remember that last issue, Ultragirl was introduced. I was thrilled because this was a heroic Supergirl analogue, fierce and almost overly exuberant in her pursuit of goodness. In fact, I found it odd that she would be so good on a world where the heroes were evil. Did that mean something? (Writer Andy Schmidt said it didn't.)

In a world where the main Supergirl became a pawn of the Batman Who Laughs, then disappeared, and now is sullen, drunk, and sleepy as the supporting character in her own book, I was delighted to see a heroic Supergirl somewhere, even if it was Earth 3.

But Supergirl aren't supposed to be happy it seems. Because all that comes to an end rather abruptly.

I really liked this mini-series. I did. Schmidt created a world that wasn't as simple as 'evil is good and good is evil'. This was a place where the entire world seems gray, most people being closer to the evil side of the midline. And Kieran McKeown definitely put a great artistic feel to the place. Heck, even the overall story is great ...

Except for the Ultragirl part.

Read on...

We start with a pretty cool image.

Atomica is surfing Jonny Quick's coffin down to Earth.

She talks about how she might be the tiniest super-being in the mix but she ultimately is the most important.

Great eye-grabbing opening splash.

Atomica knows that the real exciting thing to watch is the Ultraman and Ultragirl battle. 

And it is a brawl.

Okay, maybe this Ultragirl is a paragon of goodness. She talks openly about killing Ultraman, putting him down. 

As interesting is Ultraman who is thrilled to see another survivor. So much he wants to protect her.

I love when Supergirl has an edge to her, a sort of fierce response to injustice. And we get it here. That first panel of her bathed in shadow shows she is in a dark place, revealed and fighting her cousin's way.

I couldn't help but get a whiff of Silver Age in this Ultraman response. He keeps talking of protecting her (specifically from the rest of the Crime Syndicate). It reminded me of when Superman put the original Supergirl in an orphanage to let her learn about her powers and protect her.

But she wants no part of it.

Meanwhile, we see that no one is really good on this Earth.

Green Lantern fought with the Justice Rebellion but backstabs his heroic friend Thaal (Sinestro) to rejoin the Crime Syndicate. 

Gray upon gray.

Except Supergirl who is undaunted and unbowed.

Now I suppose I should have seen the writing on the wall when she said she'd rather die than join Ultraman.

Great first panel though. You can feel that punch in the jaw.

While Lex stands around trying to convince Kara to stand down, the rest of the Crime Syndicate shows up.

But even Ultragirl and Power Ring can't seem to slow her down. She is almost in berserker model, struggling against the bonds they hold her in.

This is a very powerful Kara, sworn to do good.

So, of course, she is killed off.

Atomica said she would be important. We see her crawling from Kara's ear. Atomica shrunk down, into Kara's brain, and stomped around killing Kara.

Unbelievably sad.

The heroic Kara, a shining light on this dark Earth 3 world, would have been the main hero here. 

A couple of things.

One, this death reminds me very much of Identity Crisis. I really don't want to be reminded of Identity Crisis ... ever.

Two, I suppose if the Atom killed Darkseid in Rock of Ages this way, I guess it is feasible. 

Three, how sad is it that this character, just introduced and a great foil for almost everyone on the world, was killed off in an issue. It is such a bummer. There was a lot of potential in this Supergirl. She definitely felt more classic, as strange as it sounds. 

But instead she is killed off.


With Kara dead and the heroes scattered, the Crime Syndicate regroups and grabs the satellite.

I do like how Ultraman continues to nurse a grudge over Kara's death. He was already self-destructive. Now he might take on his own teammates.

At least he has some remorse over her death.

And despite some nuggets of things which could come to pass if a sequel happens (Despero finding Sinestro's yellow ring??), this issue wraps up quick. 

People are going to fly right on Earth 3 or the Crime Syndicate members will crush people. 

I will give this mini-series a b overall. I thought it was very interesting. I like how this was a new take on this team and this world. 

And I don't know if the death of Ultragirl would bother me so much if it weren't for the depressing take on the main version right now. But I am still mourning a bit.

I do recommend this comic to everyone.

Overall grade: B-


Anonymous said...

Supergirl either dies young or grows old enough to get a writer that destroys her character. I prefer the former. I'll check this one out and see if I like it.

Thank you for the review.

Anonymous said...

I guess the Crime Syndicate Ultragirl's innards aren't all that tough, you'd think a microscopic Terran wouldn't be able to do much damage to her, and would likely incur some damage to themselves in the attempt?
Ah but I have the mind of a silver age Letterhack don't I?
I think it would prove instruction to start a list of all the DCU writers who couldn't get their particular magnum opus done with killing off Supergirl or one of her multiversal doppelgangers....its starting to get long, Marv Wolfman, John Byrne (Superman/Batman "Generations", I think she gets snuffed three different times), Andy Schmidt...any others? Because we are see this again and again, DC Comics can be conceptualized as Bully who having " gotten away with it" in COIE #7 thinks it can casually and cruelly escalate without consequence.
Ah but I repeat myself...
Let me leave off with one more question: How come Powergirl never seems to come in for any homicidal use in the DCU? Nobody ever seems to wanna send her for the Terminal Dirt Nap...I begin to think she has no fanbase to speak of, that DC delights in bullying, teasing and tormenting I mean.
I am reminded of an instructive scene in "Little Big Man", the Cheyenne Camp is attacked by the Cavalry, women and children are being slain the tribe is being decimated brutally...Dustin Hoffman's Jack Crabb asks his Foster Father "Old Lodgeskins" "Do you hate them now??!!"

And yet, better times are coming, I know not when, but they begin by liberating ourselves from the mental status of hostages to DC's goodwill...


Anonymous said...

Wait, Ultragirl is in this entirely to be killed to generate Ultraman’s angst and anguish? This is literally a fridging in the Kyle Rayner sense other than we didn’t have her around long enough for it to be very meaningful to the reader.

And yes, invulnerability, like kryptonite, works however the plot needs it to.

Anonymous said...

Yup, "fridging...Who Fridged Ultra-Girl"? Great Title IMHO, could a great graphic novel too :) DC will never publish it of course.


Martin Gray said...

‘You can be my secret weapon while I train you in the use of your powers. I shall place you in a fridge…’

I wasn’t as upset as you, Anj. I suppose I just didn’t expect her to become an important character… but there’s always the chance she can come back. Superman did.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah this is DC Comics she'll come back in 19 years when DC gets tired of trying to hype Power Girl in her stead.



Anj said...

Thanks for all the comments. Yes, this seems like she was a plot device to spur Ultraman along.

I suppose Mart that part of my response was in the context of everything else happening to Supergirl currently.

Ultragirl was a force for good. And then killed.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, this seems like she was a plot device to spur Ultraman along. Ultragirl was a force for good. And then killed."

If you think that's bad, you should see the public's opinion on what Supergirl is :

Martin Gray said...

Well, it’s not ‘the public’, it’s one YouTuber.

Anonymous said...

Yeah its Youtube big whoop, I have a podcast on Youtube that the combined efforts of the FBI, NSA, Putin's hack squad and the Illuminati couldn't find....


Anonymous said...

True that, but it only takes so long for the youtube comments to reflect the "one youtuber". I'm saying this because sadly, as time passes it seems that it's mostly the people who hang around here that remember who Kara was and what she used to stand for, instead of what she's currently.

Anonymous said...

Not trying to start anything, just echoing what Anj said a while ago about how the public also perceives Kara, thanks to DC's "amazing" plans for her, the Tom King mini story and of course how they tried to tackle her in media that not many are privy too, with the big ones(like the big cinema releases back then) being the main focus and thanks to either good or bad luck we mostly avoided that. Could you imagine Kara in Batman V Superman? Snyder's Supergirl? Not that she'd veer far off from King's...

Anonymous said...

I happen to be one of those Youtube nobodies thank you very much....

I wonder what the pitches look like for "The New Supergirl"? :)