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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #14

Supergirl #14

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 7, 2007

Cover date: April 2007

Writer: Joe Kelly
Penciller: Ian Churchill
Inker: Norm Rapmund


Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Boomer is lamenting to a dark-haired woman (who I'm later led to believe is Cassandra Cain but could easily be Kara with shorter, black hair) how Kara's not called him for weeks, not even to say that it's over. Cut to Kara and Powerboy beating up some thugs sent to kill Kara and flirting and kissing and tee hee hee.

Kara decides she's going to find out who's sending these people to kill her and leaves Powerboy with her cat (whose name is finally revealed: Streaky). She dons a costume that's something of a nod to the Linda Danvers Supergirl... and then puts a leather fringe jacket over it and seems to be wearing cowboy boots because... she... likes Toby Keith? Who knows. After she leaves, her answering machine picks up a call from Boomer saying he "messed up bad".

She goes to see Robin... instead of Batman because... she... likes guys in red? Who knows. She discovers that the people being sent to kill her are from the League of Assassins, and has more flashbacks to Krypton of her father telling her she's special and showing her a... glowing orb.

Supergirl arrives at the League of Assassins headquarters and is immediately attacked by the leader, Cassandra Cain (once and possibly current Batgirl), who is wielding twin swords that emit red solar radiation and cut into Kara quite easily. Cassandra is also wearing her Batgirl costume because of a contrived reason that really doesn't make any sense but helps to force another flashback and makes for a cooler cover.

During their battle Kara sees Boomer there, tied up and looking as if he's been tortured. Cassandra is about to kill Supergirl as Kara flashes back to Krypton and her father saying how special she is as she touches the... glowing orb, and suddenly jagged crystals spurt out in a little mound from Kara's stomach (where she was cut by the red sunlight swords) and a line of long, crystal blades shoot out from her back, stabbing through Cassandra who falls backward to the floor in a puddle of blood.

Cut to an airplane hangar somewhere in the desert where Powerboy apparently lives with his bulldog. He gets a call from Kara begging for help, and he apparently has a wall plastered with photos of Kara and calls her his "special girl".

3Story - 3: Oh, it's "special" all right.

Within the framework of the last two issues (including this one), there's continuity kept. Boomer is lamenting hearing nothing from Supergirl, who is still inexplicably smitten with Powerboy. Supergirl goes to confront the League of Assassins, so at least we know who's trying to kill her... but we don't know who hired them, other than it's a woman with long hair and slightly thorny shoulders. But there's at least movement on those stories.

The constant flashbacks are still tiresome though, and the ones in this issue were only there to serve as justification for her new "I can jut crystals from my body and stab stab stab you, aha!" power.

Sadly, that power is nothing but a deus ex machina ending to her confrontation with Cassandra Cain. The power may show up again and may play a big part in stories to come, I have no way to know. But here's where my biggest beef with this issue comes in:

Cassandra was using swords that emit red sunlight radiation. Ignoring for a moment how silly that concept seems to me or how cool the swords looked (even if they were something of a lightsaber rip-off), the red sunlight negates all of Kara's powers. She fares terribly in the fight and we never see her use a single power and, in fact, she gets cut up by the swords.

So if she has no powers, how is it crystals are randomly shooting out from her back for no reason whatsoever?

I also don't like the fact that anything that emits red sunlight now pretty much acts exactly the same as Kryptonite. Instant power removal, and if you couple that with a weapon, like a sword, you have what is in essence yet another form of kryptonite in a universe which already has something like five different types.

Clearly the League of Assassins is resourceful. Why not just go with kryptonite swords? Or, since she was/is/might be Batgirl, a kryptonite Batarang? As an assassin, it seems to me you'd want to go with something incredibly lethal to the person you're trying to kill, as opposed to something that just makes them "less super".

But then I've never been hired to kill anyone, so my judgment on this matter is suspect.

Some story movement, which is good, but still no character development. More redundant flashbacks and a contrived ending to the fight and a new power out of the blue (under circumstances where Kara should be powerless) leaves me staggeringly underwhelmed, however.

3Art - 3: Actually, I think this was a little better than Churchill's average fare.

Batgirl's appearance on the bottom of page 11 was nicely done, and credit where it's due, the splash on pages 18-19 was exceptional. I may dislike the appearance of a seemingly meaningless new power under circumstances where Kara should have no powers as a deus ex resolution to a fight Supergirl otherwise couldn't win, but... that's some nice art.

That splash alone might have been enough to rate this book a 4, but then Supergirl's "cowgirl" outfit makes me have to bring it back down.

I'm sorry, but... what the heck was that!

4Cover Art - 4: No idea who did this cover. S.R? Who's that? No clue. But it's a helluva cover.

The scene doesn't actually happen in the issue, though I can't fault it for that because this scene is actually far cooler than what does happen in the issue. They're fighting in the sky! During a storm! And... a kryptonite Batarang?

That's better than "red sunlight radiation emitting swords" by the leap of a tall building in a single bound.

S.R, whoever you are, you had the right idea. I'm totally down with this cover.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2007

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