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Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #4

Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #4

Scheduled to arrive in stores: December 24, 2008

Cover date: Late February 2009

"Maelstrom" - Part 4

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Penciller: Phil Noto
Inker: Phil Noto

Michael Bailey Reviewed by: Michael Bailey

Click to enlarge

Supergirl is given an antidote for the poison that is killing Superman and nurses him back to health. While searching for food she ends up in a fight with an alien squid type creature and Superman and Supergirl talk some more about their feelings while eating her conquest. Meanwhile Maelstrom and the Female Furies attack Metropolis. Supergirl and Superman finally get the ship working again and fly home as Maelstrom stands in the streets of Metropolis demanding to know where Superman is.

1Story - 1: You know it just hit me that in two separate comic book stories this month a de-powered Superman got shot in the chest as a cliffhanger ending. I realize that this story and "SuperBat" over in SUPERMAN/BATMAN were probably written at two different times and they have two different editors but still. That's kind of sloppy when you think about it.

Is this a new clich then? Superman has no powers so we shoot him in the chest with... something to serve as the dramatic ending to an issue? Man I hope not.

In any case this issue did nothing to make me like the story anymore or think it is anything less than a complete waste of time. There was no dramatic tension whatsoever. The poison dart Superman got shot with? That was resolved on page two. They strung it along for several pages after that but the aliens gave up the antidote pretty quick. Superman and Supergirl had the same conversation they've been having since issue one. The action was extremely pedestrian with Supergirl fighting a flying alien squid thing.

The characterization was rather awful too. The whole thing with Supergirl telling her cousin that she went down a cup size made me... uncomfortable. It just didn't make any sense. It struck me as two male writers in their late thirties trying to write a teenage girl in a hip and fresh way and failing miserably. It just didn't ring true. And the talk she and Superman have later? That whole conversation was bad. The Aquaman bit felt forced, like the writers were trying to be witty and just couldn't get it going.


I didn't even care about Maelstrom and the Female Furies tearing up Metropolis. It just didn't matter to me. This story started out halfway decent and has just meandered into boring. Worst of all this series just doesn't matter. At all. It doesn't make a lick of difference because there are no lasting consequences. With the way SUPERGIRL has gone as a title and the events of "New Krypton" this story is a year too late. I am curious as to why DC published it in the first place.

Only one more issue to go. That's what I keep telling myself. One more issue to go.

4Art - 4: I still like Noto's art, though. He is a solid storyteller and his take on Kara gave the character the vulnerability the writers were trying to pull off.

Still don't like his Superman, though. There isn't much that can change that I'm afraid.

3Cover Art - 3: Maelstrom just looks weird on this cover. Everything else is kind of average but the way Maelstrom is drawn is throwing me. This is my least favorite cover of the series so far.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2009

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