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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #38

Supergirl #38

Scheduled to arrive in stores: February 18, 2009

Cover date: April 2009

"Who is Superwoman?" - Part 2: "Clashes"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inker: Keith Champagne

"Origins & Omens: Supergirl"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Artist: Matthew Clark

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Superwoman hits Kara to try to make her go home. Supergirl pretends she'll return to New Krypton with her, and then hits her from behind instead. Kara tries to go back to Metropolis, is somehow frozen, and then breaks out. They fight and fall into the water, Kara calls Superwoman "Thara", and Superwoman is then ordered to leave Kara alone and go chase someone else.

In the hospital, Inspector Henderson is trying to cut Agent Liberty out of his uniform, but is stopped by Major Lucy Lane, who says Agent Liberty was Secret Service and takes his body away.

Cat Grant says the United Nations has banned all Kryptonians from Earth, except for Superman, and then gets a package, which turns out to be an odd-looking Supergirl doll.

Lana is talking to Martha on the phone, and a groggy Kara arrives.

Reactron is abusing a woman when Superwoman arrives to take him away, but he's got gold kryptonite... which has no effect on Superwoman, who claims she never said she was Kryptonian.

"Origins & Omens: Supergirl"

Wounded Kara talks to Lana about how New Krypton doesn't feel like home, and how Kryptonians behave and react different from humans. Lana offers to let Kara stay with her, making another reference to "Linda Lang", then coughs up blood and tries to hide it.

Kara will apparently have to choose between her two worlds, or try to unite them, and her enemies are mobilizing and she'll be revealed to be a scared little girl.

3Main Story - 3: This was a definite slump after the past couple of issues. There wasn't much going on for Kara at all... she got hit a few times and fell into the water and that about sums it up. There were plenty of little scenes to move along all the subplots (Agent Liberty, Inspector Henderson, Cat Grant) but almost nothing at all having to do with Supergirl. The only thing of real relevance that happened this issue was Superwoman's revelation that she's not Kryptonian, though why she'd tell that to a guy she was pummeling doesn't exactly make sense.

There was also an overuse of names in dialogue, which gets incredibly noticeable and grating when it happens twice in the same panel. Look at the panel where Lana is talking to Martha on the phone... she calls her "Martha" twice in what would be the span of about ten seconds, and people just don't talk like that.

Regardless, it's still head and shoulders above where the book used to be, but I can't keep saying that forever. This book needs to stand on its own now, and while not terrible by any means, it certainly lacked any good character moments or even a narrative thread to run through the subplot scenes.

This book didn't tell a story, it was just a bunch of stuff that happened, and while I know there are bigger stories running through multiple books that have to be moved along, it could all still be tied together a little better.

I hope they build up the Superwoman story further, if they want me to care who she is when they finally reveal it, and I hope that (and Agent Liberty) somehow actually relate to Kara.

4Main Art - 4: It started off strong, with the splash page, but it seemed to degrade in quality over the course of the issue (hitting a low point with Cat Grant, who looked rather horrible). I'd have given this a 3.5, but since I can't, I just rounded it up.

3Back-Up Story - 3: I don't really know how to rate this, it was four pages long and not a story at all, just a... DOOM AND GLOOM AWAITS YOU, KARA ZOR-EL! So I'll just toss the rating right in the middle of the road and call it good.

Don't know what's up with Lana and the blood, but trying to hide it behind your back when talking to a Kryptonian? Really?

Lana would know better.

And we have the same names-in-dialogue problem again here, where Lana calls Kara by her name twice... in one panel! Who does that??

All I can think of is they're setting this up as an annoying Lana trait.

*phone dials*

Hi, Lana! Why do you use everyone's names when you talk to them so much, Lana? Oh Lana, you're so crazy!


5Back-Up Art - 5: Rocked my face off. Beautiful. Wonderful. Good. Faboo.

3Cover Art - 3: I do not get this cover. At. All.

Supergirl's pose makes no sense.

Superwoman looks younger than Kara and, to wit, like she's about 12 years old.

The coloring is indescribably odd and everything looks... flat, like there's no contours and this is not a three-dimensional image. The way the shading is, it feels like the lighting on a cardboard cutout of Supergirl and not the lighting on a person, if that makes sense. I don't know, it's weird and just... flat.

And Super-twelve-year-old-woman is kind of creepy.

But hey, kids, check out Kara Zor-El, now with Judo-chop Action!

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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