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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #39

Supergirl #39

Scheduled to arrive in stores: March 18, 2009

Cover date: May 2009

"Who is Superwoman?" - Part 3: "Ticking Clocks"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle & Talent Caldwell
Inker: Jon Sibal & Talent Caldwell

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Superwoman fights Reactron in his girlfriend's apartment, and says her mission was to bring him back and make his girlfriend's death look accidental, and these orders were given by General Lane. Then she leaves with Reactron but not before exposing a gas line in the apartment and using her heat vision to ignite it, causing the apartment to explode.

Kara is flying around Metropolis looking for every Lori Murphy, knowing that when she finds the right one she'll find Reactron. She's also called Lana for help, as Lana is the only person she thinks she can trust. Kara finds the exploded apartment and knows it wasn't an accident, but is noticed before she can leave by something marked 7734-5.

Inspector Henderson, meanwhile, wishes he knew more about what happened to Agent Liberty and gets a call that may give him a lead.

Kara talks with Alura, who admonishes her for not capturing Reactron. Kara laments that it was Zor-El who died, and not her mother, and wonders why she can't do anything to please her.

Superwoman is given her new assignment at project 7734, and she and Reactron are now apparently going after Supergirl.

Kara goes to see Inspector Henderson, who shows her a photo they recovered of the last thing Agent Liberty saw before he died, and it's a photo of Superwoman using her heat-vision to kill Agent Liberty. Henderson wants to know why someone wearing the "S" would do that, and so does Major Lucy Lane. Lucy wants to know what's going on and why Superwoman is now flying over Metropolis.

Kara sees that Superwoman and Reactron are now working together and decides that means they're no longer friends, and plans to confront them.

3Story - 3: I'm still feeling a bit of a slump here. Things are moving along, but I'm not sure I really buy everything that's happening.

Superwoman is sent to apprehend Reactron and KILL his girlfriend, and then he just... works with her? With no protesting or no reason to do so at all? When she was just punching him in the face moments before?

That doesn't jive. The motivation doesn't work. Something has to move Reactron from point to point, and if that something exists in the story it's not shown here, and thus it doesn't work.

There was also a feeling of severe disjointedness in that the story is progressing just fine, but then suddenly Supergirl is going to meet Henderson completely out of the blue, explained by some throwaway line about Lois contacting Supergirl for Henderson. Huh? Where did this all come from? It felt like there were some pages missing and they tried to cover that up with a line that didn't really make sense.

There's also some bad dialogue issues, like on page 13 where Kara says, quote:

"A Kryptonian woman interfered and I missed the time frame he was to be found."

Huh? You don't find a time frame, and a time frame doesn't have gender. And if you posit that the word "in" was left off the end of the sentence, who actually says "I missed the time frame he was to be found in"?

Nobody, that's who.

You'd say "I didn't find him in time", or something similar. I don't understand what happened with that line at all, it's very confusing.

There's another issue on page 15, when Kara says, quote:

"Why couldn't he have killed her instead of father?"

Who talks about a dead parent and refers to them as "father" or "mother"? You might say "why couldn't he have killed her instead of MY father", but... just "father"? Used as a pronoun? In that instance? What is this, Victorian England? It just doesn't work. Nobody talks like that in a modern American setting, LEAST of all a teenage girl.

And why would Kara call Lana for help? She's a... TEEN GIRL. You're telling me she can't do a ten-second Google search for "Lori Murphy" on her own? And for that matter, how did Kara get the name of Reactron's girlfriend who insists she's not his girlfriend? Where did that information come from? How would she know that?

And why, on top of everything else, is she saying she can't go to Kal with her information in searching for Reactron? There's no reason, except that they didn't want (or couldn't have) Superman in the story. But the issue is it didn't even need to be addressed. She could have easily just called Lana and asked for help without having to, in the process, say that she didn't trust Kal, Tim Drake, Cassie Sandsmark, Lois Lane, or Martha Kent enough to talk to THEM about the issue... and if you look at her wording, that's exactly what she says.

The "ONLY human she can absolutely trust" is Lana Lang.



Thanks for nothing, Ma Kent! Thanks for nothing, Bruce Wayne! Thanks for nothing, Lois Lane!

And why does she trust Lana so implicitly anyway? There's no real reason.

It all just felt a little sloppy and disjointed, almost like the pieces were cobbled together from different places and forced together when they didn't fit, and the end result isn't a nice mosaic where the puzzle pieces make something greater than the sum of their parts, it's just a bit of a jumbled mess.

3Art - 3: The art's a little like the writing here, what with the artist change partway through. It was decent up until page 15, and then when Talent Caldwell took over it was... still decent.

It just felt really rushed at the end, though that's just my guess. Kara's face looked like she was a different person in every panel, which actually made me stop and study the image to see what was coming off as wrong to me about it, which in turn took me out of the story narrative and that's never a good thing.

2Cover Art - 2: I still believe no one cares, at all, about Reactron.

This cover only resembles him slightly, to me, and then they throw the reflection of Superwoman on top of that.

And once again, Kara plays second fiddle in her own book.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

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