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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #45

Supergirl #45

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 23, 2009

Cover date: November 2009

"The Hunt for Reactron" - Part 2

Writer: Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inker: Jon Sibal

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Cat Grant and Morgan Edge talk about how Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird are menaces, and then cut to Paris where they're fighting with "Squad K". Lois watches and is angered by Cat's slandering.

Meanwhile, Kara & Co. have escaped Squad K. Lois lets Cat have a piece of her mind, but Cat and Morgan write it off as jealousy.

Lana has another nosebleed, and then discovers Kara's back and has brought Nightwing and Flamebird with her. They decide to try to get Lois' help in clearing their name and perhaps getting a confession from Reactron, and Lana and Chris leave to go find Lois.

General Lane reveals they set up Kara, Chris and Thara by framing them for Mon-El's death and ruining Metropolis' water supply, and is sending Reactron out to finish cleaning up the mess before their names can be cleared.

4Story - 4: I'm actually having a difficult time rating this issue. So much of it was exactly what I want to see out of this book, and have been waiting for years now to see, but there's a few issues that are nagging at me and I can't really ignore them. It may be me nitpicking, it may be me expecting too much, or it may be that this book has been so maligned for so long I've lost any semblance of what it should, could or will be.

The dialogue was much sharper than usual, much more riveting. There was also a whole lot more of it, which was especially noticeable after some recent issues. There's a LOT of info-dump going on here, but it's pulled off successfully enough that it feels like normal conversation.

The problem I have lies in Lois, who is now behaving exactly like the Lois Lane I've known and loved since I was a kid. The problem is this is incongruous with how she's been depicted in this very book for the past couple of issues... where she's been out of character and uncharacteristically harsh and unforgiving toward Kara's innocent mistake. Am I glad to see that Lois gone? Yes, absolutely, because that's not Lois at all to me (not even an angry, grieving Lois). But now that depiction is gone and are we to just forget how poorly she acted and was depicted previously? I'd like to, but I'd also rather not have to forget what's been presented to me as an important story point.

You could argue Lois went after Cat simply based on her journalistic integrity, which is fair, but even then she could have mentioned how she wasn't happy with Kara herself but would still never even dream of doing what Cat did. I don't know, is this nitpicking too much? I'm very particular about Lois, she's as vital to the mythos as Superman himself, and so an out-of-character Lois is one of the things I can't abide. Here she's 100% IN-character, but the past few months were not so... and so I'm not dinging the score for this issue so much as in failing to address or seemingly keep continuity with how Lois was acting before. Hell, if she even said she was overcome with grief or anger and was too harsh with Kara and apologized for it, I'd be golden. I'd still think she was out of character in the past books, but at least you could then see what they were trying to do.

The disparity in Lois from issue to issue is what bugs me.

I like that Lana called Kara "Linda", but we've seen Kara going by her human identity almost never, so that felt a little odd. If she's going to start thinking of her that way, we should probably be seeing a bit more of Linda.

Which brings me to my other issue... Kara still doesn't really have a life or personality. I know there's more of this crossover to go and it can't happen here, and that's fine, but it's been crossover right after crossover lately, and so... when IS the time? 45 issues and I still feel I don't know Kara as a person beyond "troubled teen".

But that also applies to just about every teenager ever. What sets her apart? Who is she as a person? I still feel I don't know and I've never known and it bugs me.

It probably seems as though I didn't enjoy this issue much, but that's not true at all. I enjoyed it quite a bit and I think it's one of the best we've had in a while. But this is a review and I'm supposed to analyze what I liked and didn't like, so that's what you got.

If we could maybe just finally learn more about Kara as a person and the book continues along at this quality (and Lois keeps being Lois), I see many 5s in its future.

5Art - 5: In my last review I complained about Cat Grant's clothing at the Daily Planet, and how drawing her like that actually impacted Perry White and the Daily Planet and it was pretty unacceptable to see that in what's supposed to be a respectable business. I also mentioned you could get the point across about Cat with her clothing while still keeping it believable and while still having some class.

And that's exactly what was done with her in THIS issue, and so I applaud that. Very well done.

I really enjoyed the art in this issue, actually. It was dynamic and exciting and fun. It felt like the artists were having fun, and that translated to the page.

I would like to give special mention to colorist Nei Ruffino who did some amazing work, and took the art here from a 4 to a 5. Colorists don't get enough credit at times, with so much emphasis placed on the penciller (and to a lesser extent the inker), and so I wanted to give special mention of what I believe was truly some of the best coloring I've seen in a comic. Incredible work.

2Cover Art - 2: A great book on the whole, brought down by another senseless cover. The image isn't terribly related to the issue at hand (the crosshairs are fine, but Kara's bloody fist and Thara's bloody face are a bit misleading) but, worst of all, Kara again looks like she's 12.

Yes, we know she's a teen. But she's not a PRE-teen and I for one would appreciate it if the covers would start depicting her as less a child and more of someone her age.

Actually, looking at it again, I can be clearer. Her body is fine, it's her FACE that looks like she's 12. Let's age her up a bit.


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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