Finally, a book with a lady in it without any controversy. Although, some might call those boots a little controversial. Come on, Kara, is exposing your knees really all that becoming of the last daughter of Krypton?
Supergirl makes her first appearance as part of the New 52 and it’s relatively run of the mill. Kara crash lands on Earth, doesn’t know where she is or how she got there, fights some stuff that tries to kill her, realizes she has powers and the big, blue boy scout shows up to calm her down. I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book but I didn’t really get all that much. It’s obvious that DC is casting the rest of the Super family in a much more alien light. On one hand, this might be in an effort to have a sort of family-centric events down the line that forces Clark to choose between his Kryptonian heritage or his adopted home on Earth. On the other hand, this might have just been a weak issue that had the sole purpose of making the Superman connection in the first place. I’m going with the latter.
Michael Green and Mike Johnson write a really okay comic book. I mean, Supergirl wasn’t in particularly high demand before and that remains the case. But you could definitely hand this comic to someone who’s never read a comic before and they’d probably have a positive reaction to it. Unfortunately, the lack of other characters besides Kara forces the writers to lean heavily on expository thought captions that for the most part, don’t do anything to enhance the art. It’s easily understood that Kara is coming to terms with this strange, new world that she’s found herself on. Green and Johnson’s attempts to characterize her through the captioning comes off forced and fake. They could’ve probably done without half of them and the book would be about the same or better. Instead of taking advantage of a visual medium, they try to explain things or tease readers with vague details while nothing important happens on the actual panels. A damn shame considering their art team.
In fact, the only thing that really makes this book stand up is the art. Mahmud Asrar draws a fun and generally realistic Supergirl. She seems to be the only female in the relaunch with an effective, new look (besides Wonder Woman). By ditching the short skirt and adopting a more regal style overall, we get a better sense that Kara is an alien. Asrar manages to draw her without all of the ridiculous sexy posing that usually pollutes comics starring ladies. While most of the comic is a battle and Asrar excels at providing captivating fight sequences, his biggest strength comes during the in-between bits. The page where Kara finds out about her heat vision is breathtaking because it slows the whole book down and the close crop on her eyes allows for the script’s thought captions to actually take some effect. Overall, Asrar displays an incredible understanding of fluid motion and keeping Kara’s body language and facial expressions to that of someone who is lost and trying to defend themselves. Meanwhile, he is also able to showcase her different powers without any one of them taking over too much page time.
While the script is not spectacular and doesn’t really do a compelling job of introducing Kara to new or old readers, the art gives Supergirl fans something to look forward to. Supergirl is typically a fun character. Hopefully, this issue only represents some growing pains for the writers and they can get Kara back to that place. Johnson and Green clearly have some grasp of what can make Kara work but this outing is a bit of a casualty of too much telling and not enough showing.
WRITING: 1 / ART: 4 / OVERALL: 2.5