ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #1 (Digital) [Review]

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ADVENTURES OF SUPERGIRL #1 (Digital Edition)/ Written by STERLING GATES/ Art by BENGAL/ Letters by SAIDA TEMOFONTE/ Published by DC COMICS

The planet Krypton was doomed. In an effort to save their culture and their families, two brothers from the House of El constructed rockets to launch their children – infant Kal-El and tween Kara Zor-El – into deep space. Their goal – Earth!

Backward by Kryptonian standards, the scientists still chose Earth for two reasons. First, the inhabitants greatly resembled their own species and their children would be able to blend in. And the radiation of Earth’s yellow sun would give their children spectacular powers beyond those of mere mortals.

Something went wrong with the plan, however, and Kara’s rocket passed out of normal space. She would languish there for over two decades before her capsule broke free and delivered her to Earth. It was there that she discovered that baby Kal-El had arrived before her and grown to become Earth’s greatest champion, Superman.

For the next 12 years, Kara tried to blend in and live a normal life under the watchful eye of The Danvers – two scientists Superman had befriended, who had a daughter, Alex, who was a little older than Kara. That changed the fateful night when Alex’s plane was endangered and Kara was caught on camera trying to steer the crashing plane to safety.

Kara then learned that Alex had a secret of her own! She was no ordinary scientist, but a special agent for the Department of Extranormal Operations – a government agency tasked with monitoring and concealing alien life on Earth. Now, Kara helps her sister to deal with the most dangerous beings in the world and helps out the people of National City where she can as… SUPERGIRL!

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There is an old axiom – often attributed to Stan Lee – that every comic book is someone’s first and should be written accordingly. This dictum has been held as sacred by many writers and editors as reason to avoid overly complicated continuity and to always explain the story so far whenever possible, if only through a caption box. Presumably that is why The Adventures of Supergirl #1 devotes over one-third of its page space to retelling an origin story that fans of the television series are already familiar with?

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Whatever the reasoning, it’s a story that writer Sterling Gates retells well. The remaining portion of the issue – in which Kara faces off against a villain dubbed Rampage who disrupts a football game – proves a welcome return to form for the one-time Supergirl monthly comic writer. The Supergirl series on CBS has taken a lot of inspiration from Gates’s stories and it’s gratifying to see him return to write this book, as he knows the character of Kara Zor-El well and does a fine job portraying the rest of the cast in the brief moment we see them.

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The artwork by Bengal proves equally wonderful. The action of the issue is well-choreographed and the colors are bright and cheerful, lending a hopeful feeling to the finished art. There is one aesthetic oddity, however – Kara doesn’t look any older in the scenes set in the modern day than she does in the flashbacks!

Despite this oddity and a little redundancy in the story, The Adventures of Supergirl will satisfy Kara’s many fans.  This comic perfectly captures the spirit of the show and there’s nothing here that would be considered inappropriate for most audiences. Parents may need to help their own super-kids with reading some of the words.

Rating 4

About Matt Morrison

Matt "Starman" Morrison is The Grand Exalted High Macha of Raspur - a non-existent but real-sounding country. He has been writing about comics since before the word "blogging" was coined. He enjoys acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.

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