Professor Anthony Ivo, criminal scientist. He’s been causing headaches – and much, much worse – for DC’s heroes since the Silver Age. Here he sees out Supergirl’s current title in random mad genius mode, not the scariest of threats but enough to give Supergirl a few problems. The surprise is that he’s actually trying to do something good for the world. The non-surprise is that he hasn’t considered how to achieve the same thing without being evil.
Kara beats Ivo and his mechanical monkeys with the help of her brainy chums in the Silk Pajama Society, while Lois Lane discovers Ivo’s motives with the help of journalism student Ngoze Onwualu. I initially wondered why the veteran hack couldn’t learn this information for herself, then realised that of course Lois could – but writer Kelly Sue DeConnick knows that a conversation is a more interesting way to present information than positioning us over Lois’ shoulder as she hunts through a computer. Lois still comes across as the wise, witty woman we know her to be. It’s a shame we probably won’t see Ngoze again.
This being the final issue, more focus on Supergirl would have been nice, but I doubt DeConnick knew she was writing our heroine’s last hurrah when she began the story. By the close, though, she’s in the picture enough to add some enjoyably unobtrusive meta-commentary on life as the comic book character Supergirl. She also ties up the question of whether Linda Lang will attend Stanhope College (which longtime readers will be glad to see has its library named for Silver Age artist Jim Mooney), and gives her something approaching a love interest. It all makes for a bittersweet ending to a book that had finally found its feet.
ChrisCross’ students are wonderfully alive, rampaging through the pages with glee, while Lois and Ngoze’s conversation is animated, without expressions being quite as manic as in the first instalment of this three-parter. Supergirl, as the star of the book, looks wonderful throughout – intelligent, caring, frustrated, pretty, sad … The action panels with inker Marc Deering are spiffy, too, just look at this (click on image to enlarge)