This is the BIG one!
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Decades ago, you could bet your Junior Justice Society badge that the cover would have one of these lines or a close variation. Because this is the one we’ve been waiting for, the team-up between Superman and Supergirl that shows us these two are close.
Without getting into all the recent continuity kerfuffle, it’s fair to say we couldn’t be sure as to how Kara and cousin Kal would relate when they next met. Well, that worry is put to bed by page two
The affection on Superman’s face, the sheer excitement of Kara as she zooms around him – that’s love. It turns out Superman has two reasons to choose this day to visit National City. First, it’s a Kryptonian holiday, the Day of Truth, which formed the basis of a story in 1965’s Superman #176, and he wants to spend it with his cousin.
Unfortunately, someone else has come looking for Kara.
The Emerald Empress is a long way from her 31st-century stomping grounds. Kara has no idea what she’s meant to have done but she does have an idea as to how to stop the Fatal Five member.
The Empress retreats, leaving the Super-cousins to help with the clean-up. Then, finally, they get to change into civvies and enjoy a spring day – and Clark has a compliment for Kara.
After a phone call from foster mother Eliza and a chat regarding their differing perspectives on Earth, Clark takes Kara out to dinner. In the Fortress of Solitude. In a train! And they’re not the only diners.
As well as Jon, Kara has a catch-up with Lois, and the subject is Cat Grant.
Then it’s a game of catch with a vehicle that’ll be familiar to any Superman fan who survived the Seventies, before Clark explains why Kara can’t quite recall the last time they met. Clark tells her about being split into two selves, the involvement of Mr Mxyzptlk and unseen presence of a puppet master. And this is where we learn the second reason for his rushing to Kara’s side.
It’s a terrific scene in an issue that is nothing but great moments. The return of the reality they once knew has restored their relationship, and events from the Convergence crossover give us something we’ve not previously seen – a sisterly friendship with Lois and a nephew-as-dammit in the shape of young Superboy Jon. I’ve jokingly mentioned here and elsewhere that I wanted to see Aunt Kara the babysitter, and by gum, it looks like Orlando is giving it to me. The sense of family here is wonderful.
I also love writer Steve Orlando’s sense of DC history. The Day of Truth, the item in the game of Catch, the train… actually, I don’t know where the train comes from. Anj of Supergirl Comic Box Commentary suggests it’s from maxi-series The Kents, which was a Western of sorts. Can anyone confirm? Wherever it’s from, I love the fact it’s not just a Fortress trophy, it’s a retreat within a retreat.
And Friends of the Blog Maya and Godzylla will likely have enjoyed that scene of Superman preparing dinner (hi guys!). No Lois waiting on the menfolk here.
The Emerald Empress, in all versions, is a massive favourite. I remember her Eye wielding non-specific energy, later it was Green Lantern plasma, and now it’s magic. Maybe it’s been magic previously, if so it’s slipped my mind. I love that Kara comes up with the way to win, but blimey, if magic is the only source of Eye power, the Cousins of Steel just have to get out any old iron and they have the green goddess beaten. I suspect it won’t be that easy. I’m really intrigued as to why she hates Kara, I love time paradoxes.
It’s tough to choose a favourite scene, but that conversation about Cat truly displays Orlando’s gifts for character and dialogue.
Regular artist Brian Ching isn’t around this time, but boy, Matias Bergara keeps Kara on model. There are some lovely visuals here, from the game of Catch (which I keep teasing, but won’t spoil) to the simplicity of Kara and Clark taking a walk in the park. And just look at the barely concealed excitement of the cousins when they realise this is a job for Super-People!
Yep, same genes.
Michael Atiyeh’s colours are perfect for this breezy issue, Steve Wands’ letters are sharp and friendly, and the cover by the onetime Supergirl art team of Emanuela Lupaccino and Ray McCarthy is terrific. As for Bengal’s variant, it’s lovely – he really captures a sense of telly Supergirl Melissa Benoist.
Supergirl #8 is a big warm hug of a comic. Hug it back.