Supergirl #22 review

Kara and Krypto are zooming through space in their Kryptonian spaceship, heading for Mogo, planetary headquarters of the Green Lanterns. There Supergirl hopes to find files detailing the truth of Krypton’s destruction – was it genocide instigated by the alien Rogol Zaar, as he claimed before Kara banished him to the Phantom Zone? GL Hal Jordan tried to access the Guardians of the Universe’s files on the matter, only to learn the information had been redacted. What are they hiding?

As Supergirl and dog near Mogo, Zaar’s axe glows and…

Without a ready source of oxygen. Kara fears for herself and Krypto, but before trying some desperate measure to save them, she must save the axe – her sole link to Zaar’s past actions. She gets a helping hand… not quite a big, glowing, green one, but certainly an assist from the Green Lantern Corps.

Earthmen John Stewart and Kyle Rayner offer help with what Kara describes as a research mission but are understandably suspicious at her coyness. Lantern B’dg, meanwhile, is too busy being bothered by Krypto to care.

Left in the care of Corps librarian C’zal, Kara’s super-brain tells her she’s getting the runaround….

…OK, it’s not her super-brain, it’s the very obvious obfuscation in C’zal’s rambling, civil servant babble, wonderfully represented by penciller Kevin Maguire’s expressive Kara and the balloon placement and lettering treatment of Tom Napolitano. Total Miss Othmar.

The art was great last time and here it’s even better, as Maguire, inker Sean Parsons, Napolitano and colourist FCO Plascencia really get into the space groove. The big moment of drama, as the spaceship goes kablooey – or rather, KA-BOOOOOOM – is suitably terrific, but it’s the more intimate moments I love, such as sleeping Krypto…

… or thinking John…

The artists are working from an equally splendid script from Marc Andreyko. Happily, he’s dialled back the idea of Kara dealing for the first time with a great tragedy – maybe because we all know that’s bunk – and concentrated on how Supergirl moves forward. The explosion provides a great opportunity to showcase Kara’s scientific side, while a bit of sneaking around in the library after hours demonstrates her super-memory (Andreyko calls it ‘eidetic’ but that’s Barbara Gordon’s thing – Kara has super-memory years before Batgirl made her dynamic debut).

While I don’t get why Kara is quite so cagey with the Lanterns – yes, files were redacted, but the regular Corpsmen are almost certainly going to want to help her uncover why – I do like the speech-vs-thought sequence. Go on Mr Writer, just give Supergirl proper thought balloons, you know you want to!

I can’t keep up with the limits of Kryptonian powers these days, no one seems to have set out a bible, but I am disappointed that here Krypto is perturbed by a lack of oxygen. Krypto is a space dog and he must ROMP!

Pre-publicity for this space arc (see what I did there?) had me expecting a dark, miserable tale, but Andreyko is balancing humour and seriousness with skill; inserting Krypto was a brilliant move, ensuring Kara has someone there to keep her human. This isn’t angry gal with axe, it’s good old Kara with a weird space weapon and the cutest canine companion in comicdom. Oh, and an interesting new stealth uniform… it’d be stealthier were it all black rather than black with great swathes of red and an ‘S’ shield, mind, but the Els are obsessed with branding.

The standard cover by Terry and Rachel Dodson should shift a fair few copies with its good looks, but it’s the variant, by illustrator Amanda Conner and colourist Paul Mounts, that has hearts surrounding my head. Just gorgeous.

As with the Red Daughter storyline a few years ago, what sounded to be a big bag of grim is turning out to be a great time for a Supergirl fan.

6 thoughts on “Supergirl #22 review

  1. Man, with those Conner Krypto covers, it’s like DC is printing money.

    This was a great issue — I loved the Krypto/B’dg interaction, and how Andreyko uses Kara’s thoughts as a counterpoint to her words. And man, those Maguire facial expressions are out of this world. I always appreciate when he’s asked to draw something that’s not out and out comedy. He really shines.

    Like

  2. I have to admit, I kind of understand why Kara, and anyone, really, would be a bit wary of the Green Lantern Corps. In recent times they have been a bit too fascistic for my tastes. The Guardians are, if anything, arrogant gits who feel it is their right to impose their laws on the universe (I really wish it was a subset of the universe, the universe is way too big for a Green Lantern Corps) and they are also well known for keeping a lot of horrible secrets that come out to bite everyone in the rear end.

    Frankly, if I lived in the DC universe, I would be extremely suspicious of the GL Corps, and I am kinda glad that Kara, and to some extent Superman, have demonstrated a certain caginess with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review.
    I like how you pointed out C’zal’s admiistrative babble, obviously being ignored by Kara. slick way to show that with the muted words and half bubble.

    Like you, I do have to wonder why Kara is so reluctant to share with the Corps, unless she truly believes they are all aware of the redacted history and doesn’t want to tip her hand. But surely she has been through too much with John and Kyle to think that.

    Hope it maintains this momentum.

    Liked by 1 person

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