Dog space suit! That’s my favourite thing in the first of three stories in Supergirl’s giant #25th issue. There’s other stuff in there, of course. Kara continuing her quest to learn the truth behind Krypton’s destruction, aided by Coluan scientist Z’ndr Col. A fight with new baddie Splyce, the Caretaker of Krypton, which sounds like something from a Silver Age Superboy tale.
Daft as the name is, Splyce (sister of Dyce?) is formidable, especially given that Kara is in the vicinity of Krypton’s destruction and having a devil of a time with green K radiation – not only is she weakened, she’s having horrific hallucinations about her birth parents. Happily, Z’ndr is a terrific cheerleader in this story by writer Marc Andreyko, pencillers Emanuela Lupaccino and Lan Medina, inkers Ray McCarthy and Sean Parsons, colourist FCO Plascencia and letterer Tom Napolitano. And did I mention we get trusty super-mutt Krypto in a spacesuit?
Z’ndr gets his own story courtesy of Andreyko, penciller Brad Walker, inker Drew Hennessy, colourist Chris Sotomayor and that man Napolitano. It’s a rollicking yarn in the style of Indiana Jones – the title Z’ndr Col and the Lost Colony is a bit of a clue – and succeeds in making the scientist and treasure hunter a likeable cove. Which would be nice, except it’s not helping my theory that he’s a steenking Durlan spy! It looks like this will feed into the bigger Supergirl story as Col discovers evidence of a lost Kryptonian colony and the final panel tells us someone very nasty likely killed its inhabitants. We also learn that as well as a robotic arm, Col has a mother who just doesn’t understand him. I liked this short much more than I expected, due to Andreyko’s zippy script and Walker’s breezily dynamic art.
My favourite story this issue is a big surprise – a Supergirl short set six months prior to the current arc by Dan Jurgens, a writer who had a fair bit of experience with Matrix Supergirl back in the Nineties but hasn’t had much to do with the current gal. And he does a splendid job with The Plourott, an emotional ten-pager Christmas tale which sees Kara returning from an annoying team-up with a seasonally appropriate Justice Leaguer to find something very important to her is missing. As Supergirl traces her missing treasure she winds up at a location that was key to the development of the original, Silver Age Supergirl. Jurgens’ script has real heart, while the expressive art by penciller Tom Derenick, inker Sean Parsons and colourist FCO Plascencia is delightful. Letters, of course, by Napolitano.
Doug Mahnke’s cover illustration, inked by Jaime Mendoza and coloured by Wil Quintana, looks a little awkward, Kara’s figure a tad off. Illustrator Amanda Conner and colourist Paul Mounts’ Krypto variant is bonkers cute.
All in all, this is a very enjoyable special issue. Kara acquits herself well in a slugfest with a powerful new foe, Z’ndr gets a fun showcase and Supergirl shows her legendary compassion.
Happy Christmas, Kara!