With Supergirl and the Omega Men out to bring him down, space scumbag Harry Hokum decides to send in the clones. Imperfect duplicates of Supergirl possessing part of her powers. Kara has faced terrible odds plenty of times but her quest to learn the truth behind Krypton’s destruction, supposedly at the hands of Rogol Zaar, has left her severely depleted – right now, she’s far more Girl than Super.
The Omega Men also recognise a few familiar faces – former members of their rebel band, putting leaders Kalista and Primus on the back foot. But not everyone is worrying about the fight’s outcome.
Ryand’r, brother of the superheroine Starfire, shares her love of a fight… and her solar powers, meaning he can give Supergirl a much-needed boost.
A long way away, Kara’s pal Krypto and recent companion Z’ndr are looking for the Maid of Might. And someone is feeling guilty.
Speaking of Mother, the confusingly named Lord Gandelo…
Before the issue’s out, the Harry Hokum problem is sorted and Kara finally gets a little further forward with her quest.
And thank goodness for that; I’ve enjoyed aspects of this Omega Man storyline, such as the continued emphasis on hope and heroism, but it’s meant Kara’s quest has progressed barely at all. This month, as well as Hokum’s confession and the ring, we get that scene with chief Circle member Lord Gandelo and co-conspirators Sardath of Rann and some Thanagarian or other. It feels as if we’re nearing the end of this storyline… certainly the Next Issue box’s tease, ‘The killers of Krypton… finally revealed’, gives me a little of that hope Supergirl and friends want us to feel.
For what it was – the final chapter of a sub-story aiming to progress the bigger business – this is pretty good. Writer Marc Andreyko’s narration by Kara (‘Karration’?) reads well, though there is one notable headscratching moment.
I think most of us had guessed that was what was happening based on previous issues – it’s as much a given as clones being unstable on a cellular level, which also comes up here – but when did Kara work it out? And as a former Red Lantern, controlling and redirecting her anger should be a breeze for Supergirl.
A scene between Kalista and Kara after the fight is over is nicely done, I like X’nder chatting away to Krypto, and the super-clap is a nice bit of Silver Age goodness – any time a writer remembers that a Super has more powers than flight, strength and heat vision, I’m pleased. My favourite thing, though, are the scenes between Supergirl and Ryand’r, which don’t play out as obviously as they might.
I hate Adam Strange’s father-in-law Sardath being involved, in some unrevealed way, in planetary genocide, but his character has been deeply tarnished ever since Alan Moore got his hands on him in the Eighties, so I should likely let it go.
The art is terrific. The combination of penciller Eduardo Pansica, inker Julio Ferreira and colourists FCO Plascencia and Chris Sotomayor is terrific, bringing us strong panel-to-panel storytelling and such standout moments as the solar smacker and a very creepy floating clone. Emotions are always crystal clear and the action sequences suitably intense. It’s a shame a regular artistic team on a DC book is more rare than whatever Kara is looking for (I think we’ve all forgotten by now), but at least the visiting craftspeople are generally good. Letterer Tom Napolitano is round these parts a lot, mind, and his sharp work is always appreciated.
Illustrator Yanick Paquette and colourist Nathan Fairbairn produce a cover I’d call delightful, despite it containing multitudes of monsters – I really like the perturbed look on our heroine’s face, and the way her colourful figure pops against the background. As for the variant, it’s another gorgeous Stanley ‘Artgerm’ Lau piece, it’s just a shame he’s drawing one of the worst Supergirl costumes ever.
A decently written, great-looking comic, the best thing about this issue may turn out to be that its drawing the Rogol Zaar plot threads to a close. Here’s hoping.