Supergirl is enraged. Her new friend Xand’r has revealed himself as the son of Gandelo, who was behind the destruction of Krypton.
Imprisoning the Coluan, Kara lashes out against his adoptive parent.
Did I mention that she’s enraged? Kara is so super-peeved that she attracts that pesky axe of Krypton assassin Rogol Zaar – the one that makes grumpy folk even grumpier.
Oh no, she’s going to cross a line and kill Gandelo! Can she regain control of herself?
Yep, with a little help from her friend.
So there you have it. The Maid of Might, who spent months as a Red Lantern understanding her anger, can restrain her murderous desires only when the Pup of Steel gets in the way.
How about we turn this book over to Krypto? He’s obviously more the hero than this Supergirl, a woman who’s dying to give in to her worst instincts – instincts she shouldn’t have. I get that she’s facing the woman responsible for Krypton’s destruction, but even before the anger-magnifying axe shows up, this level of fury is far beyond anything a stable heroine should feel. She should check into that Sanctuary superhero therapy centre…
The issue ends with the next phase of what feels like a neverending battle against a bad idea – that Krypton’s end was deliberate, not a natural event. The idea upturns the Superman Legend and to be worthwhile, it has to lead some great stories. That’s not happened. Certainly not in Supergirl, which has devoted ten issues to a story in which Kara is barely recognisable. Since when, for example, has Kara been haunted daily by the screams of Krypton’s dying? Who is this blonde for whom brutality comes so easily? And I’m not convinced things will get much better, with the final page, which introduces the next stage of the ‘Kryptonan killer’ story, featuring some horribly clunky dialogue.
OK, accentuate the positive. Writer Marc Andreyko’s Gandelo (‘Lord’ when introduced, later ‘Empress’ as her sex apparently changed, and here simply ‘Gandelo’) is a convincing fanatic. Supergirl’s confrontion with Xand’r rings true – last month she didn’t seem bothered at all by his duplicity. And Krypto? Awwww.
Penciller Kevin Maguire is a fine storyteller, sweeping us from page to page with aplomb. I don’t like the level of anger Kara is displaying, but Maguire, partnered with inked Sean Parsons, certainly sells it. The fight with Gandelo – did we know she had crystal creation powers? – is exciting to watch. And Krypto? Awwww.
The cover illustration by Jesus Merino is a grabber, and I love the bright colours of FCO Plascencia, and old school melodramatic word balloon. The interior colours of Chris Sotomayor are also bright and beautiful, while Tom Napolitano’s letters are as sharp as ever… though he apparently has as many problems as me with remembering where the stupid apostrophe in Z’n’d’r’s name goes.
So, decent craft, but this direction hasn’t been setting comic shops on fire, and sales aren’t great. Will Kara get back to Earth before the book is cancelled. That’s an axe Supergirl definitely doesn’t want.