Supergirl #30 review

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.

11 thoughts on “Supergirl #30 review

  1. I haven’t really minded Kara’s anger. She just found out a natural disaster that cost her her entire planet and way of life was genocide. This Supergirl has always had a darker side. The story has dragged but the various art teams and especially Mister Andreyko have kept me engaged. It’s certainly better than the interminable Super Sons mini that’s unsuccessfully tried to stretch maybe three issues of story into twelve…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw, I love those Super Sons. I agree, the basic story with Rex Luthor is being dragged out too long but I really enjoy all the side stories and interaction between the lads.

      It’s good to hear a different point of view on Supergirl, thanks very much!

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  2. Well, count me as one who’s definitely reading this for Krypto. There are usually a couple of great Krypto moments in each issue, which is more than we’ve gotten on a regular basis for the past 20 years.

    As for Kara, I’m a little more on board with her anger than you are. Maybe it’s because I never read the Red Lantern stuff (or any of the New 52 Supergirl title), so this seems a little fresher than it is, in that regard. But also, given what we now know (or think we know) of Krypton’s fate (and Kandor), I find that totally understandable. And I think, from a storytelling perspective, you’ve got to dramatize that rage and make it palpable to the reader before Kara ultimately holding back from it becomes as heroic as it’s meant to seem.

    Whether Andreyko and Maguire succeed at this is another matter, but if that’s the story they’re telling, those are the beats they’ve gotta hit. I’ll be glad when it wraps up, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do give Red Lanterns a chance of you have easy access, Rob – the new DC streaming service? – because what sounded like a truly horrible idea wound up being a great Supergirl story.

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    1. Good to hear. I’ll check it out one day, but I don’t have DC Streaming yet. I’m definitely a late adopter for those things.

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  4. As you say, making Krypton’s destruction a terrorist attack and not a natural phenomenon extracts from the legend, not add to it. It is a point that needs to be emphasized.

    How could Jor-El foresee the doom that made him build the rocket if it simply happened because Zaar planted a bomb. And we haven’t learned enough about Zaar to care.

    At least this ‘mystery’ is over. Kara is back with family. Let’s hope she heads back to Earth afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That The Circle exacerbated existing conditions Joe-El was aware of already? It would explain why he didn’t have the time to build a rocket that would fit all three of them safely…

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      1. I credit a lifetime of watching Star Trek. Even the best series had a habit of leaving niggling little plot holes and now I can explain away anything at the drop of a hat. Thank you, Mister Rodenberry!

        Liked by 1 person

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