Supergirl #36 review

If you can’t say something nice…

Well, yes, but I review this comic much every month and skipping an issue because I didn’t enjoy it is basically me saying, don’t bother. Maybe I can lean into that other saying, accentuate the positive?

So, the story. Supergirl has been infected with nanobots by a Brainiac drone. She’s dreaming that Brainiac is being blitzed by her heat vision beams but in reality the drone laughs as its tech pumps the secrets of Krypton from her mind.

An explosion wakes Kara. Not knowing what’s happened to her, and with the drone out of sight, she follows the sounds and finds Batman and Superman being attacked by twisted versions of Hawkman and Donna Troy. Kara rushes into the fray.

Her skin sliced open by the batarang, Kara joins the dark side. Things are only going to get worse for Superman and Batman…

Not a chance in hell, DC. I bought this issue because I want to support a Supergirl comic but I’m not buying into any more Batman Who Laughs nonsense than I feel I have to. I’ve had enough of Dark Kara and Dark Donna and whoever else you think is shocking and cool because they’re in clown make-up and extreeeeeme costumes. And the contempt shown towards readers in starting Kara’s Infected story here and referring us to another series to see what happens before the end of this issue doesn’t deserve reward.

The Infected Supergirl does quickly rid us of the Brainiac drone, inserted into the book to tie in with the other current DC so-called-event, Year of the Villain, so that’s something. Writer Marc Andreyko continues to give us a sweet Supergirl/Krypto relationship. Penciller Eduardo Pansica and inker Julio Ferreira provide the big, splashy images the script demands, along with a very affecting Krypto. Colourist Chris Sotomayor monitors the mood with intelligence and letterer Tom Napolitano makes the utterly vile red-out-of-black Batman Who Bores font more legible than most.

Supergirl’s camp dialogue made me laugh.

And Dan Mora’s cover shows a level of skill.

So there you go, the positive! Yay DC.

Then there’s the fact that Supergirl’s ongoing plotlines (what’s happened to foster mother Eliza amid the Leviathan – yes, another event – business, how to explain the disappearance of ‘Kara Danvers’ from school while Supergirl was in space) have been booted out of the book for crossover crappiness.

That Kara is deprived of agency in two separate ways in the space of a single issue.

That the amount of big panels, splashes and spreads means that even if you’re going slowly to appreciate the images, this $3.99 comic lasts as long as it takes to eat a slice and a half of jam on toast.

That there isn’t a single original idea or image in the entire issue.

I don’t blame the creative team. This is the epitome of an editorially driven crossover. Supergirl has been embroiled in other books’ storylines for fully 16 issues! I expect Andreyko would love to be pursuing his own ideas. Pansica might enjoy drawing an issue of Supergirl travelling back in time to ancient Egypt, or trying space baseball, or playing space chess with Despero. Instead they’re shackled to ‪Year of the Perpetual Dark Metal Leviathan Who Laughs‬ or whatever. It’s exhausting and I’d be amazed were the readership not abandoning DC in droves.

Anyone for an actual Supergirl comic book?

12 thoughts on “Supergirl #36 review

  1. I don’t understand, did Kara take a life in killing Brainiac? And… (last issue?) she yelled at Jeremiah (not knowing it was him) that “You murdered a man so we’re not on the same side.” Then she discovers it’s Jeremiah… and now she’s totally fine with being on the same side as a killer? I feel the pacing of this book is too fast that time isn’t being taken to explain the plots clearly… It’s tripping over itself. I really don’t know what to make of this book now. Great review, Martin!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Aaron. And I think you’re right, that sub-Brainiac was a living creature. And the Jeremiah business is perplexing, I really don’t like that the storyline involving Eliza’s apparent death has been absent from the past two issues.

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      1. Maybe we’ll get a flashback issue or something. Maybe. I’ll continue buying this book because I’ve always loved the character, but darn this title is getting harder to enjoy. Sadly. 😦 Thank you for replying, Martin. Love all your reviews!

        Liked by 1 person

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