Supergirl #38 review

A canine’s sense of smell is said to be 40 times greater than a person’s. So heaven help Krypto the Superdog in your average city back alley.

Still, he does pick up the scent of his pal Kara, last seen facing a vision of her corrupter, The Batman Who Laughs, in Supergirl #37. Krypto tracks her to Smallville, where she’s building something.

The dark Supergirl insists that she’s going to make everyone like her to give them a better chance of survival in a tough universe, but of course, the citizens of Smallville are not going to simply bow down and offer their arms up for a jab.

They could, though, use some extra help.

So, the tedious Infected business continues from the Batman/Superman series, but as was the case last month, the new creative team of Jody Houser and Rachael Stott manage to make this chapter not simply bearable, but enjoyable.

The key is ensuring Supergirl isn’t treated as The Batman Who Laughs In a Dress – this is a story that could only work with Kara. Kara the Kryptonian scientist. Kara with her connections to Smallville. Kara, who has seen one world burn and so wishes to save this one.

And it’s very pleasing that despite her protestations, Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth does find that this isn’t the true Kara, full of resentment towards her cousin Kal.

As for our guest star, she’s on good form, offering Supergirl the outstretched hand of friendship… well, after an opening surprise punch.

My big question is, what happened to lovely Krypto? He’s last seen being patted by a Smallville student, before the big fight… hopefully he’ll be the cavalry next issue.

Krypto, as drawn by Rachael Stott is, as we Brits say, the dog’s bollocks – almost literally in one of those panels up there. The Infected Supergirl is leering, but retains her humanity, while Superman and Batman look good on a couple of pages that really aren’t needed. Wonder Woman’s bearing denotes her power – there’s no need for her to be drawn as beefy a la the New 52 days. In fact, there are echoes of the Golden Age version in some panels.

Stott shows her ability to make good visual choices with Diana’s entrance, seen from a downed Kara’s viewpoint. What a shame, though, the current Wonder Woman outfit is so rubbish, I’d love to see Stott draw the classic.

I’d love to see Inaki Miranda draw that too – he steps in for three of the fight pages and does a tremendous job, injecting a delightful dynamism into the scuffle. Artistic differences are nicely patched over by colourist Hi-Fi, while Tom Napolitano gives a crazily creepy quality to Kara’s dialogue.

Illustrator Mike Perkins and colourist Gabe Eltaeb produce a wonderful cover, complete with old-school style word balloon. That hovering Supergirl has just the right amount of bonkers about her.

I said it last time, and I’ll say it again – this is a very promising new creative team and I really look forward to seeing what they can do when they’re free of the Infected yoke. Roll on!

10 thoughts on “Supergirl #38 review

  1. I’m happy you enjoy it.

    I can’t say the same. There is nothing new here. It reads to me as a “The best of” of “The worst of Kara”-list wrapped in a comic where she isn’t the protagonist. She isn’t thinking, she isn’t developing, she isn’t fighting the virus. She, and I should probably say “It” is a bad robot running BWL:s simplistic Hulk algorithm while others are trying to stop it. If there is no free will, there is no character. The only thing worse than if it is a bad robot, is if there is free will, because that would be a total character assassination.

    We already did Kara earns the fear and hatred of the people in this run. It’s not a fun topic worth revisiting.

    We did Wonder Woman fighting evil Supergirl not a year ago in Wonder Woman.

    Wonder Woman using the lasso of truth against evil Kara to face herself is literally done before although a few years ago.

    A few issues ago, the Unity Saga ended with Kara coming to terms with things. The printer wasn’t cold before we went back to “WRAH KRYPTON!”

    The loss of Krypton will always be important to Kara, but never as a source of “MUST VENGEANCE” or “MUST BRAINWASH”.

    I have read every Supergirl issue I can find since the start. I own every issue on comixology where she has an appearance, I have a whole shelf with every trade and several runs.

    I never thought I would say this, but I think that Weird Science might be correct in their review this time.

    Maybe it’s time to consider cancelling the title.

    The title has never since her first appearance been in such a bad shape in my opinion. The events are ripping her title to shreds, this being the worst one, leaving Kara a villain automaton for half a year.

    I will give it until I see the next solicitation. If I don’t see hope I’m out.

    It would be the saddest farewell after thousands of issues, but I’m so so so tired of paying for disappointment.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As another Supergirl veteran, I can’t disagree with you about the repeating patterns. Supergirl has been taking dark turns since at least 1965’s The Black Magic of Supergirl and it’s ruddy tiresome. Recent years really have been just one bad turn after another, with patches of good stuff among the dross – if DC had stuck with Gates and Igle, who knows what heights Supergirl would have hit by now.

    I could easily drop the book but I’m probably a lifer. The new creative team have been assigned a crappy crossover idea but are doing a pretty good job regardless – I’m going to call out the good stuff, just on the tiny off-chance that anyone at DC is monitoring the response, so Houser and Stott get to try some of their own ideas.

    I know, I know, when have DC ever shown signs of listening to Supergirl fans…

    Thank you for the comments, and the passion.


    1. Yes! I want a Gates and Igle run again so much.
      I think this team could have done great too, but they have the worst uphill regaining my trust after this. In two issues, the real Supergirl might have been part of 1 or 2 panels if I am really generous, and I will trade both for the single panel where she was smiling on a rooftop in Supermans reveal comic. That is terrible for a comic carrying her name on the front.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My review is in the can so I read this and agree.

    I am pretty much sick of the Dark Kara trope and I am pretty sick of Diana being the one who is sent to square off.

    But mostly I am sick of being a Supergirl fan and reading issues where she is more villain than hero. This is hardly Gates/Igle. It isn’t even Orlando/Houser/Rocha .. a title which was finally finding its footing.

    This can’t end quickly enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we have two months to go. It does sound, from next issue’s solicitation, that there is some good still present in Supergirl, so we’ll see how that goes. But yeah, roll on #41.

      I look forward to your review at Supergirl Comic Box Commentary tomorrow!


  4. You really prefer Diana in panties?

    I have to admit, I don’t understand that at all. I like this one. I like that, maybe, Comics are finally starting to move away from all women being in bathing suits and stripper outfits. Mind you, this still sometimes seems skimpy to me, though this artist doe a good job with it, but I am very glad that the age of thong-wearing super-heroines seems to be going away.

    And I agree with you, this whole BWL BS is getting so $&#@% tedious, but this book is actually handling it really well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, not panties. Shorts, they’re my idea of classic – certainly not the stripper-tastic Mike Deodato look. Certainly the Seventies-style shorts are no less modest than the current leather shorts, which makes her look a Xena knock-off. I say celebrate the silliness of the superhero look!


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