Supergirl #41 review

‘Make it STOP!’ yells Supergirl on the cover of her penultimate issue. After reading it, I know how she feels…

We start with a flashback to Krypton’s final day, as young Kara is distracted by a planet-quake. In the present, Supergirl is finally free from the infection of the Batman Who Laughs… she hopes.

Off the coast of Florida – or somewhere, anyway, we’re not told – Supergirl flies into a hurricane and her first instinct is to see if anyone needs help. She’s immediately thrown into a tizzy by a flashback of a robot she fought in Smallville while possessed. She’s further distracted by the arrival of the world’s most loyal dog, to whom her bad self was recently mean.

Regaining her focus, Supergirl finds a young woman holed up in the family home; her parents are away, and she won’t go to safety in case she misses them. So it’s up to Kara to push aside the visions that keep popping up and go… shopping!

On her way back to the house, Supergirl has the worst vision of all.

That’s nice colour work from Cris Peter

You may have heard that DC has decided not to release this issue, and next, in physical form; they should appear in any collection, but for now it’s digital or nothing. And really, I’m fine with no trees giving up their bark for an issue that’s the very definition of treading water. Rather than being allowed to go wild and crazy in the final two issues, writer Jody Houser and artist Rachael Stott have apparently been told to simply fill space. There’s no addressing of leftover subplots, such as alter ego Kara Danvers’s disappearance, or the inconvenient business of her foster mother’s death… nope, what the kids want, it seems, is more angst as Kara owns the bad deeds she did as Infected Supergirl, even though she was literally possessed. More dwelling on Krypton’s final days because Kara can’t ever not be traumatised.

The ‘fun’ is set to continue next issue as Kara fights the old bag who sicced a robot on her when she was daaaaaark because the only military person allowed to like superheroes is Steve Trevor. Everyone else has to be Thunderbolt Ross and attack them in battle armour. Mind, the set-up does give us the issue’s one moment of humour.

Houser can do great character work. Stott has a lovely light touch drawing regular Supergirl, her Krypto is adorable and her regular folk expressive. So why have them waste their talents on Supergirl, yet again, being haunted by the past and wondering if she’s worthy of that big red ‘S’? Supergirl, yet again, having to be reminded by Krypto that she’s meant to be a hero.

I believe DC asked writer and artist to stay on longer than originally planned and close out the book… in which case, why have them waste their talents spinning wheels? Two issues of positivity would go at least some way towards blowing away the stench of the past several issues.

So yes, make it stop, DC. Give Kara better days. Each issue begins with the legend, ‘DC Comics proudly presents Supergirl’ – how about, for once, acting like you believe it?

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