Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3 review

Kara and new friend Ruthye’s search for the killer of the latter’s father takes them to the world of Coronn. While Supergirl might accept the locals’ insistence that if the hired killer had been there, he’s gone, something else sets alarm bells ringing.

The town of Maypole is rife with signs that a purple population has vanished, but direct questions lead to swerves and outright abuse.

Eventually, people get sick of the questions.

After two issues that were very hard to like, Tom King delivers a gripping script that stars a recognisable Kara. Sure, she still swears more than I’d like, but she’s very smart, uses her powers with skill and shows compassion for all.

Ruthye is still the narrator, but her voice is far less irritating than previously and finally it seems that this is a story about Supergirl. Ruthye’s interpretation of events remains to the fore, but she’s telling us about a less harsh, less frazzled Last Daughter of Krypton, one who, rather than trying to hide from life, is driving the tale forward. The lead on killer Krem not having panned out, Supergirl could easily have tried the next planet along, but she senses an injustice and doggedly pursues it with detective skills that would make the Elongated Man proud.

Finally, she solves the mystery, and gets a step closer to Krem, but the horror of what Supergirl finds doesn’t allow for a moment of satisfaction. King pulls back the curtain on an idyllic-seeming small town, revealing that it’s less Leave It To Beaver than Shadow of a Doubt.

The descent from Bedford Falls by day to Pottersville by night is beautifully rendered by Bilquis Evely, with benign-looking aliens turning on a dime in the face of Kara’s quest for truth. There’s a real tenderness to the interactions with Ruthye, while the action scenes are well-judged and powerful. And the body language is exemplary.

Colourist Matheus Lopes adds extra layers of life with his warm hues.

Letterer Clayton Cowles, meanwhile, continues to ensure we know who’s speaking when, with real style.

Evely and Lopes’ cover nicely captures the Lynchian nightmare faced by Kara and Ruthye, though I’d still like a month without that restroom-green background.

While it still irks me that Kara is spending months away from her Earth responsibilities, apparently to help a damaged kid on a mission of vengeance, we don’t know what her endgame is. I continue to doubt the dark prophecy made about Kara in the first issue, and this issue’s portrayal of Supergirl backs up my feeling. I’m not keen that Kara seems to reject any name other than ‘Supergirl’, but that would fit with her state of mind at the start of this series.

I finally have hope that King is indeed going to take Supergirl to a better place.

15 thoughts on “Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3 review

  1. I agree. For me it started off with Ruthye speaking in that writerly voice of hers, and I was worried, and maybe she continued talking like that but I was engaged with the story being told, and felt like we were seeing Supergirl again – a gruffer one, but after all she’s finally 21 and people do change.

    I was going to say that you’d think a girl who knows the word “celerity” would know that undisputed acts are indisputable, but apparently undisputable is also used. Sounds wrong to my ears, but I need to get out more I guess. (Safari’s spell-check is giving me the red squiggly line – it wants to change it to indisputable.) But actually I think the form needed here was “undisputed” depravity.

    King could do worse than give us a tale per issue along the lines of “Superman: Up In the Sky,” the Walmart Giants 12-month serial that was released to stores as a 6-issue mini-series. There, Superman travelled the galaxy in search of a kidnapped girl, getting into jams and solving problems on each planet along the way. If he gives us good stories, I think I’d enjoy that here too. Searching for a girl, or with a girl for the man who killed her father – close enough thematically.

    I’m suddenly reminded – though the skirt color changed and the belt turned into a corset, is this still the magic spacesuit she had for her last space journey? It stored solar energy and changed into a hooded suit when one was needed. But hmmmm – stored solar energy? In that first issue, she could have still gotten drunk under the red sun, then gotten sufficiently recharged from the stored suit energy to handle Krem with ease. That would have ended the story right there, but King could have found another way to keep the story going. Oh well, I guess she ditched that outfit for some reason – as in King probably didn’t know about it.

    I didn’t know “It’s a Wonderful Life” had an international audience! Nice reference.

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    1. Oh, you remind me that I forgot to look up ‘celerity’. I’m so ashamed not to have known that one… do I get points for not thinking it’s a vegetable? No dispute from me on that other word, I’m with you all the way. I still haven’t read those stories from the giants, I have bought them digitally, ages back.

      Great observation about the super-super suit. I assume King didn’t read that far. It’s a shame, it could make for some fun moments.

      It’s a Wonderful Life is big over here too. A guy on last week’s cruise was praising the colourised version. Just, no.

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    2. Excellent appraisal of the copter scene, I’m sure Bruno would be impressed. It really is amazing how quickly Taylor and Redondo’s Suicide Squad partnership transferred to Nightwing. I hope they stay until at least #100. Bruno said on Twitter that they would, let’s hope DC Editorial don’t muck things up. And that was deffo Babs instigating the kiss, knowing Dick would be very happy.

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      1. I would hope for much more than #100, but artists rarely stay on books that long anymore.

        (BTW this belongs in the Nightwing review.)

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  2. I didn’t know the word “celerity” either – had to look it up.

    As for the suit, it would have been SMART for Supergirl to bring it with here, and conversely stupid that she didn’t. I mean if you have such a thing, then on an overnight trip to space you obviously take your spaceship, a toothbrush, a change of clothes and your solar-battery-suit.

    I never saw that colorized version and have no interest in doing so, but you got me thinking about Zuzu’s petals, and one search led to another. Someone asked him about it, so the late movie critic Roger Ebert got the answer from the source: “I did indeed ask Zuzu herself, and Karolyn Grimes replied: ‘I guess it is time to tell all. My rose was a burgundy color. Not a fancy rose at all, but to a little girl in the dead of winter, I guess it was very beautiful, especially if you won it. Wonder what I did to win that rose???'”

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  3. Ah, I dropped this book after the first two issues left me cold (along the lines discussed on this very site). This review makes me think that if #4 is as well-received in these parts, I might have to double back and rejoin.

    Re: It’s a Wonderful Life, I’ll share this random anecdote: As a kid, I understood the movie to be an okay piece of holiday schmaltz, watched in the living room with a commercial break every 15 minutes, and the lights on the tree just to the right of the TV. Fine enough. Video tinsel.

    Freshman year at college, I used to crash the cinema school classes that would be half lecture, half amazing classic film on a big screen in a top-quality on-campus theater. But most of the students would clear out for the screening portion, so … some random weekday afternoon in the smoggy heat of Los Angeles, I watched It’s A Wonderful Life. Alone, in the dark, in an ice-cold near-empty theater. None of the distracting comforts of home, no interruptions. And that whole middle section, the bridge, into Potterville: Sweet jeezus, I never realized, It’s a Horror Movie! It’s awful and heartbreaking right up until it isn’t, and what a joy that becomes. If you ever get a chance to see it revived on the big screen … Decades later, I count it one of the two or three best movie experiences of my life.

    Lastly, I may hold off til this whole series is over, because until I know Krypto is okay …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a wonderful story, thank you. And I have indeed watched IAWL on the big screen, and you’re so right. Happily, when it’s screened on TV over here it tends to be on the BBC – no ads. I very several times every time I see it, starting with the ice hole, on through the ear slap and right through to Zuzu’s petals.

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  4. Martin, I’m glad your severe reservations about this project have largely been satisfied by this third issue.
    Structurally, Tom King’s story creates a mystery which indeed is worthy of Ralph Dibny and is pursued with the doggedness of a Frank Robbins’ era Batgirl.
    How Kara uses her powers to protect Ruthye is evocative of King’s Up In The Sky and encourages me (and probably only me) that King is weaving a saga which will bring out the best in Kara by putting her through all manner of hell.
    Bilquis Evely’s visuals have the confidence of Mike Ploog’s Weirdworld (1977): Supergirl has rarely been immersed in so alien an environment and never as persuasively as she is here. This project is the best showcase of Evely’s storytelling, yet.
    The first two issues of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow had a rough launch and jarring uses of her mythology. Issue #3 is the most satisfying so far and bodes well for the rest of the series 😀

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    1. Well, I wouldn’t say my reservations have all gone; this is a much better issue, and yes, it gives me hope, but I need more issues going in the right direction to show this isn’t an aberration. But please, keep the optimism coming, positivity is great!

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  5. Great review and in line with many I have read.
    This is a much more recognizable Supergirl, being fierce in the face of injustice and having a temper if she doesn’t get the answers she is looking for.

    Still sick of Ruthye’s ‘word of the day’ vocab and stilted speech. Still wish this was told by Supergirl, rather than about her. And yes. hopeful Krypto makes it.

    But this was the best issue of this series so far.

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