Otherwise known as â€œSupergirl makes a friend!â€, by Michael Green and Mike Johnson (story), George PÃ©rez (art), Bob Wiacek (inks), Paul Mounts (colors).
What strikes me as odd is that Supergirl seems to be one of those comics that not everyone is into. More than that, it’s a comic that a lot of people just don’t like at all. I guess the fast paced action of the series has helped me ignore the fact that we haven’t had a plethora of development as far as the basic story goes. I mean, we’re eight issues in, starting the third arc, and Kara is just barely making human contact on Earth. This reminds me of reading Ultimate Spider-Man and it taking Peter five issues or so just to suit up for the first time. It worked there because the story was pacing itself nicely and we were learning a lot about Peter.
This issue is a very strange one for me to judge. I dislike it, that much is certain, but I can’t quite pinpoint why I dislike the issue. One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed Supergirl is also the reason I immensely disliked this issue. It’s the pacing that really kills this for me. This series is amazing when it’s nonstop action, but when it tries to go into exposition, things start to fall apart and I hope this won’t be a sign of what the norm for this series is going to be for the series.
The story moves too fast. That’s right. Of all the comics, this one moves too fast with this issue. The battle from the previous issue has ended and Kara is seen as a threat by the army. Why? I…have no clue. She just fought off a band of aliens and saved a bunch of people. Oh, she’s also wearing a costume like Superman’s! I don’t see how anyone could mistake her as a threat, but hey, it happens here. She befriends a girl named Siobahn who seems to have the ability to speak any language. It’s a little bit of a reach, but Kara doesn’t know English yet, so I guess it works.
After some unpleasantness in the form of army attacks, Kara and Siobahn make it back to her place. This is my biggest issue with this…issue. What. …right! Right after all hell has broken loose, Siobahn convinces Kara to put on some of her clothes and go out with her. Siobahn is a musician and is having a small performance in a coffee shop that night, so she thought it would be a good idea to get Kara out and about.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not against the idea of Kara getting out to learn the ways of the Earth. (or rather New York) It’s necessary and something this series has been lacking, but it just happened too fast. One minute we’re on the run from the army and the next minute they’re getting ready to go out on the town. It just doesn’t gel well from one tone to the other and this issue ends up being a very jarring read because of that. It seems like, because the series has been so much slower than others, they’re in a hurry to get the basics out of the way. Supergirl is just barely getting to know earth. Other series already have teams of people who would normally be at each others’Â throats learning to work together. This series definitely has some catch-up work to do.
So because of this, I didn’t particularly care for this issue. It’s almost as if there was another issue they condensed into this one. What’s worse is that, for as jarringly fast paced as I thought this issue was, the overall series has been very slow. We’re nearly a year into the run of this series and Kara can’t even speak a single word of English. Oddly enough, I fear we might end up going from one issue to another having Kara suddenly know a lot of English if this is the trend â€“ that is, fast action, fast story, next to no exposition. It makes sense if you think about it. In the end of this issue we learn that Siobahn is actually a meta-human by the name of Silver Banshee. Historically, Supergirl and Silver Banshee have been mortal enemies. The cover shows Banshee entrapping Supergirl, that makes me wonder if it’s hinting at something or if this was just to catch readers off guard.
Also noteworthy is the art, George Perez returns for this issue and I’m not a big fan of the guy. I know he’s seen as a bit of a prolific artist in the comic world, but I think this style is indicative of why I didn’t like comics in the 90s. Round noses, puffy cheeks, slightly orange flesh tones that remind me of Normal Rockwell’s work, which is great for him, but it just doesn’t work here. Mahmud Asrar is the series’ usual artist and I hope he comes back soon. Asrar’s art has a great mix of photo-realistic and cartoony qualities that make the fights amazing to read.
– Aoi Kurenai, Rising Sun Tokusatsu