Saturday, June 9, 2012

Supergirl #7-9: A Review

As I've noted before, the new Supergirl title has proven to be one of the best books to come out of the original New 52 line-up.  The three issues released since my 52 Catch-Up review of the first six books have continued to uphold the same high level of quality in terms of both writing and art.

Issue #7 concludes the storyline started in Issue #5, with Kara Zor-El facing down a foursome of Worldkillers - sentient biological weapons created on Krypton.  This issue is noteworthy in that it confirms what had been hinted at in the previous issue - that Kara has completely accepted her status as a hero and the responsibilities her new-found powers have given her.  More importantly, the combat scenes show that Kara is more than dumb-muscle and has a natural head for strategy despite her relative inexperience as a warrior.

Issue #8 picks up on the heels of #7, with Kara facing down an ungrateful military platoon that is naturally scared about this young woman who defeated four monsters, single handedly, when their own weapons could do nothing.   Luckily Kara seems to have gained one supporter - a strong-willed, outspoken Irish woman named Siobnah, who has unusual powers too... including the ability to understand any language.

George Perez is the guest artist on Issue #8 and - while I am a bit biased in saying this as a Perez fan - I am hard pressed to think of a better artist one could hope to have had draw this particular issue.  The action moments early on and in the final pages are drawn well enough but the heart of this issue centers around two young women - both of whom have come a long way and are trying to rebuild their lives - getting to know one another and establishing a friendship that they both sorely need.  Perez is well known for masterfully drawing these slower moments while still infusing them with energy and this issue shows why his reputation as one of the grand masters of American Comic Artists is so well-deserved.

Issue #9 brings back artist Mahmud Ashar on pencils and inks. The sudden shift from Perez's style to Ashar's couldn't be more timely.  Ashar's darker inks and more stylized designs better suit this particular issue and it's decidedly disturbing story.

As the issue opens, we find  that Siobhan's dad is not as dead as previously imagined.  More, we discover that both father and daughter are infected by a magical curse that has transformed them both into creatures not unlike the banshees of Celtic Myth.  Of course Celtic Myth says nothing about male banshees but if they are anything like Siobhan's father, the Celtic Bards might not have gotten a chance to tell the tale after running into one.

The issue ends on a cliff-hanger, as The Black Banshee uses his magic to "unlock" Kara's energy, making her into a greater danger to the innocents watching the battle than the two banshees.  This leads Kara to make a faithful choice and a hero's sacrifice.  Or so it would seem.  Given that there's an Issue #10 coming out shortly I think we can safely assume Kara will emerge safe if not unscathed.  But it will be fun to see just how she manages it.  

Again, I say this is one of the best books DC Comics is publishing right now and one of their best-hidden secrets.  I'd suggest picking up the single issues on Comixpedia now, as the first print-trade of this series will not be out until September. You won't regret it.

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