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Cover date: February 2009
"New Krypton" - Part 8: "Death in the House of El"
Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inker: Keith Champagne
Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges
Zor-El dies in Kara's arms in a scene that reminded me a lot of Superman dying in Lois's arms, and Brainiac's robots disappear from the city, with Superman surmising they were but a distraction to allow Metallo and Reactron to get close enough to attack Zor-El.
Cat and Lana clash over Cat's timing on her latest story, and a news report on the mysterious new Superwoman is on the television. Alura gives a speech about how great Zor was and how humans have treated Kryptonians with violence and thinks they should respond in kind.
Kal wants to know who was responsible for the deaths of the guards at Stryker's island, but Kara wants to wait as she needs to get her things from Metropolis as she's moving back to be with her mother, and then worries her actions got her father killed.
Alura shows up and blames humanity for the death of Zor, despite Superman's protests that Metallo and Reactron aren't representative of all of humanity, and Alura then chastises Kal and Kara for not doing a better job cleaning up earth before she arrived.
Angry, Supergirl leaves, and is found by Superwoman. They fly together and Superwoman tells Kara that her mother is wrong and she also can't control the people of Kandor. Nightwing and Flamebird lament having to use their identities to fight "the good guys", and notice Alura's security team have blueprints to the White House.
Alura goes to Zod's remaining troops and asks them to help her.
Superwoman makes Kara promise not to do anything rash, and says she'll reveal her identity when the time is right.
Story - 4: I'm finding it difficult to rate this issue, because it's part of the larger ongoing story in books that I'm not reviewing. Granted this was the case last month as well, but this issue was much more ensconced in the greater overall story than the previous.
So much so that to anyone not following the entire story and only reading the Supergirl comic, they'd probably be pretty lost and confused... but this is the price for ongoing stories with "triangle numbers" and so that's to be expected.
So how does one review what amounts to one chapter of a novel? You can't judge the story or the character development, because those play out over the course and not just in one installment.
And what we're then left with is a bunch of action, some emotional moments, and some mystery. But the key thing here is that they work in a logical sense. Everyone is in character, even Alura when she sort of turns to the dark side. She's grieving and she's angry and the story even points out (perhaps just a little too bluntly) that the combination of the two can make people do unfortunate things.
Kara is conflicted and worried, Kal is concerned and supportive, and Superwoman is... whoever Superwoman is (though I did appreciate tossing in a line as to Kara not being able to see through her mask, because I was immediately thinking to myself that every other Kryptonian would instantly know who she was).
So in short, this book had everything that you could honestly expect it to have as part of an ongoing crossover story. I can't know where that story is going or how it will play out, and what (if any) lasting ramifications on the characters will be had, and sometimes that's a lot clearer in ongoing arcs contained only to one book.
That said, I feel I can't give the book a 5 without being able to see more of the story as a whole, but there wasn't a single thing in this entire issue that threw me off, or took me out of the story, or made me stop and wonder what was going on or lament at terrible writing or characterization (or both).
As far as I'm concerned this is just about as good as you could hope for a chapter of a crossover like this to be, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I'm almost to the point where I'm ready to declare this book is finally actually on the right track for the long-term, and I'm excited for the future.
Art - 4: Loved it. Not the best I've ever seen, but it was excellent.
Cover Art - 4 (Superwoman): Kind of plain, and with annoying words, yet the execution of the image itself is so strong that I'm in love with it. The coloring is also exceptionally nice.
Cover Art - 3 (Angry Kara): Kind of generic, but what really loses points here for me is Kara's expression, which looks more joyous than sad or enraged or how she should be feeling to unleash that kind of blast (the interior of the book accomplished this much more effectively). Decent enough, but not wow-inducing.
Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2009.