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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #3

Supergirl #3

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 16, 2005

Cover date: December 2005

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Penciller: Ian Churchill
Inker: Norm Rapmund

"Power" - Chapter Three: Outsiders

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Supergirl #3 The book opens with Supergirl sparring with members of the Outsiders, one of whom goes a bit extreme and shoots a Kryptonite bullet at her. Nightwing shows up and Supergirl fawns over him in true teenage fashion.

Starfire arrives with news about Luthor, and Supergirl takes off to find him, but not before planting a kiss on Nightwing. The Outsiders move to follow her, but Supergirl has disabled their jet so that she can go after Luthor alone.

Starfire catches up to Supergirl and admonishes her, but Luthor shoots her out of the sky with a beam from his battle suit. Supergirl charges Luthor but is clearly outmatched as Luthor uses the Kryptonite at his disposal to incapacitate her.

Lex says he's going to kill her, and then asks her where Darkseid is, who he claims is his ally. He accuses Superman of killing Darkseid, which angers Supergirl and she breaks free of his grasp. Lex dispatches her (again) and makes statements that imply he thinks Supergirl is someone other than Kara Zor-El. He says everyone has a blackness inside, and then hits her with black kryptonite.

This causes a new version of Supergirl to spring forth from the original, wearing a black and silver costume with an impossibly shorter skirt. She then claims Lex just made the biggest mistake of what's left of his life.

Here's a translation of the Kryptonian speech that appears in the issue:

Page 20 - Panel 2

Yes freed at last

Page 21 - Panel 1


You just made the biggest mistake of what's left of your life.

4Story - 4: Well, now we're getting somewhere.

Kara (if that is your *real* name...) is getting a little more personality, though she's still somewhat undefined in my mind. You ask me about Superman's personality, I have it nailed down. You ask me about Wonder Woman's or Batman's personalities, I have them nailed down. Supergirl, not so much. I feel like I have an inkling, but I don't have a clear picture.

Perhaps it will come more into focus as the story rolls on, but my personal preference would be for us to know her a bit better by now. Then again, considering the events of the issue, I'm not sure if *anyone* knows who she is right now.

Supergirl seems to be sparring with the Outsiders at the beginning, and while it feels thrown in simply to give her someone else to fight, at least it's a plausible scenario. Although the Kryptonite bullet bothers me, because if it's just sparring/training, why would someone risk an attack that could have very well killed her? Perhaps that's a future story point. I hope so, anyway.

The fight with Lex was good, and it was very nice to see Lex acknowledging his past and how far he's fallen from where he wants to be. That was a great character moment for him. I just want some moments like that for Supergirl, too.

From Lex's reaction when being asked about the black K back in Issue #2, it's safe to say that his plan all along has been to split Supergirl into two beings. Which is compelling and I look forward to finding out more about that. It's got my interest. And I'm also curious as to why he's looking for Darkseid.

But what doesn't make sense is why he'd accuse Superman of killing Darkseid out in the depths of space. Luthor is well aware that Superman doesn't kill, and he's beyond smart enough to know that making such an accusation would likely anger Supergirl. Which it did, and which then led to her temporary escape.

I'm hoping this is a part of the "confusion", if you will, that Lex has been experiencing over in "Infinite Crisis", but that remains to be seen.

The "crush" she seems to suddenly have on Nightwing seemed a bit... I don't know, rushed, maybe. I'm hoping that also somehow plays into the story later, because if not then it was random and didn't serve the story in any way.

Still, this issue got me to anticipate the next, which is a great thing. But it's because of Lex and his plan that I'm so interested, not because of Supergirl herself, which is still my main concern with this book. I'm hoping that's all just part of the "splitting her in two" story and by the end of this arc we'll finally know who she is and what she's all about.

3Art - 3: The best thing about this issue is Supergirl's face, which I find consistent and charming and very nice to look at.

Again, the problem is that the same face is on every female character in the book. The splash on pages 2 - 3? Supergirl fighting... a tattooed and slightly tanned Supergirl.

Look at the first and second panels on page 12. Starfire in the first, right next to Supergirl in the second. They're nearly identical. It's a good thing Starfire has orange skin and a skimpier costume, or we wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

I did like the colors on the "evil Supergirl's" costume, though. Actually, that's been the best part of the interior art of all three issues so far, for me. The coloring.

Mr. David Moran, sir, you are an excellent colorist. Especially during the fight with Luthor, which was magnificently vibrant.

3Cover Art - 2 (Ian Churchill): I like the effect of the shadow of Supergirl seen through the back of her cape. That's a very nice touch.

Alas, the pose is lacking, there's a generic cloudy background, and the text on the cover seems to imply that Supergirl will become an Outsider (or at least consider the possibility). But that actually has nothing to do with the book whatsoever. It's an "okay" cover, but again, nothing that really grabs you, and it loses a point for the misleading (and lame) text.

5Cover Art - 5 (Michael Turner): Are you keeping score at home, kids? We've had three issues of "Supergirl" so far. Each issue has had two different covers, one by Turner and one by Churchill. The score?

Turner - 3, Churchill - 0

Maybe the wrong guy is drawing this book?

The Turner cover has one of those gorgeous backgrounds from the Luthor/Supergirl fight, a scene lifted directly out of the comic, and lacks the stupid " Outsider?" text that the Churchill cover got saddled with. The colors are amazing, Supergirl looks genuinely concerned and Lex looks completely pissed off.

I also find Turner's battle-suit design far more aesthetically pleasing than Churchill's version, which can be seen in the interior.

Turner's is smooth and streamlined. Churchill's seems over-detailed, with too many unnecessary buttons, screws and indents. It makes the suit look more angular and dated. Churchill's looks more like it was designed in the '60s than anything else, while Turner's looks very sleek and modern.

Oh, Mr. Turner, please keep doing Supergirl covers forever, won't you? Please?

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

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