Buy Now!

Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #23

Supergirl #23

Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 7, 2007

Cover date: January 2008

Writer: Kelley Puckett
Penciller: Drew Johnson
Inker: Ray Snyder


Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Kara opens a sound-proofed, lead-lined gift that mysteriously appeared in her apartment, which was a test from Batman who calls her and admonishes her for opening it. He then tells her if someone wants to get to her, they're not going to attack her physically.

Just then she hears Superman calling for her, opens her apartment door, and sees a ton of Green Lanterns fighting what look like holes or portals in space. Superman tells her not to look into the portals because they're "not our reality". He says the GLs asked him for help and have a special mission, but he's too busy... putting his hand through the portals to go on the mission and so Supergirl has to do it.

The GLs are "losing a war" and need to locate the enemy force's command center. They can't track their ships, but anything within 10 meters of the ship can't be detected and so they want her to fly through space within ten meters of the enemy ship until it returns to its base, and they give her a device to open a portal to head to (and return from) the mission.

As she goes through the portal, Superman tells her to take a really deep breath because she'll only have two hours to go without breathing while flying in space. Kara finds and follows the ship, which is able to lose her by flying so close to a star that Kara somehow ends up inside of it and comes out the opposite end, where the ship attacks her. She flies after it but is out of air, uses her portal device, and returns to the GLs.

Superman, the arm of his suit in tatters and his hand all... dirty (?) helps her up. She apologizes and goes back home, then remembers she has "two hours" and uses the portal to head back into space.

4Story - 4: This book started out really strong, with the gift/test from Batman. I dug it. A lot. And it's a great way for Kara to start learning to better defend herself.

Although a nagging issue here is Kara coming into the apartment. In costume. With mail... which she would only receive if the entire world knew "this is Supergirl's apartment!" or if she had a secret identity, which she does not.

Why would she walk into her apartment IN COSTUME and let everyone around see her going in there? And how could she possibly be getting mail? That's a bit ridiculous, but I didn't knock any points off for it. It just bugs me.

Judging from the setup I'm assuming this entire thing with the GLs is some sort of test, or will lead to some situation where Kara has to learn that villains won't always just try to punch her to death... but the GL stuff just made no sense. Holes in space? They're fighting a war against HOLES IN SPACE?

And how is Superman helping by... sticking his fist into one of the holes? And why would he tell Kara not to look into the hole, when he was staring right into it?

None of that adds up, so I'm hoping it's some sort of illusion or something, because it's highly confusing.

I REALLY dug all the "silent time" in space. Ten pages without dialogue isn't something you see every day in comics, and it really helps to illustrate (pardon the pun) one of the best storytelling aspects of sequential art... you don't NEED dialogue to tell the story, and here it especially worked to help set the tone and scene in the deep silence of space.

But sadly, the logic of the story told in the art here doesn't sit well with me. How could a ship fly close enough for Kara to get caught in the sun? She was staying within ten meters of the ship... so this ship can fly within ten METERS of a giant star and not also get pulled in by the massive amounts of gravity?

And even barring that, and how cool it was to see Kara popping out the other end of the star... her little portal device was still intact, functional and working just fine. After passing entirely through a burning star. I.... really don't think so.

And does this mean Kara is hyper-powered now? Isn't that what happens when a Kryptonian flies through the center of a yellow sun?

There's good character stuff here. I like Kara failing, and getting back up on the bike to try again. I like the allure of her possibly finally learning something. I like the silence of the space portion of the book. A LOT.

But the story logic just doesn't all add up. Here's hoping the next issue by Puckett can keep all of the really good (which this book certainly needs) but clear itself up a bit in terms of sense and story logic.

I had scored this issue a 3, but really I felt that was unfair because even with the plot holes it's so far above so many of the past issues that I couldn't rank it that low.

And to be fair, if the small plot issues had been corrected this would have been a five, easy, such was the weight of the good in this issue.

4Art - 4: I am of two minds on this art. It is absolutely good, don't get me wrong. But it also seems to be lacking some personality.

It's very clean and crisp and well done, but it feels like it could have been done by any number of people who all have the same "style", if that makes any sense.

Not bad by any means, but it could use a little more individuality to set it apart from every other comic out there.

4Cover Art - 4: A scene direct out of the issue, and a really cool image at that. At first, it actually reminded me a little of the old Linda Danvers Supergirl comic, what with Supergirl and flames.

Those were good days, eh?

But! This book is still on an upswing and I think (and hope) it is on the way to being something finally worthy of the character, and this cover certainly was. Nicely done.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008

Back to the Mild Mannered Reviews contents page.

Check out the Comic Index Lists for the complete list of Superman-related comics published in 2008.