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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #30

Supergirl #30

Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 4, 2008

Cover date: August 2008


Writer: Wil Pfeifer
Penciller: Ron Randall
Inker: Ron Randall

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Kara sits in space, trying to tune out the world and just rest for a moment, but is interrupted by Livewire attacking a group of people. Kara quickly dispatches her, but not before both Livewire and the onlookers wish Kara had been Superman instead.

Kara visits with Batman and Jonathan Kent in her search for answers about her past, and even digs her ship up from under the ice in the hopes her parents had sent crystals or information for her. Finding nothing, she travels to the Fortress of Solitude and speaks with the hologram of Jor-El, and learns that her parents weren't able to include any crystals for her because they were too busy preparing her ship to be sure she would survive. It's also revealed that Kara watched over Kal routinely while Jor-El was recording the crystals.

Kara goes back to her apartment and activates the device from several issues back that she used to travel to deep space and returns to the place where Krypton used to be. Kara says that she remembers now, and that she's doing her best, and says a final goodbye to Krypton.

ratingStory - 4: There are problems here, but let's not beat around the bush. For the first time in a very long time, I do not have to start this review with:

"Will someone put Rucka or Bedard back on this book, please?"

And that's a very good thing.

Actually there are several problems I have with this issue, and I consider some of them to be rather large. But "Supergirl" has been so sub-par for so long, and the heart behind this issue is so strong, that I can overlook them. It keeps the book from getting a 5, though, which it would have gotten if these problems were cleared up.

So what are the problems?

It was great to see Livewire again, but in one fell swoop she was rendered randomly stupid, homicidal AND of no real threat whatsoever. Since when has Livewire been a killer, much less indiscriminately so? Her only goal seems to be to draw Superman out, but for what?

She had no motivation or reason to be there, except as a plot device to give Kara an "everyone wanted Kal instead" moment. And I approve of the moment, just not the method of execution. Even having Kara internally wonder about such a seemingly random event doesn't cover up the fact that it was, in actuality, completely random. There could at least have been some motivation for Livewire... a REASON she wanted to draw Supes out. And what's the point of finally introducing Livewire to the comics only to have her taken out like a punk in two seconds? They're demonstrating that she is of no threat whatsoever, and also that her intelligence level is rock bottom.

Kara mentions Kal told her how to defeat Livewire (with water), and so she dives underground. Livewire for some reason assumes Kara is running away (when she could just fly off through the sky?) and doesn't make the connection to Kara bringing water up to short-circuit her powers, as Kal has apparently done before.

And Livewire, who can move at the speed of light, note, sits there and lets a moves-at-the-speed-of-water gush of sewage hit her? If I may borrow from Neal's "Smallville" reviews, Livewire earns the "Dumb as Clark" award.

The other issue is Kara watching over Kal all the time while her parents build her ship and Jor-El recorded the crystals. Again, I approve of the sentiment wholeheartedly, but the execution was flawed.

How is it Jor-El found time to build a ship AND record crystals, but Alura and Zor-El combined couldn't build Kara's ship and find the time to even record her one small thirty second message? It makes no sense. And why was Kara always watching Kal? Where was Lara? What was she doing all that time?

Very good sentiment, and I liked the aspect of Kara being Kal's caretaker and then the roles sort of reversing once she came to earth, but it feels like there wasn't enough forethought put into the story there. And not because of what was shown, but because of what it means for things that weren't shown (the contrivance of no crystals for Kara, no Lara, etc).

This issue is also, of course, a complete deviation from the ongoing story of the past issues, but in this instance I find that to be a good thing.

What we have is an above-average story with average execution, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

ratingArt - 4: For the most part I found the art quite enjoyable. There were a few panels that didn't work for me for various reasons, and the perspective seemed a little odd during some of the fight with Livewire, but on the whole I found it clean, pleasant, and emotive. The panel of Kara watching the hologram and tearing up was excellent, and it was really nice to have a consistent feel to the art through the entire issue for a change.

ratingCover Art - 3: Kind of generic and not terribly original and I'm pretty sure spines don't bend like that.

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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