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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #31

Supergirl #31

Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 2, 2008

Cover date: September 2008

"Way of the World - Part 3"

Writer: Kelley Puckett
Penciller: Brad Walker
Inker: John Sibal, Jesse Delperdang, Rodney Ramos

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Tommy's mother arrives back at the hospital with a yo-yo, but Tommy is dying. Superman arrives, somehow assists the doctors and then performs CPR on Tommy instead of the trained medical personnel. Tommy dies.

Superman tells Kara Tommy is dead, but she won't give up. She flies Resurrection Man to the hospital and wants to inject his blood into Tommy to try to bring him back. Superman says no, it's not their decision, it could turn Tommy into a monster, etc., and then says he'll appeal to the parents to let them inject Tommy.

His parents disagree and Kara flies Tommy's mother to the mountains somewhere and tells her how she could have died like everyone else on Krypton but her parents took a chance, not knowing what would happen to Kara out in space, and it saved her life.

They go back to the hospital room, Tommy's mother injects Tommy with the blood, and nothing seems to happen.

2Story - 2: Will someone put Rucka or Bedard back on this book, please?

There are a lot of problems here... namely why would Superman show up and interfere with a medical procedure? That's not his style. He knows that's stuff he and the other superheroes don't mess with.

He just got done telling Kara that very thing a few issues back, and here he is helping with a medical procedure! And not only that, but when Tommy's dying SUPERMAN is the one performing CPR on him? What about the TRAINED MEDICAL PERSONNEL IN THE ROOM?

Stand aside, mere humans! You cannot be trusted to do your jobs! Let a Kryptonian with nothing but basic medical knowledge handle this!

I think this is what people refer to when they say they don't like Superman, that he acts like he's better than everyone, etc etc. It's certainly not MY Superman, but that's the Superman in the pages of this book.

Medical doctors and nurses have nothing on him, because he's SUPERMAN.

Well he's not all things to all people, folks. He has limitations. This is one of them.

Say it with me now: Superman. Is. Not. A. Doctor!

The book almost devolves right into madness later on. Superman is finally in-character and tells Kara that her wacky scheme to inject the kid with Resurrection Man's blood could make a monster and it's not their decision to make and it's the wrong thing to do... but then one panel later says he'll go appeal to Tommy's parents on Kara's behalf and ask them to go along with it.


There is absolutely NO reason he would do a 180 position reversal there. He's the voice of reason talking Kara out of it, and then says, "Eh, well, why not?" The lack of logic in his motivation there is big enough that I worry a quantum singularity will form under the book and we'll all get sucked into a black hole where up is down, left is right, black is white and logic isn't. Someone help us.

So anyway, Tommy's parents rightfully refuse, and then Kara whisks his mother off to the mountains somewhere and tells her how HER parents could have accepted fate and left her to die but didn't and now she's alive because of it, and it was a risk because Earth people could have done who knows what to her. And this is enough to suddenly change Tommy's mother's mind, and they go back to the hospital and she injects Tommy with the blood.

Except that the entire argument is flawed. Zor-El and Alura did everything possible to SAVE their daughter's life, not bring her back from the dead.

This isn't a case of doing everything possible to help someone, this is a case of not accepting that all things must end, even the lives of loved ones, and no matter how much we might not like that, that's the nature of life. This is what life is.

Instead of letting this woman grieve and start accepting what has happened, Kara in effect guilt-trips this poor woman into thinking if she doesn't try to bring her son back from death that she's not doing everything she can to save him and what kind of mother is that?

This is a HUGE mistake for Kara, and I'd actually be excited about it if she was going to have to face the ramifications of it. Instead, I imagine Tommy will be back and may or may not be a monster, she'll be told she can't play god, etc., and the emotional turmoil she's put this boy's parents through will never be addressed, likely because it was something never even caught by the writer.

I don't think Puckett set out to have Kara guilt-trip Tommy's mother into doing what she wanted her to, but that is exactly what he had her do and it's unconscionable unless serious repercussions will be had for that action... and I don't see them coming.

Also indicative of how much thought was put into this story is the fact that Tommy's mother was bringing him a yo-yo. A very sick child, bed-ridden in a hospital... and she's bringing him a yo-yo? What's he supposed to do, LOOK at it and wish he could play with it?

Pour some salt in that cancer while you're at it. How about, oh... a BOOK?

Think about what you're writing, people!

In a perfect story that's something I could overlook, but this is no perfect story and is, in fact, quite indicative of the level of forethought that was put into this book which sits before you. Which, if you'd like it spelled out, I think is right about zero.


3Art - 3: Maybe this is a trend, I don't know, but the art feels very old-school. Very 1988, if you will... the hash marks, the overuse of shadow... it was strange. Consistent, at least, but strange.

2Cover Art - 2: Oh look! The Outsiders! The JLA! The Titans! Angry Superman! Angry Wonder Woman! Broken glass!


Yes, it's supposed to be metaphoric, I got it. Except that it's not because Kara's heart is in the right place and she has to learn her lesson, and who's trust did she break?


If Superman told her not to inject Tommy (and hadn't randomly reversed his position two seconds later), and she promised she wouldn't and then did anyway, THAT would be broken trust. For Superman. Only.

Not for every other hero in the DCU. I get they're trying to play up that she's doing what all other heroes know not to do... but they RUINED that by having Superman turn around and try to help her do exactly what he himself said issues ago (and within this very issue!) was wrong.

I was wrong, it's not meaningless.

It's meaningless and pointless, and it's not even nice to look at, either. Someone's snapped Kara's spine again, only forward this time.

Leave her spine alone, people, or she'll shoot spiky crystals out of it and kill you! Remember? Oh, we're supposed to forget that ever happened, aren't we?

Believe me, I've been trying.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2008

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