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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #32

Supergirl #32

Scheduled to arrive in stores: August 6, 2008

Cover date: October 2008

"Time Heals All Wounds"

Writer: Kelley Puckett
Penciller: Ron Randall
Inker: Ron Randall

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Kara finds herself inside a casket and freaks out. She breaks out as Thomas's mother's words echo in her ears, but it's a dream and she wakes up.

Supergirl and Superman watch Thomas's funeral, and Kara says she will do whatever it takes to bring him back.

Suddenly it's fifty years later and Supergirl's on a ship in space. They're going to attack Dolok, who apparently has destroyed planets. Before she can get to him, he presses a button on his chest which apparently resets time back three minutes and there's an explosion on Supergirl's ship and they are defeated. Dolok puts her in a Kryptonite collar and gloats, but one of the people with Supergirl is a Green Lantern in disguise. But before he can do anything, Dolok presses the button again and transports himself one month into the past.

Kara, however, is already there waiting for him. He transports back a year, and Kara is there, waiting for him. He goes back ten years, and she's there again. Thirty years, and she finally defeats him and takes his time-traveling device.

She takes it back to earth, to Thomas's parents. She meets their grown daughter, who informs Kara that her mother died of cancer and her father shortly thereafter, but they regretted never getting to thank Kara for trying to save Thomas.

Kara contemplates going back in time to give the device to Thomas's parents before they died, or to use it to go back and fix all her mistakes. Then she realizes that would make her Dolok, and decides that it's finally time to move on and destroys the time-traveling device.

5Story - 5: Dear readers, I bring to you a good, WONDERFUL issue of Supergirl.

I know it's crazy, but it's true.

This in no way excuses all the missteps and misfires along the way. All the nonsense with arms through portals and gifts from Batman and future Batmen and all of that nonsense that never, in any way, came back into play through this story.

It was meandering, it was indulgent, it got off-track, it sailed off-course, it felt like it really had no idea where it was going.

But I'll tell you this... this was a damned fine issue. It had great characterization and development for Kara, which I could not be more pleased about. It showed her determination, her resolve, her will, her intelligence... and, again, her mistakes (and she appears to have learned from at least some of them, here's hoping that sticks).

There were little oddities, such as why fifty years into the future she'd still be calling herself "Supergirl" and not "Superwoman" (or something else entirely), but these are easily overlooked when you have such a strong story with such strong characterization.

The biggest problem is that this wonderful, great story was told... in one issue. All of the previous issues since Puckett came on board were a waste. They added nothing to this issue and on the whole added nothing to the legacy or mythology of Supergirl.

As a matter of fact, this entire run could be boiled down to two issues. The first, Thomas dies and Supergirl tries her options to save him (Resurrection Man et al) and it all fails... and then this issue, exactly as it was presented. All the rest was filler and nonsense and just a waste.

This COULD HAVE been a brilliant two-issue story that would have had me saying "Would someone put Rucka, Bedard or PUCKETT back on this book please?" whenever an issue goes wrong. Instead, well, it appears as the anomaly to the norm. The average Puckett issue was, sadly, meandering and poorly executed, filled with things that should have come back and tied into the story again later but never did (gather 'round, kids, and see the dangling plot threads) and often had characters out of character and were something of a chore to read.

Still, though, that doesn't detract any from the strength of this issue.

Now if only poor Kara could get EVERY issue to be this strong.

5Art - 5: I know this is a ridiculous long shot, but I will kiss the boots of whoever I must if "future Supergirl's" costume becomes her new present standard. It was classy, it was regal... it was simple, it was elegant. I absolutely love it, and I think it'd go a long way to helping people take her seriously. Kudos to whoever designed it, because that is a fine costume.

What really got me about this issue, what pushed it up from a 4, were the faces... specifically Kara's. They were very emotive, and looking at Kara's face there were several moments where I felt like I could SEE her pain, her inner conflict, her turmoil.

Absolutely brilliant work there.

Story and art aside, I couldn't ask more from any single issue than what was delivered here.

3Cover Art - 3: Okay, I take that back. I could have asked for a better cover.

It's not terrible, but it doesn't really make you want to pick up the book, either. And what's with "Choices"? What does that one word possibly add to the cover?

I'd say the same about the heartbeat monitor line at the bottom, which seems a bit over the top and sensationalist.

It's just kind of poor all around, and certainly not worthy of the greatness within. But considering the abysmal run Kara has suffered through all but a small handful of issues, if the worst complaint I have is that the cover could have been better, I'll take it any day of the week.

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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