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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #49

Supergirl #49

Scheduled to arrive in stores: January 27, 2010

Cover date: March 2010

"Death & The Family"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Matt Camp
Inker: Matt Camp

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Lana's on the phone with Perry, who is upset she's got a third doctor's appointment this week. Before her call finishes or she even gets out of her apartment building, she collapses with blood pouring from her eyes, nose and mouth, and there's some kind of insect crawling on her cell phone.

Banshee-Supergirl and the Silver Banshee scream at each other as the events of the last issue are recapped. Supergirl, possessed by some spirit, tells Silver Banshee they hid the artifacts in people (and killed them when they had to), in order to keep them hidden from her. Silver Banshee has one of these artifacts, which allowed her to track the others, and Banshee-Supergirl wants to see it. And then some kind of small dog figurine with four slashes on it pops out of Silver Banshee's stomach.

Apparently all the items were hidden not as a curse, but as a test for prospective clan leaders. Henderson punches Banshee-Supergirl, which somehow works because he has an artifact in his hand. Supergirl tries to kick the spirits out of her body but fails. Henderson then says since the spirits are tied to the artifacts, they can "be used against" them. He then stabs a knife right through his hand (and the artifact embedded therein) and Supergirl breaks free of the spirits.

Silver Banshee then wails and it... disperses the spirits. She uses some magic to remove the artifacts from Henderson's hand, and tells him she owes him a debt. Supergirl and Henderson talk on the rooftops, and Henderson sounds like he wants to form... the SCU. Supergirl hears something about Lana and flies away.

Kara arrives at the hospital, but it's too late, Lana has died. Kara tries to talk to the doctor about Lana's medical problem and then rushes into the morgue to find Lana covered in a cocoon crawling with more insects.

2Story - 2: I'm not sure I really get the point of the Banshee storyline. She shows up, gets her artifacts and leaves. The only difference afterward is that Henderson sounds like he wants to start up the Special Crimes Unit... which has been replaced by the Science Police, no? There just didn't seem to be any real point to the story. Nothing really changed afterward, and it did nothing for Banshee or Supergirl as characters. And that, to me, says these were just fillers (when they could have actually been a meaningful story).

There were also problems with the writing, such as it was. There's a LOT of exposition and recapping via dialogue, Banshee's origin was now changed significantly from being who she is as punishment for her wrongdoings to just... a test for a clan leader. It makes her far less sympathetic as a character, and thus a character I care less about. I personally always liked the tragic nature of her character, but that's been thrown out in favor of someone who just wants more power.

Henderson makes a crazy leap of logic that breaking one of the artifacts will somehow free Supergirl from being possessed, and then it actually works. I'm not sure which makes less sense.

Also, if Banshee yelling "McDougal" at the spirits dispels them, wouldn't that have also... killed herself? That is HER name too, but I should probably just stop thinking about it, because it didn't make a whole lot of sense all around.

I will say, though, that the scene of Kara running through the hospital, where she talks about everything she can hear and the one thing she can't... that was very well done. It gave me chills and was exciting and tragic all at once. If only the rest of the issue had been just as well-written.

And I just have to mention... the Insect Queen? That's where Lana being sick is leading? Another terrible Silver Age idea coming back into modern continuity?

I can't say I'm surprised, but I can say I'm dismayed.

4Art - 4: Nothing jumped out at me as overly spectacular, but nothing jumped out as problematic either. For the most part I enjoyed the art, even if it didn't blow me away.

The choice of panels to use as splashes didn't really make much sense to me, but there's no telling if the script called for those or if that was the artist's doing. Either way, though, the choices could have been better.

4Cover Art - 4: Does exactly what it needs to without being overdone or besmirched with ridiculous text saying "In this issue... SOMEONE DIES!" etc. Thank goodness for that.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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

January 2010

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