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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #56

Supergirl #56

Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 22, 2010

Cover date: November 2010

"Mad World"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Jamal Igle
Inker: Jon Sibal

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

Aboard Bizarrogirl's ship, Kara talks to her while she's unconscious and recaps the story from the past few issues, and then falls unconscious and talks a bit like a Bizarro even though the gas wasn't supposed to affect her. Kara then has a dream where other Kryptonians on New Krypton can't hear her and some explosion or fire sears her flesh off. She then wakes up as the ship arrives at Bizzaro World, which is exploding and cracking all over.

The ship crashes down and the Bizarros attack Bizarrogirl for leaving them in their time of need. Bizarro Lex then shows up and says some Bizarros speak opposite because of different dialects and that the "godship" was his fault, as he sent a signal into space to... either try to help or hurt Bizarro, I honestly can't tell.

Then some giant bug lands and eats Bizarro Lex, and Bizarrogirl attacks it. Supergirl is about to cut Bizarro Lex out with heat vision when Bizarro arrives and freezes the monster and says he'll just make another Bizarro Lex. He and Bizarrogirl are reunited.

Bizarro shows her the "godship", which crashed on Bizarro world. He tried to make it leave and it sent all the giant bugs after him. He tried to fight it but failed, and when trying to make a "super-powered backup" somehow Bizarrogirl was created.

Kara goes to see the "godship" and it's not a ship but a... giant space bug? Maybe?

The giant space bug sends her flying through the entire planet, where she just happens to land back where Bizarro and Bizarrogirl are. She says she's going to need Superman's help.

3Story - 3: The back of the issue says the story is concluded next issue, which only leaves me to wonder what might be in store that makes this story worth telling. Right now not a whole lot has happened, and while some may find half of Bizarroworld's destruction being pivotal or important, I'm not terribly moved by it or concerned with it.

I can see the obvious parallels being drawn between Bizarrogirl and Supergirl, so I suppose by the end of this Kara will realize she needs to keep being Supergirl and will no longer wonder and brood about it.

I suppose that's all well and good, but I'm not sure what the point of her wondering and brooding about it is if it's going to be resolved so quickly. Point being I LIKE that as an idea for a Supergirl story, but the story being told doesn't feel like that story. It feels like a story about Bizarrogirl, who I really have no interest in, and Kara's just along for the ride.

Wondering if you're on the right path in life is something we all go through, and it's a story worth telling. I just worry it's going to be glossed over to return to the status quo by issue 58, and we'll have spent more time on Bizarros than on any kind of soul-searching by Kara.

I'm also trying to set aside the utter nonsense I find an entire square planet of Bizarro people where Bizarro keeps making more of them. I like BIZARRO as a concept, but beyond that I think it just delves into Silver Age ridiculousness and, for me, that doesn't fly so well in a book like this in 2010. I'm having trouble seeing an entire planet of Bizarros as a credible addition to the universe, is what I'm saying. And that's not Gate's fault or doing, but it still just doesn't really work for me.

To say nothing of the entire "we'll make up whatever we want about 'turning things to lead vision' to keep the readers guessing, even if it makes no sense" issue, there's the Bizarro speak.

You've all heard me bring it up before, and how it's so inconsistent and you never know what the Bizarros are saying because it's randomly reversed and then not. So I was quite intrigued when I saw mention of that made in this book. Aha, I thought... perhaps something to explain it.

And an attempt at an explanation was given, but then destroyed three panels later. It's the lead-vision all over again, by way of "this is what X is" and then as soon as that's not convenient, "Sorry, X is something else, forget what we told you earlier." It's the EXACT same thing, done here with Bizarro-speak.

If your supposition is that sometimes Bizarros speak in reverse and sometimes they don't is due to different dialects, then some Bizarros will speak in reverse and some won't. Fine. The problem is that Bizarro himself (and Bizarrogirl, herself) will switch between the two depending on however the writer feels like putting the line together. So you never have any idea what's true and what's not. And when I said this idea was destroyed three panels later, that wasn't hyperbole.

As soon as Bizarro Lex offers that as the reason, three panels later he says, "Me was trying to find worstest way to hurt Bizarro #1, my worstest enemy".

Up until that point, Bizarro Lex has not spoken in reverse-speak. So is he speaking in reverse speak here? Was he trying to actually hurt Bizarro? Or help him? We have no idea, and you'd think it would be good to have that information. Is Bizarro Lex a BIZARRO Lex, in that he's a good guy? Or is he evil, like our Lex, but talks and behaves like a Bizarro?

No idea. There's no way to tell. Does Bizarrogirl actually think Bizarro Lex is sexy? She says she does, and looks like she does. But sometimes she speaks in opposites. And, the problem... sometimes she doesn't.

The actual problem is there's no consistency, at all, in any of the Bizarro characters. I honestly don't know if that Lex was good or evil. I don't know if Bizarrogirl likes him or not.

And I don't recall ever hearing anyone speak in different "dialects" mid-sentence. Unless someone's trying to speak with an accent they don't normally have, that doesn't happen. I don't suddenly burst into a Texan drawl for no reason, you know? It makes no sense at all that they'd switch back and forth, so the explanation doesn't fly and the execution doesn't work. And once again the inconsistency of Bizarro-speak makes part of the story completely lost on the audience.

Pick one, DC, and stick with it so that we can figure out what the heck they're trying to say.

Beyond that, again, not a whole lot to be excited about here but nothing glaringly bad. Just kind of treading water until the next issue, which I hope redeems the story.

3Art - 3: Not bad, but doesn't seem as good as it usually is. Also, the "godship", when Kara goes to see it... I looked at that thing for five minutes and still couldn't really figure out what the heck it was.

With a two-page splash of just one image, I shouldn't look at it for that long and still not be able to tell what I'm looking at, I think.

4Cover Art - 4: The yin-yang motif is what makes this work, especially given Kara seeing the parallels between Bizarrogirl's life and her own. Well done.

Mild Mannered Reviews


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