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Mild Mannered Reviews - Supergirl Comics

Supergirl #57

Supergirl #57

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 20, 2010

Cover date: December 2010

"This Am The Way The (Bizarro) World Ends"

Writer: Sterling Gates
Penciller: Bernard Chang
Inker: Bernard Chang

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

Click to enlarge

There's a page of story recap, and then Supergirl goes into Bizarrogirl's ship to study Bizarro World from a hologram of Superman.

Meanwhile, the "godship" destroys the Bizarro JLA, et al.

Kara's plan is to absorb blue sunlight to alter her powers to better help Bizarro World. The blue sunlight helps Bizarro, Bizarrogirl and Supergirl make an army of Bizarros and attack the aliens, but fail miserably. Bizarrogirl flees.

Bizarro confesses he doesn't have "solid vision" and doesn't think any of the "krypt-zarros" do either. Bizarrogirl runs off to the Bizarro Fortress and feels bad for being scared, and Kara arrives and talks to her about how they're not opposites like Kal and Bizarro, but reflections of each other and they're feeling the same things.

Bizarrogirl rejoins the fight, but the sunlight-harnessing device is broken. So Supergirl takes a blue lens up into the sky, the sunlight comes through it and hits her and Bizarrogirl, Supergirl then uses heat vision (or was it clone vision? Impossible to tell) on Bizarrogirl, and Bizarrogirl then uses her solid-vision on the alien.

After hours of this, the alien is encased in lead. Kara eventually gets hold of the Green Lanterns, who collect the godship and reveal it's really a world-eater called "Ash'ka'phageous".

Bizarrogirl then locks herself in a cave over feelings of guilt for the man that she killed in Metropolis, now that she finally realizes what she'd really done. Bizarrogirl asks if self-punishment ever ends, and Kara tells her it might not but it's what you do afterward that counts, but then applies the same logic to herself and decides they both need to start healing.

In Metropolis, Cat Grant goes to see Lana and tells her she knows about Lana and Supergirl.

3Story - 3: Putting aside my issues with Bizarro-speak (I'm trying, honestly I am... stop looking at me like that!) and putting aside my distaste for (not-quite) solid-vision, and putting aside the fact that it makes no sense that there would be a hologram of Superman talking about what he found on Bizarro World in a ship that was made on Bizarro World by Bizarro...

...well my point is there's a lot of nonsense I have to set aside to get to the story. It's like a steak is covered in ice cream, coconut and sprinkles. So if you've got to get all that nonsense out of the way first, that steak had better blow your mind and be worth all the trouble. So let's slide the slop over and get to the main course, which is all that really matters.

Sadly I just wasn't blown away. What we got felt like contrived technobabble to solve the unsolvable puzzle that had previously been set up. Now keep in mind I'm a huge Star Trek fan so, you know what? I can totally dig on that.

But it only works in the circumstances where what's underneath all of that kicks your backside with awesome. What's here doesn't kick my ass with awesome so much as hit me in the face with a 2x4 (which I'm sure plenty of you would love to do by this point, but I'm afraid you'll have to take a number because the line's pretty long).

The dialogue has all the subtlety of a kick to the groin, and that's where it fell apart for me. Supergirl having her own guilt and seeing that mirrored in Bizarrogirl is a nice touch and set up well, but it's executed by people simply stating all of that flat-out. I mean, "Does the self-punishment ever end?" is about as on the nose as you can get, and Kara's answers, though the right ones for her character in that moment, are cliché and groan-inducing in execution.

It could have been a lot worse, certainly, which is why this is a 3. But there's been so many nagging issues all along holding things back... the contrived plot points, the deus ex machina solutions to problems, and here especially the trite and almost saccharine dialogue/monologue at the end bring down what, at heart, is a good story worth telling and reading.

Not to mention things like... what the heck happened to Eli Brown, the kid seemingly abducted by a creepy cop back in Supergirl #54? Three issues since then and not a peep about that, if I recall correctly. I am ALL ABOUT setting up things early and often and planting seeds that grow into blossomed stories, but it's really odd to have had nothing at all about it for three months now.

How many people have forgotten about that entirely, I wonder?

3Art - 3: I'm not really a fan of the art here. It's not bad by any means, but Kara's face looks different on nearly every page. It's like getting a Supergirl movie where they switch the lead actor every few scenes, it's kind of jarring.

3Cover Art - 3: I was going to give this cover a 4, but the yin-yang last month got a 4 and this is nowhere near as cool or meaningful as that one was, so it gets a 3. All 3s down the board this month, which is fitting as I've found this entire Bizarrogirl story to be exactly that. Not brilliant, not terrible, not great, not bad, just plain old... adequate.

Sorry guys, I wish I could rate this higher, I really do. But I have to be honest and I still see a lot of room for improvement. I know my standards are high, but I just want the best for Kal and Kara, as I think we all do.

Enough rambling! See you back here for the annual!

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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