Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1
Scheduled to arrive in stores: June 15, 2021
Cover date: August 2021
“Chapter One: Men, Women, and Dogs”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Cover: Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes
Variant Cover: Gary Frank and Alex Sinclair
Reviewed by: Tony Parker
On a medieval/western planet of sorts, in a tribute to “True Grit”, the cheating kingsagent Krem of the Yellow Hills kills the father of the brave and eloquent Ruthye Marye Knoll. The farmgirl thirsts for revenge, and goes off in search of a bounty hunter. Arriving at the whaletower, Ruthye attempts to hire one such bounty hunter, but is refused her terms and conditions. The hunter then makes the mistake of trying to fight a drunk Kara Zor El (Supergirl), who beats him up, and promptly faints.
It later turns out that Supergirl had gone to the planet on her birthday to forget for once her personal tragedies. She has no interest in helping Ruthye get her revenge, stating that killing is wrong. Ruthye’s determination and stuborness however lead to Supergirl facing her own personal tragedy thanks to Krem, when the kingsagent attempts to kill her when he hears Ruthye is hiring hunters for him, and ends up killing Krypto the Superdog instead. Enraged, Supergirl beats his partner up, and Krem, fearing for his life, escapes on her rocket ship. Now, Supergirl is stuck on the planet with a vengeful daughter, and another scar in her heart…
To Be Continued…
Story – 2: When I was assigned this run, I was truly excited and optimistic. It had been a long time since Young Justice had ended, and I was hungry to review a new, hopefully better run! And while I had my reservations on Tom King (his Batman run was… Not my favorite, to say the least), I thought this idea was truly brilliant. An “All Star Superman”, but for Supergirl? One of my favorite superheroes, a truly underrated character, going through a golden age of sorts? I was HYPED, to say the least.
Imagine my disappointment then, that once more I must give you all a disappointed review.
Truly, I am sad. I really wanted to like this. So perhaps, let me start with what I did like, before I deliver my concerns. Concerns, for judging a run on it’s first issue is unfair.
So first, I did appreciate what seems to be the drive behind Supergirl’s arc, that of which that she is 21, she’s still sort of unsure of who she is, of what she’s meant to do, and she has some anger issues. These, I would argue, are major aspects of her character, and seeing a story include both her optimism and ideals, her fears and concerns, and her anger and rage in one, is a very good sign.
I also liked drunk Supergirl (sort of), and the sci fi western medieval blend, even if I have my problems, as you will see.
I also liked certain lines (“Many well practiced smiths have offered me the sky for it, but I have no need for the sky”).
But, alas, I must delve into my frustrations.
The writing (and this is coming from ME) is… Very rosy and pretentious. I hate to assume such things, but Tom King does seem to be obsessed with gimmicks and thesorus flaunting. Yes, I realize this is a medieval western of sorts, but every sentence feels like a shakesperian play shoved into a blender alongside a very potty mouthed parrot. The juxtaposition of Supergirl saying fuck all the time (because DC just LOVES this stuff) and the poetic language Ruthye uses all the time just does not gell, not even in the clearly intended way.
I am especially preplexed by Tom King’s choice of tribute material. True Grit is not exactly the first movie that comes to mind when one thinks of Supergirl, and even less so when the tribute is WORRINGLY accurate. While I profess to not having seen the movie, I am well versed with how it goes. This is like hearing Tom King wax poetical on how much he loves this movie, and less about how he felt this story type fit Supergirl. One would not be wrong to assume this wasn’t meant to be a Supergirl book at first. This feels more up Batman’s alley, or Green Lantern’s alley, or even The Question!
I also fear where the book might be headed. If Ruthye’s narration, and the direction of the story is to believed, Supergirl may very well kill in this run, at least once. Now, I do not want to assume when we are only one issue in. I might be completely off, I might be subverted. I hope I am.
But so far, all I see is what I feared at first, when I heard Tom King was in charge of this story. I see an amalgamation of good ideas and bad execution. I see strange choices regarding dialogue. Even stranger decisions regarding characters.
Maybe this will be a definitive Supergirl story.
Right now, it feels like a True Grit remake that just so happens to include Supergirl, who might just be a drunk killer.
Also, killing Krypto, Tom? Come on.
Art – 4: However, with all my criticisms above, I am DELIGHTED to say the art was almost perfect! I didn’t opt for a 5 simply cause I wouldn’t call it completely masterful, but my word, Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes are giving us truly gorgeous sights! The backgrounds and colors pop, affording an almost impressionistic value, a van gogh painting masquerading in a star trek convention. The planet truly feels like an alien world, and whenever the book requires a medieval tone, a western tone, or a sci fi tone, they deliver fully. Supergirl’s costume hasn’t been this good since the days of Jeph Loeb, a brilliant sky blue that separates her from her cousin’s look, and providing a unique tone that is hers and hers alone, and even Krypto looks absolutely adorable.
I cannot wait for what they have next!
Cover Art – 3: A decent enough cover, even if it feels more like Camelot than the Wild West. Supergirl looks appropriately heroic, the rest of the cover hints at the story inside, and it’s simply a serviceable cover that does what a cover is supposed to do.
Variant Cover Art – 2: A very standard cover. Gary Frank does his thing, and it really doesn’t speak to me that much. Nothing to say.
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