Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2
Scheduled to arrive in stores: July 20, 2021
Cover date: September 2021
“Chapter Two: Wounded, Stranded, and Impotent”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Cover: Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes
Variant Cover: Lee Weeks and Matheus Lopes
Reviewed by: Tony Parker
To Be Continued…
Story – 3: On reflection, I wonder if perhaps my previous review had been a little harsh. While I do still think it was a very mixed bag of good and bad things, perhaps my dislike of the concept itself was unnecessary (though I don’t see how Supergirl fits this kind of story personally).
So once more, when I approached this issue, I told myself to try and be just a bit more open minded to the story, to the idea. And I do find this issue, when it gets things right, to be a bit better than the previous one, though flaws are still very apparent.
Picking up from Krypto’s death (which, for some reason, is relegated to the end of the issue in a flashback that honestly didn’t feel very necessary), Kara and Ruthye (who feels more like an actual person in this issue, I report happily) board a space bus of sorts which seems to take them just… Back to where they were? Perhaps I misunderstand, but that is not the point of this issue, so even if that is the case, I am not complaining.
King’s intention in this issue is to develop Kara and Ruthye’s friendship more, and he attests that in a sense, Ruthye falls head over heels for Kara, not in a romantic way, but in an admiring way, as the sort of woman she wishes she could be. While I definitely like the idea, and see where King is going with it, by having Kara’s flaws show up during this, but it all feels just a bit off. Kara is constantly being told to us that she is supremely kind, that nearly all she does is wonderful, and that she is a hero. But outside of one admittedly heartwarming sequence where she teaches a for once innocent Ruthye how to wash her hands, Kara seems to be kind of a jerk. She seems pretty nonchalant about a space dragon attacking and potentially killing multiple people at first, she’s almost too rough anytime she attacks people (did she kill that jerk in the seat? Unclear, so I won’t complain), and of course, in my least favorite moment, she is apparently regretful that she never tried to kill the one who destroyed Krypton(I conducted some research, and it’s hard to tell if anyone in this continuity is responsible or not, but either way, it is not a good moment).
But I am tired of negativity, and this issue isn’t just negativity. In fact, I felt like I could understand what Tom King was trying to do with this series far more clearly now. Ruthye is a vengeful girl who deep down isn’t so bad, while Kara is a kind person who has feelings of anger that she doesn’t want to think about. There is much potential in this concept, and when it shines, like in comedic beats when Ruthye sings Supergirl’s praises to high heaven, but she’s snoring away, or in dramatic beats, like when Supergirl works tirelessly to save Ruthye, despite all the pain she’s in from losing Krypto, you can feel the gears of an intriguing machine turning. King’s attempts to change genre and tribute “It Happened One Night” are also greatly appreciated, showing that this is not just a True Grit take, but a tribute to all kinds of “unlikely pairs” movies, so kudos on that!
So in the end, this issue felt to me like the bus ride present in this story. Sometimes a stop was good, building character, making me smile, or at least offering some sort of reminder that this character is Supergirl. It definitely made me like Ruthye more, who feels less weirdly pretentious and more human, latching onto the first role model she can find and showing a sort of depression I could feel for.
But at the same time, there was much filler, much unnecessary violence and cursing, even if it IS for the sake of an arc, and when Kara changes so rapidly from page to page, it makes for one quite bumpy ride. Here’s to hoping that the improvements continue though, for there ARE ones in this issue!
Art – 4: The seeming one constant in these issues so far is the quite wonderful art by Bilquis Evely! While this issue featured far less in terms of dynamic compositing, I find myself loving each design in this series. Supergirl at times looks angelic, her hair especially the best I’ve seen for a while. She feels too good to be true when drawn like this. Ruthye’s features are noticeably softer and more childlike the more she opens herself up to Supergirl as well, at truly delightful creative decision, and Supergirl’s red kryptonite form was a sight to behold! More of this, please!
Cover Art – 4: My favorite cover of the run so far! The whimsy and slice of life present really translate the issue’s story, which I will always be a fan of. The mood of the story is present from the first glance, and the sight is quite charming!
Variant Cover Art – 1: I am quite surprised at how average and mediocre this one is. The moment presented IS in the story, but bares little to no significance. Perhaps an attempt to show that there would be action in this story? I’m not sure, but I found it greatly lacking.
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