Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4
Scheduled to arrive in stores: September 21, 2021
Cover date: November 2021
“Chapter Four: Restraint, Endurance and Passion”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Cover: Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes
Variant Cover: Rose Besch
Reviewed by: Tony Parker
After the horrible attacks by Krem and the Brigands on a number of planets, Supergirl and Ruthye visit each one, Kara taking the time to comfort and show kindness to the survivors of the bloodshed, all the while getting closer and closer to their target. By the end, they are pretty sure they are one planet away from Krem, and they take off…
To Be Continued…
Story – 5: The thing about reviewing, is that it’s made to be a game of near absolutes.
In the age we live in, where thoughts can be found in an instant, with the tap of a phone screen, and where every opinion can be sent out to the world at ease, we find that everything is either PERFECT or HORRIBLE. Big, capitalized words inform us that this movie “broke them”, that this episode “Changed us” that this comic “IS A DUMPSTER FIRE”.
Now, I am not coming here to tell you that none of those opinions are valid. Far from it.
What I am trying to say, is that when one lives in absolutes, one can never truly review or enjoy media.
The truth, as hard as it can be for some, is that even the worst, most horribly assembled product imaginable can still carry some good, some worthwhile quality, and even the best thing ever made will have a crack or two on it’s supposed glass ceiling.
Thus, I am not too proud to admit that this issue was the best one I’ve reviewed so far for this site, and further more, was a truly spectacular, sensational, and (pardon my predictability) super issue.
For the first time reviewing this mini-series, I felt in my heart of hearts that I was reading about Supergirl. This wasn’t an odd, dark, cynical sci-fi western that had some edgy protagonist pretending to be the opposite. I FELT Kara Zor-El in that story, in a way I don’t think I have in a while.
In face value, yes, this is a filler issue, and doing that at the halfway point, while still understandable, might rub people the wrong way. But to me, this was the most important issue so far, for it rerailed the characterization of Kara, and perhaps even explained why she had been the way she had been in the past 3 issues.
The story is fairly simple, Kara and Ruthye pass planet after planet affected by a horrifying attack from Krem and the Brigands. It is essentially an extended montage of Supergirl being Supergirl.
And that’s why it works.
Ruthye is still so caught up in her need for revenge, that she is losing whatever kindness she may have possessed. She spends most of the story, as always, simply observing, as Supergirl feeds a wounded man who can’t feed himself, helps a gravedigger find his daughter’s corpse and takes the load off his back, and helps a warrior woman process her grief. Kara shows kindness, sympathy, and love to these people, people who did nothing wrong, and who suffered simply because Krem and the Brigands thought it would be fun. They are the opposite of our hero, who does good simply because that’s what it is. Good.
Of course, Kara being Kara, it comes with her own complications. She watches an execution, not caring that the brigand will die (I admit I was not a fan of that moment, but seeing as Kara can’t just break the rules of another planet, and didn’t actively kill the Brigand, I shall allow it), and when she reaches a place where she can’t stand to see so much suffering, she screams in space and seemingly hurts herself in a sun since her grief could hurt others physically and emotionally. It is quite a stunning sequence, worthy of showing on the cover, and worthy of praise, for it shows the depth of caring Kara has, and how much pain she carries from seeing life and innocence trampled by sheer, selfish indulgence.
The story ends with Kara once more carrying someone’s pain, for that’s what a hero does. She wants to stop Ruthye from losing her soul, but she knows that Ruthye, like her, carries anger. Perhaps Kara can teach Ruthye not to go down that dark path.
And perhaps, after my increasingly negative out look on this series, it can finally soar like Supergirl does at the final panel.
Up and away.
Art – 5: Once more, lavish praise for the art. I was actually taken aback by how beautiful this issue was! Some pages feel straight out of a Dr. Seuss book, others from a golden age comic book with a tad more flair. You can practically feel the blinding light that is Supergirl, and the small, human expressions on each character are near heartbreaking. Of all the issues, this one has art that feels like it belongs in a museum.
Cover Art – 4: I would give this a 5, but I do feel like perhaps it could have represented the issue better? I’m not sure how though, to be fair. I like it quite a bit, mind you, just not enough for a 5. But still, a very decent cover that represents a beautiful moment well.
Variant Cover Art – 3: This may seem harsh, but I feel like this one is a tad off. I like the art just fine, it’s quite cute, actually, but it really doesn’t fit this story, and I just don’t like covers that do that.
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