Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #5
Scheduled to arrive in stores: November 16, 2021
Cover date: January 2022
“Chapter Five: The Lake, the Trees, and the Monsters”
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Cover: Bilquis Evely and Matheus Lopes
Variant Cover: Amy Reeder
Reviewed by: Tony Parker
Supergirl and Ruthye finally catch up to Krem, but the encounter is catastrophic. Krem, who has obtained a Mordru Globe, uses it to transport his would be conquerors far off to the other side of existence, specifically, Barenton, a planet with a green sun that once nearly killed Superman in 45 minutes. Kara, who is fast losing her powers and dying, has 10 hours until the sun goes down, and unlike Superman, has no help coming. All she has is Ruthye.
For the next 10 hours, Kara lies down on a rock, trying not to die, while Ruthye does all she can to protect her friend, even coming as close as to giving up on her mission of vengeance to keep the Kryptonian alive.
Finally, the time passes, and the two disembark to track down Krem once more…
To Be Continued…
Story – 2: To sum up my frustrations in the quickest way, this is only just better than issue #3, which I loathed. This, in fact, is the most disappointing issue yet, after how perfect #4 was.
And why shouldn’t I sum it up quickly, Mr. King? After all, you just spent 25 pages, 25 whole pages of beautiful art, writing absolutely, positively, NOTHING that matters. This is a waste of paper.
Two things of note happen, one of which I’ll discuss later, another is Kara saying Superman is understandably hateable for being judgmental about curse words, the other when she says he’s, well, let’s not use colorful language that is implied and say “weak” for only surviving 45 minutes. Telling that under King, this is her first thought. Very telling. Once more, I ask, why is this person writing a story about someone like Supergirl?
Okay, I’m being a little much, I know, dear readers. After all, this isn’t the worst comic book of all time, it’s not even really the worst issue of this run.
But it suffers from one of Tom King’s worst problems, the abundance of filler. Whether or not it’s mandated that he must write a certain number of issues, or it’s his own decision to write this much is anyone’s guess, but regardless of the reason, the result is truly irritating and insulting.
I read this issue, and I felt a real anger, and that’s almost weird and funny to me, because, really, nothing happened here. Nothing. Supergirl nearly dies, wow, that’s not overused, Ruthye shows the tiniest step forwards of development, which is appreciated mind you, and we get more of the same from the bad parts of this run: Supergirl curses, Supergirl is angry, Supergirl is cynical, Supergirl is told to us she’s this angel of kindness instead of it being shown, Ruthye, but really, Tom King, spends 25 whole pages waxing poetical about every colorful little detail and metaphor he can think of rather than tell a story, and it ends with another “drat, guess we’ll get that Krem another time!”
I am not pertaining to be some great writer, not by any means. I am still learning and working to improve. But I cannot understand how one gets themselves to write something this… Empty. It’s hard enough to get motivated for what really gets your artistic juices flowing, so how does a man manage to write something so boring and banal? Genuinely, I cannot tell you what Tom King meant with this. Usually, I have a semblance of a clue, it’s probably something to do with “look how horrible the world is, look how Batman and Catwoman love each other, if I make Joker say beep beep at the end of an issue with no words, that’s art”. Usually I get it. I don’t like it, but I get it.
But this isn’t even a message. This isn’t even sound and fury, signifying nothing. This is just… talking. Just droning on and on about, well, whatever is on the page right now.
Filler is gonna happen, we all know that, and I have said it before and will say it again, Filler can be EXCELLENT. But this provided nothing. I’m happy Ruthye showed the compassion and kindness and selflessness to nearly give up on her crusade if it meant her friend lived, it’s a great sign for her, and one that does not come across as totally out of nowhere, this has been building for a while, and that I praise enough to allocate a whole point.
But this Supergirl book has a distinctly un-Supergirl feel, and if it keeps going like this, it will be nothing but words, words, words, resting inside yellowing pages, stored away in a box someplace, forgotten, for they never really said anything at all.
They were just taking up space.
Art – 4: Nothing to say here, the art as ever is excellent, though admittedly not much stood out from the usual, though when the usual is this good, that’s praise in of itself. I like how Evely uses light in her work, makes one feel like they’re really suffering from the heat of the planet too!
Cover Art – 4: Quite a nice one, to be honest, a dynamic situation, Ruthye trying to save the weak Kara from the mouth of the beast, not bad at all!
Variant Cover Art – 2: This one looks nice, but is really just a recap of the first issue. I’d be more forgiving if it wasn’t baffling to me that it’s a variant to issue 5, and not 1.
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