Supergirl. Issue 6. Comic Book Review!

Krypto Blade!

Supergirl #6
(Green. Johnson. Asrar!)

PREVIOUSLY
Supergirl’s nightmare is finally over – she has left Earth and has somehow made it back to Argo City! But it’s not the home she remembers, and a deadly new adversary stands in her way.

The character of Supergirl has always had a difficult time. Both in terms of the stories and battles she faces, and the struggle writers/artists have of making her a teenager who skirts the likeable/teenage mood swings balance without one side tipping too far over. Recent writers such as Sterling Gates and James Peaty have done a great job with the character, and she’s always had ardent fans (such as myself), but a reboot allows for an ironing out of her continuity status.

And this reboot has actually represented a shift in terms of Kara Zor-El, paring things down to absolute basics and then building them up again slowly. She’s still a recognisable part of the House of El (as her incredibly insane cameo in Superboy 6 shows), but is being designed as someone who isn’t existing as part of Superman’s ongoing stories so much as having her own crazy tales.

This issue drills that in by repeatedly asserting that Supergirl is the only one who can stop Reign and her friends, hence why they are targetting her specifically. While I, and the writers mentioned above, view Kara as an extremely powerful character, it’s nice to see the comic-book asserting that she’s easily as strong as Superman, if not stronger, given she came to Earth as a teenager after a lot of training. Comparably, she’s advanced faster than Clark had in the same time, a point confirmed by her beating the Hell out of her cousin back in Supergirl #2.

Indeed, the artwork and writing portray this nicely. Kara was being groomed as a scientist on her planet, and yet is a fighter on Earth. The duality hints at interesting stories down the line. Stories perhaps a little more interesting than Kara fighting random Krypton inspired bad guys. Reign is an interesting villain, a Doomsday style character with better pronunciation, but they could be better served putting Kara’s scientific mind to better use.

As it’s only six issues in, and they’re doing smaller-arcs rather than six month arcs, there’s room for the character to grow. But differentiation from Superboy (an absolutely insane title) and Superman needs to be increased. I’d also prefer some more focus on the teenage stuff, as so far Kara’s not really interacted much with Earth beyond beating up supervillains.

I know how frustrating armchair quarterbacking can be, and considering Green worked on Heroes it’s likely he’s got plans for Kara’s character development and relationships, but it seems like the comic is afraid of taking the next step in defining who Kara is.

Grade: B-

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