Holiday Gift Bag: Supergirl’s Cosmic Adventures

Man, I still got stuff I want to recommend for your gift list, and time’s starting to get short. So today, let’s look at the infinite awesome that is Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade by Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones.

You may remember I reviewed the individual issues of this series when it originally came out in 2008-09. I loved it then, and if you didn’t get a chance to read it then, it’s definitely worth the bucks to pick up the trade paperback.

What we’ve got here is an all-ages comic starring the best version of Supergirl ever. She’s still Superman’s cousin (this time from a part of Krypton that got zapped into another dimension when the planet exploded), but this time she’s a gangly, awkward pre-teen with a lot of enthusiasm and imagination, almost as much self-doubt, a poor grasp of her powers, and an even-worse grasp of life on Planet Earth.

Superman doesn’t really know what to do with her, so he gives her a secret identity and enrolls her in junior high. And she, like almost all junior high students, doesn’t like junior high at all. It doesn’t help that she’s the class freak — always asking weird questions about everyday life based on what she knows from futuristic Krypton — but she soon acquires a rival who’s really her much more popular imperfect clone, as well as a best friend who could turn out to be her worst enemy.

Author Landry Q. Walker and artist Eric Jones really turned out a brilliant comic book with this one. The art is whimsical, emotional, and frequently madcap — the writing matches it, maybe even goes beyond. Supergirl’s character is just plain fantastic — charismatic, goofy, awkward in that way that only teenagers can be — and when things get tough, she’s as likely to turn to her wildly creative imagination — often to her daydreams of herself as the hyper-competent and beloved “Moon Supergirl” — as she is to use her superpowers.

I think this would make a great gift for younger readers, both male and female — but it’d be especially appreciated by girls. Supergirl is a lot of fun — she’s frustrated by all the pointless junior high nonsense she has to put up with, but she also wants to be loved and adored by everyone — she reminds me of several girls I knew when I was close to that age. She’s got tons of moxie (Do the kids today still say “moxie”? Actually, did any kids every say “moxie”?) and charisma, and for all her clumsiness, she makes a great role model.

And the great thing about a lot of all-ages comics nowadays is that they’re often very accessible to adult readers, too. This comic is no exception — the dialogue is smart, the characterizations are excellent, the humor is entirely wonderful.

The book is available for about $13, and I’d recommend it for kids and adults — tons of humor, tons of excellent stories, tons of Kryptonite-powered awesomeness.

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade by Landry Q. Walker and Eric Jones. Go pick it up.

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