Archive for Supergirl

Evil Wins Again!

I have lots of books I could review, but I really want to start out with the best comics of the week.


Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #5

Linda Lee gets her secret identity as Supergirl busted again when a time-traveling Supergirl from the future accidentally reveals everything to Linda’s former best friend Lena Luthor. Meanwhile, Supergirl’s evil clone Belinda Zee gets a hand in realizing her true destiny as “Supergirl #1” by the evil principal. Belinda starts turning her schoolmates into Bizarros, Lena mind-controls the rest of the students and helps Lex Luthor break out of jail and ambush Superman. Belinda gets hold of Supergirl’s communicator that she uses to talk to her mother back on Argo, but gets a nasty surprise when the woman she recognizes as her mother doesn’t recognize her at all. And the teachers at school all reveal their secret identities.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Holy guacamole, was this one fun. Belinda Zee and Lena Luthor finally go full-on villain, and it’s completely hilarious. The time travel stuff was a bit out-there, but it’s a small price to pay for stuff this awesome.


Secret Six #8

Even for a book as offbeat as “Secret Six,” this is an unusually offbeat, weird, and funny issue. Scandal goes grocery shopping and runs into a tall, gorgeous redhead named Liana — the stripper/Knockout-lookalike who she met at Jeanette’s casino. There is a great deal of chemistry there. Meanwhile, Jeanette insists that Deadpool go on a date with her, but he’s nervous about her intentions, so he wants a chaperone. Though Ragdoll is extremely eager to come along, Scandal proposes a double-date — with one caveat: Deadpool isn’t allowed to kill anyone. So there are tangles with a vengeance-seeking neo-Nazi, a bunch of arrogant fratsters dressed as the Blackhawks, and even more neo-Nazis, plus an all-girl band dressed as Power Girl, the most focused bathroom tryst ever, and much more, including the infinitely-wonderful glimpse we get into Ragdoll’s “Tiny Titan”esque dreams.

Verdict: An extremely enthusiastic thumbs up. A very funny issue, with outstanding dialogue and excellent action. “Ragdoll Dreams” is probably the standout moment, but there’s really not a single weak moment in this entire comic. My only regret is that Nicola Scott wasn’t on board to draw this issue — but even then, fill-in penciller Carlos Rodriguez does a wonderful job with the characters here. Seriously, if you didn’t pick up this comic this week, go back to the store and get one now. You won’t regret it.

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In this Issue: Someone Dies!


The Age of the Sentry #6

This is a near picture-perfect send-up of the old “imaginary stories” in the Silver Age “Superman” comics — from the Sentry getting his secret identity revealed to the team-up of his greatest enemies to guest appearances from almost everyone imaginable to a couple of deaths and resurrections to an unusual amount of head-trippy weirdness that may or may not be in continuity. The entire story is so wild and weird, I’m not sure any actual discussion of the plot would make a lick of sense — which isn’t a bad thing in this case, it just means you’ve really got to get on board and enjoy the ride in person, instead of having me describe it to you.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Grand, whacked-out fun. Not sure if this is the last issue or if it’s going to continue — I hope it keeps going for a while, because Jeff Parker is really bringing the awesome home with this one.


Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #4

There seems to be a Kryptonite-powered cat kidnapping everyone at Supergirl’s school. The only students left are Supergirl, her popular Bizarro clone Belinda Zee, and her best friend, Lena Thorul, who is also Lex Luthor’s little sister. And when Supergirl accidentally reveals her secret identity, both Belinda and Lena hate her. Can they all work together to save their classmates?

Verdict: Another thumbs up. I love the artwork, I love the jokes, I love just about everything about this comic. It’s irritating that it only has another two issues left before the series is over — it’s certainly deserving of being a regular ongoing series.

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Mystery Girls


Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #2

Supergirl’s life continues to be generally sucky, including having to stay late after school, getting exposed to Kryptonite, and getting a superpowered imperfect-clone rival named Belinda Zee, but she does at least meet her first real friend, a red-headed genius named Lena Thorul. Umm, why do I suspect that last name would scramble into something ominous?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I would’ve enjoyed this one anyway, but any comic that includes the line “Must… fight crime… Save… cow!” is definitely a winner.


Terra #4

The final issue of this miniseries has Terra and Geo-Force work to stop the rampage of the maddened crystal-powered Richard What’s-His-Name. All that, plus another guest-appearance from Power Girl, clothes-shopping, and spitting out sushi. It makes more sense in context, trust me.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, I just love Amanda Conner’s artwork. I hope she’s working on some new comics coming out? Oooh, what’s that? Conner, Palmiotti, and Gray are working on a new “Power Girl” ongoing series? Wonderful!

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Friday Night Fights: An Epic of Violence!

For the first Friday Night Fights of 2009, I’m pulling out all the stops. From 2005’s Bizarro World anthology, here’s the big fight between Wonder Woman and Supergirl from “Super-Dumped” by Johnny Ryan and Dave Cooper.










Not sure that’s technically an “epic,” but it’s sure got all the violence you’ll need this weekend.

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Riot Girls

Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade #1

This is a new all-ages book from DC, and it features the best version of Supergirl we’ve seen in a comic book in ages. A native of Krypton’s moon, Argo, which was transported into another dimension when Krypton exploded, Kara sneaked into a rocket to Earth in a misguided attempt to get back at her parents and didn’t expect to get trapped on Earth with no way home. But Superman decides the best thing for her is to learn to fit in on Earth, so she enrolls in a local school as bespectacled Linda Lee. Of course, it’s one disaster after another — she has no idea how things on Earth work, so she asks lots and lots of embarrassingly stupid questions. Can Supergirl escape back to her homeworld or at least find a way to communicate with her parents again?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This version of Supergirl is pure awesome, and it’s too bad she’s not the one who appears in the regular “Supergirl” comic. I love the art, I love the story, I love the humor. Go pick this one up.

Terra #3

Well, Geo-Force has been taken over by an undead necromancer named Deathcoil, and Terra has to defeat Deathcoil without also harming Geo-Force. She manages this in only a couple of pages, but Geo-Force is still left in bad shape from the possession, so Terra has to take him to her home — a world deep, deep underground called Strata, populated by an advanced race of kinda-sorta squids. And it turns out that Terra, despite her outwardly human appearance, is also one of the Stratans. Gifted at birth with earth-moving powers, she was chosen to live aboveground among humans as a super-ambassador of sorts. Meanwhile, Richard, the engineer-geologist who got turned into a living diamond, takes his girlfriend to see the mystical underground pool where he got his powers. Wanting abilities like his, she jumps into the pool… and of course, it doesn’t turn out the way she hoped. When an angry Richard shows up in Strata looking for revenge, can Terra and Geo-Force handle him?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Wow oh wow, Amanda Conner’s art on this is sooooo cool. And yeah, we gotta give props to Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti for the excellent story, too, as well as Paul Mounts’ coloring, which is just plain dandy.

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Heaven and Hellboy


Hellboy: Darkness Calls #6

In the conclusion to the epic, Hellboy is still locked in combat with the immortal Koshchei the Deathless, lost in the world of Russian myth. Baba Yaga has Koshchei’s soul, and she’s powering him up by feeding him all the souls she’s stolen over the centuries. Will Hellboy be able to get away? And what are the faerie hordes planning on earth?

Verdict: Thumbs up. I’m not going to spoil this, but Mike Mignola and Duncan Fegredo have done a great job here. If you don’t have the previous issues, it’s likely that you’ll have a tough time finding them, so you might want to consider picking up the trade paperback that will eventually collect this whole story.


Lobster Johnson #3

More pulp goodness from Mike Mignola, this time with Jason Armstrong providing the artwork. Jim Sacks, the man in the iron supersuit, awakens to discover that his mentor and employer has been reduced to a talking brain in a tank — that Jim himself may actually be dead! And the evil Fu Manchu-esque villain has stolen the device that will allow him to harness vril, a naturally-occuring pseudo-mystical power source. Lobster Johnson busts in and starts wasting the evil doctor’s minions. And the doctor’s vril-powered servant, while fighting Mr. Sacks, transforms into a dragon-like monster!

Verdict: Thumbs up. I loves me some good weird pulp crime fiction.


Supergirl #23

It starts out interestingly enough, with Supergirl receiving a mysterious lead-lined package. When she opens it, she gets a phone call from Batman, who berates her for opening a package that might’ve included something deadly like Kryptonite. Then she gets a call from Superman to help the Green Lanterns track an enemy spaceship — to do so she has to fly about ten feet away from it, through space, and she has to hold her breath for two hours, but she has a teleporter that will take her back home, and she has to — well, way before this, it became almost complete gibberish. Why did they need Supergirl for this when they had Superman? Or some Green Lanterns?

Verdict: Thumbs down. Other than the dialogue between Supergirl and Batman at the beginning of the story, which was really amusing, this issue was an absolute pile of donkey dung.

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Quick Reviews

This is going to be a weird week, thanks to a series I plan to start on Wednesday. The series should run through Saturday, and I think I may have a lot less time to review comics this week, so I’m gonna get a passel of reviews done now while I still can.


Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman

Most of this is retelling the origin of Hank Henshaw, the Cyborg Superman. It’s a very nice origin, but it takes up about two-thirds of the story. After that, Henshaw, the Manhunter robots, and the Sinestro Corps lay the smackdown on the Justice League, clean Superman’s clock, and knock down the Statue of Liberty.

Verdict: Thumbs up, but just barely. It’s entertaining enough, but there’s very little real story in there…


Justice League of America #13

The new Injustice League includes just about every supervillain in the world, and they give the Justice League a pretty thorough beat-down. And as nice as new writer Dwayne McDuffie’s plotting and dialogue are, they do not stand a chance against the utterly pukeworthy “art” provided by Joe Benitez.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Good grief, Benitez is just awful.


Supergirl #22

Supergirl is still hanging out with Karate Kid and Una from the (ugh) “Countdown” series, and they beat up a big government-owned super-monster. The fight is okay, but the story never manages to get away from the fact that it’s a tie-in with the much-despised “Countdown.”

Verdict: Thumbs down. Somebody get DC to quit inflicting “Countdown” on us!


The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society

Oh, okay, not all “Countdown” tie-ins are complete garbage. In this story, Donna Troy, Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner and one of the Monitors visit the alternate earth where the good guys are the bad guys, and vice versa. We focus almost entirely on the Jokester, a former comedian turned insane crimefighter, along with the mirror-universe versions of the Riddler, Two-Face, Robin, and the Joker’s Daughter.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Mirror universe stories are always fun, and I’m glad to see DC is expanding their Earth-3 to include more than just Ultraman, Owlman, Superwoman, Power Ring, and Johnny Quick.

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Start your Engines!


Supergirl #21

First things first: No, the scene depicted on that cover doesn’t actually appear inside the comic. Too bad. It would’ve improved things immensely.

After the chaos of wrecking Air Force One last issue, Supergirl runs to Smallville to seek some comfort from the Kents. But the worst possible thing is ahead for her. No, it’s not the oversized cybermonster that wrecks a train a few miles away — it’s a “Countdown” tie-in. Yeah, the much-despised weekly comic shows up and spews its noxious storyline all over the place. Two characters from the old Legion of Super-Heroes, Karate Kid and Una (actually Triplicate Girl/Duo Damsel after losing all but one body), hitch a ride on a train that gets wrecked by a steroid freak called Equus. The cops show up and think the Legionaires are infected with a bioengineered virus, mainly because Equus called the cops and told ’em that story. Supergirl shows up, figures the Legionaires are the bad guys until she suddenly recognizes them from the pre-Crisis continuity where she was a Legion member and…

Yeah, the whole thing is like that.

Verdict: Thumbs down. Confusing, useless, and entirely revolving around a tie-in to a weekly series that everyone hates. The sooner “Countdown” and all its tie-ins go away, the better.

On the bright side, the art by Renato Guedes is absolutely beautiful.

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They’re Creeping Up on You


The Spirit #9

An uncommonly dead-serious issue of this comic. The Spirit runs into a crimelord named El Morte who appears to be completely unstoppable. Much of the story is El Morte’s origin, and it’s pretty darn bizarre, but wow, he seems really far more scary than Sprit villains should be. Crazy kooky crimelords are fine, but when they can’t be shot or beat up or anything else, what can a non-powered guy like the Spirit do to them?

Verdict: Thumbs up. Darwyn Cooke’s artwork is so excellent. I’m a bit worried about El Morte — I hope it’s not just going to be several issues of “Spirit gets beat half to death” followed by a deus ex machina ending.


Shadowpact #16

Well, it turns out that the evil Dr. Gotham didn’t kill all of Chicago last issue, like they claimed he did. In fact, he missed almost everyone, thanks to Nightshade teleporting multiple skyscrapers and people into the Shadowrealm at the last second. Other superheroes show up to help, but Shadowpact does most of the work. Enchantress teleports into Dr. Gotham’s transdimensional armory and busts up a lot of his stuff until Gotham gives up and runs away. Meanwhile, Blue Devil’s lawyer fails to win back BD’s soul, mainly because Hell’s lawyers are so very good at what they do. A very angry priest requires BD to take on 13 nearly impossible tasks before he can be forgiven for selling his soul.

Verdict: Thumbs down. All this stuff happens, and it’s still not pulling me into the story. And I’m still pretty unhappy with the complete lack of characterization going on. Most of these characters, aside from Detective Chimp, seem to exhibit the same personality, except for Nightshade, who has never really had any personality at all.


Justice League of America #12

Brad Meltzer’s swan song on this comic focuses on the JLA’s time on monitor duty. Hawkgirl meets Red Arrow’s daughter, Black Canary plays the harmonica, GeoForce and Black Lightning run sting operations.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Part of the reason so many of Meltzer’s previous issues met with such rotten reviews is that he seems to be better at personality profiles than he is at superhero action. Well, that, and his cast is way too large. But hey, it’s cool that Black Canary plays the harmonica.


Supergirl #20

I’m astoundingly late with this one. Basically, the new, more realistic Supergirl completely fails to keep Air Force One from crashing, then tries to fight off angry Amazons, magic giants, and distrustful humans.

Verdict: Thumbs up. The character’s new look is a winner — pretty much just like the original without the creepy maniquinism that plagued her before. Good personality work, too. I wish Tony Bedard and Renato Guedes could work on this comic longer than the three issues they’ll be here…

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Girls and Supergirls

The most recent “Supergirl” series has really been plagued by bad artwork — Sure, there are lots of comics with rotten artwork, but it seemed that the main character was actually designed to look like a misshapen, anorexic parody of the bubbleheaded blonde pop tarts that’ve turned into recent “Entertainment Tonight” fodder. Lookit this:


There are no clean jokes I can make here.

Hey, kids! It’s a comic about a really skanky girl with an eating disorder and an unbelievably poor fashion sense. If this were a realistic comic book, Nightwing would’ve spent the whole comic making Supergirl sit in a deli and eat sandwiches. After that, Oracle would’ve shown up and taken Supergirl out to buy some clothes. No reason to flash everyone in Metropolis every time you go flying somewhere, right? And after that, they’d set her up with an appointment with a good psychologist to help her out with the eating disorder.

And seriously, the comic has gotten quite a bit of criticism from female comic book readers. They say (correctly, I think) that DC has made Supergirl into a bad bubble-blonde stereotype, that girls who read the comic will think it would be healthy to be that skinny, that for a company like DC that has been trying to reach out to female readers, this comic is a really, really lousy way to do that.

DC has been working pretty hard on making their comic books more diverse and have made a pretty strong effort to pick up more female readers with their new Minx Comics imprint. People have been asking why DC hasn’t worked harder to attract female readers to some of their mainstream comics, particularly Supergirl…

Well, DC recently unveiled a new version of the character — and she looks… normal.


She still has the belly-shirt, but it’s no longer skin-tight. The skirt is longer. Her proportions are no longer supermodel-anorexic, but much more normal for a girl in her upper teens.


Even the posture seems to be more realistic. I’ve known lots of people who’d sit just like that. Yeah, it’s not stereotypically superheroic, but it’s nice to take a good break from the stereotypes, too.

You’ve already got some of the more immature fanboys whining that she looks fat — except that, again, she doesn’t look fat unless the only females you’ve ever seen are anorexic supermodels in comic books. DC has clearly decided — and again, correctly, in my opinion — that they have a decent chance of picking up some new readers, especially teen and preteen girls, with the new look.

Anyway, Tony Bedard is the new writer, and Renato Guedes is the new artist. Looks like their first issue will hit stores sometime this August.

(Oh, and some more artwork, plus another interview with Bedard, can be found here.)

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