Supergirl has a new purpose and a new attitude; she’s determined to discover the truth behind the destruction of her home planet, Krypton, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to find the ones responsible. A new storyline starts here in Supergirl #21 from DC Comics.
Writer: Marc Andreyko
Artist: Kevin Maguire
Cover: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Supergirl: Fighting at the side of her cousin, Superman, against Rogol Zaar, Supergirl had to relive the destruction of her world after the villain destroyed the bottled city of Kandor. In the final battle, she took matters into her own hands and banished him to the Phantom Zone, knowing that her cousin could not bring himself to do it. Now she must decide what her next move is and how far she is willing to go to discover the truth behind the events that shaped her past and could define her future.
A GIRL ON A MISSION
Supergirl stands in the ruins of the Fortress of Solitude as she prepares to embark on her quest to find and punish the killers of Krypton. She reminisces not only of the battle with Rogol Zaar and her lost family, but of the recent conversation she had with her cousin, Superman. He is concerned for her safety and tries to persuade her to make another choice than to venture out into the cosmos in search of revenge tinted justice. But Kara remembers Krypton, she saw the world as it died, and refuses to let those innumerable deaths go unpunished any longer. She leaves her cousin floating above a field in Smallville and proceeds to say her goodbyes to her adoptive family. She has a plan, and while Zaar may be unwilling or able to answer her questions, she knows there are other ways to obtain the information she wants. Retrieving the weapon of Zaar, she flies to Coast City and requests the assistance of Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.
Jordan is willing to help, but he explains that he has already run a check on the circle symbol which adorns the axe and turned up nothing. Supergirl asks him to have his ring run another check, but this time one on the weapon itself. To their surprise, there is a result, but the information has been removed from the Guardians’ database. Kara takes this as proof that Zaar did not act alone and sets out to uncover more.
Returning to the ruined Fortress of Solitude, Kara loads her small ship in preparation to leave. Before she can leave, however, an unexpected visitor stops her and forces a change of plans. To make matters worse, someone is aware of Hal Jordan scanned the Guardian archives, and they are making preparations.
TO THE STARS AND BEYOND
The events of the Man of Steel mini-series took a toll on Supergirl, and it shows in a more aggressive attitude here in her own title. Marc Andreyko (Wonder Woman ’77, Torso) boldly grasps the reigns by giving Supergirl a mission and a purpose other than simply being another “last” Kryptonian. I personally have been a fan of his since his Manhunter series with DC back in 2004, and look forward to that same style of action, drama and heart that he has become so well known for. Instead of simply turning Kara into an avenging angel and pointing her at the ones responsible for her greatest tragedy, he endows her with a sense of simmering, contained and focused anger that is belied by her naturally attractive appearance and bright outlook. She is still the optimist, which is important, but she knows that she cannot always be the boy scout her cousin is. He is a symbol which is upheld for others to strive for while she is often overlooked as just another member of his family. It is taken for granted she will do the right and moral thing, but here there’s a hint of darkness as if she is willing to go farther than just banishing the guilty ones. Considering his experience with current Superman scribe Brian Michael Bendis, I look forward to Andreyko pushing this character in ways which she has not been in the past.
The inclusion of Kevin McGuire (Formerly Known as the Justice League, L.E.G.I.O.N) as artist for this title warms my heart. I remember first seeing his work on the spinner rack adorning the group shot cover a relaunched Justice League. His work grabbed me then and it grabs me now. He has an ability to convey emotion on the faces of his subjects which every up and coming artist should study. He is a master of having a character look snide one minute, angered the next, and then in tears, emotional sweeps which many artists take whole pages to express. I won’t give a spoiler, but read the sequence when Supergirl confronts her mysterious visitor, in six panels he creates something between two characters that any artist would be proud of. In fact, that page is my favorite in the entire book.
BOTTOM LINE: AN EXCITING NEW CHAPTER WITH A DARK PURPOSE
Over the years Supergirl has been everything from the “kid” cousin, to a proto-plasmic being, to an angel from on high. With this issue, Andreyko and company seek to make her something else, a young woman mourning her family and looking for answers, and revenge. Using Supergirl as the girl-next-door cheesecake character has been common over the years, and it is good to see someone finally step up and take a fresh look at the character and her possibilities.
A great starting point for new readers, and a refreshing new direction for established fans, Pick up Supergirl #21 at your local comic shop.