Superman injured? Furies attacking? A loss in cup size? It can only mean one thing; the next installment of DC’s Maelstrom issue has arrived and needs reviewing.

maelstrom4cover.jpgPreviously in Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom:  Superman has been poisoned by the local Lobster Men, and the spaceship he and Kara had flown to the planet in has been damaged.  With the big guy out of commission, Supergirl can only do one thing – survive.

Kal-El wanted this trip to be a time where he and his cousin could bond, and hone their skills in case their powers failed them.  With the current medical crisis, Kara doesn’t have anyone to help her out, so she does what needs to be done.  First she pleads with the Lobster Men to help her out.  Her begging works, as they give her an antidote for their poison, even though it is clear everyone present doesn’t understand one another.

Kara then proceeds to fix the spaceship.  Even though she doesn’t have a degree in astro-engineering, she’s able to make the repairs, as Batman included the ship’s schematics in case there was ever a problem.  Superman later explains that Batman likes to be prepared for any eventuality, because he’s just a normal man – just like the duo’s current situation.

Having eaten all the ship’s supplies while Kal-El was recovering, Kara goes off to hunt for food, again, something she’s not used to doing back home.  Her travels take her up a mountain top where she encounters what is best described as a flying octopus.  Naturally she beats the huge beast, and brings back plenty of tentacle for dinner.

This issue still features Kara being the the pouty teen, and there are some great exchanges she has with Kal-El and in her own inner dialogue, but there is a change in the way she sees the world. She and Superman do have the talk about the realization that she can’t save everyone, and there may be times when, in her quest to defeat the big bad, some innocents are going to suffer.  It’s not an idea either like to think about, but it is reality, and this trip has proven it to Kara.  This moment also brings the reader back around to the first issue where an entire building collapsed while Supergirl was fighting Maelstrom.

Speaking of Maelstrom, she and the Female Furies arrive on Earth and begin tearing up Metropolis and killing innocent by-standers in hopes of calling Superman out. Unfortunately, only Lois is privy to the fact that Superman is off planet, and things get a little more complicated when Maelstrom captures both Lois and Jimmy Olsen.  The good news is the ship is repaired, and so is the relationship between cousins, which means the big smack down is going to happen in the last issue.

Palmiotti and Gray have done a really good job with this series.  For a while I was wondering where they were going with this story that didn’t seem to make much sense, but the reader learns the lesson (and story direction) at the same time Supergirl makes her big realization.  It fits for this story, but I wonder if anything from this min-series will have any impact in main continuity.  The most interesting moment will come when the duo return home and may have to make the choice between losing those they love and defeating the enemy.

Phil Noto rocks.  That is all.

The Good

  • The art
  • Supergirl growing up
  • Superman trying to fix his cousin up with Jimmy Olsen
  • mmm… crispy Calamari

The Bad

  • Wish this were a story in the main Superman or Supergirl series
  • Maelstrom’s story is just a McGuffin

This series has had plenty of great moments, and most of them don’t involve the use of superpowers.  Kara’s Jungle Girl moments in this issue are great, and her interactions with her cousin bring the humor and the “awwww” moments one would expect in a tale where the troubled characters realize they need each other.  Noto’s expressions are really good this issue, especially as he captures Kara’s rolling eye moments.  The first two issues sold less than 25,000 copies, which is a shame, since this has been a top notch series, and Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #4 is well worth it’s 4.5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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