Overview

Supergirl #50

Review

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Supergirl #50

Credits

  • Words: Sterling Gates /Jake Black & Helen Slater
  • Art: Jamal Igle & Cliff Chiang
  • Inks: Jon Sibil & Mark McKenna/Chiang
  • Colors: Nei Ruffino & Pete Pantazls/Dave McCaig
  • Story Title: "Queen"/"A Hero's Journey"
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $4.99
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2010

50 issues.  A milestone to be sure.  So this issue should be a party to the awesomeness of the character, right?

Well, that’s certainly the idea.  Somehow in the back up story, Slater and Black get that point across.  What’s sad is that the main story presents what is so wrong with this comic book.

For the first two years, this book dealt with the origin of Supergirl.  It was a mess, as confusing for the reader as it was for the heroine of the book.  DC openly acknowledges its past stories and that is how things like this become problematic.  Sometimes, things should just be laid to rest.  As wonderful as Superman: Secret Origin is, one wonders is there any real need in reiterating it ad infinitum? 

It’s a shame too, because Kara could be interesting in this incarnation, as the back up shows, she is a brash and inexperienced version of her big cousin.  She was controversial in her hometown before it became the hip thing to do to be all xenophobic of Kryptonians.  She should have compelling stories being written about her.  And the problems with her power set are not even finished, as here she is smart enough to remember a machine her father built and draw up plans for it.  Superman was this smart in Final Crisis as well and there is precedence in the characters’ history for that level of intelligence, but not in the current portrayals.

All too often, as in that first couple of years, she is an example of all that is wrong with DC Comics.  Here is no different.  The comic is filled with b and d level characters.  Last I saw Gangbuster he was stinking it up in the woeful Trinity, a comic that showed its characters' importance by being incomprehensible for 51 issues and then having every superhero ever talk about how great they are in the final issue.  Replace superheroes with common people and this is aptly shown in the highlight of this issue, the Helen Slater penned recap of the past couple years of the book.

We also get Dr. Light, the good female one... what has she done since Identity Crisis?  Whatever it was, obviously, it wasn’t very memorable.  Clearly, DC wants to do to all of these minor players what happened in 52, but that book was organic and not editorially mandated as this most certainly appears to be.

Then there is the supporting cast.  And here is where it really gets nuts, how bad is the writing on a book when the supporting characters tell the lead that their job is to support them?  But the truly glaring problem is - Lucy Lane is not dead... and there we get into the real problems at the house that was once National.  When even d level characters are resurrected (and quickly), death stops meaning anything altogether.  Sure the big DC event is bringing all the dead characters back from the grave, but this isn’t even remotely tied into Blackest Night.  Given how big the scale is on that book, how is it not even reflected here?  When are the super books happening?

Oh yeah, I guess there is a plot. Lana was infected by an alien insect queen whose transfer of consciousness caused an illness in Clark Kent’s old flame.  That’s how old Gangbuster and Dr. Light get involved.  The machine Kara miraculously invents saves her.  Bad characterizations and random conveniences abound.

Jamal Igle does the best he can with a script that makes little sense and Chiang knocks a throw away back up out of the park.  So the art team is the highlight here. What is this, a 90s era Image book?

Over at Marvel, they are putting a similarly uneven female hero to rest with Ms. Marvel #50. One wonders when the distinguished competition will put this iteration of Supergirl out of her misery.

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