The biggest problem with legacy characters is that they rarely have villains of their own. They’re usually stuck fighting the other hero’s villains just to show that they can. It’s easily what holds them back the most, and Supergirl is no exception.
Between making yesterday’s Release Day Rundown video and reading this comic a second time, I listened to an audio interview with Michael Alan Nelson where he said that he wants to give Supergirl her own enemies to fight. In issue 20, he turned Supergirl’s Sanctuary into a new villain. This issue takes a popular Superman villain and turns him into more of a Supergirl villain – giving him a motivation that ties him closer to Kara Zor-El than Clark Kent. It’s a good start to giving Supergirl her own rogue gallery. It also helps that this issue is a great read.
The general plot is that Supergirl is off Earth at the moment, and has encountered an alien race that can partially recreate Krypton through Supergirl’s memories. It’s a very tempting offer, but even before the creepy villain plot is revealed Supergirl is wising up to the fact that something is off. It’s a nice change from the H’el on Earth storyline, where she blindly accepted H’el’s offer until she learned of the consequences that would result from bringing Krypton back.
As with the last two issues written by Nelson, the dialogue here is always entertaining while still providing good character development. And when the action starts up, well … this comic has my favourite panel of the week in its delightful 2-page spread. The art is also good throughout. Character expressions, especially Supergirl’s, expertly depict their emotional range. Cyborg looks both awesome and creepy, fitting his plans perfectly. While there isn’t always a lot of environmental detail, what is there helps move the story along.
Nelson’s Supergirl run is off to a great start. Issue 20 was by far the most entertaining comic I read on the week of its release. While 21 wasn’t as good, it was a decent setup for this issue. There’s obviously more going on behind Cyborg Superman that we don’t know yet, but that only makes the plot more interesting. Whether you’re a Supergirl fan or a Superman fan who wants to know more about his super family, this is an easy recommendation. Supergirl remained my favourite Superman title since the relaunch, and it looks to be even better with the recent writer switch.