When they announced Supergirl would become a Red Lantern, I was skeptical. The first few issues of Tony Bedard’s run seemed to regress Supergirl’s character development, making her angry just when she was starting to emotionally heal from her home planet’s destruction. But then the crossover with Red Lanterns happened, and it was awesome. It felt like she actually made a lot of progress, and it doesn’t hurt that Charles Soule is rocking the Red Lanterns series. But then this issue came and … I’m not entirely sure what to think.
Supergirl 32 starts with the title character heading back for Earth, and just after she finds acceptance with most of the Red Lanterns. It exposits that Guy Gardner sent her to get the red ring removed, but she decides to return to Earth instead. I checked, and the previous issue of Red Lanterns (which took place right after Supergirl 31) said nothing about Supergirl being sent away. The last issue of Red Lanterns suggested they were all going to get Rankoor back. Am I missing something here? Anyway, a Worldkiller shows up near Earth and turns the rest of the comic into one long fight scene.
The action is kind of fun, but there’s never a real sense of danger when Kara is both Kryptonian and a Red Lantern. She spends much of the issue easily defeating the Worldkiller’s forces, and while he holds her off, he’s not really attacking her either. The Worldkiller has a couple reveals that might make the next issue interesting, but otherwise he’s just kind of bland. The ending cliffhanger is kind of intense (I shouldn’t spoil it) and it promises a more interesting fight in the next issue, but there’s no real character development and for the first issue in a new storyline, there should be. This isn’t a bad issue by any means, but it’s a jarring change from the last issue.
While the writing is just ok, the art is very good. The action flows very well, with a lot of detail on Supergirl’s energy attacks. They kryptonite covered Earth looks like something straight out of a Science Fiction or Apocalyptic movie thanks to the green glow around the atmosphere. It’s a very colourful book and it’s very appealing to the eye. Unfortunately Kara’s facial expressions are, while well drawn, kind of repetitive. She never shows anything but anger or surprise, and besides one flashback panel she never closes her mouth. Considering this is pretty much an issue-long fight scene and she’s possessed by a Red Lantern that’s not a huge complaint, but it’s worth mentioning.
Before writing this, I read a couple very positive reviews for this comic. Maybe it’s just personal taste and how I usually prefer character development and story over action, but I didn’t enjoy this all that much. This isn’t the first time there’s been a jarring change from one issue to the next in Tony Bedard’s run (his first issue was a huge change from Michael Alan Nelson’s all too short run). If you enjoy Supergirl’s series then this is probably worth picking up, but if you’re interested in checking her out, read this issue before you buy it. Again I didn’t really dislike this, but it’s my least favourite comic of the week.