Now that Supergirl is free of the Red Lantern and back to normal, hopefully that means the series can return back to normal. Oh wait, DC decided that in November, Supergirl is getting yet another writer change. That’s not to mention that the series will once again be interrupted by a crossover or gimmick month in September. So while I will be reviewing the comic itself, this post will be part rant.
For the most part I haven’t been all that impressed with Tony Bedard’s Supergirl run. The first few issues felt like a huge step back in her character development (making her angry after Michael Alan Nelson’s run ended with her beginning her path towards happiness). That said, the series was fun while it crossed over with the Red Lanterns. The second it left, it fell back into mediocrity. Apart from the Red Lanterns crossover, this is the best issue of Bedard’s run. Why? Because it shows Supergirl simply helping people. Even with the kryptonite clouds in the sky, Kara risks herself to help a bunch of people caught within some sort of coma inducing event. Along the way, she meets a new friend and ends up saving his parents.
The art by Karl Moline is alright, but inconsistent. Supergirl’s hair is longer than usual and sometimes her facial proportions feel a bit off. There’s a decent use of background details in some panels and the lighting effects work well. The layout on the backstory pages is solid enough. For a fill-in artist, it’s adequate but not good.
The comic itself is worth checking out if you’re a Supergirl fan, even with its fairly straight forward story. It also builds toward a Braniac storyline that could be good.
On the downside, some elements are a bit hard to follow for someone who doesn’t follow any of the other superman titles. The cover describes this as Last Sun chapter 3, yet there are no references anywhere to tell me where part 1 and 2 are or if there are further chapters elsewhere. It mentions how Superman was somehow turned into a monster, yet there’s no editor’s note to say exactly where that happened. There are plenty of other editor notes within, so why not point to where that happened. There’s a panel with Wonder Woman fighting a green skinned woman, and only the editor’s note mentions that it’s Lois Lane. Since that’s the only panel with either of them, it feels kind of pointless.
It’s obvious that this issue is editorially mandated. I get the desire to reference major events but besides the kryptonite clouds, everything feels shoehorned in. Also, next month’s issue is forced to join Future’s End, along with every single other DC book. With all these changes revealed in one issue, it also feels as if DC’s overkilling this whole shaking things up business. I won’t fault Bedard for any of this, nor do I plan on picking up any of these Future’s End issues since I’m tired of DC’s Yearly September gimmicks.
But the worst part is that Supergirl’s writing team is once again being switched up. It was barely over a year ago when Nelson started his run, and it was mere months later when Bedard took over. With DC’s recently released solicitations for November, it’s been announced that Mike Johnson (who started the New 52 Supergirl) and Kate Perkins are taking over on writing duties. I might not have enjoyed Bedard’s run, but I’m sure some others have. Why can’t DC decide on who they want writing Supergirl? Also, please let her series stand on its own for a while.
That’s to say nothing of their other editorial problems these days. Firing Gail Simone by E-mail, only to later rehire her after the internet exploded was just plain stupid. The Superman Family Adventure creators only found out their book was being cancelled when the solicitations announced that issue 12 was the series finale. That’s not to mention that DC editorial seems to be against marriage in general, which explains why they split up Superman and Lois Lane and why JH Williams III and W. Haden Blackman left Batwoman after they refused to allow Batwoman to marry Maggie. Not once have Aquaman and Mera been officially stated as married in the New 52 and according to bleeding cool, there’s a reason for it.
I won’t go into too much detail over DC’s editorial problems since I’m not an expert (nor do I want to be) but they are a major reason why I read more Marvel than I do DC. It’s why I’m very hesitant to try any new DC titles, while I’m slowly dropping them in favour of independent companies like Image, IDW and Dynamite. With Marvel, you’re more likely to have a solo series feel independent of major events. At least Marvel seems to respect their creators and lets them do their job. At least Marvel seems to understand the kind of universe they’ve created, and their movies show faithfulness to that universe. That’s not to say Marvel doesn’t have problems, but they at least seem to listen to their audience. At least they’re actively seeking out new audiences with titles like Ms. Marvel while they take their time with shaking things up. If DC can clean themselves up, then perhaps I’d be willing to give more of their titles a chance.