So, here we are, picking up from last issue, and still behind Red Lanterns. But, this actually is a pretty decent issue. Not a slug-fest, not compeltely full of mindless growling and blood vomit, and a very cool, and little seen, glimpse into the brief time Kara spent trying to be a person on Earth.
It opens with a flashback. And all of Supergirl’s downward spiraling has happened in a single month, by the way.
On a cold, snowy day, we find Siobhan and Kara chilling in the apartment, using Kara’s heat vision to toast marshmallows one by one.
While Siobhan takes the whole thing in stride, just content to finally have a friend she can allow herself to keep because she can’t accidentally hurt her, Kara marvels at her ability to achieve such a fine level of control.
Siobhan waves her off and tells her to stick with her “and you’ll go places.”
Eventually, Kara does finish the marshmallow off, Cajun style, and rather than inciting a blood feud or another bout of self-loathing, they pair just laugh it off.
Cut to the present, where Kara is actively trying to kill her, and Siobhan has gone off to see if she can help… Somehow.
Like so many BFFS before her, she tries the first line of defense: talking down her friend who is clearly taking a breakup too hard/had to much of an intoxicant/probably both. The difference is that, most of the time, the drunk girl friend isn’t A.) Superpowered and B.) trying to sear your face off with their flaming acid vomit.
Siobhan is trying so freaking hard here, trying not to have to unleash the Silver Banshee, but Kara just won’t hear it.
Back in the Block, Dr. Veritas asks her army of non-clone-genetic-copies WTF is going on with Kara, and the news that she’s gotten a Red Lantern Ring sends her reeling. According to the good-ish doctor, a Kryptonian with a power ring is “an extinction level threat.” Which, yeah. Duh. Unfortunately, there is somehow a more pressing concern.
Blaze is on the loose, and since she was being both contained in a holding cell in a transdimensional research lab and prison, and she’s some kind of whatsis from hell.
Now, I don’t quite know who Blaze is, but I do follow a Supergirl blog where a post was dedicated to bringing us all up to speed on who in the actual Hell she is. Check it out here, if you’re curious. Of course, keep in mind that they may have changed her story up a bit for the New 52.
Anywho, back in Queens, it looks like Siobhan’s offer of friendship and help is about to crack that angry exteriour for a moment… Until the NYPD shows up and ruins everything.
Now, with all of the innocent bystanders (Innocent? Ha! It’s New York!) and the police at risk, Siobhan is finally ready to release the Silver Banshee.
And she’s also able to actually hold her own until she get’s punched into another burrough. She finds herself outside of her own apartment building, conveniently enough, and now she’s worried about her new roommate, since Kara would probably rip her apart without so much as the blink of an eye. Which, yeah, she probably would, since she would see the new girl as her replacement, because love and friendship, I’ve found, are seen as finite resources in the minds of crazy people.
But, either way, the interesting thing to note here is that… This bitch is conspiring against the woman currently, actively trying to save her life!
But, despite the battle raging on on the outside, and her attempts to do good both by her friend and by those her friend might end up hurting, Siobhan is still waging an internal war against the Silver Banshee demon (is it a demon?) trying to break free and take over.
Cut to another friendly time flashback, and we see Siobhan flipping out over Kara’s having cleaned their apartment. The woman has a system, and, really, those of us who lie a bit to the messier side of the spectrum can relate! My bedroom may be a mess, but I know exactly where everything is, and that’s not even a little bit of an exaggeration. So, I feel for Siobhan. I really do. But, again, the moment is easily fixed when Supergirl superspeeds the mess back into place.
In the present, her desire to get the fight away from the middle of Queens gets her to allow the Silver Banshee to unless a smidgen more of her power, allowing her to shift her pitch high enough to tear open a portal to an abandoned area, someplace in Oregon, I think. The fight goes on, and Siobhan ignores her worse half’s beckoning to allow her a little more control, even if it would lead to more power.
Then she gets punched in the stomach.
Meanwhile, in Queens again, sexy Lobo is up and staring at the smoldering wreckage of his beloved ship.
But the whole thing might not have been a total waste, because he’s pretty sure that he’s just gotten a lead on his doppelganger.
So, a third story seed has been planted now. Hmmm…
Finally, though, back at the fight and after an internal struggle between Siobhan trying to save her friend and the Silver Banshee’s selfish motivation for getting her host to realise that Supergirl is currently beyond saving, Siobhan can only get rid of Kara. After all, since the Kryptonian is so enraged and fueled by the desire for vengeance, the destroyer of her world isn’t going to be found on Earth!
So Kara flies off in a fury, and it’s just after that moment that we must be catching up with her in Green Lanterns/Red Lanterns#28, which we reviewed here.
That last two pages take place on another planet, whose name I forget, which is home to this guy and his minions.
These guys, I’m pretty sure, are the world killers. And, therefore, pretty much directly responsible for the destruction of Krypton. And now a doubly super powered Kryptonian who is literally running on pure rage juice is out there gunning for them.
So, I actually enjoyed this issue. And I came into the whole Red Daughter thing pretty cautious, but I did think that it could be a good way to go for the character as she is now. Not forever, mind you, but as a means to rehabilitation.
But aside from that, so far writer Tony Bedard is doing a pretty awesome job. Plus the little hints of future storylines that he’s been dropping so far make it look like he’s got a whole lot of stuff planned for Kara, which is definitely the sign of a good comic book writer, but also that he’s going to be sticking around for a while!
Of course, knowing DC, they’ll probably can the man because of positive fan reactions, for some ridiculous reason.
Either way, this guy managed to accomplish more character development and create more of a supporting cast in this one issue than the other writers have in the whole run until this point.
Here’s hoping he does a good job, stays on, and that we can finally have a decent female hero again.
Until next week, when we’ll be reviewing Red Lanterns #29 to continue Kara’s angry, angry story.
It’s finally here! The debut of Supergirl as a Red Lantern!
Green Lanterns Lok (Frog Guy) and Barreer (Teen Wolf) are zipping through space trying to get to a bunch of GLs under seige, but they’re interrupted by the arrival of Red Lantern Supergirl!
…Who is crazier than Ra’s Al Ghul after a dip in the Lazarus Pit.
She growls and spits and rages at them, and they fight her off, but see appears to exhaust herself via plotholes and the two of them put her in a Snow White coffin to take her to Mogo…
The sentient planet where Hal Jordan and John Stewart and a bunch of other GLs are dealing with a problem of their own. Namely, making up a universal criminal code on the spot and swearing a bunch of asshats to it in the name of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God of Earth. Because they’re totally going to adhere to that.
And, as the GLs bicker amongst themselves and Hal orders that they have to weed out any potential impostors that we don’t care about because we’re only really reading and reviewing this series because of the Supergirl tie-ins, Teen Wolf comes crashing through the treeline, heralding the arrival of RL Supergirl.
And Hal’s not here for it. There are only a handful of Red Lanterns, and he’s concerned at where the balls this one came from. He assumes that Guy Gardner is recruiting, and Kilowog jokes that that means more policing in the future for the GLs, so… Job security. Hooray! Hal ignores him and runs a scan on Kara after Frog Guy mentions that she shot red light from her eyes. Apparently, most of the New 52 Universe doesn’t know that Supergirl is even a thing, as Hal is fucking shocked.
Voz (Chewbacca) moves to take off her ring, but Hal stops her. Once a person becomes a Red Lantern, the ring becomes their life support. Removing it after the transformation would kill her.
Instead, he says that there’s only one thing that can cure her.
So, it’s off to the Blue Lanterns. Or rather, off to invite Blue Lantern Saint Walker to Mogo for tea or something. But Walker is currently estranged from his ring, as it was recently revealed that all of the Lanterns’ energy comes from everything in the universe. So, basically, every time a Lantern uses their ring, it drains everything and everyone. In the end, Walker can’t help.
Resolved to that, Hal leaves Kilowog in charge on Mogo, taking Kara and another two GLs, Gorin-Sunn (the Human Torch) and Iolande (Pink Tits McGee), to see Guy Gardner and the rest of the Red Lanterns on Ysmault. There’s no sign of the lot of them, but when the GLs approach their ship, a small but surprising blast knocks them onto their asses. Cue Guy Gardner.
Funny story about Sector 2814, by the way: That’s the sector that Earth is in. And Hal apparently didn’t realize that, if his shocked expression is anything to go by.
Now, this is a flipbook issue, meaning that it’s one story if read from one cover, but flip it over and read from the other end, and it’s another story with another set of characters. This time around, both stories basically start out with each the GLs and the RLs working on some shit or another from the previous issue, and then move on to the issue of a rabid, murderous Kryptonian Katie Kaboom fueled by pure rage-a-hol.
In this case, the RLs are dealing with
Ann Coulter the Shadow Thief, who is attacking the non-human Red Lanterns.
This bitch is apparently really tough for a Lantern because she fights with shadow constructs, and a Lantern’s light melts away when they collide. So, that’s a problem.
On another planet, “Groy,” Atrocitus is letting his cat, Dex-Starr, kill Bleez and Rankorr. These are all RLs, by the way. The latter two try to fight him off, but a third RL, named Klarn and looking like a caterpillar and a chest burster had a torrid affair, is able to absorb and regurgitate RL light.
Back over with Guy Gardner and his apparently not actually evil RLs, Guy realises that he can just up the intensity of his light to cast the shadows at bay. Because SCIENCE. Together, he, his RL buddies, and some chick with ice powers or something named Tora are able to defeat the Shadow Thief and hit the “OFF” button on her suit, deactivating her powers.
Apparently, all of that went down on Earth, as the Eiffel tower stands in the background of the fight. Now, after Guy asks Tora out and she brushes him off, it’s off to Ysmault.
So, cut to where we left off with the GL side of the book. Hal Jordan is contesting that Guy and the RLs get to patrol Sector 2814, and Guy’s anger, understandably, starts to bubble to the surface. But then he is distracted by something shiny. Namely, Supergirl. Bound by green rope and in a green cage, all made of GL light.
Hal asks Guy what in the world he was thinking by creating a new RL, especially since they start out all kinds of crazy and this bitch in particular could have killed countless people if they hadn’t managed to catch her when they did. Guy says it wasn’t him, and the big ugly squished ball-shaped dude named Zilius mentions that he had previously neglected to mention that Atrocitus had created nine new rings and sent them out to find bearers. So, Supergirl is one of them… And there are eight others. Hal orders Guy to take care of it, and Guy snaps that he’ll handle it, and that Hal should back off. He can’t solve everyone’s problems; he’s no Superman, after all. Apparently, the wrong thing to say.
Cue a fight scene. In the end, since nobody’s a match for her on her own, the GLs and the RLs come together to dunk her into the lake of blood or whatever because that’s going to help her get past enough bad shit to be able to think like a person.
Back with Atrocitus, Rankorr sacrifices himself to let Bleez go and warn Guy and the others while he tries to fight off Atrocitus who, by the way, was supposed to be dead. But things don’t die in comics or, at least, they don’t stay that way.
Once more, back on Ysmault, Guy and Hal sit and wait for Supergirl to reemerge from the blood lake.
Hal gets Guy to agree to let GL Simon Baz (the one with the gun) stay on Earth, as sort of a GL embassador, and Guy says that’s fine, but he can’t go anywhere else in the Sector. So, the GL book doesn’t have to undergo a change and the writers don’t have to figure a way out of this one. Just as Hal tells Guy to get a haircut and Guy tells him to go and fuck himself, Kara emerges.
She does seem too confused to be angry at the moment. When she gives her name, Hal stops Guy, telling him that, not only is this bitch Kryptionian, but she’s got the same family name as Superman. So, they’re related. The last panel is Guy and his horrible, horrible mustache saying, “Ah. Great.” Because now the crossover’s probably going to get more complicated and I’ll have to buy even more issues of books I don’t even fucking follow.
There we have it. The start of this new chapter in Supergirl’s life. According to all of the interviews with the writers behind this change, this does seem to be temporary. But, given the reemergence of Atrocitus, and the fact that the characters are saying that this ring was his doing, and that there are eight more of them out there, this is probably going to be a longer arc than originally thought. Anj, over at Supergirl: Comic Box Commentary, mentioned in a post that the Supergirl book was “Red Daughter of Krypton,” but in 1 of 3, 2 of 3, and 3 of 3 numbered issues. So, he’s optimistic that this will be a short run. I, however, respectfully disagree and think that, in light of the little plot bombs dropped throughout this issue, we’re in for six months to a year of Supergirl as a Red Lantern stories.
So, buckle in, bitches, and get ready to be a whole lot more familiar with the whole Lantern universe.
In the meantime, some speculation:
- Supergirl is pretty low right now. But she’s going to have more and more intense bouts of rage and end of fighting and pushing away what few loved ones she actually has left.
- Superman will make an appearance, piss her off, and just generally be useless.
- We’ll get more moments of Guy Gardner being a real person and a good leader or some shit like that.
- We’re going to find out exactly how she became a Red Lantern, because they sure as shit didn’t explain shit here before she just randomly fucking shows up foaming at the mouth.
- …I think they’re going to pull that bullshit where she falls under the sway of some villainous dude again. This time, she’ll probably reject Guy’s help (likely when he tries to bring in Superman to help) and end up siding with Atrocitus, who gave her the ring in the first place. I do not like this, but it’s a very likely way for the current creators behind the DCU to go with it.
- We’re going to spend the first 2/3 or 3/4 of this arc watching Kara fall further and further from decent-person-hood, spiraling out of control, and then some shit will happen when she hits bottom, and she’ll make the effort to become better, and she’ll start to see the good again. I give this a good portion of the end of the arc because, if the writers are smart, they’ll realize that she can’t just pop back up to hero without having to first reconnect with those who she’s hurt or rejected first.
- Her rehabilitation will come in the form of Hope, and the Blue Lanterns will play a key role in this. Will Kara become a Blue Lantern? Probably not. Just for simplicity’s sake, they’ll figure out some loophole that saves her via Blue Lantern but doesn’t actually make her one. Maybe an honorary one, but that’s about it.
Alright. So this is how I think it’s going to go. Check back with us as new issues come out and see how I handle being either right or wrong. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be as annoyed with DC Comics as always. In the meantime, I leave you with this creative interpretation by Mike Maihack:
If you remember last month, and even if you don’t, Supergirl #26 ended with Supergirl letting way too loose on Lobo, apparently killing him.
We open now to his autopsy, where we get such scintillating lab notes as his age (27), his height (1.8 metres, or about 5’11”), and his weight (103 kg, or about 227, making him awfully dense for a lean young man under 6’). In essence, New 52 Lobo is sexy as fuck.
Veritas gushes over the opportunity to study a Czarnian, even as Kara freaks the fuck out over having knocked Lobo’s block off.
Veritas takes Kara for a walk and leaves the other doctors to their work, instead telling the young Kryptonian that her recent power fluctuations have left her without the ability to really know her limits. This makes me wonder about the current situation with Power Girl and her powers randomly cutting out on her, but I don’t think the writers over at DC are clever enough to tie this shit together. I think, at this point, they’re actually concurrently reusing storylines. And not even really good ones.
But I digress.
During their conversation, Veritas reveals that she is unable to leave the Block, lest some bad juju happen to the Time-Space continuum.
Back in the lab, one of the doctors who looks exactly like Veritas (see the screengrab above for reasons) is griping about how her job at the CC never came with janitorial work. And, behind her, Lobo is rising up behind her, a razor in hand.
Veritas tells that what Kara really needs is some normalcy, and that maybe she could call Superman, since he’s family. Shew dismisses the idea outright, saying that he’s too Earth for her to really relate to (another departure from his wishy washiness in Superman/Wonder Woman).
Kara laments her lost friendship with Siobhan, the New 52 Silver Banshee, saying that she was the only person who ever really got her.
Back in the lab, standing over the completely unmarked bodies of the two dissection doctors, Lobo is getting dressed again and and digging for information on Kara so that he can take her down.
On level 7 of the Block (which means this place is huge and it probably isn’t as bad to be trapped in it as they’re saying, especially if bitches can have guests and shit, too), Veritas admits that she’s been tracking a Czarnian…
An Intruder Alert sounds, and Kara takes this as the perfect moment to pick up a thing that just rolled into the room like it’s not a trap like it obviously is.
Naturally, it’s a hypersonic grenade, enough to give Veritas and Lobo a headache, and a neural overload and getting knocked the fuck out to Kara.
In an attempt to escape, Veritas activates a Fusion Orb, whatever that is, and it sets Lobo back a bit, giving Veritas time to get through another big ass door with some weird ass markings all over it. We learn that this door leads to Xenocontainment Unit 5, wherein is housed…
Blaze disappears just as Lobo knocks the door in, and she demands to know, at the very least, who put the hit out on her.
Meanwhile, that Fusion Orb that Veritas set off out there? A miniature sun.
As Lobo holds his knife to Kara’s neck, Kara bursts through.
Meanwhile, Blaze has just fucking disappeared.
So, the tagline for next issue says “Kara sees RED” and that obviously is a reference to her impending tenure as a Red Lantern (and by tenure, who the fuck really knows, because the “Red Daughter” arc is only supposed to last for three issues)
But my issue isn’t the usual thing about Kara being petulant and selfish. I mean, I’m still concerned about all of that and her as a character, but here… She goes from calm serenity as she absorbs the yellow sunlight to ready to kill a motherfucker in the span of a single page. Couple that with earlier in the issue, where she’s upset she killed a guy, raging about it, then distraught about her lack of control and understanding, all within the space of a few sentences… And…
Now I just think she’s bipolar.
I don’t know if this is what I’m supposed to be feeling, or if this is a whole other example of the bad writing that I’ve been wailing about since the inception of the New 52 Universe. But I do know that I still don’t like it.
I’m not even going to go into the whole thing about the S-Shield being a symbol of justice sans the death penalty. To be honest, I don’t even like New 52 Superman, and I grew up with Clark Kent’s morals heavily influencing my own. And my favourite Supergirl incarnation was the Peter David run for Linda Danvers/Matrix and the whole Earth-Born angel thing from 1996-2002, and Linda Danvers was a legitimately terrible person prior to her merging with Supergirl, so I shouldn’t be bothered by the willingness to go to extremes. At least this Kara is taking it out on a bad dude who deserves it.
Now, when she becomes a Red Lantern, yes, her rage will take on a whole new form. BUT, she’ll also be forced into a policing role, and she might learn some shit about responsibility and doing-the-right-thing-ed-ness. Let’s hope. She’s pretty low down right now, but she’s still going to hit lower before they let her start the climb back up towards being a decent person.
Let’s just hope that they start to build her a personality AND a supporting cast. DC seems to have lost that, and I find that the most successful and compelling characters have lives outside of the cape.
We’ll start this week’s reviews with Supergirl #26 and the introduction of the New 52 version of that crazy Czarnian Lobo!
The issue opens with the newly Wolverine’d Lobo. That is, a character who used to be burly and squat yet massive, snarling and grotesque and truly formidable, is now a slimmer, cleaner cut, practical male model. I’m not outright complaining, but I do think that maintaining a little bit of variety wouldn’t have killed DC. Actually, at this point, that would explain the majority of the New 52, but I digress. Good looking Lobo is on the hunt for an imposter, apparently the old crass Lobo we knew and loved to hate way back in the day.
His intimidation and outsourced murder of a nightclub owner gets him nowehere, though, so he contacts an alien named Rhialla to ask about his sources…
Deep below the surface of the Earth, in a super high tech research facility called “The Block,” a massive particle accelerator is halted in the middle of an experiment which makes very little physical sense if one goes by the dialogue of tertiary characters in the scene… The interruption, though? The arrival of one Kara Zor-El, needing desperately to speak to Shay Veritas, the ridiculously named scientist (because Veritas means Truth and scientists are always searching for Truth and la-dee-fucking-da) introduced in Superman to give him a place to bro out at the gym every once in a while.
Basically, it’s Star Labs back when he was buddies with Emil Hamilton and I don’t understand why we just couldn’t have Star Labs and Emil Hamilton…
Anywho, check out the above panel. Ugh, amiright? I mean, Jeebus, Kara, maybe stop being so clingy and you might make a friend. For that matter, don’t ditch your only friend on Earth for weeks and then be hurt when a girl you didn’t even know all that well moves on. Oh, and maybe change out of those clothes that you’ve been wearing NON-STOP since you’ve ARRIVED on the PLANET. You canNOT still smell even remotely decent. I don’t even care if you’ve been in the ocean… No. Wait. You’ve been in the OCEAN. You smell like BO and FISH.
So, their heart-to-heart is interrupted by a call, which Shay takes without even excusing herself because she’s so relieved to be out of that crazy child’s super-grip. Rhialla and his high collar are warning her that an assassin named Lobo is on his way to whup some information out of her. Kara says that she’s going to try talking to him, you know, “extinct alien to extinct alien.” Y’know, like she never just rushes into conflicts fist first…
As Lobo arrives at the transporter (which I won’t get started on my whole thing with how transporters are terrible) to The Block, Kara zaps in front of him with a “Stop Right There!”
He takes a photo of her boobs with his smartphone or something and Kara flies towards him, coming of waaaay too strong and trying to relate to him on the basis of their planets have both gone kablooey (and to be fair, her cousin’s relationship with Wonder Woman is based on less, so it was worth a shot, I guess), but he shushes her with a single, extremely manicured fingernail.
He launches an attack at her– ! Actually, he throws a net. Some “assassin.” She EASILY breaks free because “duh” and slams into him at super speed, sending them both outside of The Block’s arctic cave entrance. Understandably upset, he kicks her in the head and she, shouting about how she’s on her period or something (yeah, I said it) hauls off and knocks his metaphorical block off.
As she flies to catch up to where she knocked his whole fucking body by just his head, she sees him sprawled in the snow, neck twisted at an angle that looks… Pretty bad. Kara’s all choked up now because she thinks she’s killed him. However, as we know in comics, nobody ever really dies. You’d think that they’d have at least cottoned off enough by now themselves to poke their victims with a stick or something before writing them off completely, but then that would show a recognition of continuity and possible character growth and we can’t have that (any more). Le sigh.
Now, we all know that Lobo isn’t dead. Or, if this one is, it was a decoy. Or, if this one is, then he was the impostor. Either way, we’ve still got more Lobo incoming. As for this issue, I really still dislike Kara’s characterisation. I mean, it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t great, it certainly wasn’t a thinker, and that’s really all that I’ve got to say on it. She’s either hotheaded and ridiculous or mopey and ridiculous, and I’m not having either combination for too much longer. I’m fairly certain that the Red Lanterns crossover in a few months’ time is going to be a temporary thing which is going to at least try and set Kara back on more of a heroic path blah blah blah… But I really just don’t trust the editorial staff at DC to allow any positive changes to their characters to really stick for too terribly long.
I’ll see you all in a day or two for another lovely comic review.