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.
This issue is a prequel of sorts to the events of Green Lanterns/Red Lanterns which is a weird thing when you consider that one of the purposes of rebooting the DCU was so that creators could keep all of their timelines straight. By the end of this issue, it looks like we’ll actually be two issues apart between the two books.
So, while Supergirl was fighting off Lobo, the Atrocitus and the rest of the Red Lanterns, a bajillion lightyears away on planet Ysmault were sending out their 9 new Red Lantern rings to find hosts and increase membership so that their next fundraiser is more successful or something.
Lobo is getting his ass kicked, and all that he wanted was to threaten Shay Veritas into telling him where he could find the impostor Lobo. He bitches about the presence of Supergirl, because I get getting the shit kicked out of you makes it a little bit harder to be threatening to a super scientist.
He gets knocked into the next room where the writer drops a little seedling for a future storyline.
Supergirl reenters the scene and he manages to deflect her, even giving her a bloody nose. She can’t believe that she felt bad for seemingly killing him only an hour ago, and proceeds to launch back into him by ramming through several concrete walls to get to him.
Veritas sees the damage occurring to the Block and orders her identical lackeys to fire up the teleporter and get a lock on the two of them. She laments having to boot out Supergirl, but she also has at least a half-formed sense of self-preservation.
Meanwhile, Lobo goads Supergirl into trying to kill him all over again.
Outside, Lobo pats himself on the back for getting Kara so riled up and forcing the scientists to expel them from their eternal sci-fi convention where everyone is cosplaying as the same exact character. He whistles for his ship to arrive/shoot lasers at her back, and he takes off, Supergirl in hot pursuit and him still talking shit to her on a loudspeaker or some shit.
He flies her to Queens, NY and is super sure that he’ll be able to stave off her wrath by telling her to join him where she lives. Surely she won’t want to destroy her home on Earth!
He tells her to join him, that they’d be unstoppable, that he’s been where she’s at, but he didn’t let like kick him when he was down. He took life by the nuts and twisted so that the universe bent to him! She’s not having it, though.
A block away, at her old, one-time apartment, her old, also one-time friend Siobhan AKA the Silver Banshee is facing a dastardly dilemma of her own.
Several loud “BOOM”‘s sound, and she goes to the window to look, like a white girl. Seeing her former buddy in a midair battle, she decides to go and be useless outside. I mean, hey, I know she’s got superpowers, but I’d just as soon not be in a fight where I already know I’m outmatched.
Kara’s eyes have been glowing red since Lobo knocked her into a wall earlier in the issue. She’s PISSED. And that’s saying something for this tantrum-prone character. The ring has acquired it’s new target.
Lobo keeps trying to get her off of his back by using her own power against her and deflecting her momentum. He calls his ship, hoping to make a break for it.
So, remember how Lobo was sure that he wouldn’t get pounded into a paste and his remains forced through a fine mesh screen because he brought the fight to where Kara lives? Joke’s on him! This incarnation of Supergirl has never felt at home on Earth! In fact this just about sums up her attitude about our planet, guys:
As she’s lording over Lobo’s body, raging up to the Heavens, the ring finally finds her, declaring, “Kara Zor-El of Krypton. You have great rage in your heart.”
Siobhan has just gotten to the park where Lobo lies on the ground, unmoving. Even she knows that this was a terrible idea.
She passes by a knocked out Lobo and hears the telltale heart resonating loudly throughout the park. She turns, slowly, horror movie style. Face zoomed in on and everything. “Kara..? Is that you..?”
It seems that Kara’s a bit put out that Siobhan went and got a new roommate without ever refunding the young Kryptonian her half of the security deposit on their place.
Or maybe it’s all of the loss, anger, sadness, and the marathon of being used and abused that’s finally all bubbled to the surface and also at the exact moment whern her already practically immeasurable powers have just been doubled.
Hm…. So, next issue is their fight.
And then I guess the one after that is Silver Banshee’s funeral, or..?
Well, we’ll be checking in with Supergirl in the pages of Red Lanterns, too, so we’ll see you there!
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.