So I didn't purchase much this week. I was considering getting that Superman 3d book, but lack of fund meant that I decided against it. I know it's a gimmick, I doubt it will be very good, but the idea of it entertains me. Much like Jaws 3D.
I wasn't very impressed with anything this week. :/
Manhunter #34, was alright, and of course I like seeing Zinda, but she and Huntress had a really small role, definitely not enough to warrant the cover anyway. I guess they are gonna be in the next issue though.
Boomerang's status confuses me, I first came across him in Supergirl (more on that later) and he was a good guy. then I read this intro into the DCU in Flash and he was a bad guy, I can't remember what he did in the Outsiders and now whenever i see him anywhere else I haven't got a clue what side he's meant to be on. Partly my fault for reading stuff out of order, but I dislike books that don't stand alone. A small editorial box explaining what has been happening or other titles to read would be really helpful.
Aside from all that, my main beef with this book is that it feels like this arc has gone on for ages and I'm now bored. I want plots to be wrapped up and dealt with in 3 issues. It's fine if they are longer if you are reading them in a trade, but monthlies suffer when a plot is dragged out over 6 issues or so. It's why I cancelled Birds of Prey.
And I still don't like the art. *sigh*
Buffy #18 Bah. Filler. Gorgeous cover:
I'm not liking Dawns' ride me jokes, they seem out of character and unnecessary. And this coming from me who loves a cheap laugh and bad puns. The tree guy part was good. Willow's orgasm mermaid (?) lady is an interesting development. Fray and future Willow's talk left me cold though.
Supergirl # 33 RUBBISH. Mostly rubbish cos I had expectations that were not only not met but destroyed and trampled under my feet. I (somewhat mistakenly) thought that 'Enter Empress' on the cover might indicate that maybe Empress would become a regular cast member. Bah. An explanation may be needed.
Supergirl is still upset about losing Thomas - she couldn't find a cure for his cancer in time. She's an angry young lady (this isn't a problem) and while she's beating up Clayface Empress turns up and lends a hand. Empress asks for Kara's help to rescue her parents who are toddler aged (this happened at the end of Young Justice). Kara agrees and it turns out that Empress has betrayed her - the bad guy wants Kara mind controlled so he can prove to the world that there is no such thing as heroes and that the bad can affect the good.
Empress went along with this guys plan because he threatened to kill her parents. Needless to say Kara breaks free with Empress' help and the bag guy gets captured. This situation leads to Kara accepting that she can be a hero again and needs to protect people and fight things she can win, i.e. not cancer.
RUBBISH. Empress is not helpless, or weak, or stupid, or liable to betray people. What would have made sense was for Empress to fill Kara in on what had happened and they work out a plan together. And the art was lame.
This just read like a desperately contrived way to wind up the story so that it's all fresh for the new creative team starting next month. Heidi Meeley, is you're reading this, don't bother with this issue. Start next month. Apparently they are gonna start tying Superman, Supergirl and Action Comics more closely together. This is good, because the last Superman book had a good depiction of Kara in it.
I decided to re read all the Supergirl issues over the last couple of days, as I'd forgotten a lot of detail. And read in a straight run they really don't make sense. Each story arc stands alone OK, but together it looks bizarre.
Lets get down the things I like about this Kara:
At the start, she's snarky, she's messed up, she's rude, she's got this enormous pressure on her because she's got all these buried issues re Krypton and her dad and Superman. I know how it feels to have this other side to you fighting to make you do bad things, so I can identify with that and I feel for her. And despite all this, she generally does the right thing be it trying to be a hero with The Outsiders, getting rid of the phantoms (now if only someone could tell me how she did it..), or finding out who's trying to kill her. She removes herself from Kal because she doesn't trust herself to be near him. She stands her own ground, she may be a mess but she doesn't let others walk over her. I think that's admirable. And I totally buy that she'd wear that outfit. I wore stuff that short and high when I was 15-19. Possibly not at the same time, but that's just a matter of taste.
So I like this Kara, a lot. She's finding it very difficult to fit in on this planet, again, I get that feeling of missing the book of rules that will make everything make sense. I think there has been a growth of sorts to Kara, but sometimes it only makes sense in each particular plot arc.
The problems with the books lie with the editors. (If it is them which is responsible for the catalogue of disasters I'm about to list....let me know if I'm wrong.)
For the record, I like her intro in Superman/Batman and I like the first trade - #1 to 5. Yes there are some artistic problems, but I can get behind the story.
What doesn't work, and hasn't worked the entire way through is the crossovers. 60% of the time I don't understand what's happening because I'm not reading all the other DC books.
Why does the first page of #6 say 1 year and one month later, and the cover of # 7 have the 1 yr later logo on it? Why were they in Kandor? You only found out a number of issues later that Kara was in Kandor because she had to get away from Clark because she was scared of killing him. That should have been established in her book, not in Infinite Crisis, as I assume it was.
The standalone issues work, # 10 where she goes to school and # 12 where she goes clubbing and meets Terra. Why introduce Terra if that's the only time we'll see her here? I really liked Boomer and Kara's relationship, why hasn't that continued? He was regular for all of 6 issues.
#12 takes place after #10, thereby breaking up the story in #11 and 13. Which incidentally has the worst artistic depiction of Grace Choi ever.
The Power Boy arc was..OK. I could not fathom why Batgirl was evil in #14, because I don't read the Bat books. See, DC that's a bad thing, you are alienating readers!
#16 and 17, her origin story. I liked that. I like the crystals, I like the phantoms. But why the bleeding hell was the earth under a red sun in issue #17??!! Ale Garza art is tres good though.
#18 Kara vs Kara was rubbish and was basically a fuck you to fans who didn't like snarky Kara.
#19. This cover. Huh? This issue was Kara apologising to everyone. There was no death of Superman. Again, an issue I really liked, but the cover is the most misleading thing ever!
#20 through 22 are Amazons Attack and Countdown tie ins. They don't make sense w/o reading the main titles. This wouldn't be a problem if it was a one off, but it's been happening all the way through the series.
#23. is this a tie in to somewhere else? Cos lord knows where it came from. Clark and a Green Lantern ask Kara to follow a space ship. This one has lots of good art, but little dialogue.
#24. Continues the weird story from last issue, and we get to see into the past so Kara gets to lay more demons to rest. Which is Good and all, except that her visions of the last moments of Krypton are different to those shown in #16 and 17. I thought she killed her mother?! Good art here though.
#25 - Reactron man. I like her and Kara's discussions. I like Kara's reactions and questions, I like the way her brain is working. her helplessness at not knowing how to help everyone was heartbreaking.
I don't like how this led to 6 issues of Kara trying to saving Thomas. Except for #30, which has jack all to do with the rest of the issues it's sandwiched between. And is yet more Kara coming to terms with her past. On the plus side, Resurrection Man and Kara's interchanges are very good.
Foe some reason I'm missing #27. :(
So there you have it, that's a list of what I think's wrong with this Supergirl run. part of the problems were caused by having so many different creative teams*. The other thing that may have helped was to include Kara coming to terms with her past and her origin in one story arc, maybe spanning 6 issues? Then move on to the Thomas arc, where she grows up and learns you can't fix everything, and have the odd few issues, separated from other plot lines, where she meets Reactron and has some stand alone adventures.
Currently, it looks like a hack job. Only die hard Kara fans like myself are still reading. I re read all these issues thinking I'd find plenty of ways to defend these issues. And I went the other way.
The way I make sense of these is to create my own story in my head and keep each little distinct plot arc separate. But it would be nice to not have to do that.
Currently listening to the Wildhearts' Stop me if you've heard this one before covers album. Current favourite - Understanding Jane (originally by The Icicle Works) and The World comes Tumblin' (originally by The Distillers).
*Linked from Maid of Might, for all your Supergirl needs.