Sunday, November 15, 2015

Reader's Diary #1213- Michael Green and Mike Johnson (Writers), Mahmud Asrar (Artist): Supergirl Volume 1, Last Daughter of Krypton

I haven't seen the new Supergirl series yet, but that's out of a lack of time more than a lack of interest. Granted, I'm not overly crazy about the Supes in general. I'm not the first to complain about it, but they're usually wildly over-powered to have much drama. Still, I can acknowledge that there's been a good Superman story or two. As for Supergirl? I don't know a lot about that character. I saw the 1984 movie as a kid, but I remember next to nothing about it. So I was interested in learning more about her.

Last Daughter of Krypton is an origin story. I know comics nerds have had a hate on those lately, but when I'm out to learn about a new character, I can appreciate a good origin story.

Is Supergirl's origin story a good one? It's not half bad. Of course, if you know Superman's story, you kind of know hers. Her home planet of Krypton is no more and her father sent her off to Earth to survive. But in reference to Superman's story, its interesting in that Kara, aka Supergirl, is a teenager when she arrives, unlike Kal-El, aka Superman who arrived as an infant. But something must have gone wonky in the whole time/space travel because while the left Krypton within days of one another, Kal-El has had time to age into a man, Kara arrives as the same teenage girl she was when she left. That's an interesting angle.

And, while you need familiarity with Kal-el's (Clark Kent's) story for the comparison, I actually find Kara's has a bit more to play with. As an infant, the Earth was Kal-el's norm, as were his superpowers. It's only once he aged he started to realize, or was instructed by his adopted parents, that he was actually different. Kara realizes how bizarre everything is from the get-go. No one speaks the same language and she has these awesome new powers. That's a lot to cope with!

About all that... It was, I must say, good to have it acknowledged that the people on Earth are not speaking her language. That's something that's bugged me about Marvel's Thor. But, if we're going to explain the language, I wished they had also addressed the fact that the Kryptonians look humanoid and also provided some rationale on that front. Oh well, I've gone with sillier stuff before.

Speaking of silly stuff, let's also reflect on those Supe Powers. X-Ray vision, ultra-strength, laser eyes, flying? Check, check, check, check. But now the Supes also have mind-reading abilities? Seriously? Is that new?


Sigh again.

Okay, belief suspended once more. It's all good.

Except for the way the writers frequently explain the plot through character thoughts and dialogue. Seems forced.

Geez, I'm coming across harsher than I felt. Believe it or not, I did find this to be a fun book. Kara's a pretty cool character. Plus, the villains, i.e., the Worldkillers, are fantastic. They don't give a lot of backstory, except that they were basically a Kryptonian science experiment gone wrong. But the vagueness and the sense that yes, they're bad, but they can't really help it (in the words of Jessica Rabbit, they were just drawn that way), make them compelling. Their powers are cool and best of all, they aren't all humanoid.

The artwork is decent, nothing particularly noteworthy except for again, the villains, in whom the artists finally show some creativity.

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