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Saturday, August 04, 2018

Reader's Diary #1883- Mariko Tamaki (writer), Joelle Jones (artist): Supergirl Being Super

Supergirl's origin story isn't the greatest. It pretty much underscores that she was basically an attempt at a female version of Superman. She's sent to Earth from Kryptonian parents when her home planet is about to be destroyed, she crash lands in rural America and is raised by a loving couple on a farm. Sound familiar?

I'm not sure why exactly DC Comics decided then to revisit her origin story if they weren't going to overhaul it completely, but all that considered Mariko Tamaki did an excellent job considering those parameters.

For one, Kara Danvers (aka Supergirl) is more grounded in her teenage years. Adolescent themes (zits!) are prevalent and her friends, especially Dolly, are more fleshed out, believable, varied, and compelling. For another, her timeline is much closer to Superman's. This was confusing to me at first because as Kara began to discover her powers and history, I was questioning why she didn't see any similarities between herself and Superman. Did he not exist in this world? Fortunately that's answered toward the end of the book. Another plus was that the origin wasn't the whole story and the overarching plot was quite interesting, complete with complex villains.

Joelle Jones' art is also pretty great. While it has the generic pseudo-realistic look of most superhero comics and there's nothing too experimental, I really enjoyed the attention to anatomy and physiology; characters posed and moved in very authentic looking ways, reminding me somewhat of critically acclaimed artist Alex Ross's attention to similar details.

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