Supergirl is a Red Lantern. She's embraced the power of the ring, given in to her rage. In her maddened state she may destroy the earth, but one hero stands against her ... the Silver Banshee?
Yep, Kara's erstwhile flatmate progresses from conflicted adversary to full-on good guy here, giving in to her own dark side while managing a level of control that's, as yet, beyond Kara.
And it's Siobhan's knack for control that we see in the issue's opening, as writer Tony Bedard and penciller Yildiray Cinar take us back a month. There are marshmallows to be roasted but the apartment heating system is knackered. Siobhan nudges Kara into realising that her heat vision doesn't have to be simply about force, it can manage precision too. And for perhaps the first time, New 52 Supergirl laughs!
A second flashback, placed during the Silver Banshee's fight with Red Lantern Supergirl, is a sweet scene showing the growing friendship of Kara and Siobhan, and addressing something that bugged me in the earlier moment - the Irishwoman's super-messy apartment. Silver Age Supergirl would sort that in a jiffy, thought I. It turns out that Bedard's Supergirl would too - let's have more of This Kind of Thing, once the Red Lanterns bit is over.
Super-scientist Dr Shay Veritas appears, sending an appeal out to Superman to help Kara, and worrying that another she-demon, Blaze, is free in her underground facility. Which she is... After Veritas' creator Scott Lobdell popped up in the Comments section a couple of weeks back, insisting she wasn't evil - as Blog Chum Anj and I believed - I tried to keep that in mind while reading the scene. So maybe she's not secretly bad, but it turns out someone else is - but I won't spoil that moment.
The fight between Kara, like most of the issue, is narrated by Siobhan, which makes sense as Kara is in no fit state to describe events and emotions. This is a great way to let us get to know Supergirl's Pal, Siobhan Smythe a little better, learn what Kara means to her, and I liked her more with every page. And once Siobhan changes, the Silver Banshee chimes in too, giving the newly in-control Siobhan a few tips on just how powerful she is, while trying to tempt her to give herself over completely. Suddenly, it's Siobhan who's the pupil, but will she, as Supergirl did, surrender to a whispering entity that promises to make everything feel better?
The Banshee spirit also gives us a different, teasing perspective on the Red Lantern ring.
And Lobo leaves the Supergirl book, after a more enjoyable guest stint than I'd anticipated.
Bedard deserves huge credit for taking this series and making every issue great. He gets Kara, he understands her friends, and he knows how to make the most unlikely scenarios work.
And Cinar is with him every step of the way, supporting Bedard's vision while bringing his own artistic inspirations to proceedings. Big moments such as the Banshee/Red Lantern Supergirl rumpus blaze off the page, while smaller touches, such as one of Veritas's accidental lookalikes wearing her - or maybe 'her' as sexes have been switched - hair in a bun are appreciated. Talking of barnets, I wish Cinar had tweaked the Silver Banshee design to give Siobhan the original freaky hair. And that black chin section doesn't work. But I have no real complaints; Cinar's stint has been short, but ruddy marvellous. He's leaving the book, but will hopefully return one day. The same goes for Ray McCarthy, whose confident inks have been a welcome presence in this series.
Colourist Dan Brown turns in the usual fine job, with the highlight being the moment Banshee's scream effect meets Kara's flame breath.
Brown also colours the cover by Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith, which is nice, but not as good as the interior visuals.
There's good work from letterer Rob Leigh too, particularly as the Banshee spirit tries to force Siobhan away.
Supergirl #29 shows what a great creative team can do when the person in the driving seat is prepared to veer away from the course that's been set. Fingers crossed Tony Bedard isn't poached away for other projects, because he may just give us the Supergirl we deserve.