Supergirl #36 review

Having recently decided to make the best of life on Earth, Kara is making real efforts to integrate. She's taken a job in a coffee shop, doing her own laundry, getting the shopping and basically trying to fit in. A tough day at work - why are coffee steamers sooo delicate? - isn't helped when cousin Clark drops by with a lecture about getting more training.

Kara, politely, tells him where to get off - after all, she's been mastering her powers, and it's not like he hasn't had control problems of late, what with turning into a death-irradiating Doomsday creature and all. Later, she's wandering home, missing her old friend Siobhan, when she's teleported to another world. There she's ambushed by three superbeings in turn, before being told she's worthy of being trained at the Crucible Academy, school for young heroes.

Well, I know what I'd tell 'em - if a school wants to recruit me, let them do the selling, not the attacking. But, Kara's a calmer, smarter soul than when she first arrived on Earth, as proven when she quickly overcomes her surprise, assesses the situation and thoroughly whomps each assailant, then listens to the headmistress, Preceptor Lys Amata. We readers know Kara's going to be with the school for several issues, but I wouldn't be surprised if she lays down her own terms for staying.

Because returning writer Mike Johnson and new co-writer K Perkins continue the great work of recent author Tony Bedard in giving us a more centred Kara. She's hugely likeable this issue, dealing with Clark firmly and, despite their rather heavy way of introducing themselves, listening to Crucible's eventual sales pitch. She's the adult in her own book, and I like that. I also like that Perkins and Johnson aren't forgetting Silver Banshee Siobhan (who may need Kara, as last we saw there was a demon stalking her). I could do without Clark being an oaf, not giving Kara credit for her growth, but there's nevertheless an understated warmth between the cousins from Krypton - this is how family is, sometimes. I love seeing them hang out outside the coffee shop.

Heck, I heart the cafe full stop. Anyone for a Supergirl: Coffee Adventures in the Eighth Grade book? No? Oh well, at least there's likely something of the flavour of Landry Q Walker and Eric Jones' superb series coming in this run, as Kara mingles with the likes of Maxima, Comet and Tsavo, the senior students who razz her here (they apparently learned their recruitment techniques from Adventure Comics #247).

While the writing team is new, recent regular artist Emanuela Lupacchino sticks around, drawing a wonderful Kara and co. She's tweaked Supergirl slightly, softening her facial expressions and lengthening her hair to match the character Kara has become. The harsh edges are going, replaced by a sophistication. Sharpness, though, is the stock in trade of inker Ray McCarthy, who works well with Lupacchino - whether it's the cutely bearded Clark, the New York scenes, the otherworldly vistas, the character designs for the Academy crew or the refreshingly modest Kryptonian armour - the artists produce inspired work that reflects the inspired script. Letterer Dezi Sienty and colourists Hi-fi similarly acquit themselves rather well.

And I really appreciate Lupacchino's nicely composed cover, strikingly coloured by Dan Brown - too many of this run's covers have seen Kara scowling, or half dead, or bleeding, but here she is, smiling, enjoying the adventure. More please.

I was nervous at the idea of yet another new direction for this series, but quality craft and a smattering of style combined with respect for what's gone before has me very happy indeed. This run is going to be good.


  1. Good post. And I agree with you, that is a nice cover.

  2. Good to hear this re-re-reboot of Supergirl is promising. I'll check it out!

  3. Just a solid start to this new direction. This sounds like a classic Kara, wanting to protect people, wanting to find her own way, and calling Earth home.

    Like you, I thought the conversation with Clark was great, showing how mature she has become and how immature he seems to be acting now.

    And the art and colors are just stunning.

  4. I really like Superman's beard. It reminds me of the old photos I have of my dad. There aren't many people who look like my dad in comics.

    I've missed a few Supergirl issues, so can someone tell me how Kara managed to get a civilian identity? (And why her disguise is "not even a pair of glasses"?) Fake identities are really hard to obtain...not that I'd know from experience *ahem*

    In all seriousness I did enjoy the issue.

    1. It's always interesting for me to see Superman with a beard, it takes me back to one of the first Superman stories I read as a kid, the super-dramatic Action Comics #300, Captive of the Red Sun (I hasten to point out that I read it about ten years after first publication ... which still makes me old).

      I expect Batman or someone got Kara fake credentials. Tut.

  5. Surprised at how much I liked the new direction. Maybe it has to do with Johnson coming back to the title. Great to see Maxima finally debut in the new 52, and curious to see how Comet is portrayed in contrast to how Morrison wrote him. Last but not least, very much looking forward to see what role Superboy has here, especially I r becomes part of Kara's supporting cast.


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