Supergirl #38 review

Kara's Crucible adventure continues with her fighting alongside fellow students Maxima, Comet and Tsavo to protect the latter's homeworld, Ngo. But that's not how the book opens. In a cute switch, the first narrator isn't Kara, but Kon - Superboy, back on Earth after three years of being battered by dodgy editorial directions. 

He's in Rome, where he's been staying in a monastery for a spot of peace and a chance to get to know who he is when he's not being driven to insanity by said New 52 lunacy. But today, he's relaxing on a day out, mingling with the crowds of a comic convention, where his super-suit lets him fit right in. 

Then, for the superbly composed opening spread, we're with Kara and colleagues as they try to stop the decimation of Ngo by Vax, Rendll, Tsavo's brother Roho and a killer version of Henry the vacuum cleaner. The fight moves from Ngo to - wouldn't you know it? - Rome, where, it turns out, Kon is the target. During the second battle, even as she's fighting with her new friends, Kara's wondering if she's on the right side. Their opponents are all former Crucible pupils, who assert that the space school isn't the benevolent institute it claims to be. The presumed bad guys flee, but not before space psychic Comet has been injured. Kara wants to get him to Crucible's medical facilities immediately, but there's something else Maxima wants first - Superboy. Turns out Crucible desires the Superman clone every bit as much as their rivals, and Maxima has been given the secret mission to make it so...

It's another solidly entertaining issue from the latest Supergirl creative team. The book looks like two big zapfests, but it's full of sharp character moments as the overall story moves forward. I like the mystery - why do two warring factions want Kon-El? Is Crucible truly a force for good in the universe? And what's up with Comet, is this truly the behaviour of a hero when there's no immediate lethal threat?
I liked that shrimp-headed guy. 
I also liked that Kara emerges as leader of her class away team; that while she seems almost resentful, Maxima immediately follows her; that a bit of humour is had from the convention crowds. It's another stylishly solid writing job from K Perkins and Mike Johnson, who handle multiple characters with aplomb, making an effort to ensure the book is new reader friendly. As with the Red Lanterns arc, Kara is suddenly one among many, but as with that storyline, she remains the star of her own book. That takes some craft. 
There's also plenty of great craft in the pencils of Emanuela Lupacchino, whose energetic, good-looking storytelling is a massive asset to this series. Everyone has their own look, the fight choreography works and as for the backgrounds ... can it be coincidence that the writers set an entire sequence in Lupacchino's homeland? Rome looks great, and as a European I find it hugely refreshing to see something happen on my continent - it's frustrating that US-based superheroes travel across the galaxy more often than they do the Atlantic. 

I adore Lupacchino's Supergirl, she's lost the sometimes surly - and admittedly story-driven - look of early issues and is clearly a bright soul, the force for good Supergirl should be. Now if only DC would assign Lupacchino to redesign that godawful costume. 

Adding their talents to Lupacchino's pencils are inker Ray McCarthy, whose solid work is always welcome, and the boundlessly bright colours of Hi-Fi, which truly suit this storyline - but remember guys, Kara's eyebrows are blonde, not black. Rob Leigh's lettering is also appreciated, where would we be without him?

Kara's cover look doesn't jibe with the interiors, I guess it was drawn months before the rest of the issue, but it has a certain impact.

What's the opposite of a rut, because that's what Supergirl has flown into? The entire creative team is getting behind a vision of who Kara is, and to my mind it's definitely a super-vision. 


  1. We agree completely about this. Supergirl is the leader here, strong and fierce. But also bright and caring. The art is just fantastic.

    As you say, this is a Kara I can get behind.

  2. It really is wonderful to have a Supergirl who feels like the classic.


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