Sunday, May 1, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Supergirl #63

Supergirl #63

Written by JAMES PEATY

 I'm reviewing this mostly because I'm trying to build a bit of strategerie around my Super-blogging and less because jumping in and talking about a minor storyline a few issues in is a great idea.  So, bear with me and I'll keep it short.

I have been on extensive record about my dissatisfaction with the early days of the Supergirl series.  Somehow DC had read "being a teenager is hard and emotional" as "we should really make Supergirl an unsympathetic sociopath".  There is likely a place and a time for a story about a young teenaged superhero who matches that description, and I might even read it, but I prefer my Kara Zor-El a whole lot sunnier.  So...  if you haven't checked in with Supergirl in a long time, that's more or less what we've got these days.

The idea for the story is a bit convoluted (although I quite like many aspects of it), and I blame that on the fact that Nick Spencer started this story line and then immediately left, and its been up to James Peaty to write the story to a conclusion.  No, I have no idea why DC took Sterling Gates off Supergirl when he finally had a chance to write the character without the weight of the New Krypton storyline bogging him down (and, frankly, he'd handled that really well). 

In the age of the iPhone, someone has released an app called "Flyover" that encourages users to snap photos of superheroes in action, tagging them with day, date, and coordinates.  Thus, you can get an idea of the patterns of the the superheroes or maybe even rush to see them in action.

Supergirl has been following a sort of vague menace that seems to be sending out semi-organic androids.  Now, from the start we've known who the identity of the big bad, a blonde sort of super genius who seems to have telepathic capability.  In this issue we begin to learn the secret of the villain's scheme and secrets.

I'm not sure I cared all that much about the main plot, truthfully.  And while I raised an eyebrow at the villain's secret identity, I also had to wonder if a good portion of the audience knew who the character was even supposed to be without leaping to Google for answers, which I have to assume drains the reveal of its impact.

I do, however, basically like the idea of the story, and especially the "Flyover" app, which seems pretty obvious once you think about it (and as technology expands and pervades, its becoming interesting to consider how comics will keep pace).

Bernard Chang's art works well enough for me, but his style is a step back toward the waif look originated by Michael Turner, although I do think Chang does a good job of steering away from the cheesecake take that was pervasive in the title for its first three years.  In that, I sort of think the art will likely appeal to a younger audience than myself, and that's all right by me.  It does remind a bit of the stuff that the kids are into.

Anyhow, if you can forgive the odd post, hopefully these reviews will make more sense as we build some context.

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