Saturday, June 18, 2011

Signal Watch Reads: Supergirl 65

Supergirl #65
Colors by BLOND
Wil Moss and Matt Idleson - Editors

As exciting as this image is, nothing like it happens in the actual comic
We're rolling into the final three issues of the current Supergirl series with current continuity and current costume I've never been crazy about (but I like the new one okay).  No matter how good or bad, its obvious this story is filler, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy what the creative team is trying to do.

This is the first issue for writer Kelly Sue DeConnick that I've read, but if you've been kicking around comics, likely you've see the work by ChrisCross elsewhere.  

By and large, unfortunately, this feels like filler material.  Its clear DeConnick isn't really all that familiar with the ups and downs of the Supergirl title over the past 6 years, even if I think her heart is in the right place, and had DC not been headed for a relaunch come September, I think I'd be left scratching my head (not that I think you just quit playing because the clock is running out).  Her Linda doesn't feel like the Linda we've seen in Sterling Gates' multi-year run, or even in the recent run by James Peaty.  Maybe DeConnick did read those issues and this is her take, but Linda just feels oddly directionless and mopey.

The issue starts with Lois taking a gondola across a Metropolis harbor that a young woman jumps aboard.  Partway out over the water, the gondola is swarmed by robotic flying monkeys trying to grab the girl.  Supergirl and (Blue) Starman show up and save the day, and we get to see the villains behind the robotic monkeys scheming.  They're collecting child prodigies for reasons that they don't explain.

Look...  I like monkeys.  I do.  But...  enough already.  The meme and cute factor for some of these things are starting to feel like we're all living in this geek internet bubble where something quit being funny a long time ago, and we're all now enjoying the memory of when something was cute and/ or funny.  I WISH glying robot monkeys didn't strike me this way, but its just...  if you're coming to Supergirl, I know its not the best defined book, but that's why you gots to bring your A game.

Anyhow, because Supergirl is a young, cute blonde woman of whatever age is appropriate for this week's story, Lois Lane sends her undercover as a prospect at Stanhope College (which Eagle-Eyed Super-fans will remember Linda Danvers attended in the Bronze Age).  Lois is concerned Supergirl is being a little moody and tells her she doesn't just want her to go undercover, she wants her to cut loose and have fun!

1)  That seems like awful advice to any high school aged girl you're sending to a college campus with no understanding of college social life
2)  The first three years of this title were a trainwreck as writers accidentally created a near-sociopathic Supergirl who liked to cut loose, have fun and tear up Air Force One.  That's all still in continuity, and I don't know that Lois would just forget all that.
3)  Undercover at a prep school or college again?  Hasn't Supergirl already done this on multiple separate occasions since her reboot?  Yikes.

Supergirl meets insufferable campus iconoclasts who are onto the scheme of the badguys, and...  that's part 1.

I don't think DeConnick is a bad writer.  There are some interesting flourishes here, but the obliviousness to the title doesn't work well for those of us who are keeping on eye on the book, and whether this thing was getting rebooted or not, at this point sales indicate that this was a chance for DeConnick to draw the attention of Supergirl fans and impress them more than it was for her name to sell more Supergirl comics.  

I like her Lois, more or less, but I'm a lot iffier on what she was doing with Supergirl, and a bit irritated with the editors for not guiding DeConnick a bit more on Kara's current state (but one assumes they were busy planning for September).  And, I think DeConnick bought into her Campus Iconoclast Club's level of adorableness more than myself.  

The art is pretty great and appropriate for a book likely aimed at readers younger than myself, by the way.  So, kudos where kudos are deserved.  ChrisCross and Deering do a yeoman's job on art chores, and it would be great to see them work on the Maid of Might at some other point in the future.  

I'm sticking with the run to the bitter end, and I don't think its necessarily a bad story, but there's probably a lesson in here somewhere about writing every comic you get a chance on like its your last.

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