Supergirl 58 review.November 20, 2010
And we’re back with our regular reviews; a couple days late, but in the reveiw’s place this week was an editorial on the upcoming Fables cover. Only one title to review this week but still it’s a big one, and one that I will probably come back and talk about again: Supergirl 58. This title also sports a really great variant cover, which is an homage to Supergirl’s original apperance in the Silver Age; I’ve always loved that cover there’s never been a single greater feminist declaration in comics, in my opinion.
A girl who can do everything Superman can, and he stares on in disbelief; this was back before Wonder Woman had the ability to fly. Remember don’t let anyone ever tell you what you can or cannot do, or what it is acceptable for your gender to do!
And now to the review.
Supergirl 58 pushes a story arc 20 issues in the making to full motion, back in Supergirl 38, Cat Grant received a mysterious doll and a few more have arrived since then, she’s learned that the dates of the arrivals of these dolls coincide with children who have been going missing. So the night before Christmas Eve she enlists the aid of Supergirl, a super heroine she has been trashing non-stop in the Daily Planet, to help her confront Winslow Schnott, the Toyman, in Arkham Asylum.
Turns out Toyman isn’t to blame for these evil robotic dolls, and one of them, in fact, almost kills him, after a discussion of their animosity Supergirl takes off on her own to hunt for clues, and discusses her feelings with Lana who is on her way back to Smallville to visit her ex-husband and son, while Lois visits her sister in her cell at Star Labs, and Cat visits the grave of her son killed by one of Toyman’s robots back in Superman 84.
The characterization is what really makes this issue shine, Supergirl and Cat finally getting a chance to talk face to face about her article, and Cat gets a view of how much her writing has hurt Supergirl, although she still defends it. Supergirl learns from Lana about how Cat lost her child and how it changed her; Supergirls initial reaction while the story is being related goes from disbelief that anyone would want to “mate with that woman” to feeling sympathy.
The entire story focuses around relationships unique to women, that of daughter and child, and between sisters (although this only starts to be addressed). And leaves an opening for Kara to really continue to grow over the next two issues, something that Gates has excelled at doing with her over the course of his run. I’ve never been more excited to see how a character will develop and grow over the course of a mainstream comic story, in fact it isn’t something we normally expect too much of.
This and Batgirl would be my two top recommendations for anyone looking to get a woman introduced the DCU, (or Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the 8th grade for someone looking for an introduction to the basic concepts).
The art in this issue is good for the most part; Jamal Igle’s pencils are very sharp but on distance shots the proportions can get a bit wonky, and some of the expressions seem out of place on those shots too when Supergirl learns the full story of Cat’s son’s death the next panel shows her with an almost joker-like grin even though she’s cursing in Kryptonian.
Overall this is one of the best issues of a superhero comic I’ve read all year.
Quality Rank: 5/5 -Just some of the tightest writing and character development I’ve seen in a long time-
Out of the Fridge Score: 5/5 -Nowhere Near the Fridge- All the women are well developed and treated with respect, even when they don’t respect each other.
Bechdel test: Pass