Comic Review: Supergirl Volume 1

I’ve never been much of a Supergirl fan.  Female knock-offs of other heroes are right up there with kid sidekicks for me.  I do appreciate a good Batgirl story, but Supergirl always seemed fairly superfluous.  An entire planet goes boom and the only survivors are a pair of close relatives?  That’s pushing it even for the superhero world that thrives off coincidence.  About the only time I really dug Supergirl was when Peter David wrote her adventures, and she was more or less a different character for that.

Then I saw the current series had Marc Andreyko as a writer.  He did that great Manhunter series I really liked.  Let’s see how it worked out with the first volume subtitled Killers of Krypton.

Action Comics #1000 introduced a villain named Rogol Zaar.  What was his big thing?  Apparently, he was the one who destroyed Krypton once upon a time.  Superman’s cousin Supergirl, despite appearances, is actually the older cousin, and she remembers Krypton.  Did Zaar act alone?  She needs to know.  Does she want justice or vengeance?  That’s unclear.  But she has Zaar’s battleaxe, a special suit to store and discharge yellow sun radiation wherever she goes, and Krypto the Super-dog for company.  Can she find the truth?

Supergirl’s adventures here, with Andreyko’s script and artwork from the great Kevin Maguire, doesn’t really go very far.  For a volume that claims to be the “Killers of Krypton” storyline, it ends on a cliffhanger and very little indication who the killers of Krypton are outside of Zaar.  Supergirl gains some insight into what’s happening after visiting the Green Lantern Corps and the spot where Krypton used to be.  But even a late team-up with the Omega Men doesn’t go very far plotwise because the book ends in the middle of the story.  Was I all that intrigued by what was happening?  Not so much.  I know Andreyko and Maguire are both reliable creators.  But is Supergirl an interesting enough character for me?

I’m not sure.  DC has made changes to explain the coincidence and even made changes to Supergirl, allowing her to be a more distinct character than her more recognizable cousin.  And I know Andreyko at least can write better than this.  But this story seemed to have Supergirl flip back and forth between powerless and full-Kryptonian as she learned a little but not much.  I suspect the story was being set up for more long term storytelling, and sticking Supergirl in space with a personal mission is an interesting concept.  I just didn’t much care what happens to her just yet.  The best developments came in the last issue in this reprint volume.

OK, technically, the last story was a forgettable Christmas story longtime Superman scribe Dan Jurgens wrote.  But you get the point, hypothetical reader.

I didn’t mind this book too much, but I’m not really dying to know what comes next.  7.5 out of 10 genetic mishmashes.

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