Continuing The House of El: United crossover, Supergirl, Krypto, and Jon throw down with a genocidal maniac only to discover they have a much larger fight on their hands.
After a quick summoning up by Jon for those who might not be up to speed, the supers fly into the palace of Gandelo to bring her to justice. Despite the over whelming odds and unknown strength of the villain, writer Marc Andreyko opens up this issue of Supergirl with witty banter and gives the heroes a sense of confidence which is picked up in the art work.
This entire issue is mostly a fight sequence between Supergirl and two adversaries with an occasional added bonus thrown in, such as Jon and Krypto. The first half is a pretty light affair with Kara’s over confidence leading her mouth first into battle. Andreyko fills the script with quips and witticisms coming from both sides of the battle. Gandelo gives as good as she gets.
The humour is well placed and gives the opening of the comic a jovial atmosphere which is a pleasant change in superhero comics. One of the highlights of reading Supergirl is that it doesn’t get bogged down in darkness; even in the most difficult times there is time for light relief. Andreyko understands this and uses it to pace this issue. At first the fight bounces along from punch to punch and quip to quip. However, it all takes a darker tone when the true villain enters the scene.
Everything from the script to Kevin Maguire’s art to the lettering changes midway through the comic and Andreyko introduces a real threat into Supergirl’s life. Maguire gives the action a heavy, violent feel with dramatic points of view and exciting choreography. This change of pace is a real jolt to the reader and adds to the overall reading experience. It is in these moments where Tom Napolitano’s lettering really shines. He has a knack of capturing the essence of the character within his speech balloons and font choices. There is clear definition between the characters even if it does appear a touch heavy handed in places.
The coloring is bold throughout with Fco Plascencia contrasting the heroes against the villains. Supergirl’s bright outfit stands out in the panels giving each page a natural flow of vision. Z’ndr’s coloring is the most intriguing as the tones used for his skin and clothing falls somewhere between the brightness of Kara and the coldness of the villains. Whose side is he on? At this point in the story Kara is unsure and this hesitation is reflected in a visual manner.
Issue 32 of Supergirl is an adventurous battle sequence that is beautifully paced by Andreyko. While the action itself is not necessarily original, the witty banter and the shifting tone lifts the narrative above a standard superhero punch up.
There are also some outstanding moments in this issue. A page of stacked panels which feature a surprising twist worthy of The Walking Dead or something written by Joss Whedon. Great character interactions, especially between Kara and Jon. And, of course, a ridiculously designed alien purely for comic relief.
DC comic’s Supergirl #32 is an exciting romp with a kick in its tail. It has also set up the conclusion of this current story arc in a wonderful fashion.