It’s back to Earth and straight into action for Supergirl in this week’s release from DC and once more under the Year Of The Villain banner.
After the disastrous, in almost every way, final issue of The House Of El United storyline last issue, writer Marc Andreyko returns Supergirl to National City to face a new enemy, one that has been plaguing other sectors of the DC universe: Leviathan.
Luckily for casual readers, a keen understanding of the greater DC Universe is not needed to enjoy this issue of Supergirl. Everything you need to know about the villains and what they’ve been up to is presented in this comic. As a result, the narrative flows much more evenly than in issue 33 which was like a handful of stories stuck together with no thought about the single issue they were a part of.
Return of Supergirl
In Post Mortem Andreyko is telling a story about Supergirl, or to be more precise Kara Danvers, as she returns home to find everything has changed. There are some surprising and even horrific moments in this issue which Andreyko times wonderfully for greatest impact. The different strands of the story weave around each other leading the reader on an emotional journey. Heartbreak and excitement go hand in hand as the reader witnesses Kara’s world torn apart.
This comic is emotionally gripping because Eduardo Pansica’s pencils and Julio Ferreira’s inks capture the character’s reactions in a visually stunning way. Words are not needed to understand Kara’s emotional state and the reader is hit hard by her physical and emotional distress. The inking is less defined than recent issues, giving everything a harsher edge.
Added to this is the realistic coloring by Fco Plascencia firmly setting the action on Earth. Gone are the flat, Pop Art colors of recent issues. Plascencia’s colors work better with the new inking style, giving the overall aesthetic a mature look more fitting for the story Andreyko is telling.
The lettering used for Briainiac and his quest for knowledge helps to single out this part of the story. Although part of the Supergirl world, Brianiac’s journey is separate from the main story and this is instantly made clear by the pink text and boarders on the speech balloons. This style does not feature in any other part of the comic making it unique to this aspect of the story and in turn reminding the reader that this is an aside; world and plot building.
Tom Napolitano uses overlapping speech balloons to push the narrative forward, increasing the pace of the dialogue. He also uses connectors for the opposite effect, emphasising a character’s reaction or a particular part of the speech. Not only does this control the reader across the panels but also adds depth to the characters.
This issue of Supergirl has a lot to do. It has to move Kara on from her previous adventure, re-introduce her to a world she left months ago and tie in with a publisher wide event story. Andreyko handles the task suitably well. He creates an exciting story and fills it full of traumatic experiences, some bordering on horror. The ridiculous space story that preceded this is wiped away within the first few pages; forgotten and barely mentioned.
This is a return to form for Supergirl, with a creative team who are comfortable working together. Plascencia’s colors and Napolitano’s letters complement Pansica’s pencils and Ferreira’s inks. Overall the visuals have improved greatly from previous issues aiding the telling of a difficult story.
Supergirl #34 may not seem like a great jumping on point but everything you need to know is in this issue. And it is presented in a dynamic, entertaining way. DC just need to stop using Supergirl as a sidekick for the other superheroes in the DC Universe and let her enjoy being the star that she is. And with the recent announcement of a new creative team, including Jody Houser and Rachael Stott, starting in December, it would seem to be up, up, and away for Supergirl.