Call me crazy, but a comic book based on a TV show that’s not in canon is a hard sell. It’s looking for fans of the TV show to buy in, but if it’s done really well, anyone can grab it and enjoy the heck out of it. So far they’ve done a great job and I’ve enjoyed the first three, but how is #4? Is it good?
The Adventures of Supergirl #4 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? If you enjoy digital comics go to Comixology right now and buy it. If you’re waiting for the paper version, the official DC synopsis says:
Based on the new hit TV series! Road trip! Kara convinces her big sister that a trip to the Fort Rozz crash site is just what they need to get some answers—but what they find leads to more questions. And when the architect of Kara’s recent woes reveals herself, how long can Supergirl stand against Facet?
Why does this book matter?
Sterling Gates continues to write one hell of a comic book. It’s guys like him that make you think it’s an easy task to balance story, character, and action. Carmen Carnero is on art, and while I don’t know who they are, part of the beauty of this series is seeing new chops in action.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Things start to get complicated between Supergirl and her sister, who was painfully missing last issue. Gates puts them on a mission and he’s got a good amount of unease between them due to Supergirl’s sister hiding some things from her. The mission they’re on suits their power sets (superhuman and girl with gun) and there is quite a surprise in the end for readers too. There’s a lot to like in this issue and it all starts with strong character writing.
I really enjoyed how Carnero uses the cape to accentuate Supergirl in this issue. You’d think putting her on a mission deep underground would make the cape useless, but instead Carnero has it flapping up and around to accentuate the movement and drama of the scenes. Supergirl herself looks great–never sexualized or weak and always capturing her humanity. The inks are a bit heavy; they really make this issue feel dark and brooding when I’m not so sure that’s necessary, but they are fighting in an underground tunnel so it makes some sense. The costume looks fantastic though, even if the colors are a bit muted. Sandra Molina’s colors do have a subdued quality, but again I think the overall theme is this story is looking at the darker corners of the character.
On top of the main thrust of the story Gates is reminding us of the Vril Dox in the best way imaginable–via a very creepy discovery–and the dream alien Psi too. These are helpful reminders Gates is building towards something more complex.
It can’t be perfect can it?
While the art has its pros I do think the overall tone is a bit off. It’s dark, but I don’t know why. Does Supergirl really have all that much to be sad about or for that matter afraid of? There’s a past rearing its head, but the tone is so sullen you have to wonder if someone gave the creative team a note to make this more “adult” or something. It’s not that big of an issue, but it seems like an unnecessary aspect of the issue.
Is It Good?
This is the only Supergirl comic I’m reading and it’s the only damn one I need. It’s that good.