So the Rebirth issue of Supergirl was a great time; it hooked me in with its solid writing and wonderful artwork. SupergirlSupergirl #1 (DC Comics)
Kara Zor-El is trying to adapt to Earth life, work with the D.E.O. and live the civilian identity of Kara Danvers, a young high school student. However, as her day goes on and on, it’s becoming clearer and clearer that she is having an extremely difficult time adjusting to her surroundings. What’s a girl like her to do?
Supergirl #1 is both a very good follow up to the Rebirth issue and an official start to the series. This issue focuses on Kara’s adjustment to her new life. While the previous Supergirl series dealt with her trying to adjust to life on Earth, that run moved away from that angle after a while. This series, or story arc at least, seems to be returning to that. Supergirl #1 shows how difficult it is for Kara to deal with the “normal,” mundane world, since her world was so advanced and light years above the technology on Earth. Writer Steve Orlando exhibits Kara’s frustrations well, especially when we are shown flashbacks to her life on Krypton for comparison. The story is just told very well here from start to finish, allowing you to easily sympathize with our title character.
Orlando’s pacing and storytelling are tight, always keeping the story on the move, but never moving too quickly. Every scene and every moment lasts as long as they should, from Kara studying in school to the fight on the train. The dialogue is good outside of a few moments (Chase’s speech to Supergirl is a bit awkwardly phrased) and th characterization is pretty much on point for everyone, especially with Kara. Orlando really does a fantastic job at portraying her frustration with her situation and her desire for her old life, especially when she is being chewed out during the last moments of the comic. Everything about the writing just really works here, outside of maybe one thing I’ll discuss in a bit.
The artwork is done by Brian Ching and while he has a very different style from Emanuela Lupacchino, his work does fit well enough with the story. It’s a style that is cartoonish, but also less refined in terms of how people are drawn and the amount of detail throughout. The characters all look different from one another and are able to convey a lot of their feelings and emotions through simple expressions and gestures, especially Kara. The layouts are simple, but good and do well with handling the flow of the story. The colors by Michael Atiyeh, who colored the Rebirth issue, are very nice and help with mood and tone in some moments.
I had a few issues with the artwork and the ending. The style of the artwork leads to some very off-model characters with incredibly thin limbs or bodies in some panels. There’s also the issue with detailing. The farther the object/person is in the panel, the less detail they become and it doesn’t look very good. The final pages of the book have some particularly bad examples with Kara’s feet turning into stubs, arms as thick as a pencil stroke, etc. It gets incredibly distracting at points the longer you look at the art.
The other problem lies with the ending. It’s not the reveal that is the problem, but more in how its executed. Suddenly, a character is just there behind Supergirl with no indication until the second to last panel (or maybe they are somewhere else and Kara managed to hear them. The layouts didn’t convey it well). It’s just so abrupt and awkward in how it is presented. It’s a nitpick, but it’s one that really stood out to me personally when reading it.
A lesser known power of the Superman family is their ability to avoid being hit by dodgeballs. Not very practical in the field, but it was quite useful in a school environment.
Is It Good?
Supergirl #1 is a solid start for this new run on a classic character. The story is a classic fish-out-of-water tale and Steve Orlando’s writing and storytelling are executed very well. The characterization is great and the artwork, outside of some problems with it, looks great. If you liked the Rebirth issue, then for sure give this one a shot. Supergirl is back and better than ever.