In the penultimate issue of Supergirl: Being Super, Kara learns about the conspiracy that caused the earthquake in Midvale. She also figures out that being a Kryptonian and a high school student at the same time is no easy task. Marriko Tamaki and Joelle Jones’ unique take on Supergirl’s early life continues in the third issue of this four-part prestige-format series. Is this issue just as good as the first two?
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Joelle Jones
Publisher: DC Comics
Here’s the official synopsis of the issue from DC Comics:
Kara Danvers’ hidden memories of her life on another planet are bubbling to the surface—but is she alone here on earth? Following the devastating events of the Midvale Earthquake, Kara and Dolly struggle to piece their lives back together—but what’s up with Coach? Their mentor is acting strangely, and her odd behavior goes from curious to downright creepy when Kara follows her back to a Lexcorp bunker deep underground. What she’s hiding will change Kara’s life forever—all will be revealed and a hero will need to be super in this penultimate chapter!
(That is one of the most spoiler-packed synopses I’ve ever read.)
During the first two books of Being Super, Midvale was rocked by a mysterious earthquake. While Kara was able to save her friend Dolly, she couldn’t save Jen. Now, the school is trying to move on, but Kara can’t just forget. To make matters worse, Kara and her other teammates notice that Coach Stone is acting weird. Kara finds Stone in a bunker, which leads to the answer to those mysterious “Save Me” voices she’s been hearing.
It’s the strength of this series so far, that Tamaki has brought realism to the life of a teen superhero. She might be Kryptonian, but Kara is just like any teen in school who has suffered a tragedy. This loss of a friend, timed with her memories of losing her real parents during Krypton’s destruction, has made life miserable. Dolly is around to raise Kara’s spirits, but that doesn’t suddenly wipe those memories away.
Jones’ wonderful art also brings a level of realism to Being Super. It’s not overly detailed, but the sense of energy from her pencils fits the story of a teen Supergirl perfectly. The colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick deserve a shout-out as well, because she tries different color palettes for the past sequences. I love the sepia tone for scenes of Kara’s childhood on the farm, reminding one of the opening scenes of The Wizard of Oz and the Smallville scenes in Superman: The Movie.
The revelations in Being Super still come a little slow. There are so many questions left that it doesn’t seem possible for Tamaki to answer them all in one final issue. But the art by Jones has easily justified the higher price-point and prestige format for the series. Setting it outside proper DC continuity gives Tamaki and Jones the freedom to create a Supergirl for a new generation. Maybe we can get a book five from this team down the road.