In this annual issue readers learn who the Emerald Empress is and why she wants Supergirl dead.
Fifth weeks in a month tend to be lighter on comic releases, which is a perfect time to drop a pricer annual issue. Readers have less to read and more bucks to spend, which brings us to Supergirl Annual #1. Is it good?
So what’s it about?
The official summary reads:
“EMERALD ERADICATION” part two! With her powers out of control, Emerald Empress takes the upper hand over Supergirl! These deadly tactical strikes will rattle the Girl of Steel to the core!
Why does this matter?
This story deals with Supergirl’s newly increased powers and the person who wants to end her forever. Not only that, we find out why Supergirl has someone after her at all.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Give it to him!
I went into this having not read Supergirl in quite a while, but give it’s an annual I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to jump on board. Then I found out it’s part 2 of a story and I found it somewhat difficult to jump on in. That said, Steve Orlando introduces a few different characters well and gives readers a good origin story for Emerald Empress. With the villains getting so much page time Orlando had to do something with Supergirl, who ends up having an arc of her own as she attempts to figure out her surge in power. Orlando has her figure things out in a quasi-science sort of way and has her come out of this story with more power that is earned.
Steve Pugh shows off why he’s one of the best in the business with this issue, especially in the opening scene with Supergirl inadvertently putting civilians in danger with her pumped up powers. The detail is quite nice and the inking makes every strand of her hair pop. Later in the issue, Supergirl shows off some of her new powers and Pugh draws them well. From seeing through a building, to moving super fast, you get the sense this character is new and changed.
Damn, who does her hair!?
It can’t be perfect can it?
The plot of this issue is sort of all over the place. With Supergirl down for the count there’s a lot of backstory ushered in, but also multiple villains running about. Emerald Empress isn’t much of a new character either. Add her to the pile of villains who claim the hero does something to them in the future so they must take them out now. The cover is misleading too since the Fatal Five don’t actually fight Supergirl or even occupy the same space for a single scene. This issue shakes out to explain the villain’s backstory and motivation, but not much more. It’s an easy skip to get onto the more meaty and interesting of the arc.
Is It Good?
This is a skippable issue that seems to twiddle its thumbs when it comes to actually using Supergirl. It may fill in the blanks for the villain, but the story does little else as we await Supergirl throwing down with Emerald Empress.