Comics / Comic Reviews / DC Comics

Supergirl #44


By Andy Frisk
August 20, 2009 - 21:03

Ral-Dar overhears General Lane discussing how he used him as a pawn to eliminate Zod so the U.S. President can sign “The Markovian Treaty,” which will reduce New Krypton to “ashes floating in space.” Except the President is actually signing “The Markovian Free Trade Agreement,” (Markovia is a fictional country, of course). Of course, Ral-Dar doesn’t know that Lane is misleading him. After breaking out of Project 7734’s Holding Room #41 (Project 7734 being Lane’s little personal army, with little or no oversight, bent on New Krypton’s destruction), Ral-Dar heads for Markovia at top Kryptonian speed. Meanwhile, it appears Flamebird is wantonly destroying downtown Los Angeles “for Krypton!” Wanton destruction is completely out of character for Thara though (Thara is the former friend of Kara/Supergirl, former head of Kandor’s security, and current incarnation of mythical Kryptonian hero Flamebird). Superman orders Kara to deal with Thara, and he and Mon-El plan to tackle Ral-Dar, but Lois, still hurting from her sister’s accidental death at Supergirl’s hands, states that “Supergirl shouldn’t go alone,” fearing that the worst will happen again. Superman then suggests that Supergirl take Mon-El with her, as “you don’t know what’s wrong with Thara, and you might need backup.” What’s wrong with Thara might not even be the issue, as could this really be Thara acting this way…?

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There’s even more to this story’s action and developments than those listed above. Supergirl #44 could quite possibly be the most event filled issue of any so far in the World of New Krypton storyline, and definitely the most event filled issue of Codename: Patriot thus far. Gates manages to juggle several characters, plots, battles, and themes all at once with great success. Events, developments, and where Kryptonians are concerned, characters themselves are all moving at breakneck speed, but Gates keeps us fully informed and up to speed with them. With things happening so fast, and the plot building to a powerful climax, it’s a good, no it’s a great, thing that we only have to wait until next week for Codename: Patriot’s next installment in Superman #691! It is still a wonderful thing that DC Comics has revived the weekly Superman Family book story installments, labeled with the numbered triangles, like was the standard for Superman books in the early to mid 1990’s.

 

Gates isn’t the only one who gets to flex some creative muscle this issue though. Jamal Igle, who has been fantastic throughout his run on Supergirl, gets to really show his artistic stuff as he juggles several characters himself, including: Superman, Supergirl, Mon-El, Nightwing and Flamebird, Atlas, Codename: Assassin, The Guardian, The Metropolis Science Police, Lois Lane, and Cat Grant, among others. Each character is fantastically rendered in Igle’s own style, but are readily identifiable within current continuity and look. Igle’s artistic pacing and panel layout add just as much to the breakneck pace feel of this issue as Gates’ script does. Powerfully choreographed hand to hand fights, and great full page renderings of Superman and Ral-Dar in flight, all beautifully slip from the lead of Igle’s pencils.

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Some of Igle's great work. Ral-Dar takes it to Lane.

 

As mentioned a few reviews back, it’s almost unimaginable that a comic book starring a teenaged female superhero, who is a bit whiny, like most in her age group, could have such a wide and powerful appeal. Wherever great art and great storytelling collide though, there will always be wide and powerful appeal. Supergirl and the Superman Family books are not to be missed.

Rating: 10 /10


Last Updated: July 2, 2020 - 16:53

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