Andreyko and Maguire do a really top notch job on the latest issue of Supergirl. The story starts out with a mildly obscene, irreverent humour, but quickly moves into dramatic action, accelerating to a great climactic cliffhanger. Really, it doesn’t get any better than this in superhero comics.
The art is just wonderful, and every single panel is perfect. Maguire is not only able to tweak the visuals to bring out the humour when that is needed, but also creates horror when a major player is brutally taken out of the game. There are dynamic angles accentuating the fight scenes, and some close ups that make the threatening moments even moreso.
Personally, what put this issue over the top for me (in a good way) was the final line of the story, a line taken from Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Now, ordinarily, I might just wonder if this was a pure coincidence, but a few years ago, when Andreyko was writing Manhunter, he gave Obsidian an entire speech about that Sondheim musical, so any doubt I might have had is laid to rest. It’s a Sweeney Todd quote, and it’s perfect for the moment.
Superboy and Krypto are a part of this story, but they really aren’t given an awful lot to do here. That’s ok. For one thing, it’s Supergirl’s book. For another, this battle isn’t over, and I fully expect them to be more involved in the latter half of it.
So many things to appreciate about this issue, but I think what makes it most impressive is that it appears so easy and light. The visuals and narrative are all so clean and precise that it comes off as one of those tales that “writes itself.” It didn’t, of course, and it takes skilled artists and writers at the top of their game to pull off such an achievement.