Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom # 1 (of 5)
By Koppy McFad
November 15, 2008 - 00:45
Writer(s): Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray
Penciller(s): Phil Noto
Cover Artist(s): Phil Noto
$2.99 US, 32 pages
Despite the title, this miniseries does not involve a whirlpool of any sort. Instead, the focus is on Maelstrom, a female warrior of Apokalips who thinks she can become Darkseid's bride by killing Superman and Supergirl.
She heads for Metropolis where she soon gains the upperhand on an overconfident Supergirl but Superman soon puts the villainess in her place. The story looks like it is over except that Maelstrom seems determined to strike again.
Clearly this story is something DC Comics has had in their files for sometime, until someone realized that the events of FINAL CRISIS would make it irrelevant. So DC is springing it on the public with almost no fanfare.
It is quite an understated story and would probably fit right in as a tale in the regular SUPERMAN, ACTION COMICS or SUPERGIRL series. It hardly seems worthy of a miniseries all its own. In fact, the story seems rather simple and straightforward could probably even work on a 'Johnny DC' title.
It may be irritating to see Supergirl feelling unsure of herself again but since this comic was probably written way back in the days when she was still learning how to be a superhero, it does work in its own way. Superman is a little more understanding and his quick victory over the villainess is impressive, especially after all those months when people were actually wondering if Supergirl was stronger than he was.
The bad guy, Maelstorm is the weak point of the story. She seems one-dimensional, both in her characterisation and her planning. She simply goes after the Kryptonians and tries to beat them down-- like that has worked in the past! This makes her look unimaginative and stupid-- and makes the comic book look a lot like the recent issues of SUPERMAN which also had Superman and Supergirl fighting a strongman called Atlas in Metropolis. It is hard to see what makes this killer-bimbo worthy of a miniseries. She isn't that compelling or that much of a threat.
The art has a nice, clean rounded look that makes the human characters easy to sympathise with. But it also makes the villains look less fearsome. This comic has got to have the cleanest depiction of Apokalips ever.
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