By: Michael Green & Mike Johnson (writers), Mahmud Asrar (artist), Dave McCaig (colorist)
The Story: That’s it—she’s taking her clothes back and blowing this joint!
The Review: Since Superman was raised among us, it’s not much wonder why he chooses to dedicate himself to the human race. It’s hard to imagine why other DC extraterrestrials, like Martian Manhunter, Starfire, or, say, Supergirl, would do the same. Sure, with no other place to go, Earth isn’t too bad of a place to live. But if they spend just one hour watching our reality shows, you can’t see them thinking, “Gee, I should save these folks from themselves!”
Supergirl has special reasons not to be too fond of humanity. Her arrival on our planet was greeted with gunfire and hostile mechs, and now she’s held captive and tortured by fatal radiation. It’s worth mentioning that Simon Tycho does none of this for the sake of global security, which would at least be a semi-rational motivation, but for the most commercial purposes possible. On discovering Supergirl’s outfit is well-nigh indestructible, he waxes poetic over the applications: “Bikinis and boxer shorts. Diapers and dishtowels.”
Thankfully, our species may be redeemed in Supergirl’s eyes by the noble actions of one “Jacobs,” the same guy who ordered his men not to shoot at her when they first attacked in #1. Green-Johnson are careful to explain how such a nice guy can work for such a baddie: “I thought Mr. Tycho was a genius. Thought he was gonna help the world.” And ultimately, Jacobs gives up everything to do right by Supergirl, actions which are definitely not lost on her.
That’s not to say she’s about to follow directly in her cousin’s heroic footsteps, however. She engages Tycho’s men with little hesitation about hurting them (“Oh God my arm oh God—”), and grows more adept with her powers by the moment. As elated as she feels about her increasing mastery, you have to wonder how long it’ll be before the intoxication of “doing impossible things without even thinking about it” gets the better of her.
Much as Simon still seems like a Lex Luthor analogue, we get a better measure of his character here. You have to respect the man; while Luthor is bargaining for his own safety over in Action Comics #4, Tycho isn’t about to run away from his space station home just because it’s on the verge of self-destruction. As they say, though, there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity: “Nothing like a little space station triage to liven up the—BA-BOOM.” But there is something undeniably sinister about a guy who, with most his body gone, can laugh and whisper, “I win.”
After all that, we’re somewhat back to where we started, with Supergirl trying to figure out her next move, whether she should place her trust in the man who claims to be her baby cousin, or whether she should just screw it and try to find her home and parents. Either way, she’s got a long, emotional journey ahead of her, and it’ll be interesting to see where she’ll end up.
Asrar delivers his usually pleasing work, his fluid lines very becoming to Supergirl’s youthful figure and still fresh perspective on the world around her. But towards the end of the issue, Asrar gets a little sloppy in places, like his portrayal of our heroine floating in the sky after her orbital ordeal. There’s something weird and off about her eyes and expression that looks like Asrar didn’t do as much polishing as he should have.
Conclusion: A lot of action that leaves plenty for our star to do in the next issues, as well as seeds sown for bigger plotlines down the pike.
– Minhquan Nguyen
Some Musings: – Tycho may be the super-genius, but his assistant, Miss Thorn, is no slouch. She’s the one who managed to get his immolated body patched up to the Brain, after all. Handy woman to have around, is all I’m saying.
– While I see the value of indestructible boxer shorts, can someone explain what the value of indestructible diapers would be other than the pressure to re-use them long past the point where it becomes disgusting?