New 52 Review: Supergirl #1

Superman's cousin experiences Earthfall for the first time once again, and hopefully this time they'll keep her origins straight.

Iann Robinsonby Iann Robinson

Supergirl #1

I can only assume that the way Supergirl #1, the latest for the Superman Family in the new DCU, unfolds it was meant to be a slow burn. Supergirl has always been a hard character to nail (save the jokes please). First arriving as part of the overblown “Superman Family” that carried the title through the '60s, the girl also known as Kara-El has been cloned, rebooted, morphed, sent to the future – the list is endless. Rebooting her for the New 52 was going to be a challenge no matter what. Writer Michael Green has wiped away everything we ever knew about Supergirl and started from square one. As of right now, Kara-El never existed. To be honest she only half-existed at all.

Picture it, Kansas, at some point in time. Chunks of debris are falling from the sky; military men are making correlation between this “Kansas Event” and an earlier one in hushed and knowing tones. One particularly large chunk smashes into the ground and from the ashes a blonde bombshell in an intergalactic stripper uniform emerges. Yep, I said stripper. The new Supergirl outfit is skin tight, with a red area that surrounds Supergirl’s crotch and boots that could only be used outside of this by the average exotic dancer with the name Candy spelled with an “i”. The suit itself would be okay if not for the red crotch area and the stupid boots, but that’s what we get, so on with the story.

Most of Supergirl #1 is a running inner monologue from Kara as she tries to figure out what’s happened to her. She has no memory of how she got into her ship and absolutely no idea what Earth is or why she’s here. The rest of the book is Kara discovering her powers quite harshly as she battles men in superbot armor trying to contain her. Supergirl blasts them with heat vision, tosses them around like rag dolls, punches through their armor, all the while freaking out that she can do these things. The very last splash page should be a no brainer. Guess who shows up to try and get Supergirl under control? If you’ve been reading comics for longer than fifteen minutes, you’ll be able to figure this out.

Nothing in Supergirl #1 is particularly bad, but nothing is really compelling either. The action is cool and it’s a smart way to set up why Kara might not end up the human-loving goody good her cousin is, but that’s about it. This is an introduction to Supergirl; a way for anybody even remotely interested to jump on the wagon and not be bogged down by the characters lengthy and checkered past. I understand what Green is going for, but I wish the action had been half and that the latter had been dedicated to Kara actually interacting with people, including her cousin.

Instead we get something that feels aimed at dumbing down the character and excluding any fans that have followed her from the start. Green might turn it all around but honestly, I don’t care enough to read another issue. The art from Mike Johnson is cool but not spectacular. I was confused as to why Supergirl had lip-gloss on, though I did like the pencils of her eyes when the heat vision kicks in. The work moves the story along but, like the plot, does little else. Supergirl #1 is a good read for new fans, young girls looking to see what she’s about and grown men trying to explain why Supergirl would be a great costume for their girlfriend to wear on Halloween.