Sunday, March 22, 2009

Supergirl # 39 and thoughts on Superwoman’s identity

Blimey this was a small week - only 1 book. That one book being Supergirl# 39 of course. I tend to read some of each week’s new releases at work in my lunchbreak, but unfortunately that leads to me being rather rushed and not taking it all in. As this was just the one book out this week I decided I had time to reread it before reviewing.

I’m glad I did, as I like being able to take the time to savour the panels. Anyway, onwards.

I was *really* hoping that this issue would reveal who Superwoman is, but no such luck, we have to wait till next issue to find out. Gaaah the suspense is killing me. Now we know Thara is Flamebird, and presumably she can’t be both Flamebird and Superwoman, I half think that Linda Danvers is with a chance. Bearing in mind I haven’t read Reign in Hell, my reasoning goes thus:
  • She’s had a few years to grow up and so must be in her 20s now – Superwoman looks to me to be an adult.
  • She has been murderous before – when Buzz first met her she was involved with a cult doing pretty bad stuff.
  • I know she redeemed herself with the earth born angel thing, but towards the end of that run wasn’t she slipping back into darkness?
  • She spent a long time in a parallel universe where she married that universe’s Superman and had a child. A life she was forced to give up when she came back to this universe. That would make anyone unhinged.
  • Due to her time living in the parallel universe she could easily have learnt Kryptonian from Kal.
  • Her powers may have mutated, hence the new ‘zzztt’ sound of her laser eye beams.
  • If this Superwoman is a robot I can’t see how the suit holding up against kryptonite blasts is an issue. If she isn’t a robot and is Linda, then maybe something else has happened to her which means that kryptonite could harm her. Maybe it’s the close range of the blasts that were a problem, and not the fact that they were kryptonite?
  • Linda’s time with alternate universe Superman does make her part of the El family.
  • I don’t think Superwoman has x-ray vision (if she did why is she flying around Metropolis looking for Kara? Why can’t she just stand on a rooftop and look?) and neither does Linda.
  • I want Linda back dammit.
I admit that the last point may be the most pertinent one. Any arguments or theories I’ve put forward about the identity of Superwoman have been largely based around who I want her to be. A clone or robot is really really boring. With Chris Kent as Nightwing, Thara Ak-Var as Flamebird, Mon-El as protector of Metropolis, and Zod/Ursa/the big lump back, it looks like they are trying to tie up and involve all otherwise sidelined Superman characters. Which would make Linda a good choice to be Superwoman.

Heck, even if Linda is evil now she’d still be more interesting and have more depth than a bleeding robot. I cannot see how Superwoman is any version of Kara and I loathe Alura so much I really do not want two of her running about. Anyway, with Alura being a crazy dictator what would be the point in having a second evil Alura running about as Superwoman? Unless dictator Alura and Superwoman Alura teamed up. That would be great….
But I’d still prefer Linda.

As to the content of this issue, well there weren’t really any more clues about Superwoman’s identity. Kara spoke to her mother via red crystal about how the mission was going, and Alura revealed herself to be even more loathsome than before. She’s got a very commanding presence, even in holographic form, and she’s causing her daughter no end of pain. Kara expressed a wish that Alura had died rather than her father, and at this point I don’t blame her. Poor kid. She’s got this shit to deal with from her mother, the entire world is now baying for Kryptonian blood and she’s having to deal with guilt for wishing her mother dead.

On the plus side she’s got Lana there to support her and be like a mother and friend to her, which is really what she needs. Lana has demonstrated how protective she is of Kara by threatening to sack one of her employees for making lewd comments about her ‘neice’.
I’m so glad this secret identity is being used, I was very fearful of it being dropped and I think it makes a much stronger book for using it.

The art in this issue changed halfway through which was really jarring. Jamal Igle’s art is really human and I’ve been loving it. This new guy’s pencils is much more of a caricature and when placed slap bang in the middle of Igle’s work it sits very oddly. One panel showed Kara with blown up porn lips, I hope that was a one off. On the whole I think I will like the new guy’s work, it reminds me of Ale Garza’s stuff, but I definitely prefer Igle’s.

The continuing development of Kara’s relationship with the police force if also pleasing. However I believe ripping off your trenchcoat in the middle of a police station when you area wanted alien might not be the brightest thing in the world to do. Ok so 3 of them already knew she was there, but if you’re going to have to fly off and fight the bad guys you don’t want police officers making a fuss and trying to prevent you getting away.

Roll on next month when I will be jubilant or disgusted.


notintheface said...

I've got a feeling it's not Linda. As a Chicagoan who reads Roger Ebert's movie reviews, I keep thinking back to one of Ebert's movie rules, "The Law of the Economy of Characters" which stated "any apparently unnecessary or extraneous major character is undoubtedly the villain". While Superwoman isn't a villain per se, we can usually apply this to "mystery characters" as well. The Law also states that "any neighbors who seem unnecessary yet are given dialogue will be more than merely neighbors". The two people who seemed to fit Ebert's law in the New Krypton arc are Thara Ak-Var and Lucy Lane. And Thara was just revealed as the new Flamebird. So I'm betting Superwoman is a genetically altered Lucy Lane (but hoping otherwise).

Saranga said...

Yeah you're probably right. I haven't heard that specific rule but it does make sense. Superwoman is highly unlikely to be Linda, but dammit, they need to bring her back!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree! Linda needs to return! Did you sign my twitition?

I think you have. But spread the Linda love around if you can! She needs to be defridged! -Ealperin