Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"Thinking Hasn't Really Been My Strong Suit" (Supergirl #14, Cover Date April 2007)


Main Heroes: Supergirl
Minor Heroes: Robin, Captain Boomerang, Jr.

Main Villains: Batgirl, Power Boy

Linear narrative is problematic, as we have a lot of scene-jumping and the standard flashback scenes to Kara on Krypton with evil daddy Zor-El. Nonetheless . . .


Supergirl and Power Boy are out on the town fighting bad guys together and flirting, when Power Boy asks Supergirl out on a "date" and the two kiss. Supergirl says she's going out alone to find out who is trying to kill her, and brushes off Power Boy, who tries insistently to go with her.

Supergirl is found by Robin in the Bat Cave, where she is trying to use their computers to track down Batgirl, who she believes is trying to kill her. Robin gives her the information begrudgingly.

Batgirl, previously seen chatting with a distraught Boomer and with the (unidentified?) woman who hired her as an assassin, is now waiting for Kara to arrive for their big fight. In flashbacks, Kara recalls her father calling her "special", and in real time Batgirl is saying that Kara is nothing special as she uses her advanced planning to take the upper hand in the fight. Meanwhile, Boomer is hanging up like a tortured masthead, begging for help in a pose semi-reminiscent of Stephanie Brown's murder scene.

As Cassandra comes up from behind for the kill, however, we see that Kara has somehow internalized some Krypton-esque crystals, and they choose this time to spike out of her back, impaling Batgirl.

Kara, victorious, calls Power Boy for help, who is busy covering his wall with pictures of Kara.


So, this is the first issue of Supergirl since Eddie Berganza's empassioned "Girls Should Read Supergirl Because, Um . . . Well, Is 'Mimbo' A Word . . .? " So, how did we do?

Badly, I'd say.

First, the good, because there is a quite a bit of good to build on.

1. Tim and Kara in the batcave was cute, especially the part where Tim realizes that Kara and Cassie had talked about the "kiss". Okay, it was more of a good "Tim moment" than a good "Kara moment", but I'm not picky. It was a good scene. Up until the end.

2. The well-choreographed fight scene with Batgirl: "For every kill there is a weapon. Diamond dust. Red wavelength UVB lights -- and me!" It's the sort of fight you expect to see if Batman is planning to take down an evil Supeman. You know that, given enough planning, on Batman's home turf, Batman can take him down pretty easily. It's that sort of fight for a few pages. Up until the end.

3. The flashbacks to Krypton every time Kara hears the words "special." I know some people don't like the sepia-toned flashbacks, and I agree that they've gone on too long, but I guess I'm just a sucker for long, drawn-out suspense. Up until the end.

So, three "good" scenes. And all end poorly.

1. Robin warns Kara not to underestimate Batgirl.

Robin: She's a special case, Supergirl. You should think this one through.

Kara: Thinking hasn't been my strong suit. What button do I press to Mapquest this chick?
Apparently, as with any real teenaged girl, math is hard.

2. The fight scene with Batgirl goes well for Cassandra -- but too well too quickly. The obvious problem might have been that Kara is so powerful that it won't be much of a fight at all. But Cassandra has done a good job of evening the odds, resulting in . . . Kara giving up after a few failed punches? And bursting into swollen eyed tears? And being easily and lengthily distracted from the killer by the shirtless Boomer on the Masthead?

And then, Cassandra comes in for the kill, and what the heck was that? Some sort of prolonged lesbian, spooning, interlocking-legged death hug? Try picturing THAT scene with Bruce and Clark instead of Cassandra and Kara. (See, Agenda Items 7 & 8.)

3. Which takes us to the flashbacks. Kara is being called "special", and something unidentified is being done to her. This merges with the present when, apparently, both sides have given up the fight. Kara is crying and ineffectual. Cassandra is chatty and snuggly in an assassin-esque kind of way. So which of the girls wins the fight? Well, I guess Kara's Dad Zor-El does, since he's the one who installed the latent exploding-crystal thingie. In a fight between two girls, the winner is a long-dead man. Hm.

Is this the issue that will "attract women to read Supergirl"? Signs Point To No.

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Blogger Ami Angelwings said...

In a fight between two girls, the winner is a long-dead man. Hm.

Interesting point! :O I didn't even notice that! XD

I was too busy hating the rest of that book >.>;;

Batgirl is completely out of character.. even for her alrdy out of character self. XD How much can the drugs possibly explain?

Mind you, Supergirl is sorta a characterization black hole. Any character that shows up in the book gets their characterization shot to heck XD

1:52 AM  
Blogger Ragtime said...

Hi Ami.

There certainly were enough "problem parts" in the book to go around, so that we can all focus on one part without stepping on each other's toes!!

7:06 AM  

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