Review – Supergirl #27: Casualties of War

Supergirl #27 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Supergirl #27 – Marc Andreyko, Writer; Eduardo Pansica, Penciller; Julio Ferreira, Inker; FCO Plascencia, Colorist

Ratings:

Ray – 8/10

Corrina: That Was Grim

Ray: Supergirl’s journey to the stars hasn’t revealed the truth of Krypton’s destruction to her yet, but it’s picked up a few new allies – and a lot of new enemies. When we last left her, she was the captive of creepy space Nazi Harry Hokum and his alliance of alien terrorists. But she managed to break through with the help of cosmic rebels the Omega Men, and set out to free the rest of the captives from Hokum’s space jail/laboratory. But war and liberation is rarely bloodless, and Supergirl #27 is a harsh wake-up call for Kara for just how much she has to lose in her quest. She starts the issue powerless and takes a number of nasty hits over the course of the battle, but the human toll she sees hits her even harder. A surprisingly dark death of a young civilian in the crossfire is a brutal dose of reality in the middle of a sci-fi themed issue, and took me by surprise. It also sends Kara spiraling – and threatens to make her break her no-killing vow.

The influence of Rogol Zaar’s axe on Kara is something that hasn’t really been explored yet, but this issue indicates that it’s corrupting her. If her journey to the truth lasts much longer, we could see some dark changes in the girl of steel. The ending of the issue didn’t do much for me, with monster clones everywhere. But the most fascinating subplot this issue was that of Z’ndr, whose link to the forces chasing Kara is finally revealed. I was worried this would be a generic mole plotline, but it’s actually something much more complex – a genuinely benevolent figure being chased by a twisted abusive parental figure. Some of the dialogue in this segment was chilling, a great depiction of parental manipulation and abuse despite the sci-fi setting. This issue sometimes flags a little in the main sci-fi plot, but there’s always some great character-driven underpinnings that keep it compelling.

Supergirl #27
Leave the dog alone! Via DC Comics.

Corrina: It’s been a compelling arc but after a few issues of Supergirl flirting with going over the line from PG/PG-13 to R, Supergirl #27 slides into an act of violence that I’d steer kids away from, especially fans of DC SuperHeroGirls.

Supergirl’s always been an optimistic character, not a grim one, and while the regular DC line tends to skew away from all-ages storytelling, this Supergirl series so far has skirted the edges but never quite gone overboard, making it something I would have previously recommended to parents. But this issue’s murder of a child, the regular cover featuring Supergirl with a really big gun (unfortunate in this day and age), and the emotional abuse of a parent firmly shift it away from something for at least ages 13 and above.

This is grim. Not as grim as the last time the Omega Men had a title but grim none the same. It’s also more of a slog without the sense of humor present in earlier, particularly with such a dreary one-note villain.

That’s too bad because I was enjoying Andreyko’s run as a whole.

To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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