Review – Supergirl #30: The Crystal War

Supergirl #30 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Supergirl #30 – Marc Andreyko, Writer; Kevin Maguire, Penciller; Sean Parsons, Inker; Chris Sotomayor, Colorist


Ray – 7.5/10

Corrina: Kara “Cuts” Loose

Ray: Kara’s revenge-based field trip through space came to a crashing halt in the last issue when she learned that her new friend Z’ndr Kol had been reporting back to his evil mother Empress Gandela the whole time. He tries to explain in Supergirl #30 that he switched sides long ago, but she’s in no mood to listen – and Kevin Maguire, usually a more comedic artist, does an amazing job at conveying her hurt and rage in these scenes. As Z’ndr tries to talk to Kara, Gandela escalates the situation at every opportunity and soon they’re at each other’s throats. We’ve largely only seen Gandela as a shadowy background villain until now, but this issue makes clear she’s one of the most powerful villains in the universe – her body can shapeshift into massive crystal forms and she can rebuild from being shattered. The battle between her and Supergirl is one of the most impressive scenes in the series – I just wish the plot backed it up better.

My main problem with this storyline is that now not only do we know that Krypton was destroyed deliberately, we know that Rogol Zaar was nothing more than a hired gun. This is the equivalent of there being a story where it turned out the Waynes were killed by a hired hitman. Batman goes after the hitman, but it turns out there was a mob boss who ordered it – and that character is dealt with entirely in the pages of a Tim Drake solo series without Bruce ever confronting the man who killed his parents. Kara has a stake in the destruction of Krypton, of course, maybe bigger than Clark’s, but this is a story big enough that it just feels like it’s been shunted off to a side book without being given the gravity it deserves. The end of the issue teases a team-up with Superman and Jon, but they’re going after Rogol Zaar. This essentially means that Gandela is a bit player in her own plot, and the real killer of Krypton will be reduced to a footnote. Lots of weird storytelling decisions here, but overall a good issue especially art-wise.

Kara betrayed. Via DC Comics.

Corrina: The panels of Supergirl’s fight with the ever-shifting Gandela are some of the best in this series and that one panel with Krypto, when he stops Kara’s rage, is wonderful. That sequence is probably the best since Andreyko took over the title.

But, as Ray said, then there’s the plot. I’ve voiced my objections to making Krypton’s destruction a deliberate genocide, needlessly mudding the Superman continuity, when reviewing Bendis’ work on Action Comics and Superman. I won’t belabor the point here save to say that while Gandela makes an interesting galactic villain, she makes a poor genocidal mastermind. Similarly, Kara is upset at Z’ndr but I never sensed much chemistry between them in the first place, so that falls a bit flat.

I look forward to Kara’s interaction with Jon, especially, in the next issue, as I’m fairly sure we’ve never seen those two together. (And we should have and, hey, Kara would have made a much better choice to go with Jon on his galactic quest with crazy Grandpa than Lois, if Jon had to go at all.)

But, overall, while this has been a fun space romp at times, anything connected with the destruction of Krypton has only half-worked or not worked at all.

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

Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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