Supergirl #37 – Jody Houser, Writer; Rachel Stott, Artist; Cris Peter, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: I’m not sure if this is intentional, but every “Infected” story has been handled differently so far with the character’s corruption manifesting in different ways. In Supergirl #37, their first issue as the new creative team, Jody Houser and Rachel Stott easily do the best job yet with their take.
Keeping the story firmly grounded inside Kara’s head as the infection takes root and twists her mind, this issue has a tense and claustrophobic feel. Unlike many of the other Infected, Kara hasn’t been fully converted into a villain yet. Instead, the poison is heightening her normal instincts but twisting them. She’ll save a bus of children from an accident, but then prepare to kill the man who caused the accident in a blameless mishap. When Superman and Batman show up and pursue her, looking to bring her back to safety to try to cure her, she has zero problem tossing Batman to his death – but only because she’s sure Superman will catch him. She doesn’t want to be a villain, but it’s clear she’s fighting a losing battle.
Much like Jaime Reyes in his spotlight issue, it’s clear Kara is terrified and that’s a great way to handle the most powerful of the Infected. When she takes to ground and goes undercover, her inner monologue continues to drive home just how out of control she feels inside. Houser is taking over for an event story, but she clearly breaks the curse of writers tasked with doing someone else’s story by calling back to past runs on the title.
The return of Ben Rubel, fresh off a weird run in Titans where he became their base/science guy, is definitely welcome and it’s great to see how he instantly slips into worrying about Kara despite her abrupt disappearance and strange new look. The confirmation that it’s been a year since the Orlando/Houser run ended is a little odd – how fast are these characters aging? Should we be looking for Damian’s senior prom soon? – but this is a very promising start. Houser’s more than earned a shot at a solo run on the girl of steel and I hope she gets to continue the story long after Kara’s no longer goth and evil.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.