Supergirl #38 – Jody Houser, Writer; Rachel Stott, Inaki Miranda, Artists; Hi-Fi, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Jody Houser has the challenging task in Supergirl #38 of turning Supergirl into a thrall of the Batman Who Laughs while also maintaining her as the protagonist as her own title – and making us want to read the character in this state.
I think she’s overall succeeding, although this second issue isn’t quite as compelling as the first of this run. Now fully taken over by the infection, Kara heads to Smallville to preach the gospel of the Dark Multiverse. It’s not clear why she’s so obsessed with this small town since she’s never spent any time there unlike other versions of the character. She does briefly mention that growing up human made Clark weak, so she’s trying to eliminate the “ground zero” that led to Clark’s evolution.
The scenes where she breaks into Smallville High to terrorize the students are intense, but she does seem to be holding back. No one seems in true danger, not even the girl who directly challenges her – Kara just takes her for a ride to intimidate her. I’m not sure if this is still her Kryptonian DNA fighting back.
With Kara not exactly in a heroic mood, a lot of the heavy lifting goes to the guest stars. Wonder Woman is spoiled on the cover as one of the people fighting Kara, and her powers are able to unlock something still human in Kara that indicates she might not be as far gone as the other Infected.
Given that Donna Troy has also been corrupted, Diana has a bigger stake in this than many heroes and it’ll be interesting to see if Houser expands on that in coming issues. The real unsung hero of this issue, though, is Krypto. The segments with Superman and Supergirl’s pet dog are mostly silent, but pack a lot of emotion into them. A dog’s unconditional love has always been a powerful tool to get a corrupted individual to see the best in themselves.
I’m not sure how long this status quo can sustain itself, but it’s compelling while it lasts. I hope we get an extended segment of Houser writing the real Kara Zor-El once it’s done.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.