Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1 – Tom King, Writer; Bilquis Evely, Artist; Mat Lopes, Colorist
Ray – 9.5/10
Ray: Any time Tom King starts a new series, it’s probably going to be something special. And Supergirl—usually a lighter character—seems an odd choice for his series of Eisner-worthy, introspective character dramas. But it makes a lot more sense than it first appears—unlike Superman, she’s a character steeped in the trauma of Krypton, and that’s rarely dealt with outside of a few throwaway scenes. King promises to peel back those layers, and he’s picked a great storytelling partner in Bilquis Evely, who has quickly been becoming one of DC’s best artists over the last few years. This is a messier, more driven Supergirl than we’ve seen in a long time, and it feels like she’s needed a run like this.
But this isn’t really her story, at least at first. It’s the story of a young alien girl named Ruthye who is out to avenge her father, murdered by a random crook—or maybe in a political assassination by the king, depending on who you ask. The story, which finds Ruthye trying to sell her father’s sword to a mercenary willing to kill the rogue for her, reminds me a lot of True Grit. She seeks out the strongest warrior in the dirtiest alien pub, gets robbed and beaten—and gains a defender in a drunk, newly 21-year-old Supergirl who has been trying to celebrate her birthday under a red sun away from her superheroic responsibilities. To say this isn’t a Kara we’ve seen before would be putting it lightly.
I’m honestly a bit surprised DC greenlit this. Their most popular girl hero getting into drunken bar brawls? Not exactly the usual fare. But King manages to instill each of Kara’s lines with so much hidden pain that it works brilliantly. Naturally, she tries to turn down the mission, just wanting to get home and enjoy her birthday, but things soon go very wrong in a brutal cliffhanger that shows how dangerous their enemies are, and how Kara’s decision to go off the grid without her powers may be a deadly one. I could quibble a bit with her sudden age-up, which feels like a decision just to make this story possible, but as a huge fan of Kara who’s been waiting for a run truly focused on her for a long time, this is an excellent start.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.