Review – Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4 – Casualties of War

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Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #4 – Tom King, Writer; Bilquis Evely, Artist; Matheus Lopes, Colorist

Ray – 9/10

Ray: When this series was announced, I remember saying that I was both excited, and scared for what the hell Tom King was about to put my favorite character through. I was right to be worried—this is unambiguously the darkest story Supergirl has ever been involved in, and that includes the one where she died. But despite this, she’s still not the central character in this book. Ruthye is the lead and POV character, and we’re mainly seeing Supergirl through her eyes. That means that Kara is an invincible, heroic figure who faces impossible odds—the way we usually get to see her more famous cousin. Superman often gets this treatment, and seeing Kara through it was jarring. I was actually kind of anticipating a more vulnerable take on Kara, akin to the breakdowns King has given Mister Miracle, Vision, and Adam Strange. But he has a very different vision for this book, one that deals with how she affects the world around her.

Refugees. Via DC Comics.

But even for a King book, this issue is rough. I’m a little surprised it’s not under the Black Label line for how stark and brutal it gets in its depiction of interstellar war. Similar to Strange Adventures, it doesn’t shy away from the tragic aftermath. As Kara and Ruthye visit planet after planet in search of Krem and his bandits, they encounter horrible sights. Maimed survivors, grave-tenders seeking the remains of their children, and peaceful temples painted with blood. Most of the carnage is done by the bandits—but not all of it, in a scene that I’m honestly surprised made it past DC editorial. It’s brilliantly done, and some of the scenes between the two leads are among the most emotional of the series. But King plumbs heartbreaking depths in his characters, and has never done it for a character as prominent as Supergirl. It works for me, but I’m not surprised if it’s not to everyone’s tastes.

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

GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.

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