Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #8 – Tom King, Writer; Bilquis Evely, Artist; Matheus Lopes, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Tom King’s books are almost unfailingly brilliant, but one thing they’ll never be accused of is being a feel-good experience. After seven issues with Supergirl and her young companion Ruthye, we’ve seen a darker version of the DCU’s space frontier than ever before. We’ve also gotten to know a Supergirl who is deeply kind and deeply pained at the same time. Much like many of King’s books, this seems to be out of continuity—it’s not as deep a divergence as Strange Adventures, but this Kara seems to be older and a fusion of many versions of the character, both pre-and-post-crisis. And surprisingly for the final chapter of this series, she’s not in much of it, especially in the first half. While she and Comet are facing a pitched battle in space against an army of Brigands, Ruthye finally faces off against their leader Krem—and chooses to face him in battle rather than to strike him down while she has him at her mercy.
While this is a questionable decision, it leads to one of the best battle scenes of the series, and leads to a brilliant conclusion that shows just how much Kara has influenced Ruthye over the course of the series. Or did she? This series is honestly a little confused about what the right message to take from it is? Ruthye talks about Kara’s kindness and her father’s influence, but at the same time there’s a bleakness to the epilogue, set a hundred years later, that seems to counter that and end the book on a downer note. It also seems to defy some of the established rules of the Phantom Zone in an interesting way, but then I’m not sure this is supposed to reflect anything else. It’s a brilliant and haunting series, and it’s destined to go down as another classic in King’s library. But I’m also not sure it’s a story that serves Supergirl as well as it could. I’m hoping the critical and creative buzz for this series lets her get another series sooner rather than later—and lets her have some fun.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.