- Posted by Johanna on August 16, 2008 at 7:27 pm
- Category: Superhero Reviews
- PUBLISHER: DC Comics
I really liked this storyline when it started. No one knew what to do with the returned teenage cousin of Superman. She was brought back to pacify older fans, who wanted the “real” one, but there was no future-looking purpose for her, only a nostalgic one.
So various writers have been thrashing around looking for something to make her different. And Kelley Puckett found one: that her youth made her idealistic, with her abilities giving her a way to act on her dreams.
In this story, she made an accidental promise to a boy dying of cancer that she would save his life. That was different: instead of fighting the same old franchise supervillains on the same old never-ending merry-go-round, she took on a threat that was real and understandable to the reader, one where being a superhero could maybe truly make a difference. Why couldn’t a superbeing use their powers for something more than beating someone up?
Only, well, this is Puckett’s last issue as writer, because the corporate master had other ideas (such as a Supergirl-branded global fashion line that includes “silk party dresses” with subtle logos on buttons or snaps) so it’s time to wrap up the ends neatly and in a completely unsatisfying way.
The imagery, such as Kara’s opening nightmare of waking up in a coffin, is powerful, and Puckett does a good job of showing how patronizing statements like, “You did everything you could” sound, but everything else is abbreviated and resorts to that ridiculous genre cop-out of time travel.
The last message, “if I did this, I’d be as bad as the villain”, is absurd reductionist thinking. If a bad guy uses a gun, does that mean that everyone that uses a gun is a bad guy? No. Heroes are supposed to be better than us; that includes not succumbing to temptation.
Once again, hope to see something different from a big-label superhero book is demolished. And it’s a declining circle. Every time a reader is disappointed this way, they have less faith to give the next story that tries something unusual.