Sterling Gates takes on the writing, and Jamal Igle provides the art. I had very high hopes for this issue, and I was not disappointed.
Since the latest Supergirl title began, it has been struggling to say the least. The problem really starts with Jeph Loeb's hasty introduction of the new version of the character in Superman/Batman. She appeared in one storyline in that title, where her character basically had two defining traits:
I'm not going to waste precious blogspace recounting that story, but let me say for the record that it is pretty much my least favourite storyline in any comic ever.
So you may recall a somewhat desperate plea made by DC in January, 2007 in the form of a DC Nation column asking female readers to please, please, pretty please read Supergirl. And you may recall that it upset me. (Unfortunately, the original column is no longer available online).
I haven't read that post in a really long time. Man, I was really angry! Oh to be 26 again. So young and full of ideals.
Anyway, the jist of the post is that I would not ever read an issue of Supergirl because it's a bad comic and I don't care about the character because she sucks and she's just some gross male fantasy character with no personality.
I was speaking entirely of the current version of Supergirl only, not the one who gave her life for us during the first Crisis.
THE POINT is that I never, ever thought I would take an interest in the current Supergirl because I was certain that DC would never write her in a way that would make me happy.
Skip ahead to the present, and I have had Supergirl on my pull list for the past several months. I've been buying it for at least a year. While it is true that there was a definite attempt made by DC to improve the comic and the character, and her comics have been getting increasingly better, I wouldn't say that the mission had been accomplished until this week.
As of this week, Supergirl is not only being written by someone who has the skills to really flesh out a complicated character, she also has a book and a storyline that will be closely linked to both Action Comics and Superman. Her book and her character both truly matter now, and what's more important: Supergirl herself matters.
And she's no longer just Supergirl. She has FINALLY gotten around to adopting an alterego, which means we'll be able to see her develop more as a person. One of my biggest complaints about Supergirl is that she arrives on Earth as a young adult and immediately becomes a full-time superhero. The fact that she vividly remembers Krypton and her family there, or that she is struggling to adjust to life on Earth, is not addressed nearly enough. Except when we're told that her father actually sent her to Earth to kill Superman. Which I hate.
I see Supergirl as a Buffy-esque character. She lived most of her life without superpowers, then suddenly gained them and is immediately expected to know how to use them. She struggles to make friends and she always feels like an outside or a failure. She has to make important decisions, but isn't quite sure enough of herself yet to make them without someone else's approval. And she also doesn't quite understand her limitations. She doesn't understand why she can't fix everything, as we saw in the latest storyline that had her desperately trying to cure a boy's cancer.
In the past year, Supergirl has gone from being my least favourite character in the DCU, to being one of my very favourite. And I have high hopes that the Supergirl comic will become one of my favourite books as well.
I just want to share a few panels from the new issue. The set-up is that Cat Grant has written a trashy negative article about Supergirl and now the public have an even lower opinion of our hero:
It's a good thing Superman shows up with some coffee and some kind words:
All these positive Supergirl vibes have inspired me to launch a theme week here at Living Between Wednesdays. From now until next Monday (Canadian Thanksgiving!) it will be...
In summary, Supergirl #34 is awesome and I encourage you all to pick it up. Especially if you are enjoying Geoff Johns' run on Action Comics (and if you aren't then I cannot be friends with you).