Review: Supergirl #65

Supergirl teams up with Starman and a Doctor Who wannabe in a story that probably sounds better than it actually is.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Following a largely enjoyable (if flawed) run by James Peaty, I had high hopes for Kelly Sue DeConnick's first issue of Supergirl. Supposedly DeConnick is only the second woman to write the Supergirl comic book and she's written some enjoyable comics in the past.

But my hopes were dashed pretty quickly.

DeConnick wasn't helped by some wildly inconsistent art by ChrisCross, particularly in his faces. On the first page alone, it's not clear if Lois Lane has suddenly gotten a niece named Edna that either never previously existed or she's related to some other unnamed Daily Planet employee. It's impossible to even tell how old this person is because on some panels, Edna looks like a relatively young girl and on another panel she looks like she's pushing 40!

At times it seems like ChrisCross is trying to out-Maguire Kevin Maguire with his facial expressions. When Lois drops off Supergirl later in the issue, her face actually seems to take shapes that only Jim Carrey has attempted in nature. Most of the pages are pretty flat and uninvolving, but a few feature bodies and faces that are so contorted that the pages are just ugly. It's really sad when Professor Ivo isn't the most hideous person in a comic book thanks to an artist's apparent shortcomings.

That's right, Professor Ivo is the surprise villain of the book. And why should I bother hiding that spoiler when DeConnick blows it on page three?

Seriously though, DeConnick has to bear the main responsibility for this mess. The opening set up isn't bad. Lois and the mysterious Edna are present when a young girl runs on to a sky tram while being pursued by killer robots. Then Supergirl and the Blue Starman from Justice League of America show up to save the day. Supposedly Supergirl was giving Starman a tour of the city when the event went down. But it's hard to buy them as friends when their banter is so forced.

Peaty's Supergirl story had a really good dynamic between Lois and Supergirl that DeConnick appears to following. However, the dialog between them is also heavily stilted. Lois keeps making lame jokes and then apologizing for them in case Supergirl is offended. It's all horribly on the nose and a chore to read.

On a side note, in the middle of the issue, there's a huge dose of What The F***ery in the form a six page ad for Subway with three football players teaming up with DC's Superheroes to defeat Black Manta and Ocean Master while also talking about how great Subway sandwiches are. It's like all of those Marvel Hostess ads from the '70s… but without any of the charm. It's so horrible that it's almost offensive.

But getting back to Supergirl, Lois has her pose as her niece (!) at a local college during a recruitment weekend in order to learn more about the girl with amnesia from the sky tram. While there, Supergirl (in her Linda "Lane" identity) encounters Henry Flyle of the Silk Pajama Society. Henry also happens to resemble a cross between Harry Potter and the Doctor, and he has weird speech patterns that read like they were cribbed from BBC America.

Henry eventually leads Supergirl and her temporary roommate into his own investigation of the missing students before someone else disappears under Supergirl's nose.

As far as stakes go, this issue has set the bar pretty low. Some of DeConnick's ideas had real potential. But the issue's biggest crime is that it's just not entertaining.