This review contains spoilers.
Adventures of Supergirl #2 is written by Sterling Gates with art by Jonboy Meyers and Pop Mhan and colors by John Rauch.
Winn is arrested because information leaked online that revealed him to be a terrorist that blew up a town. Supergirl discovers that Winn was framed by a hacker named V.R.I.L. After Supergirl breaks Winn out of custody, he explains that he uncovered information that revealed V.R.I.L. to be an alien. Because of this, the hacker doxxed Winn but altered the information to frame him. With help from a fellow hacker, Winn tracks V.R.I.L.’s location and Supergirl defeats him. However, he had earlier discovered Kara’s secret identity. The issue ends with Kara wondering if he remembers after she shut down his programs.
There are two different styles in this book but both look very good. Mhan’s art is more defined and traditional while Meyers’ work looks more exaggerated and silly, in a good way. It’s a fun style that matches the tone. Mhan’s works too. It’s just different.
The cover by Cat Staggs is fantastic. The portrait of Melissa Benoist is amazing and I love that the cover actually has something to do with the story instead of just being a cool image. That is strangely rare in comics today. Here, the cover is both.
I like that Gates’ story in this deals with online anonymity and the pros and cons of that. That power can be used for good. For example, doxxing has been used to flush out members of the KKK in the past. That’s good. However, it is also used for bad. People will dox and hack others simply because of a differing opinion or because the hacker can do it and is bored. That’s scary and I like how Gates compares that to superheroes and villains. Batman uses anonymity to protect himself, his loved ones and his city against the evils of the world. However, the Joker uses it to spread fear, anxiety and pain while suffering no personal repercussions for his actions. This an interesting and timely topic to handle and I like what Gates does with it in the plot.
While the art styles are good, they completely clash with each other. They’re so different that it is bizarre when the switch happens. I wish the style was consistent instead of dramatically changing half way through.
While I like the doxxing angle of the story, Gates is a little too preachy with it. There are moments when it feels like an after school special. In dialogue and narration, characters feel the need to explain what doxxing is and state the thematic relevance of it. I like these ideas; I just wish they weren’t spoon-fed to me.
This issue is not a continuation of the previous one which is bizarre. There is a reference to the events that took place but nothing is relevant. I assumed we would still be dealing with Kara’s feelings of distrust towards Alex but it’s never brought up and Alex only appears in one scene. It’s the inverse of the previous issue. In that, the focus was on Supergirl and the D.E.O. Here, the focus is on Kara and her workmates at CatCo. especially Winn and Jimmy Olsen. Personally, I like the D.E.O. side of the show much more so than the CatCo. part. I particularly don’t like the Winn character and he is very prominent here which kills a lot of the issue for me. I just don’t care about bad things happening to Winn. Thankfully, Cat herself only makes one appearance. Still, it’s one appearance too many for me. And I thought the character mispronouncing Kara’s name on the show was an annoying joke that got old really fast. Seeing it written is even worse.
The art is good despite the artistic clash and I like a lot of the ideas behind the story. However, those ideas are too obvious and spelt out for my taste. It doesn’t really continue the story to a place I was interested in and I don’t like the characters this issue chooses to focus on. Overall, I would recommend skipping this issue. It’s got some merit but is a disappointing experience overall.