Review: Supergirl: Being Super #1

by Sean Blumenshine
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artists: Joelle Jones, Sandu Florea & Kelly Fitzpatrick

In this new take on Supergirl, a teenage Kara Danvers is unaware of her Kryptonian origins. However, she is aware of her super powers. As Kara deals with school and her sixteenth birthday, her powers start to falter.

I really like the cover by Joelle Jones and Kelly Fitzpatrick. It establishes well the sense of wonder that I usually feel with good stories about either Kara or her cousin. I love that Kara’s back is to the ground; it’s a unique touch and it looks amazing.

The interior art features pencils by Jones with inks by Sandu Florea and colors by Fitzpatrick. It’s great work throughout. I love that Kara actually looks like a teenager. Every character looks very natural. The expressions all look fantastic which makes the characters more engaging.

I like Kara’s friends a lot. I believe both Dolly and Jen are new characters but I don’t want to say that for sure because I’ve been wrong about that kind of stuff before. They’re fun though especially Dolly. I like how far Mariko Tamaki takes Jen’s athletic obsession with health. There’s a scene in which the three girls go out to eat and Jen literally just eats lettuce. It’s pretty funny.

There’s a lot of funny dialogue and narration throughout the book. The three girls do come across as real people and friends which is nice.

The premise is an interesting inversion of the premise of Smallville. In that show, Clark’s powers manifested as a result of puberty. Here, Kara’s puberty seems to be interfering with her powers. I’m curious what that is about and I want to see where it goes.

One of my favorite aspects of Supergirl is that she is aware of Krypton. She grew up there with that culture. This is a new take and that is not the story this team wants to tell. I get it and it’s not a huge problem for me but I do think it’s less interesting.

I’m not sure how I feel about the Danvers family yet. It’s a new take so I’m staying open minded for future issues but there are some strange choices made.

I don’t really care about high school in fiction; it’s always kind of boring to me. Tamaki handles it better than a lot of writers but it still doesn’t engage me personally all that much.

Overall, this is really good. The characters make a good first impression and I want to see more of them. The writing in both dialogue and narration works well with some nicely integrated humor. The art is great throughout and enjoyable to look at on its own. Every problem I have with the book is more about personal preference and taste; there is nothing technically wrong with the book. However, my personal tastes did make the book somewhat less enjoyable. It’s still a solid read and I recommend people check it out.

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