Review: Supergirl #5

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

Writer: Steve Orlando
Artists: Brian Ching & Michael Atiyeh

Supergirl attempts to save National City from the Cyborg Superman and his army.

The cover by Brian Ching and Michael Atiyeh is really cool. The shattered glass is a really nice touch considering an awesome move Supergirl does in the issue. Sometimes, glass is used on a cover because it looks cool but it actually relates to the events of the story which is cool.

When there is a level of detail, the art does look quite good. Atiyeh’s colors are always impressive and Ching can draw faces really well. There are moments in which Supergirl looks fantastic; her face is very expressive and it works. I also like Ching’s backgrounds. The buildings always seem to look good; that seems like a weird detail to notice but I did.

I love how sure of herself Kara is here. She’s dealing with some pretty heavy stuff here. Her father is a killer robot who is leading an army of killer robots who need to harvest humans in order to restore her race and home. That would understandably make someone pause and maybe freak out a bit. But Kara keeps her cool and never doubts her decisions. What Cyborg Superman is doing is wrong and she needs to stop him. She’s quite admirable in this.

While the art can be good in places, it mostly doesn’t work for me. There’s not enough detail for me. Faces are still colored blobs for the most part with occasional black lines for eyes. It’s not nice to look at and is made even more obnoxious by the fact that I know Ching can draw faces well; I see it in parts of the issue. I can’t tell if it’s a stylistic choice but it is not working. If a character is not in a close up, that character will not have a face. And it’s just weird looking.

The issue is a little dull. It’s just a big action scene. There are cool moments and Kara has a couple of awesome moves, like the glass related one I alluded to earlier, but there’s not a lot here to be invested in. In trade, this might work a lot better but I have to read the issue on its own and it’s not completely satisfying as a single issue.

Overall, I don’t like this issue. There are cool moments; some of the action is neat and the art does work in places. Kara’s characterization is still consistent and I think Steve Orlando is doing a good job with that. However, the issue is not all that engaging. And if an issue is going to rely on action, the art needs to work more than it does here. The way a lot of the characters are drawn, their faces in particular, kills a lot of this issue for me.

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