Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Artwork by Mahmud Asrar
Supergirl has been an interesting title thus far. Unlike it’s sister title, Superboy, which continually stews in it’s own victimized mess of a story, Kara Zor-El’s tale has been interesting, fun to read, and informative since issue one. Along with most DC heroes, Supergirl’s origins were rebooted. But unlike, say, the Blackhawks – which didn’t really need a reboot – Supergirl’s mythos has been hacked and chopped to oblivion over the years. Not only have there been four different Supergirls (all of whom have since been washed away), a fifth incarnation went on to become Power Girl! Needless to say, Kara was in desperate need for a definitive backstory.
Michael Green and Mike Johnson have taken the most essential elements of Supergirl’s history – being from Krypton, Superman’s cousin, etc. – and worked them into a fantastic new story about the Worldkillers, a group of genetically-modified warriors synthesized from Kryptonian technology and created to destroy entire planets. It’s a bold move to create new characters like these, but Green and Johnson walk the fine line of power levels and successfully give readers enough information without being overbearing.
This month, Kara finally faces off against all four Worldkillers, with Reign (whom she met back in issue five) taking point as their leader. I want to quickly point out the use of title labels to provide information to the readers. Each one of the Worldkillers is named and described by ability and function when destroying worlds. Normally, I’m staunchly against blatant ‘telling’ instead of ‘showing’ when it comes to basic information like that; I’d rather the characters convey the information to each other. In this case, readers are given an idea of who these creatures are simply to provide a basic narrative framework. Eventually, Kara learns that the plant dinosaur (their names really aren’t important) secretes a powerful poison, but beyond that, all she needs to know is that they’re kicking the crap out of her.
And really, that’s what this issue is about; Kara vs. the Worldkillers. Some choice words from Reign inspire Kara to use the Worldkillers’ abilities against one another. After successfully wounding the strong one (again, not concerned about the names), Supergirl successfully sends the Worldkillers on their way, but not before learning that there was a fifth, empty containment pod when the four of them awoke in the Kryptonian lab all those years ago.
Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of a conclusion, with Green and Johnson instead opting to give those last few pages to Reign’s “I will be back” speech. If the writing and artwork stay as consistent as they have through this point, Supergirl might just become one of the ‘must read’ books from the ‘New 52.’