You might remember that, when we listed the five comics we were most anticipating from the New 52, we put Supergirl as our second-most-anticipated title. So why ahve we been so quiet about the series since then? Well, because we have been busy READING IT. That all changes today! Apart from the bit about reading it, which we are going to continue to do. Because it is time for us to talk about Supergirl!!

The main thing about Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and artist Mahumd Asrar’s reinvention of the character so far is that is is filled with PUNCHING. Supergirl no longer sits in a flat with her cat, painting and watching Oprah. When she sees a problem, she puts up her Marquess of Queensburys and starts making with the face smacking. It’s refreshing beyond belief to see a character who has no qualms about making with the fighting, especially when that character is a girl. In issue #5, Supergirl’s main priority is escaping a space station she’s been trapped upon, and to do so she basically trashes the entire place and blows it up. It’s awesome.

The comic isn’t just smashy-smashy, though. Writers Green and Johnson have a lot of fun throwing in little tics and details to make this a quirkier fight issue than normal. For a start, Supergirl still doesn’t speak any language other than her own, making it highly entertaining to see her decide what the humans here are saying to her. Her inability to speak English or understand human body language means that her escape is a little more difficult than would be expected, and gives the writers a clever way to keep her on the station longer than she really needs to be. She’s strong enough that she could simply fly off – this wrinkle means she has to stick around, and interact with the various villains.

It also makes the issue rather visual, and puts a lot of onus on Asrar’s pencils. Luckily he is more than more than up for the job, giving us solid body posture and expression throughout the issue. Some of the New 52 artists have faltered a little by the time they reach five issues pencilled in a row – not Asrar. His work remains solid as ever, and he knows how to pace out a fight scene like no other. More and more, his work seems to resemble that of Stuart Immonen. And while colourist Dave McCraig’s decision to use a subdued colour pallet does make this issue distinct from Superman or Action Comics, it would be interesting to see how some brash colours might make Asrar’s art ‘pop’.

Let’s get to the heart of what makes comics great, guys. The ending of this issue – spoilers ahoy – reveals that Supergirl’s new villain is going to be a pragmatic torso. And please, we hope so dearly that he will remain a torso in all his future appearances, delivering grandstanding speeches without any arms or legs. That would be AMAZING. Only in comics can you get this kind of mad idea, and it’s so so so much fun. It looks like this will remain a dangling plot thread for the moment, but we can’t tell you how excited we are for the future return of TORSO-MAN.

Supergirl is a fun comic, and well worth picking up.


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