Week 3 of The New 52 is here, and it brings us a dozen more brand-new DC series! I’ll be reviewing all 52 #1 issues released this month, and you can find all of the reviews on the Comic Book Reviews index page. This week we’ve got the third of the four New 52 Super-family books: Supergirl #1! Supergirl is a concept that has traditionally done alright for a short period after launch–before floundering and then being cancelled and rebooted shortly thereafter with a new premise. But with The New 52 buying blitz, this may be Supergirl’s best chance for a successful series ever. Does DC make the best of this first issue?
This review will be as spoiler-free as possible.
In general I don’t feel much of anything for any previous iteration of Supergirl. So it’s commendable that in Supergirl #1, I felt some genuine sympathy for Supergirl as she lands on Earth and is shocked and terrified by the alien environment she’s found herself in. This was definitely the strongest facet of this comic, and it does an excellent job of showing us a very human vulnerable side of Supergirl.
The other major “Right” of this issue is the cliffhanger. This cliffhanger is something that was absolutely going to happen sooner or later, so I’m glad that it’s happening sooner. I’m mildly intrigued about what’s going to happen in the meeting between Supergirl and this other character in the next issue. A lot depends on how well-executed and intriguing that meeting is, as I think it has the potential to make this series sink or swim.
If I had to compare this issue to another first issue of The New 52, it would be OMAC #1. And unfortunately, that’s not the book that you want to be compared to. I read this entire comic in approximately 3 minutes because, like OMAC #1, there just isn’t much content here. This issue flies by, as a large portion of the comic is just Supergirl fighting guys in robot suits, and it’s simply not interesting. There’s never ever any threat from the enemies, who are just nameless generic characters.
The art is alright, but certainly one of the weaker artistic efforts of the whole New 52 so far. Considering that this is one of The New 52 books with the lowest amount of words and exposition in the whole launch so far (and one of the most-filled with mindless action), the art really needed to be better than it is.
Overall: Just to be clear here, I’m not giving this comic a bad grade because it’s terrible. This is not the abomination that Green Arrow #1 or Legion Lost #1 was. The main problem here is the unfortunate lack of story in this issue. Supergirl crashes to Earth unexpectedly and is upset and confused, then gets attacked by generic soldiers in robot suits. I feel like the author wanted to have Supergirl land on Earth and then needed to kill time to get to his “last-page cliffhanger”, and the whole book treads water as a result. There’s some potential with this new take on Supergirl, but the substance here in this issue is all very mundane. And unfortunately, there’s not even much mundane substance in this first issue. This is a bad first issue to a concept that could turn out to be interesting. So yes, I’m giving this particular issue a bad grade–but I’m not ready to give up and say this series itself is going to be bad yet.