Writer: Steve Orlando / Artist: Brian Ching / DC Comics
Supergirl, at this point, has become surprising in how formulaic it’s been one issue after the next. The wash, rinse, repeat of the last several issues is almost a form of bravery, as if Kara herself is saying, listen, this is what you’re reading, you know what it is, as Jay-Z’s “Never Change” plays in the background. And she would be right: this is what it is, and shouldn’t be expected to be any more than Supergirl catching saving someone in the air followed by an action scene comprised of one-part super punch, one-part large explosion, and one-part motivational speech. This isn’t like watching the CW series anymore, it’s like watching a commercial for it.
As mentioned in the Supergirl #5 review this issue would be worth reading if only to see how Cat Grant plays her role in saving the day, and that was at least partly true: Cat Grant steps up to leverage her resources to prove strength need not come from special powers (it can come through millions of dollars, human dollars nonetheless). It didn’t save the issue though, not because of how the scene was constructed, but because it wasn’t very different from anything else we’ve seen so far this series. You don’t expect Supergirl to evoke the same threat of Game of Thrones or anything — everyone important is going to live here, for sure — but Supergirl borderlines on a G rating when it comes to eliciting any real concern in its climax. Her mother did die in issue #4 in one of the more emotionally compelling scenes of the series though; sure, we were secure in her dehumanization as a robot, but she had enough human in her to hear Kara’s reasoning and sacrifice her life, so that counts for something. Since then, knowing the city isn’t really going to be destroyed, the stakes have only gone down, replaced with familiar inspirational speech between Supergirl and her cyborg father.
Overall, Supergirl‘s quality has maintained throughout the series, only that becomes tiring when it becomes too familiar, too soon. At the end of this arc we’re definitely in familiar territory that makes the climax less exciting than if we were given a curve ball or anything outside the formula we’ve come to recognize. This series never set out to change much of how we see Supergirl (if you want that, try the new Being Super series by Mariko Tamaki), but hopefully this next arc can do more to give us something more unpredictable.
Reading Supergirl? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here. Watching the TV show? Enjoy our recaps after every episode.