Writer: Mariko Tomaki / Artist: Joëlle Jones / DC Comics
Supergirl: Being Super is the newest origin story of our favorite Kryptonian cousin who’s been getting quite the attention lately. Between her TV show recently added to the Arrowverse and Steve Orlando’s Supergirl series from DC’s successful “Rebirth,” Kara Danvers is becoming more of a superhero household name and DC seems to be looking to cash in by giving more of what the people want. Enter Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki, and right off the bat it separates itself from other Supergirl stories by focusing less on the heroics, and instead taking the riskier move to focus more on her relationships and development as a teenager.
While most readers pick up a DC or Marvel title for its action and adventure, Supergirl: Being Super offers less of both in hopes that readers can appreciate Kara more for her humanity than her heroic abilities. It makes for a slower read, learning about her friends and family and the important roles they play in her life, and so far it plays out well over a double-stuffed 50-pages issue that feels more like 20. Getting to know her friends is fun, with quippy dialogue blended with the adoration found in close-knit friend circles; all the while Kara narrates her life, how she feels, and what she’s learning about herself as she comes of age.
If you read Being Super with expectations of fast-action heroics like the other ongoing iterations of her character, you will undoubtedly be disappointed. Being Super seemingly sets out to do the revolutionary task of writing a teenage girl with superpowers as relatable to a teenage girl. It abandons the quirky nerd persona for a young woman who has faith in her friends as she learns to have faith in herself.
She doesn’t punch a single person. There’s no explosion or bank heist or alien attack throughout 50 pages. Instead there’s conversation, insecurities, zits, and girlfriends supporting one other in complete absence of men. There’s actually only one male speaking part throughout Supergirl: Being Super’s pages, courtesy of her father. You can almost feel the fanboys getting angry. Kara’s Kryptonian puberty probably won’t be the main focus of the series, but even if it is, it plays out much better in issue #1 than you would expect from reading that description on paper.
Supergirl: Being Super is a 4-part series that has the potential to be one of the best recent iterations of Kara Danvers yet. Joëlle Jones’ art is great – a calm tone that fits the character-driven pace of the comic, with realistic-looking characters of several shapes and sizes. I’m happy to stick around for it.