Writer: Mariko Tomaki / Artist: Joëlle Jones / DC Comics
Supergirl Being Super is the most genuinely emotional superhero comic I have ever read. The speed with which this series has grounded Kara and her friends as expressive, relatable characters can be partially attributed to its page count at 50 per issue, but more so a testament to Tamaki’s writing and the care given to capturing the teen part of Kara’s journey, her young adulthood in sharp focus with the hero part of her life taking second priority. So far, Supergirl Being Super feels less a superhero comic than a coming-of-age story with a bit of fantasy, DC’s own Bridge to Tarabithia but more grown up. Though likewise, this one comes with adventure, fear, and a whole lot of sadness.
In issue #2 we pick up where we left off in the middle of a sudden earthquake, Kara, her two best friends, students and spectators at a track meet. The emotional tone was set for something triumphant, the sisterhood of Kara and her friends on display, a chance for one of them to find themselves or find each other. What happens instead is a complete curveball that challenges what we expected from the series even after the first issue showed is this isn’t going to be your typical cheesy Supergirl origin story. The stakes are high and the stakes are real; no Supergirl catching a plane or rescuing everybody as you might expect from Steve Orlando’s current run on Supergirl, a series more closely aligned with the series on the CW network. Instead there’s real fear that this might not turn out as expected, and it doesn’t. There was no triumph, there was tragedy. And that tragedy, that fear fully realized, sets a new tone for the rest of the issue that pulls us deeper in what makes Kara who she is, and who she might become.
Being Super is wonderfully drawn, with diverse faces and body types giving life everywhere from the family farm to the school and community. You can’t help but feel Kara’s grief and root for her, Dolly, and Jen to reach their upmost potential through each other, and when that falls short, Jones and Tamaki make you feel it.
If you read any Supergirl story, make it this one. Halfway through Supergirl Being Super I’m ready for the next 50 pages of a wonderfully emotional coming-of-age series.
Reading Supergirl: Being Super? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.