Writer: Mariko Tomaki / Artist: Joëlle Jones / DC Comics
And in its third of four chapters, Supergirl: Being Super introduces its main plot conflict to add alongside Kara’s internal ones, and it comes right on time. Being Super #3 begins by continuing the tone and substance of the first two issues as Kara and Dolly mourn the loss of their other best friend in the trio, Jen, who died during the Midvale earthquake, as well as broader plotline of changes to Kara’s body as she reflects on who she is in this place where she partly belongs and partly does not. What works well here is when that self-exploration weaves together with both a familiar and a new one, changing what we know about Kara, the earthquake, and what it will mean for her to be “super” after all.
A series trademark now, the introspection and slow build keep you more invested in Kara’s emotional health than any crisis where a hero might need to save the day – even when that crisis finally presents itself for the first time in the form of another person like Kara. The tension has less to do with heroics and more with what heroism will mean for Kara, who becomes torn from the conflicting weight of love from her parents, acceptance from her friend, and a newfound hope for love, acceptance, and family rolled in a single discovery of someone else like her.
Those emotions would be complicated enough to navigate, but it also comes with the context of added betrayal as we learn, along with Kara, that the Midvale earthquake – the thing that killed Jen, where Kara could not save her – was not a random earthquake at all, and someone close to Kara was knowingly responsible.
Depth, drama, substance – this book has it all. Different from any Supergirl title I have ever read, it reads as if made for a different publisher altogether, a miniseries without the constrains of Kara Danvers’ expectations, continuity, and the wider DC Universe. Joëlle Jones’ art is fittingly amazing as well, capturing the frequent quiet moments that say so much even when no one is speaking outside Kara’s thoughts. This is, in short, my shit. The more books like this one, with no fear of crossovers and overlong plots, the more books I will have to read. One more issue to go, and although I will be sad to see this series end, I will also be happy with the full story it leaves behind as a new, unique take on Supergirl’s origins.
Reading Supergirl Being Super? Find BNP’s other reviews of the series here.