Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dan Didio Interview

There is a new feature on Newsarama in which fans can submit questions for DC Editor-in-chief Dan Didio. Newarama then picks the top 20 and interviews Didio around them.

Now there are a lot of Didio-haters out there. And I have to admit, it sometimes feels like DC is on shaky ground, both economically (as Marvel continues to dominate the market) and creatively as internal continuity seems to be nonexistent. So, I think it is pretty big of Didio to potentially face the slings and arrows of an angry mob. Here is the link for the last session.

As always, it is worth reading the whole piece; here are the Supergirl relevant questions.

1. Dan, let’s start this time with Superman. New Krypton is halfway through, and as you’ve said, the larger storyline will be felt through the end of 2010. Let’s talk about creative teams – are we going to see the same teams remain on the books for this two year stretch?

Dan DiDio: Actually, no. There will be some changes in the creative teams involving Superman. Let’s take it from the top – actually, with the one book that won’t see any changes: The Superman series will be keeping James Robinson and Renato Guedes will be the team on that title through 2009, but as the story begins in March, we should subtitle the story, “World Without Superman.” That’s the story James will be telling, and he will be leading the charge on the Superman title itself.
It had been hinted at, but now confirmed that Superman will be leaving his titles for a bit of time shortly after New Krypton wraps up. It seems like an odd time to do this since the super-titles have been getting such good press recently and are relevant again. Why chase off the new readers interested in Superman by offering a title without the main character? While it may have worked with 'Funeral For a Friend', I don't know if the market is stable enough right now to try this sort of thing. Still, at least Robinson and Guedes are staying on. Robinson made the Guardian interesting in his Adventure Comics one-shot, and I have never found the Guardian interesting.

Of course, if the story is good, I'll be happy. But I can imagine a migration away from the title by some readers.

In Action, we’re going to see some major changes – Superman will not be featured in Action Comics. The stars of Action will be the new team of Flamebird and Nightwing. Flamebird is a character we’ve seen, but this is the first time we’re seeing her in costume. Nightwing is a character that we’ve known in the DCU for a little while, but he’s new to the Nightwing costume as well. The team on that book will be Greg Rucka with Eddy Barrows. Eddy will be moving over from Teen Titans.

An Action Comics being headlined Flamebird and Nightwing? I am also a bit wary about this. I like Rucka's writing style and I think Eddy Barrows is great. But why disrupt this title, which has been the strongest of the super-titles?

We still don't know who Flamebird and Nightwing are ... although by then we should. At least Didio dropped some hints.

Flamebird is someone we have seen before but not in costume. That takes Linda Danvers off the list I guess. Someone here mentioned it possibly being Lana Lang which is a bit more interesting choice now given that comment, but I still doubt it is Lana.

And Nightwing is someone we have known for in the DCU for a little while but he is new to the Nightwing costume. Does that make Conner more or less likely. I think less likely.

Next after that, Supergirl will keep its team, with Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle.

Whew! At least we don't have to worry about another creative team upheaval in Kara's title.

We’ll be introducing a new series called Superman: New Krypton which will be written by Andrew Kreisberg and drawn by Pete Woods.

A New Krypton title? Well, that means at least some of the Kryptonians survive. Maybe a title based on a Rokyn like world? I have never read anything by Kreisberg so I cannot comment on him. But I like Pete Woods.

The big question is where Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are going. They will be doing Superman: Secret Origin as a miniseries coming up later in the year. We decided to run that as its own miniseries, different from what Geoff just did in Green Lantern. It gives them a little more time to work it, they don’t have to struggle against the ongoing schedule, and it won’t throw off the triangles on the covers which keep track of the story. They’ll be doing the definitive origin of Superman as we’ve seen it all take place, and incorporating the changes that we’ve seen or suggested since Infinite Crisis.

Superman: Secret Origins huh? And as a mini-series no less. Well I am glad that Johns and Frank haven't left the character all together. This might be DC's way of capitalizing on the successes of the super-titles now. By running this as a mini and Flamebird/Nightwing in Action (as opposed to Origin in Action and Nightwing/Flamebird as a mini) they might sell a few more books.

Newarama just posted the 6 covers. Stunning. For some reason, I really like the Daily Planet one. Here is the link to view the covers:

As someone who still thinks of Byrne's Man of Steel as the definitive origin (despite multiple arcs since then re-defining Krypton, etc) I am looking forward to this greatly. Hopefully this will streamline Superman's backstory enough to clarify what's what.

I am really amazed at how expansive John's touch in the DCU is becoming. Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash (with the upcoming Rebirth), JSA, Hawkman. Unbelievable.

I haven't seen one writer impact that many of DC's main characters since the early 70's when Denny O'Neil revamped Superman (the Sand Superman/no Kryptonite arc), Batman (back to Dark Knight roots), Wonder Woman (de-powered and in white jumpsuit) and Green Lantern/Green Arrow (social commentary) all around the same time.


2. A question that we can ask then – Superman: New Krypton – what’s that all about?

DD: Andrew Kreisberg – he was a writer on Eli Stone and is the writer on Green Arrow/Black Canary - he’s coming on board to join the team to tell the story that focuses on much of what’s happening with the 100,000 Kryptonians that were released from New Kandor.

NRAMA: Sounds like it would have an Astro City or Top 10 kind of feel – a story about a society of super-powered individuals...
DD: It would, but it has none of that [laughs]. The great thing about this is that with all the changes taking place, with the introduction of Greg and Andrew into the group, and Geoff concentrating at least for the time being on Secret Origin, we’re able to maintain a consistency of story. With James on the lead book, he’s been involved since day one in the New Krypton story, and he’s really taking charge and leading the whole direction of the Superman line during this time.

Well, that explains who the writer is. I am glad that there is still a guiding force from the super-team like Robinson around to make sure there is at least a consistent feel to the titles.

3. Moving to Supergirl for a moment...issue #35 basically reset the character, and is showing us the “real” story of what’s been going on with her. What’s your take on what Sterling is doing with the character?

DD: Sterling is one of the rising stars here at DC. You always get the question of where are the new writers coming from, and who are the talents we’re looking to grow, and Sterling is definitely one of them. We just put him under an exclusive contract as well, because we have a lot of belief and faith in his abilities. He’s done a great job with Supergirl - he’s been able to take what’s been going on in the Superman books and bring that level of focus and depth to Supergirl and I feel as if he’s really solidified the direction of that series. The great part also in New Krypton, we’ve had the introduction of Supergirl’s parents in Kandor – that really helps to build a strong supporting cast for that series, and Sterling has a great handle on what to do with that book. He’s the writer for the future of Supergirl.

Congratulations to Mr. Gates for scoring the exclusive tag. I am glad to hear that Didio has such faith in his abilities on Supergirl because I have been very pleased with the first 2 issues.

Now is not the time to rest on laurels though. The first two issues of Supergirl under the new team were basically the reset button. Now we need to move forward. I am really looking forward to the Superwoman arc as it is sort of the first pure Supergirl storyline we will see from the new team.

4. Getting back to one of your announcements - Superman: Secret Origin. You called it the “definitive origin,” and I’m sure that already has some fans rolling their eyes. Superman: Birthright was a few years back and said to be the same thing, and there have been tweaks and adjustments in the line before that. Can you give us some clues on what makes this origin “definitive?”

DD: With the Superman books following Infinite Crisis, we made some suggestions as to some of the changes that might be occurring within Superman’s origin and who he is. There were a lot of things that have been changed over a period of time, and what Geoff has done, what Geoff always does so well is that he incorporates so many of the various aspects of Superman’s origin to what I feel is really a clean, definitive take on the character as he exists today, and more importantly, how we will continue to present him in the years to come.
The John Byrne changes were important and strong when they occurred back in the ‘80s, and I feel that Geoff’s origin is going to make that same imprint now, for 2009 and past that.

Well, at least all the minor changes and inconsistencies are noted and hopefully will be dealt with. I have been floored with the excellence of the Johns/Frank team, so I don't expect anything less from them here.

Anyways, there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months, so expect a whole lot of reviews here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Middleton On Supergirl #38

Over on his blog (, Josh Middleton posted the final cover for Supergirl #38, released in February. It has a much more cosmic appearing cover than the one seen on the DC Comics website.

Here is what he had to say about it:

Here is the cover to Supergirl issue 38. It is drawn in ink and colored in Photoshop. It grew increasingly colorful and "glowy" as I went along. When I started out, I rendered the background character (Superwoman) in natural light, with a lot of contrast and a fair amount of detail. Unfortunately, it looked like a Sears portrait, so I kept working on it. I knew what I wanted, something atmospheric and somewhat cosmic, but for whatever reason, I kept drawing a blank on how to do it. Eventually, with a lot of constructive criticism from my wife, I stumbled onto something that worked well enough.

My wife also had me reduce the size of Supergirl's left hand, which was originally rather large, although I didn't see it as the enormous baseball mitt that my wife did. Apparently, I tend to draw overly large hands with some regularity. I have also learned that I am inclined to draw gigantic heads. My wife claims that Supergirl's noggin on the cover of issue 35, the newspaper cover, is a good example of my pumpkin-headed tendencies.

Now that is an eye-catching cover. Even the cosmic effect has an almost supernatural feel to it. I mean, if I wasn't buying the title that cover would make me pause a second as I perused the racks. Isn't that what a cover artist is supposed to do!

And I love the look on Kara's face. It is almost as if the thought of Superwoman is dominating Kara's thoughts, like a danger on the horizon.

And it appears Superwoman's eyes are blue. Hmmm ... does that limit the guesses on her identity? Does it give more credence to my ridiculous 'Kara clone' theory?

I am really looking forward to this storyline.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

I could not find any specific Supergirl/Thanksgiving moments in a brief perusal of my collection although one must exist. So instead I treat you to this cover from Adventure Comics #394 drawn by Kurt Schaffenberger. In this near incomprehensible story, Kara gets thrown in jail by an intergalactic tyrant after she attempts to dismantle his dangerous 'Zenith Weapon'.

In the story the prisoners beg for a meal to be served and are forced to fight over some scraps. Reminds me of some Thanksgiving tables I have sat at. Please, no food riots on turkey day. Hee hee.

In the end, the other prisoners turn out to be super-heroines from other planets and they all team up to end the threat. You have to give thanks for the Silver Age.

On a different note, I just want to give thanks to everyone who visits this blog and comments. I started this blog on a complete whim, a way to get some ideas I had about Supergirl out of my head and into text form. I never expected that there would be others out there that not only had the same passion for the character that I have but have also found the blog and like it! This blog has really been a perfect creative outlet for me and reading other fan's thoughts about the character is wonderful. It really has been a great thing for me.

Thanks to all! Hope you all have a great holiday!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review: Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom #2

The second issue of Superman/Supergirl:Maelstrom was released last week, part of the biweekly schedule of this 5 part miniseries. You may recall that the first issue was not exactly awe-inspiring, what with Kara getting a beat down from Maelstrom as well as a verbal lashing from Superman.

This issue doesn't start out well with it characterization of Supergirl either.

Word balloons are fairly rare on covers these days. On this cover, Kara ignores Superman's warnings about the planet saying 'relax Kal, what could possibly hurt us out here?' all while putting her hair up in a pony tail. It feels like superficial Kara all over again. And having her putting her hair back while speaking rather than just standing there, it smacks of some immaturity.

The issue starts immediately with action as Superman and Supergirl are defending themselves with sticks against some monstrous aliens. Superman provides some exposition here. He has brought himself and Kara to this planet in a red star system to help train her to act without relying solely on her powers. He also hopes that it will allow them to grow closer.

Seems like something of a silly plan. First off, these beasts are huge and appear dangerous. Both Superman and Supergirl nearly fall off a cliff to their deaths early on. Doesn't this seem irresponsible of Kal? Risky? Are the lessons Kara might learn here worth the risk?

We then cut to Apokolips where Maelstrom is getting her own dangerous education. Remember, for going to Earth she is being punished ... forced to fight gladiator style. Surprisingly, she makes short work of a death squad, killing them for the glory of Darkseid. He rewards her by sending her to the slave pits.

It is clear that Palmiotti and Gray are trying to show some similarities between Maelstrom and Supergirl. Even the art helps out ... notice how the whip forms an 'S' in 2 panels, even aligning over her chest.

Both Supergirl and Maelstrom are young and trying to find their way. Both are trying to impress or gain favor with the imposing men in their lives. Kara wants to understand Kal, figure out why he does what he does, and see if she wants to follow in his footsteps. But most of all, she wants him to respect her, see her as more than a child. Maelstrom is also trying to rise from her perceived lowly status and gain Darkseid's favor ... but more, she feels she deserves to be his consort. Talk about trying to grab the brass ring.

Back on the red sun planet, Supergirl asks Superman what we all were thinking: what if we die here? Why come to this place where they are powerless and 'play human'.

Kal tells her he does not play at being a human; he considers himself human.

And Earth has its troubles. They aren't as enlightened as the Krypton Kara grew up on. Man needs their help, but not as rulers.

Supergirl continues to push him. Shouldn't Superman be doing more to enlighten mankind? Shouldn't he be spreading the Krypton ways in an effort to improve Earth?

Superman gently reminds her that Krypton wasn't completely enlightened. The people there didn't listen to Jor-El's warnings.

Regardless, Superman tells Kara that mankind needs to grow as a race on our own rather than by following the Kryptonian ideal. He lives as one of us. His responses as Clark are not acting, they are real and based on his upbringing.

While Kara debates with Kal, Maelstrom attempts to organize the slaves in the pits in hopes of escape. The other slaves do not join her and as a result she is overwhelmed by the guards. Now there will be more punishment ... isolation.

Meanwhile, the debate continues to rage on between the super-cousins.

Kara again brings up the danger in this little camping trip, wondering when the lesson is over. Superman calls her passive aggressive and tells her to get some sleep. Appropriately annoyed, Kara tells him to stop treating her like an overtired infant.

Frustrated, she storms off into the wilderness lamenting the lack of toilet paper and television ...

Only to find herself alone and surrounded by aliens.

Well, I think this is a better issue than the last one. While Superman continues to treat Supergirl like a little girl at least she debates him as an equal rather than simply deferring. I have to agree with her ... going to a dangerous planet like this seems hazardous to their health. At least she calls him on it a couple of times. Her responses do occasionally sound a bit superficial.

Still, Superman's attitude seems more like the Silver Age Superman who chastised her all too often. And I don't quite know what his agenda is here. If it simply physical training on a red sun world that's fine. But it seems like this is supposed to teach her some wisdom and I haven't wrapped my head around what it could be.

Maelstrom also shows some potential here. She clearly reveres Darkseid and yet continues to defy standard Apokoliptian ways. Organizing a potential slave revolt? Sort of impressive.

And, the art is typically delicious Phil Noto. I really like his Supergirl. The book is colored a bit darkly. I had to brighten up the scans so you could see the details.

So while I don't like how Superman is treating Supergirl in this book, I think she sort of held her own here. And that seems a step up from issue one.

Overall grade: C

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rich Buckler Commission

While I am usually unable to travel to distant comic book conventions, I am blessed with friends who can. I also am blessed that the same friends will always do the leg work of obtaining commissions for me at these cons.

The latest commission is posted above and was drawn by Rich Buckler at The National in New York earlier this month.

Buckler is an old-timer best known for his work on the Fantastic Four in the 1970's. He also created Deathlok around the same time. That said, his career has been prolific and he has drawn just about every character there is.

I figured he was a great addition to my collection because he drew one of the most famous images of Supergirl, the cover of The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl #1. This particular cover is fairly well known.

Heck, it was made into a stamp by the USPS.

I was lucky enough to also have my copy of the issue signed by Mr. Buckler. I had it signed by interior artist (and living legend) Carmine Infantino at a previous convention.

I think this is a great commission!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Review: Tiny Titans #10

Tiny Titans #10 was released on Wednesday but really it read more like a Tiny World's Finest, starring occasional Titans Supergirl and Batgirl. Here was the promo lines.

It's girl's day out as Supergirl and Batgirl try to find the perfect location for a tea party. Let's just hope they don't forget about Steaky and Ace!

It was a fun read for a number of reasons. It also was further testament that 2008 is The Year of Streaky.

The issue starts out with this opening panel joke about the flight capabilities of the Super-Pets! Check it out! A Comet appearance! And, as always, Kara is serenely floating above ground.

But on to the main story.

Supergirl gets permission from cousin Kal to play with the Titans. He reminds her that she needs to feed Streaky before she can go. But she is so excited, she just flies off.

A hungry Streaky discovers his empty bowl. After watching Krypto gobble up lunch, he decides to fly off after Supergirl so he can get fed.

In the meantime, Batgirl asks Commissioner Gordon for permission to play with the Titans as well. He says she can after she feeds Ace the Bat-Hound. Ace the Bat-Hound!

Overcome with excitement as well, she also leaves before feeding her pet. In perhaps my favorite bit of the book, she leaves the house on her tricycle in a clear homage to how the Yvonne Craig Batgirl left hers on the old Adam West Batman TV show. I am showing my age here ... but I wonder how many readers got the reference.

Ace discovers his empty bowl and runs after Batgirl.

The two girls arrive and find the Titans deserted. They decide to have a play date together. And what better fin than a tea party. They decide to play in Gotham City and leave the tower.

Streaky and Ace arrive to late, and realizing they are on a similar mission team up to chase down their owners and get fed.

It turns out that Gotham isn't the best place to have a quiet tea party. Killed Kroc shows up and begins to eat garbage. Horrified by this, the girls decide they need to set up somewhere else. They decide to try Metropolis and so leave.

Streaky and Ace show up shortly thereafter and let Kroc know who they are looking for. He points the way they should go.

Unfortunately, it turns out that Metropolis isn't a good place for a tea party either. Bizarro shows up and showers them with crumbs from his messy potato chip eating. Disturbed by his crumbs and confused by his backwards speech, they leave to find a neutral site for their tea party.

Alas, the hungry pets show up too late again but are shown the way to go by a surprisingly helpful Bizarro.

Finally, at a quiet neutral site, the tea party commences. Shortly after starting, the girls hear crying and whimpering. Realizing that heroes would investigate these noises, the girls follow the noises only to discover it is their hungry pets whimpering.

Oh the humanity!

The girls set up the tea party again, this time with some yummy food for their pets. And then to thank the folks who pointed the pets in the right direction, Kroc and Bizarro get an invite as well.

I have talked in the past about how oddly enjoyable this title has been. It is hard to say it is solely for kids when things like Yvonne Craig references are made. And while not present in this issue, it has shown some continuity hooks or at least the need for a superficial knowledge of Titans history to understand it fully.

The truth is it is a perfect bridge book for parents like me trying to get their children into comics. It is silly and innocuous enough for the Johnny DC group while throwing enough bones at folks like me to not have me cringe when I read it.

I mean I got to talk about Comet with the supergirls at home. One of them even tried to opposite-talk like Bizarro for a bit after reading the issue together.

As a result, I really cherish this book, especially when Supergirl stars.

Overall grade: a silly but satisfying A

Friday, November 21, 2008

Review: Supergirl #35

Supergirl #35 was released this week, the mid-point of the New Krypton storyline and the second issue by new creative team Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle.

I'll start out by saying that this issue was great. The team continued their 'soft reboot' of Kara explaining some of the more frustrating things about her characterization in the title so far. Despite concentrating on moving Kara's character forward, they also continued to move the New Krypton storyline forward as well. It is not easy to accomplish both. How many 'cross-over' issues in individual titles have little to do with the event they are supposedly connected to? Or worse, how many 'cross-over' issues in individual titles seem to force the event onto the character and do little for the character themselves? This issue did it right ... advancing both stories in a very natural organic way.

I thought I would also show the Stephane Roux variant cover of the issue. It's a nice image of a Supergirl in battle mode as seen reflected in a Brainiac drone's eye. Yes, this has nothing to do with the actual issue, but it is still nice.

This was a 1:10 variant and my comic store had 3 on the shelf. Simple math tells us that they therefore ordered 30 copies of the issue, a nice sign about anticipated sales.

The book opens with Sam Lane talking about how concerned he is about the Kryptonian presence on Earth.

But the scene shifts to Lana and Linda Lang's apartment where Alura makes her feelings known pretty clearly. Alura wants Kara to move to New Krypton for her safety. She reminds Kara that the city hates her, that Doomsday was most likely sent by the government, and that Kara belongs with her family.

I think it makes sense for Alura to feel this way. After all, she has been living decades in the bottle wondering what had happened to Kara. She risked everything to save Kara. She loves her ... of course she wants her back home. Now, breaking the glasses is a bit dramatic and might be a reminder of Alura's physicality. She did beat Doomsday to death after all.

I love how Supergirl almost wrote 'Kara's room' on a box but corrected herself and put Linda.

Surprisingly, Kara doesn't want to run back home with Mom and Dad. She has built a life for herself on Earth and wants to continue it.

I was worried how this was going to be portrayed. Why would it really make sense for Kara who has longed for Krypton, mourned her parents, and been shunned most of her life on Earth not run back to Kandor?

But then I remembered how she has lived on Earth for more then a year and has been on her own for the majority of it. She is now an independent young woman rather than a frightened adolescent. She has left the nest. Others on this blog have said she has 'gone native'.

Part of adolescence is finding your own way, making your own life. It would be hard to go back to a bedroom on Kandor and listen to what Mommy and Daddy had to say. Kara might want her parents to be a part of her life now, probably a big part. But "you can't go home again". She can't go back to being a little girl anymore. The dialogue here worked, explaining Kara's feelings in a believable way.

Alura storms off and Kara has a heart to heart with her father in which she divulges her jumbled memories (3 Zor-Els, 3 origin stories), her mood swings, and her crystal blood. Like any good physician, he makes the diagnosis from the history ... Kryptonite poisoning. K-poisoning can lead to personality changes, difficulty concentrating, hallucinations, even death.

So, do I like this as a catch-all for all the nonsense that has happened in this title?Does this explain 'kill Kal-El' Zor-El and ranger Zor-El and this Zor-El well enough? Does it explain the rave dancer versus the aggressive loner versus the 'saving Thomas' optimist?

The answer is I can deal with it. There is no easy way to explain all those differences. So it needed to be one big semi-palatable answer. And, I guess, this fits the bill. Kara was in that Kryptonite encrusted meteor around her ship for 3 decades. You would think if she was exposed to Kryptonite forthat long, she'd be dead.

That said, I have plenty of Silver Age issues where low-dose Kryptonite made Superman delusional and feverish, so that must be the way Gates is going. Add to that presumed partial shielding of her ship, it becomes plausible.

The truth is I would gladly accept any even semi-plausible story that would explain and eliminate the hateful Kara from the first 19 issues.

Now how Zor-El knows so much about Kryptonite poisoning given his time on Argo and in Kandor should have been Kryptonite free ... well I have no idea. But I can overlook that slight stumble (or if someone can explain it to me); this works out fine.

The world outside the Kryptonians keeps turning however.

One human taking advantage of it is Cat Grant who continues her merciless journalistic attack on Kara, here insinuating that Supergirl is leading a 'Kryptonian invasion'.
And Sam Lane isn't sitting pat either. He goes to area 7734 (get it ... it's hELL upside-down) and coaxes Reactron back into military action.

Knowing now that her jumbled memories and personality twitches are the result of K-poisoning, Kara gets put into a 'regenerative chamber' which will drain off the remaining radiation and cure her. Zor-El knows that the chamber might not be able to hold the energy drained from Kara, but still stays in the room with Alura to make sure Kara survives the process.

I show this panel for one reason.

That's right, there are bike shorts under the mini-skirt! I, for one, think it makes sense for Supergirl to wear them given all the flying she does. And, thankfully, it takes away the potential for the pandering and gratuitous panty shot we sometimes have been subjected to. It also eliminates the need for the skirt to defy physics and always stays down. I am completely okay with it.

But I know that when Renato Guedes added them to Kara's costume in his issues, the negative feedback about it was unprecedented and (I feel) unwarranted. Buckle up Mr. Igle ... my guess is the same folks might complain again.

The chamber works, draining Kara of the radiation. But as feared, the system overloads and a major bolt of K-energy hits Alura. More on my guesses behind this later.

With the Kryptonite drained away, Kara's memories of Argo City are restored.

She remembers how Zor-El reversed-engineered the force field from a Brainiac drone recovered from the Kandor site. She remembers her father trying to convince the Argo Science Council to consider evacuating Argo with space ships only to be refused (much like big brother Jor-El). And she remembers Brainiac's attack and being rocketed away to safety.This 'new origin' takes a lot of the Silver Age origin but updates it by including the Brainiac angle (both for the dome and destruction) and takes away the anti-Kryptonite and meteor angle.

Again, this all works here.

With her memory now intact, Kara now knows how much her parents love her ... enough to risk everything on Argo to save her, enough to risk everything right then to save her.

It leads to the tough question. She can't have both lives. She can't live as a Kryptonian and live as an Earthling as Linda Lang. She needs to decide which path her life will take.

She tells her family she needs some time.

But the K-poisoning is gone ... and with it all the terrible nonsense that I could not stand from the Kelly run!!! Hurray!

In some ways, Gates and Igle have a semi-clean slate onto which they can write their version of Kara. So far, so good.

The issue ends with our first glimpse at Superwoman. Here she is, in Kandor, watching the news while donning her outfit. While her hair looks brown here, she is in shadows so it could easily be blond.

She watches some footage of Kara and then hears the Kryptonian word for help.

And here is the first big shot of her.All right, so everyone has been trying to figure out who this Superwoman could be. Some think she's Thara Ak-var.My initial thought is that she is an update of Lesla Lar, maybe as a Kandor or Argo orphan taken in by the Els to fill Kara's void.

Then I thought it might be a Kara clone. Maybe Zor-El so missed his daughter while in the bottle, he cloned her.

But now I wonder if it isn't Alura. I have heard people on other boards and even on this blog (I think Mauricio) guess this. She has been very vocal in her desire to have Supergirl move back home to Kandor. Maybe a way to do that is to 'replace' her thus severing Kara's ties to Earth. And now we know she has been shot full of K-poisoning (getting back to the above panel) which can make you act oddly, taking on new personalities. Maybe the Superwoman personality is Alura's subconscious way of bringing Kara back into the fold.

Maybe it's time for another blog poll? Who is Superwoman?

Anyways, there was a lot to get through here. The big thing is we have a solid origin now, one devoid of crystal powers, Phantom Zone entities, and murderous tendencies. And it was explained in a neat plausible manner and in one fell swoop.

I have to say, it has been a while since I have been truly excited about this title. But I am now. The plot was great and the dialogue was spot on. The art continues to be amazing. Great job by the creative team!

Overall grade: A