Supergirl #1 Review

Written by: Steve Orlando

Art by: Brian Ching

Publisher: DC

Despite some slight disappointments with the Rebirth special, Supergirl is off to a much stronger start in it’s first proper issue. As I read it though, I begin to realize that it’s perhaps not the book for me. It’s not bad; on the contrary, it’s well written, well drawn, and serves a great niche in DC’s new line. It’s definitely intended for a specific audience though, which if you’d like to find out if you’re among, then please read on.

This issue picks up with Kara beginning her new dual life as a superhero and high school student in  a prestigious science-focused school. Adjustments are hard however, given how far behind Krypton Earth is technologically, leaving Kara to feel pressured in both her school and home environments, struggling to adapt and fit in.

If the plot sounds a little like a YA novel that’s because it pretty much is. The book is definitely written for a younger teenage audience in terms of the whole “fish out of water” scenario of high school lives. It does avoid a few of the teenage angst tropes, and I like the idea of Kara having to adapt to a–from her perspective–dated civilization as it avoids the usual “special snowflake” trope and allows for some nice scenes of life on Krypton. I just find it hard to relate to these situations since high school life feels so long ago for me. As stated though, a younger audience would likely find this pretty engaging, and it definitely plays to an audience I don’t think DC try to attract very often. I commend it for that.

The rest of the issue too manages to be highly enjoyable and more traditional superhero. I really like how Orlando writes action scenes, and the little we get to see of Supergirl action in the issue is a ton of fun. There’s some creative uses of her powers, and she manages to look very striking and heroic under Ching’s pencils. The whole issue has a very losse and fun feeling to it, looking slightly manga esque with it’s exaggerated eyes and young cast. Much like they writing, it’s definitely something that would appeal to youths, though is definitely appealing to any age group.

There are a few other small details and points Orlando includes in the script that I feel go towards making the issue a lot of fun and a definite improvement over the last. One thing I enjoyed was the use of a proper Kryptonian language, including it’s own grammar and characters. Orlando has stated this it’s actually translatable, which should provide lots of fun for fans willing to dedicate themselves to it. There’s also the reappearance of Cat Grant, who’s pretty much had a personality transplant from her show version. As I talked about in my review of the last issue, I expect this sort of thing to become more common, but honestly, I don’t mind here. Cat’s TV show personality is, in my opinion, infinitely more entertaining. Orlando shows a good grip on her personality too, so I’m hopeful a nicely diverse and expanding cast can save the book from dipping too long into the teenage angst in threatens to plunge in to.

Overall, Supergirl #1 is definitely a good comic for the audience it’s written for, but certainly won’t be for everyone. There’s some good character stuff, cute lines, and fun action, but there’s not a lot of new material hero for people who’ve read a lot of teen superhero books. For newcomers however or anyone looking to get into Supergirl, there’s really not a better option around. If you think this books sounds like it’s for you, then it likely is, and I’d strongly recommend it. If you’re not into books with younger characters however, one of the other superfamily titles should see you right.