Sunday, November 07, 2010

Supergirl Annual #2 Review

What Happened That You Have to Know About: This takes place not too long after the founding of the Legion; membership seems to be at less than a dozen. Supergirl is in the 30th century with the Legion, and has a lot of her classic Legion adventures via flashback. She also visits the Superman Museum and finds out how she's going to die (although the standard Legion Memory Trick seems to cover that over). She helps them deal with a falling satellite, but it seems that Brainy has released an alien demon from a weird statue. The demon is named Satan Girl, and Satan Girl takes over the world real fast. Supergirl and Brainy jump forward in time to fight her better, and Supergirl uses a real neat and fun trick as part of this effort. Brainy's stupid time-energy plan works, and the Legion brings Supergirl back home to her time.


I haven't been reading Supergirl, so I don't know how well this fits into the series, but as a piece of ghostboot Legion apocrypha it works just fine. The writer, Sterling Gates, seems to have been paying close attention to how Levitz has been portraying Brainiac 5 in the meet-the-Legion arc of Adventure Comics, because he matches it note-perfect (and artist Matt Camp really helps him sell it; see page 43 for an example).

My favourite thing about this issue is when Supergirl says, "We're going to need an army to get into Satan Girl's base, right? [...] I know just where we can get one." I won't spoil it for you; go read the comic yourselves. It's worth the price of admission.

Much of the story is taken up by establishing the relationship between Supergirl and the Legion, which a lot of people have been wanting to get established, and this Annual obliges us by covering a lot of ground. After this comic book, it's not going to be necessary to rehash the really early Supergirl/Legion stories anymore; they've been dealt with. I guess there are a few more that might come up, although I'd be willing to skip the one where Brainy builds the Supergirl robot in his sleep.

Also grateful that Satan Girl's origin has been updated; I'd rather an alien demon than another freaking red Kryptonite story. And, while we're at it, just how many stories were there where the villain was secretly Supergirl? Plus, Stanicule Gyrstress of Brocia is reusable, and the Legion could use more decent villains. (Oh yes they could.)

One problem with the Legion's expanded profile within the DCU... you really have to pay attention to make sure you get all the relevant comics. I don't think I've missed anything important yet; fingers crossed. Anyway, this comic book had a lot of Annual-appropriate content, some really nice art, a cool twist, and it seems to be setting important stuff up for the future. I'm a lot more impressed by it than I am by what Levitz and Sharpe have been doing in Adventure.

- 30th century, not 31st century. Not a mistake!
- Supergirl remembers her time with the threeboot Legion. I'm glad they're taking the time to keep that straight
- Gates even weaves the xenophobia deeper into the Legion's history. But what's the point of being anti-Kryptonian? There basically aren't any Kryptonians!

Panel Count: There were two artists on this issue; let's count them separately. Matt Camp: 127 panels/31 pages = 4.1 panels/page. 1 single-panel page, one double-page combination of three panels. Marco Rudy: 73 panels/20 pages = 4.9 panels/page. At least I think that's what it is; Rudy's idea of what is and isn't a panel is not something that I can gather from looking at this comic book. It's cool! And it's a nice contrast with Camp's fine work in this book, which is very orderly indeed; not only the panel arrangements, but even the looks of the characters. If you don't have a copy of this you should at least flip through one to see what I mean; it's cool.

The cover is done by some combination of Amy Reeder, Richard Friend, and Guy Major. I mention it because I noticed Phantom Girl looking kind of realistically plus-sized on the cover. I don't have a specific preference for this look when it comes to Tinya, but I give the artists credit for allowing themselves to show a superheroine that way in general.

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