Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Comic Book Wednesday #5

Comic Book Wednesday

Issue #5

Supergirl #65
Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Pencils by ChrisCross
DC Comics

Supergirl goes to college in this new three issue arc by Kelly Sue DeConnick (Marvel's Osborn), who writes the character with humor and heart. This story reminds us that while Supergirl will throw out a Buffy-esque one-liner at villains before she kicks their asses, Kara Zor-El is still new to this planet and the way that humans kid around with each other. After two jokes that Lois tries to crack end up confusing Kara, Lois sends her on a reconnaissance mission at a local college to investigate the disappearance of some students. She ends up rooming with a girl who is entirely too excited for the whole dorm experience, which led to this funny and revealing exchange:

SHIRLEY: Do you know what you'll major in?
SHIRLEY: Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?
SHIRLEY: Have you thought about having kids?
SHIRLEY: Do you want to see if the cafeteria's open?

Throwing Supergirl in with people who are her "peers" (read as: human counterparts of a similar age) serves to show how different she is than them, and it's not just because of her powers. She's confident with being a hero now... it's the day-to-day life that she continues to struggle with. Kelly Sue DeConnick seems to be using this final arc of this volume of Supergirl to explore who Kara Zor-El is and isn't as a young woman. My one major issue with the comic, though, is the art is very exaggerated for a story that is, while still action packed, very subtle. Supergirl and Lois have a very quiet conversation in the car, but artist ChrisCross handles those scenes like he handles any other of his books... with strange facial expressions, eyes popping out, and gesticulations that take attention right away from the conversation. It's hard to tell what's going on in some of the action panels as well.

While ChrisCross's art is at times hard to look at, DeConnick's incredible writing makes this story worthy of being the series finale of this volume of Supergirl. There are a bunch of one-liners that made me laugh ("Henry Octavious Flyte! Bastard ne'er-do-well. I should have put hat on calling cards" and "Do they have to be robots? It's been kind of a robot-y few weeks for me...") and there are many scenes in this that seem to plant the seeds for what will be a great story about Supergirl as a hero and a teenager.

NEXT WEEK: An interview with SUPERGIRL writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick!

The Cape (one shot)
Written by Jason Ciaramella
Based on the short story by Joe Hill
Art by Zach Howard
IDW Publishing

Joe Hill's Locke and Key is one of the main reasons that IDW Publishing is probably the creatively strongest comic book publishing company making funny books. It's scary as shit, adds to the medium as a whole, plays with form, looks beautiful, and just tells a damn good story. Best of all, it's something completely different. No one has ever done a comic like Locke and Key before.

So here's another effort from Joe Hill and IDW... The Cape, a one-shot comic that writer Jason Ciaramella scripted based on a short story by Hill. Let's just say that Locke and Key is absolutely not a fluke. Hill is the strongest writer to hit the scene in a very long time, and I have to say... I'm a bit angry at myself for not catching this when it first came out. While this legacy edition offers awesome the awesome extra of the original short story with Ciaramella's notes, the story itself is something that I wish I'd had in my library for longer. It's that good.

IDW is about to do a The Cape miniseries co-written by Joe Hill and Jason Ciaramella. If it's half as good as this--and with Hill's track record, you'd better believe it will be--it will give the entire industry a kick in the ass. Fucking The Cape, man...

I'll end the review with one of the most pretentiuous things a man can do... quoting himself. I think this will work here, though. "It's scary as shit, adds to the medium as a whole, plays with form, looks beautiful, and just tells a damn good story. Best of all, it's something completely different. No one has ever done a comic like (The Cape) before."

NEXT WEEK: Superman #712

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