In this review of Supergirl Special #1, Mariko Tamaki makes her spectacular return to the character. Supergirl and Power Girl find some comradery and common ground together.
Supergirl Super Special #1
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Skylar Partridge
Main Cover by: Jamal Campbell
Variant Covers: Frank Cho & Sabine Rich, Will Jack, Ramon Perez, Amancay Nahuelpan & Alejandro Sanchez
Page Count: 39 pages
Release Date: 10-31-2023
This review contains spoilers
Supergirl Special #1 – The Story
Supergirl Special #1 is a story about two twin superheroines from different realities trying to find common ground.
Kara remembers Argo City and Super-Family Sunday dinner.
Supergirl (Kara Zor-El) scrolls through social media posts that discuss the feud between Supergirl and Power Girl. With all of the recons and Crisis events over the past ten years, how do we know where Power Girl has come from? There are no editor notes given. No clues as to what a new reader should be familiar with. If a young reader saw the Supergirl t.v. series on the CW came upon this book, they would be lost. Such lazy editing on this book. The Superman titles have main storylines that compliment one another. This is a very weak conflict between the two Supergirls. They don’t get along because they look alike.
Suddenly, the Super-Twins (Otho-Ra and Osul-Ra) pop up and pester her about Krypton and reminding her she has to attend Super Family Sunday dinner. Among the chaos of the Super-Family eating together, Supergirl is lost in her own thoughts. Jon Kent decides to try and get through the obviously depressed Kara.
She tells him that before she could fly, she could fly. There were footraces that the Argonians ran and she was the fastest in her class. Her classmate, Elsa, and her are in a tie to finish the race. Kara comes out of the memory with Jon asking where she went. Abruptly, Supergirl leaves and goes home. As she leaves, Clark asks Jon if she is okay. Jon says he hopes if he keeps asking one day she will let him
These footraces could have been a good connection with the reader. A similar activity on Krypton to one we do here on Earth. This scene just looks like something out of a Wonder Woman film. There are tunics, bleachers and what look like Nike running cleats on all the runners.In a fantastic place like Argo City on an alien world, this just looks too boring.
Lois Bakes Cupcakes and Two Supergirls Find Common Ground.
Supergirl tosses and turns and dreams of the steel and glass spires of Argo City collapsing. Flaming meteor rocks are falling from the sky. She is awoken by Superman calling her over her communication headset. There is an explosion in a high-rise downtown.
Supergirl and Power Girl fight over who should save a security officer who is trapped on the roof. Power Girl saves the man as Supergirl is slammed by a huge chunk of the building which she disintegrates with heat vision.
Here, I would say that Mariko could have used some dialogue to establish that this was a security officer that was saved from the roof. I had to read this several times to get that. By the end of the story, it becomes clearer. The tussle between Supergirl and Power Girl here makes no sense. The pair have fought together countless times in the past.
When Supergirl returns home she finds Lois Lane has surprised her with a visit and cupcakes. As Supergirl takes a cupcake and tears it in half and makes a kind-of sandwich out of the frosting she confides to Lois that the faster she tried to go the further behind she felt. That included coming too late to be Kal-el’s protector. Lois explains that Superman didn’t need a protector and that she can at just the right time to be Supergirl.
Lois Lane has never been written in her 85 years of history as someone who can cook or bake. She might have an old energy bar from the early 2000s in her purse. Plus, she mentions here that her mother used to feed depression.
After Lois leaves, Power Girl shows up abruptly through the window. Power Girl asks if she is going to offer her a cupcake and Supergirl says she can have a vanilla one. She confides to Supergirl that the security officer said “Thanks Supergirl, you’re my favorite.” as he was being taken to the ambulance. They both laugh at that.
Then, Power Girl makes the same cupcake sandwich. Supergirl remembers her father consoling her after the footrace loss. Supergirl says that both of them being there doesn’t make it easier for either of them, but it’s a destiny they share. Power Girl says that Supergirl is her favorite too.
Given the great opportunity that Mariko Tomaki had to bring Supergirl into the upper eschelons of the DC Universe here, I think she failed. Muted inking and tepid colors make for a boring read. This was a bloated 4 page story at its best. DC Comics should be ashamed of themselves for treating a character like Supergirl in this way.
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