Supergirl #22 // Review
The distant planet of Krypton was on the verge of destruction due to instability at the planet’s core. Only a couple of people had enough foresight to send their kids off-planet in order to survive. One of those kids turns out to be Supergirl. But what if Krypton didn’t “die” of natural causes? What if it was actually...killed? It’s an interesting premise explored Supergirl #22, written by Marc Andreyko with Kevin Maguire penciling work inked by Sean Parsons. Color comes to Supergirl this issue courtesy of Mexico-based artist FCO Plascencia. This issue sees the second part of The Killers of Krypton story that has its origins in events taking place in Brian Michael Bendis’ current Superman storyline.
As the issue opens, Supergirl is traveling across the galaxy in a spiffy, little spacecraft with her superdog Krypto. Also in the craft is the seemingly semi-sentient axe of Rogol Zaar--a powerful alien who claimed to have been the one who destroyed Krypton. Girl, dog and axe are off to to the planet Mogo...home of the Green Lantern Corps. Evidently, the archives at Mogo might have information about the destruction of Krypton that may well have been some kind of conspiracy. On approach, the craft goes a little haywire. The axe freaks out and destroys the entire craft, stranding it, Supergirl, and Krypto in space until the Green Lanterns Kyle, John, and B’dg come along and save them. From there, Supergirl sneaks around a bit trying to get information from the files of Mogo...an objective that proves to be considerably more complicated than a quick Google search.
Andreyko delivers a really cool Supergirl to the page. She’s on a road trip to investigate the possible first degree intentional geocide of Krypton. Kind of a big deal. Supergirl is suitably heroic here. She doesn’t exactly trust the Lanterns, and there’s a mountain of red-tape to climb through before she could ever hope to find what she’s looking for. So she’s on her own. It’s just a girl, her dog, and a semi-sentient homicidal demon axe from hell. Andreyko forms something of a team out of the three of them that feels fresh and interesting. The dialogue is crisp. Supergirl has wit about her. There’s a very clever interplay between what she says and what she thinks, which turns out to be a lot of fun. Andreyko focuses much of the action squarely on Supergirl, where it belongs. With such unwavering focus on her, she comes across as being profoundly cool.
A fair amount of the coolness of Supergirl comes from Kevin Maguire and Sean Parsons. There are quite a few characters in here who AREN’T Supergirl, but she’s most of it. Maguire and Parsons give Supergirl a full range of emotional reactions, with a wealth of subtlety playing across her face with so much charisma and attitude. She’s fun to hang out with for 19 pages. As there are so few other elements to distract from Supergirl, the story feels like a very pleasant chance to hang out with the character socially while she engages in a restless investigation into history.
Andreyko and company are developing a genuinely distinctive kind of fun here between Supergirl, her axe, and her dog. They’re treating her dog and the axe as other characters, and it lends an enjoyably offbeat tone to the action heroine. It’ll be interesting to see if Andreyko and company can maintain the pleasant novelty of the series once The Killers of Krypton storyline draws to a close.