Supergirl #31 // Review
The axe of the one who destroyed Supergirl’s home world has drawn her across the galaxy to come face to face with...a couple of notable relatives. It’s a family reunion for the last survivors of Krypton in the latest issue of Supergirl. Marc Andreyko writes an issue that’s drawn by Kevin Maguire and Eduardo Pansica with inks by Sean Parsons and Eber Ferreira. “The House of El: United,” is a reunion between Superman, Superboy, Supergirl and the dog Krypto. Revenge is very much on their minds as they now know a bit more about who was responsible for the destruction of their planet in a fun issue that sets-up a substantial show-down for next issue.
There’s a bit of confusion. Superboy is a bit older than Supergirl remembers him being. This is the least of her concerns, though as the three survivors from the House of El and the last dog of Krypton find themselves in deep space amid a three-party war between the alien races of the Khunds, the Thanagarians, and the Trilium. As luck would have it, Krypton destroyer Rogol Zaar is there. When Supergirl relates what her galactic travels have uncovered, she, Krypto the dog and Superboy head off to confront the woman who ordered the destruction of Krypton.
A reunion between the four Kryptonians is every bit as fun as it should be thanks to a very briskly-paced script by Andreyko. There’s a grim sense of humor about Supergirl’s need for revenge. “No sound in the vacuum of space,” she says in narration, “which is an immense bummer. Because I’d really love to hear the sound of this ax against Zaar’s face.” Supergirl comes across as a formidable revenant hero looking to punish those who had killed so many others. It’s a very satisfying posture for a hero of Supergirl’s power. This is a refreshing note for Andreyko to strike after a few less than satisfying issues.
The tense drama of Maguire’s art serves as a compelling intro to the issue. Supergirl is given the steely strength of grim determination that launches the explosive action of the chapter. His highly detailed work feels immaculate thanks in part to deft inking by Sean Parsons. With the story fully established, Pansica takes over from the sixth page on. From that point on the sweeping energy of Pansica’s art focuses more on movement and percussion of action than drama and detail. The sweeping anger and aggression push the story through to the end of the issue. The visuals of the conflict remain tight throughout even if the drama doesn’t carry well in the under-rendered detail that sets in with Pansica’s art after the fifth page.
There’s a lot the bursts out of the action in this issue that’s been built up throughout the past several issues. The journey to reach this point in Supergirl’s life hasn’t been a very smooth one, but Andreyko and company bring it to the page in a way that would feel clear and dynamic even to those who haven’t been following the story all that closely in recent months. Given all that’s happened in the past six issues, that’s actually quite an accomplishment.