Supergirl #32 // Review
The ruler of 42 different star systems ordered the destruction of the planet Krypton. When this information comes to light, it’s only a matter of time before a couple of surviving Kryptonians are going to seek her out. When the mercenary responsible for carrying out this ruler’s wishes also shows-up, things get considerably more complicated in the Supergirl #32. Writer Marc Andreyko wraps-up a chapter in the saga of Krypton with the aid of artist Kevin Maguire. It’s a really, really fast-paced issue with cleverly-executed action that launches the series into DC’s Year of the Villain crossover event.
Supergirl, Superboy and Krypto have arrived on the throne world of the Trilium Collective. They’re there to bring Gandelo to justice. She is responsible for ordering the destruction of their home planet. Theoretically, it should be a pretty easy conflict. Theoretically, Supergirl should be able to clean-up and head back to Earth for a bubble bath and a sloppy joe or a ham and swiss. Unfortunately, things are going to get complicated. Rogol Zaar has arrived on the throne world too, and he’s interested in merely killing Gandelo for his own reasons. A two-way fight quickly gets cast into something for messier in a very quickly-moving issue.
Andreyko makes-up for his speedy, little rush through a potential long-range space epic with a quick, little issue-length combat between a couple of Kryptonians and a menacing imperial villain. The overall outline of the issue feels a bit weak, but that’s largely because it covers little more than a single battle. The crisp dialogue that Andreyko allows Supergirl and Superboy keeps the story solidly entertaining through moments that could feel like a LOT of other caped superbeing battles. The distinctive personalities of the Kryptonians and their sudden need to protect the person they’re trying to bring-in keep the action briskly moving from beginning to end.
An issue like this demands a really smooth action that can feel both powerfully alien while maintaining the authentic, very human emotional drama that comes when gods clash. Kevin Maguire delivers the action with a fluid sense of tension in a world that feels pulpy without feeling kitschy. Heroes battle villains in a space fantasy city that feels sleek and futuristic. Maguire makes Supergirl feel inspiringly defiant in a conflict that might have felt pretty flat in other hands. An issue-length battle typically gets dull somewhere around the midpoint, but Maguire’s dynamic shifts in perspective power the action through from the opening panel to the end.
Andreyko’s story has been lurching through the first half of the year, occasionally coming across with brilliance and sometimes feeling strangely dull. With this issue, Andreyko regains a sense of power and impact about the series that will hopefully launch it in a good direction for chapters to come. Maguire really aids the series. He seems to have a much better grasp of how to bring Andreyko’s story to the page in a way that feels interesting.