This extra long 50th issue sees events building from issue 1 come to a climax that pits Supergirl and the other Earth Born Angels against the Carnivean in a battle for Heaven and Earth.
The episode begins with everyone acting out of character. There's been a "moral switch", so now all the 'good' people in the story are acting badly, except for the Earth Born Angels and a few others. Buzz starts acting almost like a nice guy - it's as if he was once good and is now seeing the error in his ways through what Carnivean is doing.
The story races along, with blithe merging with the remains of Matrix from earlier in the series, becoming someone who is capable of standing up for herself in a fight while Andy/Comet are more at ease with themselves. Togetherm, they tackle Carnivean in Heaven, for the showdown in a script that engages the reader from the start and doesn't let up.
The same can't be said about the artwork, though. Although Leonard Kirk draws the demons and locations well, his ability with people is somewhat lacking. There's little detail on any of the characters, making them look flat and unrealistic. Although the colouring adds a little something to this he's overly relying on the colourist to make them characters look right; which is why they don't. It's a shame really, as it comes close to spoiling the story in places.
After the phenomenal issue 50, I was anticipating this issue all month. Unfortunately it doesn't quite meet my expectations. Overall, it's a more relaxes outing than I'd have liked and looks at developing a new vision of Supergirl to the one that we've seen develop so well for 50 issues.
The cover is, as is to be expected, a homage to the cover of issue 1; with Supergirl tearing her costume off, to reveal Linda's clothing underneath. The problem with doing something like this is that the different artists involved can be compared so easily, and we see that the artwork here is nowhere near as good as that of the team responsible for issue 1. Although it looks pretty good, the pencils of Leonard Kirk pale in comparison with the brilliance of Gary Frank.
The issue itself delivers just what I'd expect from Kirk et al: characters that look ever so slightly wrong, but with backgrounds that rarely skimp on detail; as page 11 shows us. Buzz is a case in point of how the characters tend to look wrong: he doesn' stand up properly. Okay, he's supposed to be moping and wallowing in his own self-hatred, but he just looks ever so slightly wrong. Having said that, Linda looks right this issue. Maybe I'm getting used to his style.
The colouring is very good this issue - lots of almost pastel colours for clothing, which makes everything look real. The reflections in the mirror on page 8 are superb, with washed-out colouring and a very good glass effect over the top. Well done.
The story, however, doesn't fit as well with the rest of the series. We find out what Supergirl's powers are far too quickly - she's goes from being unsure of what her powers are and how far she can push them to having everything worked out in just one issue. While I appreciate Peter David's desire to sort out the character's powers quickly and get on with the new story arc (I'm presuming this is a new arc - there are new bad guys brought it) I'm still left with the feeling that everything shouldn't be sorted out this quickly. Even taking just two issues to get her powers worked out would have been better.
The new bad guys have yet to find their feet, so I'm not going to go into too much detail about them here. What I will say is I hope this 'Riot' character doesn't hang around long as, to be honest, he's just not an engrosing character. And while I'm on the subject of things that shouldn't hang around too long - get rid of that new Supergirl costume! It's the same one she wears in the Superman cartoon and while it may suit a younger incarnation of the character (I don't think so but others seem to like it) it just isn't right when worn by a Supergirl in her twenties.
Nob T Mouse
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