After having escaped from the Green Lanterns in the last issue, Kara Zor-El finds herself in an intergalactic dive bar, still seeking answers as to who or what was truly behind Krypton’s destruction. While watching Ambush Bug do a horrible set, Kara catches the attention of a bartender, who tells the aforementioned failed comedian that she’s noticed Kara’s Kryptonian crest. Ambush Bug makes mention of someone else who had been in there earlier, speaking ill of Kryptonians, and Kara hears it all with her superhearing. She asks them about Rogol Zaar, and when they pretend not to know what she’s talking about, so she burns his sigil into the floor of the bar to jog their memories.
Outside the bar, a hooded figure figure comes across Kara’s ship and reaches out to Gandelo to tell him that they believe they’ve found Kara. Gandelo tells them to do nothing but observe and report. The hooded figure doesn’t seem to like those instructions, but acquiesces. Gandelo, not quite trusting the hooded figure, has an independent contractor ready should things with the hooded figure go south.
Inside the bar, Kara uses her superhearing to suss out heart rates, concentrating until she finds the alien she’s looking for. She does, but they run and another alien stops Kara from pursuing. The other alien – a tall, hulking grey thing – asks Kara why she’s looking for Zaar, and then asks if she’s out for revenge against him. The alien tells Kara that most of them are happy that Krypton is gone. Kara, never one to back down from a fight, gets into a bar brawl with the aliens, only to realize that she’s running very low on yellow sun energy. Unable to use her powers judiciously, though, Kara tears a path of destruction through the bar, along with the aid of a green-skinned, blonde-haired male who can only be described as Coluan Star-Lord. After whipping out Rogol Zaar’s axe to win the fight, the alien she was after is ready to talk...only to be vaporized by the bartender. She does find another crystal in his ashes, though, which she helps herself to.
Before Kara leaves the bar, the Coluan Star-Lord introduces himself as Z’ndr Kol. Uninterested in what he has to say, Kara leaves him behind and finds a charging station where she can juice up on some of that sweet yellow sun power. Kol follows her and tells her that he’s on a mission as well and they could maybe help each other out. He wants to find a Coluan colony that’s out in space and he’s great at fixing alpha drives, which is great because the one on Kara’s ship seems damaged.
Kara agrees to take him on, and they ride along in silence until Kol tries to make some awful small talk about how advanced the technology of Kara’s ship is. Kol asks where her mission is taking her, and Kara starts to answer that they’re going to the crime scene, but she starts to feel pain and her nose starts to bleed. She’s surprised, because she shouldn’t be bleeding, and then she collapses, just in time for Kol to realize that they’re at Krypton – or at least where Krypton used to be.
So, does anyone doubt that Z’ndr Kol, aka Coluan Star-Lord (I mean, just drink in that whole aesthetic) is the hooded figure that Gandelo was speaking with earlier? It’s awfully convenient that he was there in the bar just in time to help Kara out in a bar brawl, and even more convenient that he was able to fix the one part of Kara’s ship that was damaged. Granted he could very well be a red (green?) herring, but there’s a lot that’s convenient about him showing up when and how we did. Besides, Brainiac 5 aside, Coluans do tend to be enemies of Kryptonians, and there’s every chance that there’s a horrible twist coming up with the character. Of course, he could simply be a charming, handsome, roguish rake who ends up as an ally of Kara’s on her journey, but that seems a smidge less likely.
Marc Andreyko is doing a wonderful job fleshing Kara Zor-El out, allowing her to grow beyond the confines that being Supergirl on Earth place on her, and letting her own her power and become her own hero. He fleshes out Kara’s knowledge – like her knowledge of alien biology – and he has her using her powers not only in shows of brute strength and force, but also in detective work, such as when she uses her hearing to filter out different heart rates, searching for a specific one that matches a specific sort of alien. It’s great seeing Kara step up and become more of a capable, independent character. Just because she’s Supergirl doesn’t mean she has to live in Superman’s shadow, and Andreyko is making a great argument for why she shouldn’t be.
The mystery of what actually happened to Krypton deepens, and Andreyko plants some interesting seeds here. Gandelo clearly has a long-term plan in mind against Kara, given the multiple agents he’s employing, and there are still others who are working against her, like the bartender, who clearly isn’t a fan of Kryptonians. Why being in Krypton’s vicinity caused Kara to have a nosebleed and fall over is an question I can’t wait to see answered, because there’s obviously a lot that Kara still has to learn, and those likely will not be answers she likes.
Evan “Doc” Shaner, with his classic, timeless style, is a welcome guest artist for this issue. He creates a fully-fleshed out alien bar with many different alien species, some familiar such as the Duran in the background in a few scenes, and others new, like the bartender. His art is expressive and kinetic, and the way he lays out action scenes make them easy to read and follow, while remaining interesting. He allows his characters to have more expressions than one might in an action scene, and there are some real standout panels here. Kara truly feels tired and spent in the panels after the first big fight scene, where she’s huffing and trying to gather herself again. The expressions in the conversation between Kara and Kol later on are great too – natural, human, easy to understand. He makes a great argument here for why he should be allowed back as an artist on Supergirl, it’s some real quality work.
Marc Andreyko is doing some stellar work fleshing Kara Zor-El and her world out into something more substantial, and Doc Shaner makes the adventure a visual treat. Highly recommended.
Supergirl #24: Time for Some Hardball
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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