Krypto the Superdog is fighting for his life, and Znd’r Kol, Coluan Indiana Jones ripoff, is pleading him not to die on him. They’ve been taken in by Lord Gandelo who, it appears, is Znd’rs adoptive parent. It turns out that Gandelo had sent Znd’r to observe Supergirl, but instead, Znd’r decided to help Supergirl, and Gandelo feels wildly betrayed.
On the other side of the same warship, Kara and the Omega Men are leading a fight against Splyce, who still hasn’t changed her unfortunately spelled name three issues in. Kara’s quickly losing power, and Splyce has learned not to hit the Kryptonian with Tamaranean solar energy, so Kara has to reserve what power she might have. What Splyce has decided to do, though, is show Kara what other powers she has, morphing into a horned alien beast thing with multiple tongues and appendages. From his safe vantage point, Hokum watches with joy and plans on possibly fusing her arms onto Splyce once she’s dead. Kara tries to convince Splyce that she doesn’t need to be Kara’s enemy, and in the meantime, a young alien slave tries to make her escape, but ends up dead in the process. The death fills Kara with vengeance, an emotion that is more and more becoming Supergirl’s motivation.
Back on their side of the ship, Kol tries to convince his adoptive mother that Kara is more than Gandelo views her as, but Gandelo remains unconvinced. She tries to scare Znd’r into submission, but he’s not really the submissive type – sexy space archaeologists rarely are, really – and though Gandelo tries to force Kol to come with her, he refuses. Krypto wakes up and, seeing them argue, and seeing how Gandelo is roughing up Kol, springs into action and blasts Gandelo’s offending hand off with laser vision. Kol and Krypto make off away from the madwoman.
Kara, meanwhile, finds herself in possession of Rogol Zaar’s axe again, and feels the axe tap into her anger and vengeance. She comes close to using the axe to kill Splyce, but ultimately decides that she’s not a killer. Primus of the Omega Men arrives, then, and tells Kara they have no time to waste. They leave Splyce behind to deal with Hokum, and as she does so, sees Z’ndr and Krypto make their getaway as well. She promises to find them, but first has to tie up some loose ends, and in doing so, meets Starfire’s very hunky brother Ryand’r. Things seem to have settled down for awhile, and Kara thinks over her memories of her father, and his cloning tech, when she realizes that the scars on the Omega Men’s rescued friends seem familiar – they're cloning scars. She runs to warn the others, but is too late – the clones have attacked, and Hokum has created his own army of Supergirl-clones to act as an army for him.
Though Supergirl started off strong when it was brought back in the wake of Bendis’ Superman relaunch, it has to be said that the last couple of issues seem to have strayed away from the mission statement set forth by the first few installments – that Supergirl was going to travel into space and find out what really happened to Krypton. Sure, she’s technically still on the case, but this detour with Hokum and the Omega Men seem to simply be stalling a story that ought to be told, and that’s something of a disappointment. While it was easy to make some allowances for how Kara was being written differently between Orlando’s take on her and Andreyko’s, here we have a Kara who is imbued with vengeance and anger, and while it makes some measure of sense, it’s a far cry from the powerful, compassionate character we had earlier, and she doesn’t always work as well as her previous incarnation, who was a beacon of light in troubled times. Yes, Kara’s on a personal journey as well as an actual one, but her previous personality is just a little bit missed.
It was always obvious that Kol wasn’t quite up to any good, but being Gandelo’s adoptive kid was an interesting twist. It explains why he doesn’t seem quite as Coluan or Brainiac-ish as other characters we’ve seen from his home world. Andreyko is clearly setting up some sort of future triangle between Kara, Kol, and the newly reintroduced Ryand’r, who Kara was making goo goo eyes at when they met. (Not tha anyone could blame her, really.)
It’s difficult to say where this story is heading now, with this detour, but it’s also unfortunate that the story’s heading in this direction, because it’s far less interesting than that the initial three or four issues of the relaunch had set up.
Eduardo Pansica is a good, capable artist, with some adept storytelling skills, and he hands in some great panels – such as the introductory splash page of Kol comforting a hurt Krypto – but one wonders why Maguire needs so many fill in artists on this book. Rotating artists by arc is one thing, but this is every other issue, and that’s a cause for concern. It also takes you out of the story a bit, especially since Maguire has such a specific style. Reading this story in trade will be a little jarring because of all the changes in artist.
Though it's an action-packed tale filled with some surprising twists, this is an issue that seems to inch further and further away from the core of Supergirl, and that's a disappointment.
Supergirl #27: Mother Doesn’t Always Know Best
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 6/106/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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