Supergirl and Krypto have come across Superman and Superboy – the Jon Kent version – in space, thanks to Rogol Zaar’s axe. Kara’s surprised to see that Jon has aged up and asks – with some measure of seriousness – how long she’s been gone. Kal and Jon fill Kara on what she’s missed out while she’s been in space – namely that Jon had gone away with Jor-El for awhile and had gotten aged up, and they were currently in the middle of a war between the Khunds, the Thanagarians, and the forces of the Trilium empire, all of whom wanted Jor-El dead. General Zod was part of this war, as was Jax-Ur and – most importantly to Kara – Rogol Zaar, who she calls dibs on. Kal tells her not to be impulsive and Kara explains that she’s not being impulsive – she’s had a long time to think about this.
A long, fierce battle is waged in space, and though they’re fighting for their lives, something feels right to Kara about it – namely that she’s fighting alongside her family. Kara’s able to track down Rogol Zaar and they get into a no-holds-barred fight. As she pummels him, she wishes that there was some sound in space so that she could hear his pain. Unfortunately for Kara, Jon intercedes on the fight, and she nearly loses Zaar’s axe, but she’s able to call it back to her before he can get his hands on it.
Once the fight is over, the Kara reconvenes with her family and has a warm group hug with everyone except for her uncle Jor-El, who asks her if what she has with her is Zaar’s staff. Kara explains that it’s hers now before launching into an explanation of how she got it, and giving them the truth of Krypton’s destruction, including both the involvement of Zaar and Empress Gandelo of the Trilium. Jor-El is angered by the information, because he’s still trying to make the universe a united, better place – though Kal asks him why people are always trying to kill him if that’s the case. Realizing that she doesn’t need to be a part of that conversation, Kara goes to talk to Jon, who wants to join Kara on her adventures in space. Kara explains that Kal might not be a fan of that plan.
Realizing there’s still more work to be done, Kara prepares to leave, and Jon teleports both Kara and Krypto back to the war zone they had just exited, where Kara – with Jon and Krypto in tow – bursts in on Empress Gandelo, who was in the middle of declaring war on all Kryptonians.
Though it started out with a strong first few issues, the book started to falter a little bit in the middle when the plot seemingly moved away from the mission statement that the book was relaunched with – Kara’s quest to find out what had happened to Krypton. This issue is a step in the right direction for the book, tying up some loose ends now that Kara knows the truth, and reuniting her with members of her family. Kara feels less adrift and more whole than she has in the last few issues – more in charge of herself and her surroundings. She’s even more in control of the axe, which has been an interesting plot device throughout the series so far. Supergirl is generally the last person you’d think of as needing a weapon, but it’s been interesting seeing her with a weapon that channels her rage…something that feels very similar to her time as a Red Lantern.
Andreyko does a great job writing the family dynamics between the various members of the House of El, but family dynamics have always been Andreyko’s strongest suit, a talent that stretches back to his days writing Manhunter. Seeing Kara reconnect with Jon, and feel at home with family is wonderful, given what she’s gone through in recent issues. It’s centered her and powered her in ways that seem to have helped the character find her way back to herself. Once this space arc wraps up, it’ll be interesting to see if Kara gets to spend any more time with her family, and what that might look like. She already has a great relationship with Kal and Jon, but there’s a whole dearth of history that she has with her uncle Jor-El that’s as yet unexplored. It could be some interesting things to dig into, if Andreyko were so inclined.
Until the last issue or so, Gandelo has been more of a behind-the-scenes villain, meddling in Kara’s life in every which way she possibly could, but not directly confronting her. Now Kara’s brought the fight to her, and seeing that play out should be interesting, given everything that Kara has experienced because of Gandelo’s actions.
The art duties here are divided by Kevin Maguire and Eduardo Pansica on pencils, and Sean Parsons and Eber Ferreira on inks, and what you end up with is two very different aesthetics. Maguire and Pansica are both wonderful artists, but their styles simply don’t gel, and so it’s a little jarring to shift from one art style to another, given how different their styles are in mood. Pansica’s work does work very well in the action sequences in the latter half of the book, and while Maguire’s Supergirl tends to be incredibly expressive, Pansica’s is wonderfully strong and willful. FCO Plascencia covers colour duties on this issue, giving all of the art styles some form of cohesion. Still, one does wish that Maguire had done some of the later panels in the book, like the group hug and the moment where the House of El rallies “for Kandor” because he’s so good at those emotional moments. Perhaps the best panel in the book, though, is the very last splash page, with Kara ready to pay Gandelo back for the horrors the other woman has forced the House of El and Krypton through.
The book finally seems to be back on track, now that Supergirl had found the answers she was seeking and is finally able to do something about them.
Supergirl #31: United And It Feels So Super
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 6/106/10
Art - 6/106/10
Color - 7/107/10
Cover Art - 6/106/10
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