In the Fortress of Solitude, Brainiac-1 – taking full advantage of the gift of Kryptonian science – is working on evolving himself into the perfect mix of flesh and technology. He comes across a proper Brainiac in stasis, but when he tries to free it, it proves an unusable abomination. Brainiac-1 realizes that he needs a proper Kryptonian to complete his evolution and starts scanning for one, landing on Supergirl. Behind him, Kelex sneaks up on Brainiac-1 to survey what is going on, but Brainiac-1 catches onto him and tries to take him out. Kelex initiates a backup data protocol before he’s completely taken out.
Far away from the Fortress of Solitude, Kara is excited to see Jeremiah Danvers alive and well. She tries to get as much information as she can out of him – who or what Leviathan is, who the soldiers that attacked were – but Jeremiah tells her he needs to do something first. He pays his respects to his late wife, Eliza, and takes her cybernetic hand, since the technology would be too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands. Once they’re a safe distance from prying ears – or so they think – Jeremiah explains to Kara that there’s been a complete upheaval because of Leviathan; global security groups on both sides have been brought down. Unbeknownst to them, a woman in spiky black armour - Agent 37124 - is watching them and assessing them – and she knows Kara’s secret identity. Leviathan is there with her, and he tells her to attack Kara and Jeremiah, but not to harm them. A fight ensues, and while Jeremiah engages in one-on-one combat with Agent 37124, he realizes from the fighting style that his opponent might actually be Eliza.
Meanwhile, Leviathan confronts Supergirl and tries to get her to join them. Supergirl remains snarky towards them, but Leviathan explains that the heroes of the world are trapped in an endless cycle that shows no change. Leviathan presents themselves as a voice of reason – akin to Kara’s uncle and father – and reminds her that she’s survived the death of one homeworld; does she want to be complicit in the destruction of another? He asks her to join him again, but Kara can’t be guilted. She fights back, but before she can do much, Leviathan and the armoured black figure disappear. Kara checks in with Jeremiah, who is okay, and while she tries to get more information on Leviathan, Jeremiah admits he doesn’t know much, though he has his theories.
It’s a short conversation because Kara’s suddenly alerted to danger at the Fortress of Solitude. As she flies away, the green Legion of Doom symbol lights up in the sky behind her. Kara reaches the Fortress of Solitude, only to find Kelex captured and damaged. A voice off-panel tells Supergirl to save her concern for herself. Kara turns to see who is speaking...and screams.
While last issue started out strong – setting up Kara’s direction now that she was back on Earth, including a few mysteries – this issue falters a bit. Partly, this is because this specific storyline feels a little editorially mandated. Granted, with Brian Michael Bendis running the Supership, as it were, all of the other books in the Superman family more than likely have to fall in line and follow the status quo, but the Leviathan mystery doesn’t feel as welcome in the Supergirl book as it does on the tv series. Supergirl generally tends to be at her best when she’s written in stories that are allowed to showcase her compassion, her love for life and the living, and her struggle to live up to a new future while remembering and honoring Krypton’s past. While this story offers a few really good moments – like Jeremiah’s deducing that he might be fighting against Eliza (which is supported by the fact that the character’s numbers, 37124 visually sort of resemble “Eliza”), and Kara allowing to show her fighting chops against Leviathan – overall, there have been better Supergirl stories written, even by Andreyko earlier on in this run. This isn’t to say it’s a bad issue – far from it, to be honest – but it feels as though this might not be the story that Andreyko himself wanted to tell. There was a vibrancy in the way Kara’s space adventure was written that feels a little lacking here, though that may also have to do with the fact that we’re zeroing in on the end of Andreyko’s run on Supergirl, and he had to wrap things up. The one part of the issue that does work is the stuff with Brainiac-1. Ironically, this is also a tie-in, but it’s a vaguer tie-in to the Year of the Villain stuff currently going on at DC, and thusly a far looser tie-in than the Leviathan storyline. Hopefully, Andreyko has enough room and space to wrap that specific story up.
The story is very much elevated by Eduardo Pansica’s pencils. His stuff at the beginning with Brainiac is great – the visual of the monstrous, abominable Brainiac coming out of stasis is great, highlighted especially by Julio Ferrera’s inks and FCO Plascencia’s colors. He perfectly captures both Kara’s joy at finding her adoptive father and how overwhelmed she feels at catching up with everything that has happened on Earth during her absence. Commendable as well is the fight scene between Jeremiah and the woman who might be Eliza. It’s dynamic and brutal. FCO Plascencia’s colors work well here, and the color palette chosen makes sense. While there’s some brightness that comes from Kara and a darker sort of brightness from Leviathan, the colors aren’t so bright as to make this feel like the happy story it’s not. There’s a darkness settling in around Kara because of Leviathan, and the colors illustrate that perfectly.
While not a bad installment of Supergirl, it's also not the best - but a few important revelations and some expressive art save it from being a total wash.
Supergirl #35: Time to Pivot
- Writing - 7/107/10
- Storyline - 6/106/10
- Art - 8/108/10
- Color - 8/108/10
- Cover Art - 6/106/10
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