The Evolutionist attacks Kara Danvers’ prom, and Kara must figure out a way to save her school without exposing her true identity to everyone in the room – including the DEO. Meanwhile, Cameron Chase and Dr. Shay Veritas come far too close to figuring out Dr. Bones’ secrets and one of them may have to pay the ultimate price!
Writers: Steve Orlando & Jodie Houser
Artist: Carmen Carnero
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Steve Wands
Cover: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, Michael Atiyeh
Variant Cover: Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Editor: Jessica Chen
What You Need to Know:
The Evolutionist – the latest in a line of new alien supervillains that Supergirl has faced in this arc – has crashed Kara Danvers’ prom, looking to purge the world of Supergirl, and thereby the planet of her supposedly toxic presence. Supergirl, as always, saves the day (if not the prom) and finally makes an argument for herself against the DEO.
What You’ll Find Out:
That strong, tough alien women are not fans of Supergirl. Last month, Decelia had no love for her, and this month, the Evolutionist has even less. The Evolutionist is in search of Supergirl because she believes that Supergirl’s very existence on Earth is a toxic presence that needs to be purged so that she no longer upsets the natural balance of things. While Kara hurriedly tries to find a secret place to change into Supergirl without arousing suspicion, Agent Ocampo of the DEO tells new girl Belinda Zee to go stop the Evolutionist, because she knows her true identity. (Agent Ocampo is mistaken, of course, because despite whatever secrets Belinda Zee may be harboring, Supergirl she is not.) No sooner has Agent Ocampo finished calling out Belinda Zee than Supergirl is suddenly on scene (having secretly changed in a photo booth, wisely having grabbed the evidence before swooping in to separate the Evolutionist from the prom-goers and the DEO.)
Supergirl asks the Evolutionist why she’s after her, and the Evolutionist reiterates her belief that Supergirl is there to protect Earth from her influence. Being able to manipulate gravity, she stops throws Supergirl down to the ground and via a thumb-to-forehead psychic connection shows Kara her past. Much like Decelia’s in the last issue, it’s another tragic backstory.
You see, the Evolutionist is the last survivor of her planet. (Sound familiar?) Her planet was from an evolved, peaceful society who were visited by missionaries from another planet – missionaries who unwittingly brought deadly pathogens to the people of the Evolutionist’s home. There was war, people died, and only the Evolutionist survived. Her mission from then was clear – to make sure the same thing would never happen to another planet.
Supergirl makes an attempt to find even ground with the Evolutionist, but she’s having none of it and goes back to trying to beat Supergirl into submission. It’s a short-lived fight because soon enough, Supergirl fights back and shares a memory of her own – a call back to issue six of the series, where she tells her father that she’s not just there to inspire Earth, she’s there so that Earth can inspire her too.
This is something that the Evolutionist hadn’t accounted for. She’d assumed that Supergirl was there to change Earth, not that she had the ability to change from Earth, to learn from this new home of hers and become one of them. Stunned, and given a lot to think about, the Evolutionist leaves.
Seeing their chance to finally capture Supergirl, Agent Ocampo tells her that she’s under arrest. Supergirl reminds the DEO agent that she’s saved her life before and that she’s saved the students at her high school more than once too – and that she remembers the names and faces of everyone she’s saved. She tells her that no matter what, she will always continue to help, and then asks if Ocampo really wants to arrest her. Ocampo, cowed, starts to explain that it’s not about what she wants, but she never gets a chance to finish because Supergirl flies away.
A moment later, Kara reappears asking if things were safe yet. No one seems to have noticed that she was missing, and her friend Ben checks to make sure she’s fine before offering her a ride home.
Ben and Kara get a chance to connect on the drive away from the prom. They discuss their work for Catco, and Ben voices his concerns about writing pieces that attack Supergirl, even if he’s not certain that her presence is beneficial. Kara stands up for Supergirl, and that’s when Ben points out that in his eyes, it’s not Supergirl who’s the real inspiration, but Kara herself. In that moment, Kara starts to understand that she can actually make a difference as Kara Danvers, something she’s been struggling with since the start of the arc. She and Ben share their first kiss and spend the rest of the night on the beach.
She wakes with a start the next morning, still on the beach, her hair, having reverted to its natural Supergirl blonde. There’s a hostage crisis and Supergirl is about to bolt, when she learns that the DEO has it covered. Realizing that her adoptive mother Eliza is right about finding her own moments of happiness, she hangs back, not wanting to leave Ben alone and asleep on the beach.
Meanwhile, Dr. Shay Veritas – holed away in her underground lab, the Scabbard – believes she’s close to putting together some of Dr. Bones’ secrets so that she and Cameron Chase can take him down. She puts everything together – the fact that Tycho has Supergirl’s ship, the Psycho-Redactor device used to mess with the current villains’ memories…and she realizes that Bones is working with someone called the Surgeon of Armagetto. Just as she reveals this, Mokkari, who has been working with Bones, teleports into the Scabbard. Gun pointed in Dr. Veritas’ face, he explains that though Bones has declared her off-limits, he’s not there right now, which puts her in grave danger indeed.
What Just Happened?
One of the best things about this arc has been witnessing Kara standing her own ground and standing up for herself against all of the outside influences who have been trying to knock her down. Last issue, she stood up against Agent Jagger, and this time around, it was against Agent Ocampo. It’s a positive thing, seeing her owning her own power and the good that she can do with it, and refusing to play by anyone’s rules when she knows they’re wrong. It’s also commendable seeing what a good job Orlando and Houser are doing giving Kara positive reinforcements throughout the arc. Between Insight two issues ago and Ben in this issue, Kara’s been able to discover that she’s been a positive influence on people both as Supergirl and as Kara Danvers, which means that she’s not quite the failure she’s sometimes worried that she is. She’s doing her best, and people are noticing that, appreciating it, and being inspired by it.
It’s going to be interesting to see where the Belinda Zee subplot is going to end up going. In other continuities, she’s been Supergirl’s Bizarro-esque counterpart, calling herself Superior Girl. That may not seem to be the case here – she certainly isn’t Kara’s duplicate – but she does seem to be Kara’s equal in many ways. The fact that Agent Ocampo believes that Belinda is Supergirl could lead to interesting – and predictably terrible – consequences.
The art by Carmen Carnero is clean, crisp, and easy to follow. It easily fits into the DC Comics house style, perfected by the likes of Jason Fabok, Ivan Reis, and others, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Carnero has a great, subtle way of differentiating the body language between Supergirl and Kara Danvers, and the Evolutionist looks appropriately menacing. The romantic beach scene between Kara and Ben is crisply rendered, and it’s nice to see the book continuing a tradition of not over-sexualizing Supergirl, even in a romantic moment.
Final Thoughts: One of the best things that this volume of Supergirl has going for it is that it’s exploring Kara Zor-El both in her civilian identity as Kara Danvers and in her superheroic identity as Supergirl, and it’s delving into her own insecurities as both, and allowing her some growing pains as she settles into life on Earth with a new identity and family. Previous versions of the character never quite did the same, and it’s a smart move on Orlando and Houser’s part. It’s clear that they have long-term plans for where they want to take Supergirl, and that’s refreshing to see during a time where creators aren’t really staying on books for that long. If you’re looking for a solid, classic, coming-of-age superhero book that’s doing some great character work, this is definitely a book you should check out. It’s well worth it.
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