Review by Ian Keogh
Seemingly feeling their ‘New 52’ version of Supergirl wasn’t tied in enough to the 2015 Supergirl TV show, DC began running digital comics where her adventures featured all the background elements of the visual experience. Here we have the Fort Rozz escapees, Director Hank Henshaw of the Department of Extra-Normal Operations, Supergirl’s step sister Alex Danvers, and Win Schott, although not much other mention of Catco and staff.
Sterling Gates keeps matters relatively light and frothy, as if he’s producing the all-ages animated version of the Supergirl TV series, yet with enough tension to ensure the pages turn (or, originally, the ‘next’ button was hit). Anyone who enjoys the TV show will feel right at home here, and Gates is canny enough to write stories that feed off the show, running parallel to it without giving anything away. He features aliens, presumably once incarcerated on Fort Rozz, but also characters comic readers will be familiar with. He extends that theme through the use of names that’ll induce a smile in those who recognise them, but aren’t required knowledge.
The content breaks down broadly into four stories, opening with Supergirl fighting Rampage (think female Hulk), then having to deal with the digital manipulations of Vril Dox, someone interfering with her dreams and the revelation of a connection and purpose behind all these threats.
While most of the art could be considered cartooning, there’s a broad church within that from the naturalism of Emanuela Lupacchino to the equally effective, but more angular distortions of Jonboy Meyers. Bengal (sample art), Pop Mhan, Carmen Carnero, Cat Staggs, and Emma Vieceli are all up to scratch on the remaining chapters. Perhaps wisely with so many artists, there’s no attempt to provide cast likeness except in the broadest sense.
This isn’t a book to pick up if you’re not a viewer of the TV show. At the very least you’ll be left wondering about Hank Henshaw’s timely intervention in the penultimate chapter. Those who do watch the TV show and enjoy the Bridget Jones elements of Kara Danvers in her civilian cloak may be disappointed, as Supergirl’s name is the title, and Supergirl is what we get.