Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Adventures of Supergirl Chapter #4 Review and *SPOILERS*

Sitting On the Dox of the Bay

Written By: Sterling Gates
Art By: Jonboy Meyers, John Rauch
Letters By: Saida Temofonte
Digital Price: $0.99
Release Date: March 7, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

I’m reviewing the Supergirl digital comic, I’m recapping episodes of Supergirl on CBS every Monday—I’ve got Supergirl coming outta my ears! Not that I’m complaining, I love that plucky Kryptonian youngster. There was no new episode on television this past Monday, but there was a digital comic book chapter! This begins a new arc, and while Bengal has left and been replaced by the eminently talented Jonboy Meyers, super-Supergirl Scribe Sterling Gates remains to keep continuity right and tight…at least, we hope he will! How’s he doing so far? Read on and find out!

Explain It!:

First thing we see is the headline of National City’s premiere newspaper, The Daily Tribune, which is clearly owned and operated by CatCo because it has a hashtag: #SEWERGIRL. This tells me that yes, Virginia, there is continuity between arcs of this comic, which is not necessarily the case for all digital or digital-first comic books. It details Supergirl’s last adventure, when she fought against the alien with sibling issues Rampage and got rescued by her sister Alex and the Department of Extra-normal Operations. While humiliating some gun-toting thieves, Supergirl gets a call from James at CatCo who tells her to hurry up and get to work right away because he needs help with Excel. She shows up in full Kara Danvers street clothes to find a SWAT team converging on staff computer nerd Winn Schott, assault guns drawn. They arrest him, roughly, and Winn tells Kara not to interfere because they probably know about his browser history and he watches a lot of “hand stuck in the drain” porn. Just then, Cat Grant shows up and sputters a bunch of demonstrative and demeaning phrases which rings completely true to the character we know from the television show.

Later, Kara and James are at the Supercave, and James says the cops told him that they were investigating Winn for “doxxing,” which sounds like a cool new dance but it actually the practice of releasing all of someone’s personal information over the internet including financial statements and whatever is stashed on their hard drives. Kara turns on the computer, which is too adorable—the very idea of any millennial “turning off” their electronics and not putting them in a sleep mode or just letting the screens go to a screen saver is so lol that I would even say it is lmao. Upon booting up, the computer screen goes green and suspiciously Brainiac’s head-esque, then an emoji face pops up and thanks them for turning him on. Before James and Kara undress to have the first human-alien-computer threeway on record, the emoji explains that it is named V.R.I.L.: Virtual Remote Integration Logistics, and he is Winn’s helper daemon. Before it can be asked any pertinent questions, the screen switches to the interior of the SWAT Team van taking Winn downtown (where all police stations are located in every city) where they all get a bulletin on their smart phones that says Winn is a wanted terrorist. Before the SWAT team can clobber him stupid, Supergirl rips open the van and makes a big show of whisking the “terrorist” away to some rooftop. There, Winn explains that V.R.I.L. isn’t his helper daemon—there isn’t any such thing. He’s actually the “ultimate hacker,” someone who can get any bit of information for a price, and Winn recently discovered that he’s not even human! All the while a security camera watches the two of them chit-chat, and we see it is being operated by Vril Dox, who we DC fans know is the onetime son and later clone of Brainiac! And he knows Supergirl’s secret identity!

I loved how this old DC character from the Silver Age could be connected to modern language by name, though it’s a matter of coincidence I’m sure. I’m betting it is also coincidence that Brainiac shows up here, when another member of Brainiac’s family, Indigo, appeared on the last episode of Supergirl. Jonboy employs a more distended, cartoony style on this comic than his predecessor, but has all of the movement and playfulness that made me love the first three chapters. And I daresay the colors were even brighter in this chapter. I appreciated learning that this will be a cumulative story, which will make me appreciate open endings (like the way chapter 3 concluded) a lot more. I dig this book, it’s a cool Supergirl story so far and I still say you can enjoy it without watching the television show! But it does help.

Bits and Pieces:

The very first panel of this comic lets us know that this is a cumulative story with its own continuity, which isn’t always true of DC’s digital comics. So there is a payoff to stick with it if you’re enjoying it enough to spend two bucks a month. This chapter pits Kara against alien computer nerdery, which is a good match-up because her nerdliness is very strong when she puts on a sweater set. And she’s an alien, to boot. Jonboy Meyers and John Rauch take over art duties for this chapter and do an absolutely bang-up job with it. If you can’t enjoy this comic, then you suck.


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