Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Supergirl #4 Review

Parents Just Don't Understand

Written by: Steve Orlando
Art by: Brian Ching, Michael Atiyeh and Steve Wands
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 14, 2016

Supergirl is one of those books that seems to slip out of my mind the minute I'm done reading it and then surprise me when it pops again a month later.  Maybe it's the hustle and bustle of these bi-monthly books, but I think there is something more than just that.  I am a big Supergirl fan, but Steve Orlando's story hasn't grabbed me yet and that actually does upset me.  The setup is there...Cyborg Superman and Supergirl working out daddy issues and proving you can go home again sounds like fun on paper, but the lack of likeable (and believable) characters along with a slow pace has got me bored already.  Of course, a cyborg arming heading off to take over Earth kinda sounds cool and that's where last issue left off.  So, does this issue get things rolling in a big way?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with Ben Rubble and we see that he wasn't lying about his parents being less hands-on than normal parents, but that all has to wait as the city is attacked by Cyborg Superman's army of...well, they're also cyborgs.

After an odd remark about his "true eyes", Zor-El asks the Earthlings for a helping hand.  This is less "little help here" and more "you are all cattle to me", but we see Earth is ready to fight back.  It's a "Code 1880" and Jeremiah Danvers and Cameron Chase leap into action, but not before getting ahold of Dr. Veritas to check on Lar-On.  Seriously?  This is such a forced scene down to the Veritas reminding the reader that Lar-On is indeed a wolf man!  I know it's been a bunch of issues since we saw him, but give us readers a little credit.  I mean, Orlando pretty much pushed him as a guy who had a huge chip on his shoulder over Zor-El, so we all figured he'd be back some time, right?

Of course, Cameron also wants to know where the hell Supergirl is and right on cue we head off to see just that.  She is in some sort of holding cell being watched by her Mother, Alura.  Her other mother, Eliza, lie dying on the floor and Supergirl can't do anything about it.  What's a girl to do?  Beg and plead, that's what.  Unfortunately, her cyborg mother just wants to talk about Odic Forces.  Not a great ice breaker, if you ask me!

Up until now, I will admit that I was having some fun with this issue, but after finding out that Cat Grant has a panic room to avoid Lois Lane and Jeremiah keeps his body armor under his car seat (I guess that was a joke...maybe), I was right back in ridiculous territory.

Back with Supergirl, things get a better as Kara and Alura have a little "be careful what you wish for" talk, but Orlando decides to get heavy handed and cliched again as Supergirl convinces her mother that what she is doing isn't right and in a "FWWWWWWWZZZASSSSHHH" (what sound is that?!?!), Eliza is back in action.

The issue ends with the Supergirl version of the Canary Cry and the cyborg army running rampant in the streets of National City.  I know that I'm supposed to care, but for some reason, there is now tension here whatsoever.

Steve Orlando needs to make me start caring about the characters in this book.  It's one thing to have side characters not mean much to the reader, but the main ones should have an impact.  It's not that I hate them, I just don't care.  That goes all the way to Supergirl who is just not that interesting to me here.  The story is also overly cliched and when Steve Orlando feels the need to explain things, it gets hokey as hell. I guess what I'm saying is that it's not very good!

Brian Ching's art is good.  Sure, it's very cartoony, but I never scoffed at anything because of that.  It actually fits the tone of the book and that's something that often doesn't happen.

Bits and Pieces:

This issue is not filler, but not a lot happens to push the story forward and what we get is kind of boring.  Actually, it's also cliched and forced and that is not a good recipe for fun.  While I like the art enough, I just can't make myself care about what's going on here.  I love Supergirl and hope it improves, but I can't recommend what we are getting now.


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