Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Superwoman #14 Review and **SPOILERS**

I’m Less Destructive Since I Destroyed Everything

Writer: K. Perkins 
Penciller: Stephen Segovia 
Inker: Art Thibert 
Colorist: Hi-Fi 
Letterer: Josh Reed 
Cover: Ken Lashley & Hi-Fi 
Cover Price: $3.99 
On Sale Date: September 13, 2017


Man, that Lana Lang is sure having some trouble getting a hold on these super powers, huh? Don’t you worry—she’s new to this. She’ll get the hang of it eve…what? It’s the fourteenth issue? You say Superwoman’s got two trades and then some in the can already? Well what the hell is the problem, then? By now, most powered folks would have constructed their second secret lair. Well, last time we left her…cripes, she’d destroyed Smallville with the high school weirdo, right? Maybe this will be the tipping point. Read my review and find out!

Explain It!

There are few things as satisfying to the consumer but frustrating to the creator as a character’s development in serial storytelling. Most created things can be appreciated in a small fraction of the time it takes to make them; a gourmet meal, a large marble sculpture. But to create something to evoke a pleasant emotion, the labor costs involved therein are unknowable and various. As famous inventor and artist Michelangelo expressed, “If you knew how long it took me to attain this mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful.” I don’t know if that’s true, but I can certainly say that one’s appreciation for an issue of a comic book would be greatly diminished if they took the months to read that they take to manufacture.
Writing a character is a nuanced mix of personality, believability, and time, and I doubt there is any definitive algorithm that can be applied in every situation to achieve a predictable result. In what has been, to use the publisher’s term, a Rebirth of Lana Lang, the author must also overcome those expectations placed against her, which span several decades and dozens of creators. But one would think that by the fourteenth fucking issue we’d know more about Lana besides her being irrationally stubborn and prone to shunning those she loves. Fourteen issues. A year and two months. I agree that each issue of a comic book should be as accessible to new readers as possible. I disagree that every issue should be resetting the narrative to reap the same meager response effected from the first time we saw Lana grimace and imply, “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”
And here, I feel like I missed an issue between #13 and this one. But I didn’t; I checked. Last issue kicked off with the destruction of Smallville at the hands of Lana and her childhood chum Amos having been accomplished, and much of the story was filled in with flashbacks. This issue seems to begin further into the future, since last we left Supergirl showed up just as a Red Kryptonite-addled Amos was about to pummel the life out of Luthor. Last issue’s flashbacks have been replaced with less-endearing exposition, and then we move on to a completely new story involving Supergirl and a new Maxima, which is more like the old pre-New 52 Maxima, in that she’s a villain. I appreciate that this book references some of Supergirl’s New 52 continuity, but let’s be real here: the number of people who read that Crucible arc minus the number that might remember it would be somewhere in the single digits. Better to absolve yourselves of that less-than-stellar run and forge ahead with the Supergirl stories you’ve got since Rebirth.
On top of that, Lana still struggles to understand. Everything. She always goes on about how she’d like to emulate her best friend Clark, but there’s never any progress towards Lana becoming that kind of hero. I wouldn’t expect it right away, but now, a year-plus into the run, I’d really like to see Lana more comfortable in the role, and not prone to using her powers in explosive bouts of anger. This issue is very nice visually, presented very cleanly with some very dynamic in-panel action. But the story seems garbled, somehow. Must have been in the translation from creator to reader.

Bits and Pieces:

A nicely-presented but confused issue that seems disconnected from the previous one. That, in itself, is disappointing, but more disappointing is that we're still on Square One where Lana Lang is concerned. It would be too bad if she were reduced to an angrier, more hot-headed Hal Jordan, because her character was really interesting through much of the New 52 and the weekly series Future's End...until its conclusion, that is. Those that read it know what I mean.



  1. was that Kon el while maxima was looking at supergirl and jon kent?????

    1. I havent read this in awhile in konel is back im all in though