Sunday, September 23, 2018

Retro Review: Supergirl #8 (1997) - "My Dinner With Buzz"

Dinner Date

Written by: Peter David
Pencils by: Gary Frank
Inks by: Cam Smith
Letters by: Pat Prentice
Colors by: Gene D'Angelo
Separations by: Digi Cam
Cover Price: $1.95
Release Date: February 12, 1997

Twitter gets a bad reputation these days. Almost entirely warranted. Every cloud has a silver lining though. A few months back my feed carried an amazing image of the cover to the first issue of this Supergirl series from 1996. It was so brilliantly representative of 1996 that it looked like it was drawn and developed in 2018 to deliberatly represent the 1990s with its friendship braclets, plaid shirts, smiley faces and composition. Thanks to Anj on Twitter for posting the image and our own Reggie for his follow up advice to make sure I read the first 50 issues of the series. I'm now at issue 11 so thought it was time for a retro review of one of the highlights so far.

First things first though. Riding high on the comic book charts this year and last has been Gary Frank who joins Geoff Johns in taking on the Doomsday Clock title. M.r Frank's work has been beautiful on that series to date, and it is nice to travel back in time and see his work on this 1996 series. His work is beautiful in the opening issues. Here is the highlight as he depicts a very tense dinner date between Linda Danvers (Supergirl's alter ego at the time of this series), her parents and really. Wel,l not that Buzz Aldrin. The play acting during the evening depicted, the anger, the menace, the teasing and frustration are all rendered brilliantly in this issue. Also what is notable is Frank's sheer elegance in his potrayal of human anatomy; his characters are so brilliantly poised and positioned. The colors are very important here too - they really show a pulsing beat beneath the characters rendering them alive and vibrant.

The storytelling here is wonderful as well. The premise is that Buzz knows Linda's deepest darkest series, and meanwhile, he sells himself as a great catch to unwitting Linda's mother as a date for her daughter. The issue harks back to the opening installments of the series where Buzz features heavily as the villian. Here he is back with a bang and a real sense of menace. The scenario is pitch perfect though with Linda's parents unsuspecting of Buzz's motives, Linda wanting to pound him in the face but unable to for fear of Buzz spilling her secrets. Meanwhile, Buzz is left to dtermine how much to turn the knife. It is tense and also surprisingly kind of funny.

Bits and Pieces:

This is a great series in my reading to date, this is the stand out issue so far. The art is always great, here it is set up perfectly with a mathcing storyline that is truly gripping. Perfect for when you are in the mood for a bit of black humor. Cheers to Anj and Reggie for sharing their enjoyment of it.


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