Thursday, October 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Adventures of Supergirl #1 Review (2016)

Family Affair

Written by: Sterling Gates
Art by: Bengal and Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: May 11, 2016

When Adventures of Supergirl was first announced, I really was afraid that it was DC Comics' attempt at putting a band-aid on the snafu of having a major network television show featuring a wildly popular character without having any book to support it.  Oh, Snap!  Of course, when Sterling Gates was announced as the writer, my fears were immediately assuaged and turned to joy like a bunch of my favorite artists were announced as well.  All that being said,  I am a big fan of Supergirl the character, but haven't watched the show past the first episode.  It really has nothing to do with the show except that I have five kids that are always watching what they want to watch.  So, is this comic my chance to enjoy Supergirl until her Rebirth series starts up?  Let's find out...

This issue starts off with a little Kara inner monologue before we get...Rampage!  Sterling Gates throws you right into the action and by that, I mean a full out fist fight between Supergirl and her alien opponent.  Yea, I said "alien" because, in keeping with the show, most of Kara's enemies are out of this world or at least from beyond.  I've actually heard some people complain about just that, but I think they are just looking to be miserable because no matter where Rampage is from, there is no mistaking who she is and what her M.O. is...destruction!

We then shift to a flashback that anyone who's seen ten minutes of the television show will be familiar with.  It's Kara's origin and even goes further to show her as Supergirl flying around with a big smile on her face...until we go back to Rampage.  While the D.E.O. looks on, we get some really good Supergirl character building along with a bunch of fisticuffs. 

Like any good first issue, we start meeting more of the main players including Kara's sister Alex and before you can blink an eye, everyone is in peril.  All in a days work for a young superhero and everyone around her.  After the smokes cleared, there are minor injuries and a missing rampaging alien.

When Kara and Alex follow a lead to Ramage, Gates continues giving us some great background character work.  He does an outstanding job of naturally letting us in on Supergirl's world through dialogue without making it seem forced.  He also walks that fine line between telling too much for people who have watched the show and not enough for people who haven't.  There are name drops and even some hints at future plot lines guessed it, Rampage shows up again.

The major thing we learned was Alex's not-so-good connection to Rampage.  It's very personal and even makes you feel a little for the destructive gal.  That doesn't mean you stop rooting for Supergirl and if this first issue is any indication, she's going to need all the support she can get.  Learning on the job usually isn't this deadly!

The issue continues by showing that Sterling Gates didn't just choose Rampage for this first arc because of her cool mohawk.  He knows the character and her split personality leads to a less rampagy moment where we get to see her origin.  While I wouldn't say she was ever a good alien, we see her connection to the Danvers girls which in a twisted, backdoor way also mirrors Kara's beginnings.  This leads to a big rescue, and even bigger doubts as Supergirl might have saved the day, but ended the issues with a whole lot of issues to sort through.  Issues about family, trust and being a superhero in general. 

I really enjoyed this first collected issue and after reading it, feel as if I am totally on track with Supergirl and her world as anyone who had been watching the television show.  Sterling Gates does a great job of easing everyone in by focusing on big action, great dialogue, and family.  I usually read most of the Digital First stuff right when it comes out and while it's obvious where each digital chapter ends in this collected work (big cliffhanger moments), Gates did a great job of easing the reader in and out of those moments to make a really good cohesive story full of chills and thrills.

Bengal is on art for this first issue and it looks awesome.  The cartoony look is just fun and everything is big and exciting and so easy to follow.  The large panels make it a quick and beautiful read.

Bits and Pieces:

I didn't realize how much I missed reading a Supergirl book until I picked this up.  Sterling Gates does a great job of giving readers a story that both fans of the show and non-viewers can both enjoy equally.  This first story gets the reader up to speed, but also focuses on values like trust and family without ever feeling forced.  Bengal's art is beautiful and the whole package combines to give anyone looking for an all-ages comic an excellent choice.


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