Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is by some of the best creators working in comics today, and it also has something else going for it: a strong episodic format. Each issue is self-contained, with Supergirl and Ruthye helping aliens on their road to finding and apprehending Krem. In the latest issue, out today, Supergirl and Ruthye find themselves in a city where Krem was last seen a month prior. Unfortunately for Supergirl, the people of Maypole have a reason not to help outsiders if they can help it.
This issue continues to tell the story in two ways, one with Ruthye’s captions torn from her notebook and the other with the actions on the page beautifully illustrated by Bilquis Evely and Mat Lopes. The captions allow writer Tom King to show earnest reflection on Supergirl’s efforts and help give a more youthful outlook on the events. The captions help set up Supergirl’s more crass way of doing things — like using super-breath to knock a rude man out of his chair — and get Ruthye’s interpretation of Supergirl. It’s in Ruthye’s captions that we get a heads up that something is very wrong with the town they’re in, and the events that transpire in this issue reveal something that the entire galaxy would never forget.
This issue is well-plotted, with Supergirl and Ruthye encountering different types of folks and getting a rude or grumpy response from nearly all of them. But, smartly, King reveals early on they aren’t bad people; they’re just sad and hiding something. That helps the reader know it’s not just some weird alien trait for these characters Supergirl encounters to be rude.
There’s a darker message in this story involving two types of people in this city and how they treat one another. More specifically, how the wealthier Blues treated the Purples leads to a great injustice, a choice made that they somehow live with, and a truth we’ve seen here on Earth too. It’s a harrowing story within the story, which King connects with Krem in the end. In this way, King connects this story to the injustice of genocide to the horror of his main villain and McGuffin in the tale.
The only weakness to the issue lies in the ending scene, which is told via captions and montage. Given the slower pace of the issue and how it takes its time, the creators force a lot of backstory on the reader to sum up what happened in the town. It’s smart to connect the actions of the people to Krem, but too much is conveyed over the three pages to have it leave as big of an impact as it should.
Meanwhile, Evely draws some of the most gorgeous art you’ll see in a comic all week. The incredible vistas of Maypole can sustain many captions, sometimes quite lengthy, because you’ll spend time soaking in every detail. Like a piece of art in a storybook, Evely’s art will have you linger for ages.
She does an incredible job showing the kindness of the alien people, but also how quickly that kindness turns to hate. This connects well with the larger message of the story. Close-up shots of eyes seem to be a theme in the issue, which is juxtaposed well when Supergirl can be seen staring right at us with a stopped bullet in the corner of her eye. The eyes are incredibly realistic, made more so by Lopes’ colors. Lopes adds so much to Evely’s lines with varying shades in clouds or a faraway city that helps bring out the alien nature of the world. Supergirl stands out thanks to her light blue costume, always a bit more bright and hopeful in a scene.
Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3 continues to show that its strength lies in earnest and honest captions from a child’s perspective and the horror of the world around Supergirl that she so desperately wants to protect her from. This latest issue offers a parable elevated by art that forces you to linger and process. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow feels like a once-in-a-lifetime story that is powerful in its message.
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