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‘Supergirl Special’ #1 delivers a touching and melancholy introspective
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Supergirl Special’ #1 delivers a touching and melancholy introspective

Are two Supergirls better than one, or is it one too many?

“I remember when you landed on Earth, a girl of fifteen, filled with life and hopes. Linda Lee, hidden in that orphanage, secretly practicing your powers each night. Lord, I remember how proud I was the day we revealed your presence to the world.” — Superman, Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 by Marv Wolfman, George Pérez, Jerry Ordway, Dick Giordano, and Tom Ziuko

Whether she’s acting in contrast to Clark Kent’s mild-mannered lifestyle and hopeful belief system or being a thrilling love interest to various characters within the DC pantheon, there is no hero as unique as Kara Zor-El – an ironic statement which can also be said for her Earth-2 counterpart Kara Zor-L. After getting thrown back into the spotlight thanks to Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, the charming but tortured Kryptonian has been making waves, and the question of a new solo series has been one on the minds of many.

Interestingly enough, returning scribe Mariko Tamaki and RESONANT artist Skylar Patridge throw their hats in the ring with Supergirl Special #1, in which they give closure to Supergirl and Power Girl’s struggle to love one another and introduce a new dilemma for the Maiden of Might to overcome once the time arises. 

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The one-shot is presented in a fascinating light given that this is Tamaki’s return to the character after 2016’s Supergirl: Being Super miniseries, which was the writer’s attempt at a 2000s coming-of-age-inspired story. And while never gaining the popularity of the now-modern classic that is Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, it has remained a favorite in the hearts of fans. With Tamaki’s return to the character, a dive into the character’s mental health was to be expected, but what Tamaki has brought to the table blows those expectations out of the water.

Supergirl Special #1
Supergirl interrogated by the Super-Twins, courtesy of DC Comics.

It becomes obvious throughout the story that Kara’s mental health is at an all time low, and arguably has been for quite some time. She was always the rebellious and emotional refugee while her cousin was the one who had his head straight and loved to save the multiverse – Kara Zor-El is nothing like Clark Kent. She is a ghost of Krypton and her misery throughout the 1980s and the 2010s/2020s showcase her darkness of adolescence that was birthed through the troubles of a royal alien house and its destruction.

Tamaki’s Supergirl is a sorrowful character who dabbles in complexes and woes that Dru-Zod would sympathize with. What helps Tamaki lean into the darkness of Kara Zor-El is the fact that she is playing with the character’s cynicism, which comes due with her constant feeling of failure and inability to remember what her life was like on Krypton.

Kara’s history is gone along with her purpose, and the only things she can do are push people away or try to accept her new and confusing life within the Superfamily – and with Power Girl. In her vulnerability the only thing she feels she can do is isolate herself as she suffers from bitter dreams of her old life. Kara’s experiences of emotion and terror are as visually prevalent as they are in literary form as Skylar Patridge and Marissa Louise show off the inner workings of Kara’s mind, whether it be past or present. All three talents come together to weave a story that uses each of their strengths to create a vibrant world that still manages to appropriately accentuate Kara’s troubled nature.

As previously proved by Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow and Power Girl Special #1, an emotional script and pastel imagery can make a modern Supergirl story something beautiful, and Supergirl Special #1 proves so once again. Whether this touching tale leads to a new ongoing featuring the Maiden of Might or not, this has the potential to be another timeless and introspective chapter in Kara’s journey as a hero. Like DC has shown time and time again, Supergirl, much like her cousin, has an important place in the DC Universe.

‘Supergirl Special’ #1 delivers a touching and melancholy introspective
‘Supergirl Special’ #1 delivers a touching and melancholy introspective
Supergirl Special #1
As emotionally intelligent as it is rife with clever anecdotes about its protagonist, this is a tale that ties up loose ends and opens new doors while not forgetting where the heart of the story lies.
Reader Rating1 Votes
Tamaki's approach to the literary narrative is engaging and excellently captures Kara's current mentality.
Patridge and Loiuse's imagery is clever, stunning, and melancholy, things all of which gives a unique gravity to the thematic narrative.
Even though it draws plots to conclusions and opens new possibilities, the story remains perfectly satisfying in a vacuum.
It further proves just how great it is to have Supergirl and Power Girl adding to each other's separate stories.
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