Review: Supergirl #54

cover of Supergirl #54


A surprisingly happy cover for such a dark issue. The image of Supergirl flying with jets is iconic and very nice, but like last month’s cover it doesn’t fit the issue tonally. I would expect something evocative of Kara’s headspace right now — like the cover to Supergirl #9:


When Jimmy “Turtle Boy” Olson is doing a better job at heroing than Supergirl, things are bad! Also, I want to give BizarroGirl a hug. But she’d probably hate that.

I see Supergirl’s bio has changed:

Sent in a rocket from the remains of Krypton, seventeen year old Kara Zor-El arrived on Earth years after her cousin, Superman. Now living in Metropolis as Linda Lang, she fights for truth, justice, and the American way as SUPERGIRL.

I like it except for the obnoxious “American way” bit. It was cute when it was the “Kryptonian way” (even that was a bit silly). Interesting that they’ve officially aged her a year. I don’t know how I feel about that. If she must go to university, I’d like her to be a prodigy.

Jimmy as action hero doesn’t work for me at all so the opening sequence made me groan. “Jimmy Olson is cool!” No really, DC editorial, he’s not. I laughed out loud at Perry calling for the Science Police, “Olsen’s been kidnapped again!” Sorry Jimmy! I much prefer when bad things happen to you :)

I understood Kara’s reluctance to get involved in the fray in the last issue, but it was hard to have any sympathy for her upon realizing that she’d walked back to the apartment in the midst of the chaos to hide in her sound-proofed room. I felt Lana’s anger and frustration as she gave her that ultimatum: either wallow in self-pity over something she had no control over, or get out and save whoever she can. Get counselling later, this is no time to stop being Supergirl!

As Jess puts it:

Yeah, yeah, Spider-Man no more, can we just get on with it? This new direction for Supergirl does not seem very new. I do like that Lana is basically like “No, you can help, so you have a moral obligation to help. Now stop whining.” That fits in nicely with my personal interpretation of Superman (and the whole Superfamily). It’s not about Jesus, it’s not about being a superior being, it’s about each individual doing what he or she can to make the world a better place.

Yay, Lana doing Lois-duty at the Planet!

Why is a S.T.A.R. Labs janitor calling the Planet about BizarroGirl’s spaceship crashing through their offices? To remind us about what’s happening and set up Lucy’s escape, I guess.

Lucy recruiting the unpaid intern for the business section, just so she could keep the pictures of BizarroGirl secret, was amusing. Cribbing from Jess again, “the Daily Planet continues to not function like any newspaper in the entire damn world when it comes to staffing matters”.

Loved Cat overhearing Lana talking to Kara on the phone in the lady’s room. Uh-oh! (Although how stupid can Lana be not to notice the multiple stalls with closed doors?)

Faced with literally the dark image of herself, Kara goes to her Secret Superheroine Closet of Awesome and opens it with a Kryptonian passphrase. Cool.

I squeed like crazy over this splash page. I love the idea that Kara keeps all the Supergirl memorabilia that’s defined her over the years in this one room: the brown wig from her Claire Kent secret identity, the red headband she tried out for a couple issues, the two Daily Planet frontpages showing the extreme ends of her public relations, her Flamebird helmet (inexplicably coloured purple), a Superman doll (cute!), an Amazonian spear, and much more. (Anj identified some of the more obscure items on Supergirl Comic Box Commentary.)

Hanging from the ceiling in the centre of it all is her uniform, the gold edging glinting in the sunlight. Gorgeous.

Supergirl’s back.

And just in time: Jimmy, Dr. Light and everyone else from S.T.A.R. Labs have been captured by BizarroGirl and (somehow) shackled to the tunnel wall. Loved the scariness of BizarroGirl shushing Jimmy: I’d hate to see who she’s hiding from.

The cop abducting children for “dinner” was very creepy in a Terminator 2 way.

The Supergirl/BizarroGirl fight was awesome. Great job by Jamal Igle. (Also, a much smarter and more enjoyable take than Supergirl/Evil Supergirl from the beginning of the series.)

This BizarroGirl is far more of a serious threat than the usual bizarro, and a truly tragic figure. Can’t wait for this week’s issue!


Love the cracked skin, red eyed, scraggly-haired BizarroGirl on the final page laughing at a petrified Supergirl. But seriously, stone “solid vision”? What was that about? Science is sitting in a corner somewhere weeping, “The opposite of x-ray vision is infrared vision, not (more) solid vision!”

I missed Nei Ruffino’s colours on this issue. The fill-in colourist gave everything this awful orangey tint that made it seem like perpetual twilight and everyone had a bad fake tan.

Michelle Bacon

Michelle loves comics and code. A lifelong Superfamily fan, she's been collecting comics for 20 years, and running Supergirl: Maid of Might since 2000.

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