Current Reviews


Supergirl #32

Posted: Friday, August 8, 2008
By: Ray Tate

Kelley Puckett
Ron Randall
DC Comics
"Time Heals All Wounds"

Ron Randall fittingly illustrates and colors the finale of Puckett's Supergirl saga. Drew Johnson has been for whatever reason mostly absent from the title. Randall has been filling in admirably. I shall miss Randall's proportionate, strong, piping hot Kara kicking ass and imagining how to use science fiction or magical tools in her battle against cancer.

Randall portrays Supergirl as a tall attractive blonde-haired young woman with killer abs and a heroic musculature sheathed in red and blue. He chisels a fierce steely-eyed countenance for the Maid of Might. He directs intoxicating moments when Kara beats the living crap out of a major loser who holds an outstandingly dangerous device. In short, Randall imbues Supergirl with a resonance that could only reverberate from real deal Girl of Steel.

Art is everlasting. No matter what ham-fisted hack renders Kara in the future, Ron Randall makes Kara live today. So long as that art lasts in some form, he makes her live forever. Puckett on the other hand had to consider a smart way to protect his legacy from every lousy continuity twitch and character assault to come. How can he make every moment of growth he evolved from Supergirl stick?

Puckett is leaving Supergirl, and frankly, I have little faith in the future writers. They're job appears to make Supergirl lockstep with the Superman titles. These will soon be under the influence of Geoff Johns, which means Supergirl will be inevitably touched by ineptitude, bad science and an overall shallowness.

With this conclusion to a perfect example of "the never-ending battle" Puckett proves himself to be a very smart writer. He already seeded a time travel element in a previous chapter. Time traveling assassins attempted to kill Supergirl at the turning point where she leads the planet earth into a Utopia for most. That timeline though could be explained away as an alternity.

This time travel tale isn't so easy to dismiss. It relies upon Kara's determination never to give up or give in. It depends on a science fiction cosmos that allows for such things as damn sexy blondes blasting heat beams out of their eyes. Time travel is the one trick Kara hasn't attempted to use to save Tommy. This story occurs fifty years in Kara's future. Therefore, it has already happened. That is one slick way to save one's work within the context of the story itself.

No matter how much future writers muck up Supergirl, Puckett's time on the title will be a finite gem comprised of a beginning, a middle and an end for the characterization of Kara-El. To be fair other writers have used time as a trick to make their writing immortal, but all of their stories preserve bad things such as retroactive rape and mind-wiping. Puckett does the opposite. He encases his run of Supergirl in amber. Here, Kara defied her cousin's more conservative, human-shaped wishes, Batman trusted her, and no matter what Kara would not listen to conventional wisdom. She saw a brighter future ahead. She would never give up.

No matter what hack tries, none of this can be denied. A ham-fist can hit Supergirl with a ray that turns her into a petulant idiot, but that won't matter. Another dullard can infect her with Eclipsitis. At some point she will shake it off and revert to Puckett's mature incarnation of Supergirl who for fifty years will do the things in this comic book.

Not only does Mr. Puckett end this thought-provoking Supergirl epic in an unexpected way. He uses time travel correctly. This makes the thrilling conclusion of Supergirl's quest to find a way to cure a boy of cancer worthy of, I kid you not, Doctor Who.

What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!