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Supergirl #49

Posted: Monday, February 1, 2010
By: Michael Deeley

Sterling Gates
Matt Camp, Nei Ruffino (c)
DC Entertainment
Supergirl’s battle with the Silver Banshee ends with both women confronting the spirits of the Banshee’s ancestors. At the same time, Lana’s Lang dies from the mysterious blood infection that’s sickened her for the last year. Supergirl finds her just in time to see her die...and transform.

Since this version of Supergirl was created, I’ve seen writers struggle to define her (her conflicting origins didn’t help). Here Supergirl displays compassion and her defining personality traits. Gates has written her as a young woman of compassion and loyalty to her friends and family. Her emotions sometimes overrule her judgment, but that’s a sign of her youth. In short, the series has portrayed Supergirl as a heroic young woman.

The dramatic pats of the story outshine the action. When I think back on previous issues, I think of Supergirl’s relationship with her mother, her sadness at watching Lana Lang die, and her continuing struggle to maintain her own identity. This is reinforced by Matt Camp’s artwork. It’s a more serious and realistic style than you normally find in superhero books. This means the fights scenes sometimes look stiff. But quiet moments, like Supergirl’s visit to the hospital, are portrayed with the gravity and weight the story requires.

The Lana Lang story nears its conclusion. For months, Lang’s been suffering from an unknown blood infection. When I saw the cliffhanger ending, I thought, Spider-Man: The Other. Then I remembered Lana was once turned into an “insect queen.” I’ve got a bad feeling issue #50 will be yet another attempt to bring Silver Age silliness into serious modern continuity. That never works out.

With a few exceptions, Supergirl has been less about the conflicts between Earth and New Krypton and more about Supergirl herself. She’s been portrayed as a uniquely feminine hero driven by her passion, while proving clever enough to pursue mysteries and outwit her opponent. In short, she’s a good character in a good comic book.



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