Monday, June 12, 2017

Bullet Review: DC Bombshells #28

DC Bombshells #28 came out in print last week and continued a pretty engaging Supergirl portion of the Bombshell universe. We hadn't had Supergirl in the book for some time. Her arc is gripping with emotional layers and great call backs to the main DCU. I suppose one of the dangers of having a book with a cast as large as Bombshells is that sometimes characters can get lost or cast to the backburner. It can't be easy for writer Marguerite Bennett to give everyone the time they deserve in the few pages she has.

I'll focus on the Supergirl chapter in a bit. The rest of this issue focuses on the other members we have been following along on their trip into Russia. First off, Lois is chided by Killer Frost for not having killed Hugo Strange when she had the chance. The Frost turns out to be a bigger threat than had been anticipated, revealing herself as Strange's boss. not the other way around. We get a Bombshell version of the Reaper/Phantasm which was very interesting.  Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy continue to work their way into Stalingrad, commandeering circus animals as new friends, and ultimately using Ivy's powers to grow crops and feed the hungry. 

As always, the art is stunning. From the beautiful cover by Marguerite Sauvage to the lush work of Mirka Andolfo and Richard Ortiz, the book really pops. And Carmen Carnero really shines in Supergirl chapter.

After several months of what I would describe as doldrums, this books is sort of picking up again. This setting, the actual war, and these characters are much more interesting to me than prior focus of Vixen, Hawkwoman, and Cheetah. Will this last rally save this book from being dropped when it gets relaunched?

On to the book!

Last issue ended with Supergirl knocked out by the train wreck, a grenade blast, and exposure to green K. This issue opens with Supergirl held in some sort of stasis bubble by Hugo Strange.

This felt like a little bit of a jump from the end of last issue. Does she still have the lead box with the Green K that Lex gave her? Did Strange know she was on that train?

I suppose it doesn't matter. I like the fact that Hugo Strange is cropping up as the villain. I loved him as a Batman villain. So working him in as a Supergirl villain? Wonderful.

Strange's villainous speech is a bit all over the map.

Initially he tries to shame Supergirl for leaving Russia and joining the Bombshells. She should have been home to protect her people, to keep them from starving, and protect the motherland.

But Kara isn't having any of this. She steels herself and reminds Strange that he isn't Russian and therefore can't walk on that high ground. She recognizes him as her true enemy.

I don't know why Strange tried to demoralize Supergirl unless it was simply to try to weaken her resolve. He isn't the kind to care for anyone.

But after a little crisis of conscience, a little catatonia, Kara is clearly working her way down the hero's journey, reclaiming her position and power.

We then get Strange's ultimate goal. He wants to cleanse the world of diversity. He believes in the Aryan ideal, a world where everyone looks like Kara. And surprisingly, all the political powers are eager to support his work. So despite the warring politics of Germany, America, and Russia, they have all subsidized Strange's work.

I suppose each country would want a mad scientist in their employ. I doubt they know he is working for all of them.

As I said, we have had months of Kara moping in the aftermath of her sister's death. She hasn't wanted to be a hero. She has barely wanted to move. But these recent events have clearly spurred her back into action.

One of the things I love about Kara is that she is a bit more reactive than Superman. She doesn't always hide her emotions. She is fierce when she sees injustice. So seeing her angry, vowing to show Strange her 'true power' really felt like Supergirl. And that panel by Carnero is just gorgeous, Supergirl striking such a heroic pose.

Finally, Strange tells Kara his true plot. He doesn't need Supergirl to complete his mission. He can create a Supergirl.

We see Kara, back when she was applying to be a Night Witch, giving a blood sample. She had to bite her own tongue to draw the blood. And that blood along with a stray hair has given Strange all he needs.

A lot has passed since those early issues when we saw Supergirl hiding her power and willing to fly a biplane to help her country. Even without words, you can sense how much she and Kortni cared for each other.

Then Strange reveals his ultimate weapon, a clone of Supergirl under his control, Power Girl. Of course, immediately they square off to fight. Nice cliffhanger.

I have covered Supergirl/Power Girl team-ups and fights in the past. It seems that, in the last 2 decades, these two have fought more than they have teamed up. So seeing them square off felt a bit like a comic trope, a decent callback to history. This also felt very much like the Galatea storyline in the Justice League Unlimited series way back when. There Cadmus created 'Power Girl' to fight the heroes as well.

I can only hope that these two see the errors in their ways and become friends/allies.

So I am enjoying this Supergirl storyline. I am liking the other stories more. Maybe this book is redeeming itself.

Overall grade: B+


Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if Bennett is a "Justice League Unlimited" fan. Supergirl and Stargirl have a relationship. Power Girl is a Supergirl's clone. And I think I can think of more similarities...

Clearly, in the final chapter, Saturn Girl, Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl will meet Kara, state she's their inspiration and role model and she'll decide to travel to the 31st century and stay there. Clearly.

I liked the Supergirl part of the book. Great art and I loved seeing a fierce and defying Supergirl. Her "I'll show you what power truly is" line? Awesome.

"He believes in the Aryan ideal, a world where everyone looks like Kara."

You've just reminded of a certain individual who despised Supergirl because she's a "Superman is boring and twee and Supergirl is a Superman with boobs and a derivative, worthless character... and she's Aryan!"

Supergirl a member of the Hitler Youth. Riiiight. Someone should show that person the Blackstarr's story arc.

Anyway, I'm a bit tired of seeing both Karas coming to blows. Why cannot someone write an untold tale where Power Girl remembers a team-up with Earth-One Supergirl prior to the Crisis?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone noticed the sizable story gap between Supergirl's trainwreck experience and her sudden nigh inexplicable captivity in Hugo Strange's mad scientist lab....I'm just buying this book out of loyalty to Kara Zor El, it's essentially an epic failure otherwise, a good idea shamefully squandered. The Fight with Power-Girl seems inevitable in a book as screwed up as this one.


Anonymous said...

According to a press release dated June 15, 2017, the creators of Bombshells will be back with Bombshells United. This series is set in the USA starting in 1943 and features the main Bombshell characters. Digital issues start on Aug. 25 and print issues (featuring two digital chapters) start on Sept. 6.