T. Kyle King’s published work ranges from newspaper columns to film reviews and from short stories to law review articles. Most notably, he served as a site manager and staff writer at DawgSports.com, a daily weblog devoted to University of Georgia athletics, from 2006 to 2013, and he is the author of a book about the history of the college football rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers published by Clemson University Digital Press in 2013. Kyle is a lifelong comic book fan whose thoughts on comic books previously have appeared at ComicsVerse, Progressive Boink, and the Superman Homepage. Kyle is a Superman guy.
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Supergirl #8 was among several DC titles this week to focus on the fallout from Superman: Reborn, and the assignment was right in writer Steve Orlandoâs wheelhouse. The resulting story â a one-shot tale titled Family of Tomorrow â was drawn and inked by artist Matias Bergara. ComiConverse contributor T. Kyle King offers his thoughts on the most recent adventure of the Woman of Steel.
(Warning: Spoilers follow!)
Supergirl #8 Review:
The reunified Superman visits his cousin in National City! The Emerald Empress pops over from Justice League vs. Suicide Squad for a cameo! Batgirl is spying on Supergirl from the shadows! This may require some extra background readingâ¦
Supergirl #8 Synopsis:
Kal-El joins Kara in the skies above National City to commemorate the Kryptonian Day of Truth. Together, they battle the Emerald Empress, who has followed Saturn Girl from the future and confuses Supergirl by referring to encounters between them that have not yet happened for the Maiden of Might. The cousins take a walking tour of National City before joining Lois Lane and Jonathan Kent for dinner in the Fortress of Solitude.
When they are alone afterward, Superman confides to Supergirl the details of his recent restoration and the looming threat of which he learned. A few days later, Cameron Chase meets with Supergirl about TychoTechâs use of stolen Kryptonian Phantom Drive technologyâ¦ while, at the same time, Cat Grant sends Ben Rubel to the TychoTech press conference at which the companyâs new breakthrough is being revealed. Outside the Ordman Building, a hidden visitor listens in on the conversation at CatCo: Batgirl.
Supergirl #8 Analysis:
Orlando absolutely is in his element in Family of Tomorrow, which abounds with the sorts of deep-track callbacks at which the author excels. The storyâs central premise is based upon a Silver Age story by Leo Dorfman and Curt Swan. When working out for forthcoming superheroics, Superman and Supergirl toss the Supermobile back and forth between the Arctic and the moon. Kara and Lois talk about Cat over dinner, alluding to Grantâs feud with Lane from their days together at the Daily Planet. Those nuggets â which offer nods to tales from the â60s, â70s, and â80s, respectively â attest to how completely Superman: Reborn has made the classic Kryptonian canon available, and Orlando immerses himself and his audience in such minutiae with infectious enthusiasm in Supergirl #8.
That does not mean, however, that Family of Tomorrow confines its external allusions solely to the past. Supergirl #8 sets the stage for the follow-up to the recent Batgirl Annual #1, which was itself connected to Saturn Girlâs appearance in Geoff Johnsâs introductory Rebirth special, which evidently ultimately ties back into Orlandoâs work with the Justice League. As tough as that may be to follow, though, the real challenge facing the Woman of Steel in the aftermath of Superman: Reborn is figuring out exactly who Kara is now that the post-Crisis/pre-Flashpoint and New 52 continuities have been fused. This issue does a good job of steadying the heroineâs present incarnation, but vexing complexities remain into which Orlando has yet to delve.
In the meantime, Bergara has done a good â if slightly uneven â job of righting the ship with respect to the seriesâ visual style. Although the simplicity of the imagery of Supergirl #8 occasionally is overly unrefined, Bergara restores the upbeat energy and unsullied enthusiasm that typified earlier issues. The artist lends tactile texture to his wisps of cloud, folds of fabric, magical outbursts, and architectural edifices, particularly in the biggest pictures in Family of Tomorrow. Colorist Michael Atiyeh brings the graphics vibrantly to life with bright primary hues and deep dark tints.
While Supergirl #8 is a bit of a busy issue, the story covers the necessary ground without too great a degree of undue haste, and Family of Tomorrow slows down at the appropriate spots. Kara Danvers and Clark Kent literally take a walk in the park, affording the Man of Steel the opportunity to give the Maiden of Might the credit she deserves. There is also a heartwarming sweetness to the scene in which the exuberant Jonathan directs a torrent of questions about Krypton toward his cousin. In the seriesâ first extended attempt to integrate Supergirl into the larger Rebirth DC Universe, the need to shift swiftly in quick-hit fashion did not prevent the creative team from turning in a fittingly workmanlike effort.
What did you think of Family of Tomorrow at the end of the day?
Celebrate the Kryptonian Day of Truth by sharing your honest opinion of Supergirl #8 in the comments!
There was a lot to do in this issue, all of which managed to get done without feeling overly rushed, and much of which was accomplished with aplomb and charm.