Supergirl has always had an odd spot in the DC Universe. She is a character that has never been allowed to age like others in her generation like Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. Which is something that the Superman editors seem to have finally realized as through Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, and Action Comics that has been getting fixed for the last two years. With all the momentum quietly being built that makes this Supergirl Special by Mariko Tamaki and Skylar Patridge will be key for continuing Kara Zor-El’s development. Let’s find out if that will happen with Supergirl Special #1.
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Skylar Patridge
Colorist: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Becca Carey
“GIRL INTERRUPTED! After joining the Superman Family and their heroic efforts in Metropolis, Kara thought she had found her place in the world. But there’s only room in town for one Supergirl, and Power Girl’s sudden reappearance has made her redundant. Her identity and role are both in question as she looks for answers. Will they lead her out of the city or out of this world? Find out as critically acclaimed writer Mariko Tamaki (SUPERGIRL: BEING SUPER) returns to the Maid of Might with the help of Skylar Patridge (WONDER WOMAN)!” – DC Comics
Supergirl Special comes at an odd time. This isn’t made to create a big new direction a future Supergirl series will launch from. Instead, Supergirl Special more of an introspective look at where Kara Zor-El is mentally with the new Superman Family status quo.
Mariko Tamaki and Skylar Patridge make the right move of setting the reader’s expectations for what Supergirl Special is right away. From the comparisons on social media about Supergirl and Power Girl to seeing the Superman Family fighting villains together, this is bout where Kara finds her at this point in time. This works into the greater point of how often DC Comics has had editors and creative team jump through hoops to keep the teenage Kara the one we see in the comics. By tapping into that fact Tamaki and Patridge are really able to make this into a story of why Kara feels directionless.
From there we get the idea that Kara has always tried her best to run ahead. That was even the case when she was growing up in Krypton, as the flashback scene shows. This competitive fire is lit to be stronger with the comparisons to Power Girl. This makes it so anytime we do see Supergirl and Power Girl together have a greater meaning. As we see with them both responding to the same crisis later on, Supergirl has this strong competitive drive to be better.
This in turn opens the door to another aspect of Kara’s character. That is that when she woke up from her cryogenic sleep the final mission her father gave her was immediately taken away. She woke up at a time where Kal-El was already an adult who established himself as Clark Kent and Superman. This left Kara directionless and wondering where her agency in life was.
Which played in well with the two big conversations Kara has with Lois Lane and Power Girl. Lois does a great job at reminding Kara that she has done a lot of good as Supergirl. She says this without having to go through detailing a list of Kara’s accomplishments. Instead, Lois chooses her words carefully to remind Kara of her role as Supergirl is a powerful one that gets right to the point.
It transitions well to the conversation Kara needed to have most, and that is with Power Girl. Tamaki and Patridge create an aura of this conversation being a long time coming. Power Girl naturally gets into a big sister role to get Kara to have confidence in herself. The conversation properly leads to establishing that both Power Girl and Supergirl can operate together. They don’t have to arbitrarily be sent different universes or timelines. Creating a sisterly bond was the right way to go for what their dynamic will be moving forward.
Taking a personal approach with this Supergirl Special by exploring Kara Zor-El’s mentality tapped into the potential presented by the current Superman Family status quo. Mariko Tamaki and Skylar Patridge maximize the time they are given to tell a full story in this one comic. In doing so they create an even stronger foundation for a future Supergirl series to start with right away.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10