Thursday, July 25, 2013

Supergirl #17

"Girl vs. Goddess"

Mike Johnson Writer
Mahmud Asrar Artist
Dave McCaig Colorist
Rob Leigh Letterer
Wil Moss Editor
Matt Idelson Group Editor

The cover is by Asrar and McCaig. It's fun to come from Supergirl's point of view, and the action is exciting and indicative of the inside story, but I have to admit — I've seen a lot of better-drawn Wonder Womans. She really just did not look very good here. Too skinny in some places, too bulgy in others. And what was with the green background? I never got the impression that the Fortress of Solitude and the Star Chamber were green. I do, however, know that this was not the solicited cover, so they probably had to throw this together more quickly than they would have liked.

Above the Fortress of Solitude in the Arctic Circle, teenager Kara Zor-El really just wants to go home. But Superboy is on his way to dismantle the Star Chamber, and Wonder Woman is standing in Supergirl's way. Kara normally wouldn't want to get into a fight, but she's already fought the Flash and Superboy, and has vowed to do whatever it takes to save Krypton.

As Supergirl and Wonder Woman engage in battle, the Oracle has arrived at Earth, and like Galactus, is watching over the destruction caused by the Star Chamber. Time is out of flux, causing some instances to repeat themselves, as observed by Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen in the Daily Planet in Metropolis. From the Justice League Watchtower, Batman is overseeing rescue efforts carried out by the Flash and Cyborg. Batman tells Flash that Tokyo will be underwater in seven minutes, but the fastest man alive only needs 30 seconds to save the large city.

When then get a lot of fight scenes. They are pretty good, but the Flash isn't there, so I'll be brief. Superman fights H'el, but H'el eventually punches the Man of Steel out into space. Supergirl and Wonder Woman have a very fun and satisfying fight. Although Supergirl may be stronger and faster, Wonder Woman is smarter and more experienced. She eventually manages to get her lasso of truth around Supergirl, which forces her to confront the lies she's been telling herself. Kara is still not completely convinced, so she breaks off the fight to confront H'el. He doesn't give her satisfying answers, and ultimately gives her an ultimatum: Earth or Krypton.

The Good:

Supergirl vs. Wonder Woman. This is a fight that needs to happen every now and then, and I felt it was given proper justice in this issue. I especially liked how they explained that despite Supergirl's superior power skills, Wonder Woman has the edge thanks to a lifetime of combat training and experience. And I loved the unique use of the lasso of truth. I remember the old Justice League cartoons shied away from that aspect, probably because the writers weren't sure what to do with it. But as we see here and in Flashpoint, the ability to make someone speak (or see) the truth is a very handy skill.

The Bad:

Well, we only got one panel of the Flash, but I really enjoyed it. This is what I wanted in Superboy #17. Show me the rescue efforts, don't just tell me about them. So while I don't recommend this book to Flash fans because of this one panel, I do recommend that all comic book fans check out this issue. If not just for the big girl fight, then for the exciting penultimate chapter of H'el on Earth.

Final score: 6 out of 10

Next: Superman #17 — The epic conclusion of H'el on Earth

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