Let me start by saying this is the first issue of the DC Universe Rebirth Supergirl that I’ve read. It can a risk to jump into an ongoing title, but with this issue, I didn’t have too much trouble. The basic premise is Supergirl exploring the memories of a Kryptonian named Lar-On. From what I gathered, she’s trying to cure him being a werewolf. And, admittedly, Kryptonian werewolf is a pretty cool idea. In fact, I was drawn to the cover because of the werewolf and the caption that read “Werewolves of Krypton.”
As I said earlier, jumping into this story I didn’t feel overwhelmed. This is in part due to the familiar nature of super hero stories (if you read comics for a while, that is) and Steve Orlando’s writing. Orlando paces the issue quite well, and gives enough exposition to get readers up to speed without overwhelming them. I thought enough of the book moved the plot forward without talking too much about what had come before. That’s not always a balance you find in comics. His Supergirl is also less edgy and more in line with her character than the last Supergirl I remember reading (which I believe was back in the New 52 still).
Matias Bergara, a name I’m not familiar with, also delivers solid art in this issue. The werewolves are done particularly well. They look like the familiar monsters, but with just enough difference to say that they are indeed alien. I was also a big fan of the layouts in this issue. They were dynamic enough to keep the pages moving in an interesting fashion. Sometimes regularly arranged square panels are good enough, but I always like to see a book with layouts that challenge the norm. There were some nice overlapping panels, and some with jagged edges, which really help set the tone.
My biggest drawback was this issue was that, occasionally, the pages were a little overcrowded with text. Some of the pages looked a bit busy. At times I found my eyes overwhelmed. Overall the issue is pretty standard super hero fare, but feels unique enough not to be just a spinoff of Superman.
I have been looking forward to the start of this story for months now. And, in terms of a review, it is probably too soon to get the best judgement of the story, as this is the first issue, but here is what I know so far. Growing up reading Goosebumps, I was really excited to hear R.L. Stine was writing this story. However, it becomes obvious pretty soon that this isn’t another typical R.L. Stine horror story. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly did catch me off guard.
Now, Stine is a good writer, he’s been writing for decades, but the tone of this story and the dialogue really threw me off. First of all, Man-Thing can talk now, and I won’t say that’s bad just because it’s different, but he has a more comical tone about him than I had imagined. We find him struggling to make it in Hollywood, and the story is pretty light hearted. Gone were the dreary swamps (except for a flashback) and they were replaced by the busy streets of Hollywood. It’s an odd setting that could pay off in the long run of the story, but kept me at a bit of a distance from the story. That being said, Stine does write a back up feature that has a bit of a Twilight Zone vibe to it that I enjoyed.
I think my favorite thing about this issue was the art, by German Peralta. The artist is able to capture the essence of the Swamp Monster and does particularly well in the flash back scene where things are dark and brooding. Peralta can transition between Hollywood and the Swamp seamlessly, and it really helps to keep the reader moving with the story. The one page spread of the Man-Thing being born was my particular favorite.
While the story was far from terrible, and it’s only the first issue, I think I came away from this issue differently than I thought I would. It felt very much like an average super hero story with what could be a very different type of hero. I will continue to read the story to see where it goes, and I certainly have faith in R.L. Stine. I hope to see next issue cut down on the banter and get a little more focused, but I’ll be following to see where this goes.
Josie and the Pussy Cats # 5
This is my first dive into the new Josie and the Pussy Cats comic, but I’ve been meaning to read it for a few months. I’m a fan of the new Archie book, so I figured I’d give this one a shot, and I wasn’t disappointed. I didn’t have any trouble jumping into the story (there’s a nice little catch up box before the first page).
The best thing about this story is the characters. The story (by Marguerite Bennett and Cameron Deordio) do an excellent job of taking these old characters and making them feel fresh. Some people might worry about the quality of this book because they may remember the old cartoon as a bit silly. However, when reading this, you notice that the characters have fears, anxiety, dreams, and flaws. They felt incredibly real. There’s quite a bit of drama going on throughout this issue, but it never felt overwhelming, as the story was able to balance humor with the serious elements very well. I think that the art (by Audrey Mok) really helped with this. It wasn’t super cartoony, but it wasn’t extremely realistic, either. This kept me grounded in the fact that this was a new take on a classic and that the concept of three girls running around in cheetah print (still with tails) isn’t meant to be entirely serious.
There isn’t much to gripe about with this issue. Some of the pages had a lot of word bubbles, which slowed me down a bit, but I still found myself laughing at the dialogue, and not dreading it. The issue also looks pretty thick, but has quite a few pages at the end dedicated to the new Riverdale TV show on the CW. But that doesn’t take away from the story. This issue ends on a nice cliff hanger that genuinely had me wondering where the story would go, and will most likely see to my getting the next issue.
Review by Jordan Kirian