It’s here! The finale of Supergirl’s first arc in DC’s Rebirth has dropped. We’ll find out what happens to National City and its inhabitants as well as the fates of Supergirl and her cyborg of a father. Also, will Kara Danvers get the internship at Catco after missing her interview? Let’s find out!
Rain of the Cyborgs
Cyborg Kryptonians are swarming National City , robbing its citizens of their life force. Meanwhile, the remains of Argo, the last surviving chunk of Krypton, is hurtling toward the city. Cyborg Superman plans to set up Argo on Earth with the cyborg Kryptonians as its citizens. It’s up to Kara and the DEO to stop them.
There is an Independence Day style air battle going on between fighter jets and the airborne cyborgs. Also, Kara and cyborg Zor-El battle it out on the surface. He’s still trying to rationalize his sacrifice of the Earthlings for the good of Krypton, and Kara punches him in the face for it.
He’s sent hurtling into Argo, which alters its trajectory. Now instead of falling on National City, it will plop harmlessly into the ocean. Kara and Zor-El battle it out while director Chase sets up transmitters for Kara and Cat Grant’s secret plan (see last issue). Kara and Zor-El have words on the surface of Argo, with Zor-El mansplaining the Kryptonians right to live by nature of their superiority. He blames her for forcing him to make this choice, even though she never asked him to.
Plans to Fruition
Cat Grant shouts orders into her phone and her people do the thing. Suddenly, a radio signal is beamed to every electronic device in the area, and the cyborgs don’t like it one bit. They all start shutting down including Zor-El. Kara and dad ride Argo into the sea together.
The next day, Kara Danvers shows up to Catco. Even though she missed her first interview, Cat Grant sees something she likes, and Kara gets the job along with Ben Rubel.
From there, we hop around to Argo at the bottom of the Pacific, then to prison where Kara reconciles with a thug she beat up, then to the Danvers’ home where she cooks them dinner, then weeks later to DEO headquarters where Cyborg Zor-El is in containment, but also, there’s a Kryptonian wolfman to be dealt with. (Whew).
And the Verdict
This story arc has been a roller-coaster ride of emotion for us and for Kara. It seemed to take forever to get here (which might be because of the relative briskness of the twice-monthly series in DC’s library, but we digress). First, there was the reveal of Zor-El as Cyborg Superman, then Kara’s brief reunion with her mom, and then a young woman who’s torn between two worlds is forced to choose which one to forsake. We were champing at the bit for this issue, and it delivered… mostly.
The end of the ground battle was a bit telegraphed. Last issue, Supergirl and Cat Grant hatched a secret plan involving Kryptonian codes and computers and whatnot. Of course, what she was doing was installing kill-codes into Cat Grant’s multimedia servers. It came as little surprise that the cyborg menace was thwarted this way, as they were all basically running on Zor-El’s operating system.
Kara’s battle with her father was more engaging. Once again, Zor-El’s twisted logic is completely shut down by Kara. They fight, they throw jet planes at each other, they shoot eye lasers. It’s a pretty epic battle, and the front half of the comic flows really well.
So Many Threads
The Supergirl Rebirth one-shot set up a lot of parallel stories, and the end of this first arc seems to want to tie them all up, or at least set up which ones are important moving into the next issue. This loose-end tying makes the last third of the book a little clunky as we jump from location to location sometimes with just one panel to give us context.
Right after Kara and Zor-El crash into the ocean, we are at Catco for a page and a half, then Hank Henshaw (the pre-Flashpoint and CW Cyborg Superman, but in this case, still regular human scientist) is investigating the wreck of Argo, then Kara meets with a thug that you maybe forgot about (we did), then she’s cooking for the Danvers’ (who had very little to do in this ish) when she’s called away to… we don’t know what, but it’s an excuse to have her expose the “S” on her chest.
Then, it’s a week later and now our necks are broken from all the jumpcuts. We’re listening to director Chase summing up all the fallout from the Argo wreck, and talking to Veritas about Lar-On, the Kryptonian werewolf, who will likely be the next thing Kara needs to deal with. A lot of this comic is summing up and looking ahead and it was over so quickly we had to go back and read it a couple times to get it all.
After all that, we never hear about what happened to the people who had their life-force robbed by cyborgs, or about the tidal-wave that almost certainly hit when Argo plunged into the ocean. Evidently everyone’s ok again, we guess. Still, it was a satisfying ending to SG’s first Rebirth arc, and we’re excited for what’s next. (Namely, a Kryptonian werewolf, and then in two months a crossover with Superman and Batgirl!)
Brian Ching’s art is very cool, and we loved it in the first couple of issues of this arc. That said, the highly-stylized nature of it is starting to wear us out a bit. The tone of the story was often at odds with Ching’s angular thick-lined style, and where it succeeds in highly kinetic action and really cool looking cyborgs, it falls a bit short in dialogue-driven scenes. Also, the loss of detail in long shots is very noticeable, especially when characters have big expressive anime eyes in one panel and then black dots for eyes in the next.
The covers are fantastic, and the majority of this run was well done, but if we’re being honest, we are ready to see another penciler take a crack at it.
This Supergirl may be different from her CW counterpart, but we still love her. Her optimism and ability to inspire others is still very much present in the comic, and for that, we’ll keep reading her, and we hope you do too.
Supergirl # 6: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen Finale
Writer: Steve Orlando
Art: Brian Ching
Colors: Michael Atiyeh
Letters: Steve Wands
All images courtesy of DC Comics