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Review – Supergirl #38 (DC Comics)

Overall
7/10
7/10
  • Writing - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
  • Art - 8/10
    8/10
  • Overall - 6.5/10
    6.5/10
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Supergirl #38

Writer: Jody Houser
Penciler: Rachael Stott & Inaki Miranda
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: DC Comics
Maturity Rating: Teen
Release Date: January 8th, 2020

Supergirl faces Krypto and the denizens of Smallville as she tries to spread the madness of The Batman Who Laughs. Batman and Superman call in Wonder Woman to rescue Kara from the evil.

It’s a Barnyard Battle in Supergirl #38

Supergirl and Wonder Woman have met many different times over the years and, often enough, they have come to blows. Their first meeting might have been in The Brave and the Bold #63 in 1966, but their next meeting in Wonder Woman #177 in 1968 already had them battle. After all, the fight makes enough sense. They are the two strongest females at DC Comics. They also represent science versus the supernatural and youth versus wisdom. Therefore, the two battling makes an interesting match, even if there is rarely a good enough reason for it. The story in Supergirl #38 features this battle once again, though under slightly different circumstances. Supergirl has been infected by The Batman Who Laughs, and she plans to infect the people of Smallville. Superman and Batman see what is happening but have to focus their attention elsewhere, so they call in Wonder Woman for assistance. 

Story

Supergirl #38 (DC Comics) main cover by Mike Perkins
Supergirl #38 (DC Comics) main cover by Mike Perkins

The writing duties in Supergirl #38 are handled by Jody Houser. The story is interesting enough from its initial setup, but the execution is a little off. There is a problem with the Year of the Villain tie-in, as it focuses a plot into the story which doesn’t necessarily work. In fact, Year of the Villain has been more of a nuisance thus far than a great crossover. This is the case here too. Though the two battling each other is a fun idea, the story breaks no new ground. The battle is not for real. Wonder Woman knows that Supergirl is under another’s influence. She, therefore, holds back. In so doing she resorts to the “Fight through this!” cliche that is all too common in her own title. With the forced crossover, it forces too much into this story, as well, with too many disparate parts. As part of a tie-in, it makes sense, but as a stand-alone issue, it would fail, even as part of a story arc.   

Art

The drawing duties are handled by Rachael Stott, with Inaki Miranda handling a few pages in the middle. Colors were done by Hi-Fi. The redesign of Supergirl is well executed. With the poor inspiration, though, it seems flawed from its inception. The art here, therefore, seems to be doing the best that it can to make a nice finished product, but the publisher’s direction hampers it. 

Conclusion

The Year of the Villain is not working well at any point across the DC titles, at this point. The crossover is, at best, creating stories which are adequate but not as gripping as one might wish. The same unfortunately occurs in this issue. The creative team doesn’t seem to be fully responsible for it. Instead, the decision to tie everything into the crossover has hampered a lot of creative teams across the DC titles. DC might still pull together something from this event, but at the moment the individual titles are suffering for it. Supergirl #38 is the most recent of these misfires, and doesn’t do much to help the Year of the Villain. 


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Edward Wendt

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