Read Superman/Batman, Vol. 2: Supergirl by Jeph Loeb Free Online
Book Title: Superman/Batman, Vol. 2: Supergirl|
The author of the book: Jeph Loeb
Edition: DC Direct
Date of issue: July 1st 2011
ISBN 13: 9781401230609
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.22 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.6
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This was part of a mini-re-read of my Supergirl comics when I happened to be at home where they were. I don't know a lot about the history of Supergirl, except what I've read on Wikipedia and in Jeph Loeb's, so I came at this story aware that there had previous Supergirl, but not really knowing how her absence and death had played into the DCU post-Crisis on Infinite Earths. It seems as if Superman has been expecting Kara from Krypton to show up, to the extent (not revealed in this volume) that he'd mis-identified Power Girl as her; furthermore there had been other, non-Kryptonian Supergirls in this inter-crisis world, but I don't know how strongly or powerfully this had been emphasised. Which is important to the storyline here, I think. Coming at this cold, Superman comes across as overly trusting while Batman has a more sensible, sceptical viewpoint - unless this is something that Superman has been waiting for ever since the last crisis, in which case his response seems entirely reasonable.
However, I didn't come at this volume completely unknowing about Kara Zor-El (I think I've seen the film, although I can't remember it too well). I'd read the first volume of this Kara's story, Supergirl, Vol. 1: Power, a little before I read it. The important contrast between that volume and this one is that it is a Kara Zor-El story whereas this is a story about Supergirl - the protagonists are Superman and Batman. This is fair enough, as it's their series, but a bad things do result from this, which can essentially be summed up as possessiveness: Superman, as her male relative, believes that he should have control of Kara's destiny, that she should stay with him so that he can teach her about Earth; Batman is simply scared of the unknown female, which he cannot predict as he has not tamed it; Wonder Woman tries to incorporated her into a society of women (beautiful women, as Batman reminds us); but little freedom is given to Kara to determine her own destiny, to decide what she wants to do. Her options seem to be live with these women, or have Clark always looking over her - I'm not really sure how those options compare.
Then, of course, there is Darkseid: he purports to give her freedom but really is even more controlling; but one wonders about the options presented to Kara and how clear it is that she would run off to live in a place where she appears to be more free, with a bad boy who offers her something more exciting than what Superman and Wonder Woman have given her. Of course he exploits and manipulates her, but one wonders how different this is to the treatment by Superman and the others.
This review owes much to knowing what happens in later volumes of this story: how the "Supergirl" identity is essentially forced on Kara, but people still talk about the responsibilities it entails; how Kara is more powerful than Clark - everyone says so - but he has learned to restrict his power and thus tries to force upon her the restrictions with which he has grown up. Apparently, it is too threatening to have a woman (or even girl) who is more powerful than a man and she must learn to restrain herself his way, rather than figure out for herself how to use her power.
The most interesting thing about Kara is that she is Superman without the baggage of being a cultural icon, without the idiotic aphorisms of Martha and Jonathan Kent, without the well-known history to determine her actions. She can't escape being his cousin, but she'd not him and shouldn't define herself solely through her relationship with him. But instead of exploring how differently things can turn out, largely this story (and to various extents those which follow) seem to be more about Kara accepting her identity as Superman's cousin than actually forming her own.
While I prefer the subsequent art in Kara's own series, there's nothing terribly wrong in this volume. One does wonder why Wonder Woman is so much slimmer and less muscular than Superman and Batman (which I can understand to a degree, but she's basically the same shape as the teenager Kara). The design of the Supergirl costume has great bits - I love how the cuffs of her sleeves go over her hands, it really gives the impression of a teenage superhero - but one wonders why a twenty-first century female superhero needs to wear a skirt (Wonder Woman never has), especially as her suit so closely resembles her cousin's that it might as well be identical, except in teenaged-girl size. This would bother me less if she'd chosen her own outfit, but she isn't given options or a say in the design process (she doesn't even know that Martha Kent is making it until after she's wearing it) but it seems as if Clark and Martha decided that what girls wear is short skirts and bare midriffs. As for what Kara herself wants to wear, well, there will be some time before we get to see that.
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Read information about the authorJoseph "Jeph" Loeb III is an Emmy and WGA nominated American film and television writer, producer and award-winning comic book writer. Loeb was a Co-Executive Producer on the NBC hit show Heroes, and formerly a producer/writer on the TV series Smallville and Lost.
A four-time Eisner Award winner and five-time Wizard Fan Awards winner (see below), Loeb's comic book career includes work on many major characters, including Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, Hulk, Captain America, Cable, Iron Man, Daredevil, Supergirl, the Avengers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, much of which he has produced in collaboration with artist Tim Sale, who provides the comic art seen on Heroes.
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