Comic Vine Review


Supergirl #23 - Out of the Past Review


Supergirl tangles with her own memories while Cyborg Superman springs his trap AND his identity.

The Good

Michael Alan Nelson has done the impossible, and that makes him mighty. He has taken an ongoing book that was headed into a sure death-spiral of dullness and irrelevance and pulled it out into one of the more enjoyable books on the shelf, taking its principal player and turned her not only into her own well-defined character, but turning the previous missteps of the book into strengths. The book has poked fun at many of the previous conventions of the book and this one even skewers Tex Tuthor and his irrelevant, forgettable nature, and that joke will likely outlast the character himself. But it does so much more than that, it takes Kara Zor-El into a more introspective place where she transcends the labels that keep following her, whether those labels be “snooty elitist” or “teenage runaway/party girl,” none of those were ever terribly interesting (which is why Jeph Loeb did such a great job reintroducing her pre New-52) nor relevant, but this book that continues her questioning of herself and her motivations in the face of the newly introduced Cyborg Superman is one of the most interesting plot threads running through this corner of the DCU.

Diogenes Neves and Chad Hardin take over pencils with Marc Deering and Wayne Faucher on inks and the ever-popular (at least if you’ve read my Batwoman review) Guy Major tackling colors. The art on this book is absolutely amazing, and I’m surprised this many people worked on it as it’s very, very consistent throughout the issue. I want to make it clear, for reasons that will soon be revealed, that not only do I have no problem with the art, but think it’s downright great. There’s a lot of great emotion on Supergirl’s face and in her body language, and since this issue is almost all her, that needs to be as good as it is. There’s also a ton of action and it’s all very fluid and hard-hitting with Kara showing why she’s never to be underestimated. I also, as a HUGE fan of Cyborg Superman's old character design, love his new look AND the reveal of his identity at the end of this issue. Minor spoiler alert: it’s NOT Hank Henshaw. Not at ALL.

The Bad

To put it bluntly: this book was solicited as having Mahmud Asrar on the interior art, as well as the cover (which he still does) and to not have him featured feels disingenuous. Again, don’t mistake my intent for a moment, the artists on this book do an amazing job but frankly that’s part of the problem: they’re good enough to have been featured on the solicitation. And while the book doesn’t have the mistake on the cover (though the cover does only have two artists), it’s still disappointing to see this still happen time and again in this industry. I get, better than most, that books need to be solicited months in advance, but things like this are worth issuing a formal correction the moment they become known. And yet, I have a very hard time holding it against the issue itself as it’s a GREAT read, though not without flaws. The portion of the book where Kara battles her own memories, very literally as constructs, is a bit hyperextended and eventually starts to feel like padding. As much as I enjoy the commentary on certain parts of it, others feel like they’re acknowledging events that aren’t worth acknowledging and I would have liked to see the Cyborg Superman and Supergirl directly fight for a few of those pages. Additionally, there are a few panels that are either awkardly staged or have odd, and very flat, facial expressions from some of the characters

The Verdict

Supergirl has gone from forgettable and even skippable to a must-read. This arc with the morphing planet and the Cyborg Superman is one of the most interesting in all her history, not just the New-52, and while I don’t blame the previous writers for what seemed to be an event-driven book, I certainly praise the current one for what he’s accomplishing. And again, the artist isn’t the one advertised, and certainly isn’t the ONE anything, but they’re all still great and make this book visually incredible. Whether you’re a fan of the character, or just been reticent about the previous arcs, this book is well worth checking out and picking up.

Posted by Lvenger

Who is the new Cyborg Superman then if not Henshaw?

Edited by Rubear

Trust me you dont want for someone to ruin surprise. Big surprise.

Posted by The Mast

Me when I read the last page.

Edited by saoakden

First off I love the Supergirl cover. Second of all I like Cyborg Superman's new 52 design. It looks better to me as oppose to this. Although the image I chose for the comment I do like the red and black costume. To me New 52 Cyborg Superman looks better and the pre-52 Cyborg Superman reminds me of Frieza after he got his butt handed to after fighting Goku on Namek. Don't get me wrong I like the character no matter what he looks like. Last thing, whether he is Hank Henshaw or not it doesn't matter to me. As long as we have the Cyborg Superman in The New 52 I'm cool. (Yes I did read the spoiler. I'm perfectly ok with it.)

Posted by batmannflash

Wow the last couple pages left me pretty dang shocked

Posted by anthonygiu

I just finished reading it...Wow...that's threw me wayyy off.

Edited by Trevel8182


Posted by Birthright

This book just got %100 more interesting

Posted by SandMan_
Posted by Dernman

I didn't like this. Hopefully things are not what they appear.

Edited by Herokiller12344

Not Hank Henshaw

The New 52 just continues to completely screw me over. Henshaw was one of my top Superman villains, and now he's gone. They dropped the ball with Joker, now they're dropping it with The Cyborg. I swear to God, if they do something braindead with Zod too, I'm quitting.

Posted by Nheritor
Edited by entropy_aegis

What a load of horse crap,hopefully this is retconned quick,you want to give Supergirl a nemesis then make your own character,dont butcher any already existing character.I was excited for the Cyborg Superman issue but not anymore,this BS is dropped.

Posted by Ando123

Oh my god¡¡ I cant belive it ¡¡¡

Posted by Lvenger

@nheritor: Well I was not expecting that. This could be played out well but Henshaw's departure does rob DC of a compelling and menacing villain.

Posted by Jake Fury

Awesome issue!!!! I love this series.

Posted by ajshadowhawk

I'll agree with Corey. Supergirl started off as quite an interesting book, but it went down the pile VERY quick. The idiotic "H'el on Earth" arc didn't help matters any, but then Mike Johnson started to go back to the top with the Power Girl/Supergirl team-up and then came Michael Alan Nelson with the whole Cyborg-Superman arc. The new arc started off a bit "eh" but I think with #23 that Michael has finally hit his stride and he is starting to GET into the character. This was an amazing issue.