We get more of the new Lobo, establishing him as a particularly bad hombre who is, under no circumstances, to be crossed. He’s called to Earth to find a lead on the issue with the big, burly badass who’s taken his name and sullied his rep, but what he finds is Dr. Veritas being guarded by Supergirl who, to be fair, just wants to talk. Before that, we get some insight into how Kara is dealing with the fallout from Krypton Returns, but more on that later.
The art in this issue by Yildiray Cinar is absolutely fantastic. The characters are gorgeously rendered and brought to detailed, beautiful life, and the splash pages are amazing. The use of light, in particular, is amazingly well-realized and brought to the fore. Ray McCarthy’s inks also bring these images to stark life, rendering and emphasizing all the right things and places. What they also do a great job of is showing the pure, unbridled strength of Kara Zor-El in her brief battle with Lobo in an especially great splash page, along with a two-page splash that recaps the past several issues.
This issue feels like two steps back in terms of its characterization of Supergirl. I’ve enjoyed Tony Bedard’s writing elsewhere, so it was a little surprising to see, after a solid run with Michael Alan Nelson that poked fun at some of the absurdity of Supergirl’s previous storylines and had some incredible advances in the character, we’re back to her openly weeping about her oh-so-sad lot in life for multiple pages. I’m not made of stone, I like my characters to have appropriate moods and reactions to the events around them and, of course, after Krypton Returns, Kara’s not in a good place, so it’s only natural she should be somewhat emotionally compromised.
But having her try to return to Siobhan, only to be rebuked by the very NOTION that she’d gotten a new roommate made me want to shout “WHY!?!??!” at the top of my lungs. She doesn’t even go in and say hi, or ask what happened, she just sees her former roommate, WHO KARA INTERACTED WITH AS SHE SPED OFF-PLANET ON A SPACE MOTORCYCLE, with another friend and flies away sobbing. She even acknowledges that Siobhan may have needed to make rent, but that “doesn’t matter.” HOW?! How does that not matter?! Supergirl left without a word and is now horrified and hurt that...her friend has another friend?!?! It actually comes off a little creepy. We also get Lobo picking a fight when he really doesn’t need to. I get it, it’s comics, people fight, but Supergirl had made basically no moves to oppose him, and we’re to believe this is a more collected, professional Lobo, yet he straight up lashes out and attacks an opponent he knows nothing about and that turns out to be a ruinously poor decision on his part. His dialog is also incongruous with his new look, a change I don't mind, but he still sounds like he's being written like a burly 80s biker, but certainly doesn't look that part any longer.
Supergirl’s a weird, tricky character. She can’t just be Superman With a Y Chromosome because it defeats the purpose, but making her fret and hem and haw every decision certainly isn’t the right answer, it just turns her into “Overly Emotional Superman.” I feel like I may have been too hard on this particular issue because it followed a truly great run, but it’s hard not to be after the character made SUCH progress and development, particularly in the issues leading up to and including Cyborg Superman. I truly hope the next few issues develop her character more.