the_mighty_monarch's Supergirl #17 - Girl vs. Goddess review

For the Love of Worlds and Els

Oh my god, I love this cover. The green is a powerful color choice, in fact a lot of the recent covers have had strongly color-dominated backgrounds, but this one stand out even more due to the unique perspective. The titular Supergirl is seen only by her arms, as we see the 'enemy' Wonder Woman from Supergirl's point of view. It's a very delicate balance between us as readers seeing Wonder Woman in danger, and us through Supergirl seeing her as a powerful threat. Her legs look a little off, but her upper body, face, and lasso look amazing. I think I'd love to see Mahmud Asrar draw Wonder Woman someday when he's done Supergirl and Cliff Chiang is done Wonder Woman.

It may seem like it's a bit of a repetition of the previous issue with another Justice League member standing in Supergirl's way, but this showdown is much more meaningful and drives Supergirl's character a lot more. In a perfect world, Wonder Woman would be Supergirl's idol in the Justice League, and ideal to look up to, and deep down she knows it. Even Wonder Woman is impressed in a way, by Supergirl's strength of character, but she also knows the time for talking is done, and the only way to stop Supergirl is to force her into submission. These two strong female characters are remarkably similar, warriors fighting so hard to save their home worlds while the men they love (as much as I hate to admit that about Wonder Woman and Superman) fight the main war. Wonder Woman's very well written here based off her solo series. You can really see that she doesn't want to have to fight Supergirl, but she's got the conviction to know she has to, a delicate balance of compassion and determination.

I've seen a lot of people disagree, but I for one absolutely love Mahmud Asrar's artwork. Of all the H'el On Earth artists, it's Mahmud Asrar's depiction of H'el I love the best. The bright colors are absolutely stunning, the dynamism is amazing, and the entire tone manages to be very animated without being goofy. The fight scene in this issue is just so huge and epic, it's exactly as awesome as a battle between Supergirl and Wonder Woman should be. The Flash was the penultimate boss, and for Supergirl's mission, Wonder Woman is the final boss battle.

Supergirl's determination is admirable, even if its for the wrong reasons. We're seeing the world collapse before our eyes, and the Justice League we've had helping are seen assisting around the world, really adding to the scale of this arc. But Supergirl has been lying to herself, she desperately needs to cling to the hope that her home can be restored, and that she chose the right man to love, but the lasso of truth prevents her from continuing to lie to herself, and all her restrained doubts finally break through. Yet another reason Wonder Woman was a perfect choice for this final battle, she is the best one to make Supergirl see the truth.

But He'l may be a bit TOO convincing, he says that by going back in time to save Krypton, it will erase this conflict on the Earth and Earth will never be in danger in the first place. Supergirl is busy with her own internal conflict to truly listen to his words now, but I'm kind of thinking H'el might be right. Although if he did that, Superman would never exist and that would be bad for the Earth. BUT in this context, he's not exactly wrong, except perhaps for the appearance of The Oracle causing time to collapse around Earth, that might throw his ideas into disarray. I'm really wondering if He'l is TRULY evil or if he's just a zealot. Does he genuinely believe his own words, or is he still hiding a secret with his usually hidden scar? It's really intriguing based on the side we've seen of him in this series. The major concern I have is more about the arc than this individual issue, but I find it hard to see how the next issue of Superman will wrap up the arc when we've got H'el's motives to fully explain, his scar to explain, his ridiculous extra powers to explain, the whole thing with The Oracle to explain AND the big final battle to occur. It's a LOT to have in just one more issue.

In Conclusion: 5/5

Other reviewers have found fault in moments that I found strong. I think Supergirl's character is perfectly represented from her intense need to cling to a false hope, and the lasso of truth forcing her to stop lying to herself, and turning on He'l so quickly once all her internalized doubts are forced to emerge. Plus, the battle is just epic, and the character work is so extraordinarily deep. This is definitely the best of the self-titled Super Family books.

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