In Review: Supergirl #10

The Fatal Five continues to grow, while Supergirl and her friends are trapped in the Phantom Zone.

The covers: Two very different covers for fans of the Maid of Might to track down. The Regular cover is by Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Michael Atiyeh. This features Supergirl flying as fast as she can with Batgirl tagging along to a cable that’s attached to Kara’s right arm. The reason the pair are speeding along is because they’re being pursued by a gigantic shadow entity. How big is this antagonist? This villain is high above the clouds. I like the point of view, with the villain and Batgirl looking best. But Supergirl…she looks like she’s holding her breath. The rest of her looks fine, but her face has the wrong emotion. The Variant cover is the one I purchased and it’s by Bengal. The reader is looking down upon Batgirl and Supergirl, with the former standing among some sharp, rocky debris, and the latter hovering slightly behind her friend. The two are unaware that the black background behind them is actually the head of the villain that wants to do them harm. The heroines look great and the massive black silhouette with two yellow eyes is creepy. I love this cover. Overall grades: Regular B- and Variant A

The story: Steve Orlando’s “Escape From the Phantom Zone” Part Two opens in Limbo Town, the subterranean home of Necromancy and Puritania where sorceress Selena has just escaped her imprisonment. She is confronted by three individuals, among them Magog and the Emerald Empress. They offer her to join with them so that she may retake her position as heir to Ataxia. This march to the forming of the Fatal Five ends without her answer and moves to the Phantom Zone, where Supergirl, Batgirl, and Ben Rubel are making their way forward in a low gravity, wind swept environment. Now in the PZ, Supergirl feels her abilities lessening. They hear a gong which signals the arrival of the Val-Kon a phantom cruiser vessel captained by Dr. Xa-Du, who recognizes Supergirl and her allies. They’re imprisoned because “I have use for your meats.” Imprisoned in Aethyropolis, Kara reveals to the others who Xa-Du is, which leaves Batgirl in charge, since Supergirl no longer has any powers. There’s a good return to a character from this year’s Batgirl Annual and a daring escape by the trio that has them rescuing someone, who has greater power than anyone thought. The issue ends with a great cliffhanger, with Supergirl having some sensational closing lines. Next issue is going to be very interesting! Overall grade: A-

The art: Selena’s escape is neatly done by Brian Ching on the first page, keeping the antagonist hidden until the page is turned. She looks great, very different from her inspiration, which is from the 1984 Supergirl film. Seeing the Fatal Five continues to be exciting, and as a Legion of Super-Heroes fan this cannot happen soon enough. Page 3 shows the heroes for the first time and they look good; I really Ching’s style on these characters. The Val-Kon looks interesting, but Ching doesn’t show enough of the ship. Page 5 has some really rough visuals, with the characters not being well defined, looking more like suggestions of characters. The bottom panel does look good with Xa-Du revealing himself in a close-up. Page 8 shows the imprisoned character, with Ching pulling in tight to give the character increased sympathy for her incarceration. This is followed by a graphic, but not-graphic, death of a character. This is incredibly well done, with Ching offing this individual in a frightening way. The characters’ escape is well done, with the bottom panel on 12 making me cheer. The reveal on 15 of Xa-Du’s Kryptonian armor looks fantastic and I would hope to see other Kryptonian villains in the same, since I’ve never enjoyed the current armor that was used in Man of Steel. A terrific visual surprise occurs on 16, launching into a spectacular double-page spread on 18 and 19. The book ends with two characters sporting reactions that mirror the readers’. A good job by Ching on this issue. Overall grade: B+

The colors: The colors by Michael Atiyeh are beautiful. Though it is killing people, check out the beautiful ghostly green on the opening two pages — so cool! These greens turn to aqua, providing visual continuity for the heroes that trod through the Phantom Zone. When they encounter someone, that individual’s speech is in a black dialogue balloon and colored red — foreshadowing! The prison the protagonists sit in is given a green washed shade, reminding the reader of the otherworldly setting. 9 has some fantastic oranges used for a disgusting effect. When the heroes try to escape their captors, backgrounds go to reds and yellows, to increase intensity, but they are light colors — not bolds. This allows the characters to remain the focus and not the backgrounds. The individual that appears on 17 is gorgeous in pink, which is not a color one associates with this species, but for the Phantom Zone it seems appropriate. Atiyeh does well. Overall grade: A

The letters: Steve Wands creates scene settings, dialogue, sounds, editorial notes, a voice in someone’s head, yells, and the story’s title and the book’s credits (the same font). The sounds on this book are great and I wish there were more of them on the final four pages. The voice that someone hears is uneven, giving it a neat wispy quality. As with the previous issue, the story title and credits on the final page are awesome. Wands needs to do more books. Overall grade: A 

The final line: The Fatal Five continues to grow, while Supergirl and her friends are trapped in the Phantom Zone. A fun read, with the story showing how one can be a hero without super powers. Overall grade: A-

To purchase a digital copy go to https://www.comixology.com/Supergirl-2016-10/digital-comic/505178?ref=c2VhcmNoL2luZGV4L2Rlc2t0b3Avc2xpZGVyTGlzdC90b3BSZXN1bHRzU2xpZGVy

To see both covers visit my Instagram account: patrickhayesscifipulse

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!” and he’s reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.

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