Friday, January 6, 2017

Supergirl Joins The Alternative Lantern Corp At Her End In Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible.

The Good: Good artwork, Moments of character
The Bad: Awkward relationship changes, Irksome plot progression, Weird place in the larger DC Universe
The Basics: Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible works to resolve Supergirl's arc before the abrupt end of her storyline when Kara joins an intergalactic peacekeeping force.

As I have found myself into Supergirl of late, I have been interested in the direction that The New 52 took the character in. To that end, I figured that I had to finish the series and the end for The New 52 came with Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible. Whatever momentum the character arc for Supergirl had going into Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible, it is cut short in the final volume. Kara Zor-El has weird beginning in Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible, with an abruptly terminated attack by Brainiac that finishes off yet another crossover with Superman and Superboy that is concluded in Supergirl. But then, Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible goes into an entirely new arc that puts Supergirl as part of a new interstellar team that seems redundant in a universe filled with Corps's like the Green Lanterns.

Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible picks up after Supergirl: Volume 5 - Red Daughter Of Krypton (reviewed here!), with Kara abruptly falling to Earth some point after her Red Lantern Ring has been removed. No longer attached to the Red Lantern Corps and stuck on Earth on her own (Kal-El is apparently completely re-evaluating his place after his experience with the Doomsday virus), it seems instantly strange that after starting a new relationship for Kara, rather than give her real time on her own, Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible puts the Kryptonian woman in a group that is essentially the Green Lantern Corps without the rings!

Kara Zor-El crashes to Earth after the U.S. Military has deployed a Kryptonite bomb to stop Superman after he went crazy and mutated after fighting Doomsday. Rescued by Michael and kept away from the poisoned atmosphere in a bomb shelter, until she learns from Michael that his parents are in Metropolis, which is suffering from everyone inside suddenly falling into a coma. After recharging by flying above the Kryptonite cloud, Supergirl goes to Metropolis and starts to get survivors out, while Wonder Woman fights Lois Lane, who is behind the comas. Supergirl rescues Michael's parents and just as she begins to develop a relationship with Michael, Brainiac and Cyborg Superman attack Queens. After repelling Brainiac, Supergirl returns Michael's parents to him and there she finds Red Hood, who needs her help in taking down a syndicate who is selling alien weapons to street gangs.

After Kara starts working as a barista, where she is visited by Kal, she is abducted by Lys Amata, Perceptor Of Crucible Academy. There, Kara Zor-El is teamed with Maxima, Tsavo, and Comet to train to be a better protector of her homeworld (or adopted world, Earth). After extensive education at the Crucible, Kara and Tsavo are sent to Tsavo's homeworld, Ngo, which is embroiled in a civil war. There, Tsavo's brother has taken over, with the aid of rejects from the Crucible. Supergirl must fight to save Ngo and figure out what is going on with the Crucible Academy!

Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible is a weird volume that yet again redefines Supergirl and marginalizes her within her own book. Kara bounces between Michael, Kon-El (at least in that the volume devotes time to her making peace with the Kryptonian clone), and Comet. Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible rushes through having Kara actually get trained by the Crucible Academy before she ends up on Ngo as part of a "case." The character arc is erratic and hardly focused on Kara.

The artwork in Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible is good, brightly colored and with all of the characters consistently rendered. The sense of movement is all right in Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible, but the narrative is troublingly choppy.

Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible is the short straw of narratives for both Tony Bedard, who starts the volume and whose Red Lantern arc for Kara Zor-El is abruptly ended and is only a tiny portion of a larger crossover that makes Kara "just another Kryptonian," and the by K. Perkins and Mike Johnson, who get stuck at the end juggling between a lingering relationship story and a whole new organization that is created right before it is abruptly canned.

As a result, Supergirl: Volume 6 - Crucible is a mess that never quite hits its stride.

For other Supergirl New 52 works, be sure to visit my reviews of:
Volume 1 - Last Daughter Of Krypton
Voluime 2 - Girl In The World
Volume 3 - Sanctuary
(Supergirl: Volume 4 – Out Of The Past


For other graphic novel reviews, be sure to check out my Graphic Novel Review Index Page for an organized listing of all the graphic novel reviews I have written!

© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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