Every day this year, I will be examining the first pages of random comics. Today’s page is from Supergirl #43, which was published by DC and is cover dated April 2000. Enjoy!
Last year, I bought a bunch of Peter David’s Supergirl comics (another series DC seems content to leave uncollected). I didn’t get them all, and I’m still reading through my back issues, so I haven’t read any of them yet. I know Supergirl has a lot of fans, so I don’t think the book will stink, but I just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. Don’t you judge me!
That allows me to check out this page knowing almost nothing about the series. I’ll even get to something that puzzles the hell out of me. David begins the story with narrative boxes, as that brunette is clearly thinking about the events on the page. She implies that the dude on the sofa is a demon, even though she thought it was “Richard Malverne.” The dude on the couch calls himself “Buzz,” so I assume that the brunette is right – that ain’t Richard Malverne. Buzz obviously has some history with the brunette, and she’s not too happy about it, if her recoil is any indication.
You might wonder why I keep calling her “the brunette.” Well, this is why this first page is a bit confusing. If you’re a first-time reader of Supergirl and you pick this issue up at random (it could happen!), you’d see a blonde woman dressed in a Supergirl costume on the cover. Then, you’d open the issue and see this brunette. Sure, the fact that the book is called “Supergirl” and the fact that she has internal narration would lead you to believe this is Supergirl, especially if you’re not a completely new comic-book reader (Dinah Lance, for instance, wore a wig to go blonde, didn’t she?). But when you turn the page, the very next time you see that young lady, she has long (longer than it is here) blonde hair. What? I assume there’s a perfectly good explanation for this, and I doubt it would bother too many people, but we never see the blonde as this brunette again in this issue, and we find out soon enough that the blonde is, indeed, Supergirl, so I suppose any momentary confusion would soon dissipate, but it’s rather weird.
Leonard Kirk has changed his style in the 12 years since he drew this issue – on this page, he has a much cleaner and definitive line, where as now he’s relying a bit more on contrasts in coloring to indicate borders. This is a perfectly fine first page – he does a nice job showing the moment after Supergirl’s recoil, as the coffee table turns over and our heroine leaps backward. It’s a pretty good static “movement” shot – Supergirl’s hair is flung forward, the necklace is suspended in space, her arms are bent backward, and her left foot is rising off the sofa. “Buzz” has a fine, cocky grin on his face – I still think his head is too big, but his expression is pretty good, especially because he knows he shocked the hell out of our heroine.
I know I have to read this series, and I’ll get around to it. I have to get all the back issues first, and then I can plow right through it! This is a pretty good first page to hook the reader, I’ll admit. It’s mysterious and a bit nasty, especially because of the weird sexual undertones. We’re all about weird sexual undertones here at the blog!
Only a few days left to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your choice for a first page written about here on the blog. I can still accommodate some more, so if you’re at all interested in having me write about a first page you want the world to see, get to it!
Next: Is this Matt Fraction’s best Marvel comic? Let the debate begin! Prepare for the debate by checking out the archives!