“Supergirl” #12 marks a full year of tales for the cousin of Superman and also brings the second visit from the Man of Steel. This time, however, the relatives are able to use their words and have an actual conversation.
Michael Green and Mike Johnson use that conversation as a springboard into the thoughts of Supergirl as she sets out on her own to try to find more information about how she came to Earth, how her baby cousin could possibly be older and what she’s supposed to do now. The writing duo verbalize the thoughts of a teenager nicely, complete with point-counterpoint thinking and even include a vast amount of Kara second guessing herself.
While the storytelling is as strong as it ever has been from Mahmud Asrar, the finished art throughout this issue is uneven. In some scenes the artwork is very clearly all Asrar, resplendent with his signature gray tones (or at least a facsimile of his gray tones through the coloring magic of Dave McCaig), but other parts are tinged with influences as varied as Matthew Clark and Phil Hester. That, I suspect, is in no small part due to the inking duo accompanying Asrar on finishes throughout “Supergirl” #12. Cam Smith and Marc Deering are both competent inkers, however, their competence at times overpowers the more open, subtle work of Asrar.
The scope of the adventure in this chapter runs from Superman’s Fortress of Solitude to the very depths of the Atlantic Ocean, mixing in a little mystery along the science fiction-superhero path. Green and Johnson manage to avoid the seemingly inevitable confrontation with the most famous denizen of Atlantis, but it is only the final thirteen pages of the book that take place under the sea. While submerged, Supergirl discovers some new powers and new ways that she has been affected by those powers. Quite a bit occurs in this issue to dispel the notion that “Supergirl” is a slower moving title. As a matter of fact, this issue even includes a cliffhanger reveal that sets up what could very possibly be the confrontation that earns Supergirl a bona fide nemesis.
Given that next month offers up a “tell-all” #0 issue and that this issue is the twelfth of the current series, “Supergirl” #12 is amazingly accessible for new or lapsed readers. The Maid of Might has been searching for answers and now is the time to join her in that search.