Let’s get the white elephant in the room recognized right off the bat. This issue of “Supergirl” doesn’t star Supergirl. She’s on just about half of the pages in this issue, sure, but the focus this month is actually on her mother, Alura, the leader of New Krypton. I won’t deny it, when I discovered this I was disappointed. Supergirl and her own stories (like Lana Lang’s mystery illness) have been continually pushed into the background of “Supergirl” ever since New Krypton first appeared. Still, credit where it’s due: Sterling Gates made this an entertaining issue.
“Supergirl” #47 is an epilogue to several stories; most notably the recent “Codename: Patriot” but also to earlier events within “Supergirl.” And, with Reactron captured and taken to New Krypton for trial, it’s a chance for several characters to try and come to terms with a killer that murdered Kryptonians very important to them. Gates focuses on Alura as a result, with her grief over the loss of her husband Zor-El and memories of their time together. It lets us see how Alura reacts to big moments in her life, and while we’re getting that as well over in “World of New Krypton,” it feels more at home in “Supergirl.”
Matt Camp is on board this month for the art, and he’s a good fit for the book. Like most of the Super-books these days, Camp’s art uses a crisp, clean line. No crosshatching, no harsh shadows, no jagged edges. It’s a style that I’m always glad to see find a home, and if any of the Super-books is looking for a new artist Camp is definitely someone to consider. It’s the little touches in Camp’s art that sold me in the end; when Supergirl and Alura stand next to each other, they’re clearly daughter and mother, but without looking identical. It’s nice to see Camp take the time to keep them both similar yet different.
“Supergirl” #47 has one big flaw, though, and it’s an intensely predictable ending. The fate of Reactron seems so obvious from the start that I found myself wondering how they’d try and surprise us otherwise. As it turns out, it doesn’t. I’m not saying that every comic needs to have an eleventh hour twist waiting around the corner, but for a book that seems to think it’s faked us out, we get anything but that. Still, even with the obvious hanging over the book from start to finish, it’s a nice enough issue. Here’s hoping that next month finally starts focusing on Supergirl again. It is her own book, after all. Is that too much to ask for?