If there’s any doubt on how much Nick Spencer had to do with any issues beyond “Supergirl” #60 (which he ended up only co-plotting), I think this current issue puts that question to rest. This is definitely all James Peaty.
I’m not saying that to slam Peaty — he brings his own strengths to the table, which we’ll get to shortly — but this doesn’t read like a Spencer comic at all. People who loved “Supergirl” #60’s different attitude and approach to a superhero comic will be slightly disappointed here; “Supergirl” #62 is a standard, by-the-numbers superhero comic. A lot of the offbeat, fun nature is gone, and this feels in many ways indistinguishable from almost any other superhero comic on the market.
That’s the bad news, so here’s the good news. As a writer, Peaty’s not bad, he just has the misfortune of stepping on board after a distinctive writer’s voice was briefly stamped on the book. One of the things that Peaty’s doing here, just like his one-issue fill-in before Sterling Gates came on board, is playing with the larger cast of the DC Universe. So we aren’t just getting Supergirl operating in a void here, but several other teen heroes guest-starring when Supergirl calls on them to give her a hand. It makes sense, and it’s nice to see Peaty writing her with the good sense to call in people who have different abilities than her own. After all, they all know one another on a professional basis, so why wouldn’t the call have gone out?
On the down side, once you get the guest stars out of the way, there’s not a lot else going on here. Bad guy Alex’s plan is underway, but considering this is part of his big plan it’s a little underwhelming. Maybe we’ll get a lot more to chew on next month, but having the population of a college walk away isn’t the most riveting thing to read about.
Bernard Chang is still on board as the new artist for the title, and he’s doing a nice job as always. I appreciate that you can tell which character is which when they’re in their “civilian” clothes rather than superhero outfits, for instance, and that something as simple as debris is drawn carefully and creatively. When the characters are in fighting mode, they look good too; Supergirl in particular has a lot of energy flying across the page, and in general there’s a lot of grace and speed in how his characters move. Chang also seems to like tight focuses on a character’s eyes, but it works well here; he’s able to bring across a great deal of emotion with such a limited space for expression.
“Supergirl” under Peaty and Chang is, when it’s all said and done, an average book. There are some fun bits and ideas, and the art looks great, but at the same time it needs a little something extra to stand out from the pack. If Supergirl is going to keep her own title, she needs a hook to justify its publication. From Peaty, I don’t feel like I’m getting that just yet.