In the aftermath of her struggle against the Worldkillers, Supergirl finds a most unlikely ally in “Supergirl” #8. That ally comes to Supergirl’s defense in the first three pages of this latest installment in the form of Siobhan Smythe.
Siobhan has the ability to understand and speak languages, allowing her to serve as a translator for Supergirl. Finally having someone to talk to who (at least literally) understands her, Michael Green and Mike Johnson allow Supergirl to hesitantly place her trust in Siobhan. After facing down the armed forces gathered to neutralize any threat Supergirl poses, Siobhan and Supergirl spend the rest of the issue building a strong bond. Each of them painfully alone, they form a nice friendship that I hope can last beyond this issue. Green and Johnson continue to write believably real, scared and lonely young characters that walk the tightrope between being scared lifeless and living life full bore. That said, the writing duo deliver a story that has humor, hope and conflict. “Supergirl” is a well-rounded read with a nice cast addition joining right here.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure how possible it is going to be to allow Supergirl a little happiness or downtime as this issue not only introduces Siobhan, but a threat to her as well as the post-relaunch reimagining of a classic Superman/Supergirl villain.
The highest compliment of any is given to Mahmud Asrar in this issue and he doesn’t even draw a line. Giving the regular series artist a break, DC calls in a fill-in artist to try to keep pace and maintain the quality set forth by Asrar. Who do they call? None other than George Perez. Only Perez can put eleven panels on a page, filling them all with insane amounts of detail, make one of the panels one-third the height of the page and make it all look spectacular, right down to the sesame seeds on top of a hamburger bun in a jam-packed crowd scene. To compare Perez and Asrar is not fair to either artist, as their styles are magnificently unique, but Perez certainly does a great job filling in. If we can look forward to this kind of treatment every time Asrar needs a break, then this book is certainly in great hands.
This relaunched “Supergirl” has eight issues behind it, but Supergirl still hasn’t learned English, she doesn’t have a home, and has only been able to have conversations with a handful of other characters, but the overall narrative doesn’t feel decompressed or stretched out. Quite the opposite, in fact, and this issue is a splendid example of what “Supergirl” has to offer readers. Sure, every issue doesn’t have Perez art, but the density of the story, increased visually by Perez’s propensity to fill panels, is on par with the series. As a matter of fact, this issue serves as a nice introduction to readers looking for an in with the Kryptonian cousin of Superman.