Without a "Supergirl" title on their roster for over a year, DC Comics has left fans of the heroine high and dry for months. Fortunately, though, the digital-first "Adventures of Supergirl" hit shelves this week, and it's a title that will welcome fans new and old. Sterling Gates and Bengal's "Adventures of Supergirl" #1 is a quick-paced romp around National City as Kara takes on Rampage, a villain from the '80s.
Gates, who penned the character's solo title between 2008 and 2011, makes his familiarity with Kara readily apparent. His opening two pages are an easy read, and he successfully captures "Supergirl" star Melissa Benoist's voice in a quick breakdown of the character's powers. A spunky protagonist who is excited to prove herself and do the right thing, Gates' Kara doesn't pull any punches and she quickly does her best to bring down Rampage. A sort of orange Hulk rip-off, Rampage has her own agenda, and -- when she isn't punching things or in a state of emotional upheaval -- she reverts to a red-headed woman with glasses and a sad tale. It's the sort of setup that will echo a future conflict between Kara and her sister and leave fans aching after the cliffhanger.
One of the first noticeable aspects of this issue's artwork was Kara's bright grin beaming up from the pages. Bengal's striking attention to detail is evident in every panel, bringing an energetic feel to the cast of characters. Kara's big smile and wide-eyed expressions are gorgeous and make her just as likeable as her television counterpart, while his Alex Danvers conveys the stern older sister that fans of the show know so well. "Adventures of Supergirl" is extremely lighthearted and happy, and the vibrant style of Bengal's environments paired with Gates' writing is a certain kind of magic. Bengal frames each action shot wonderfully, with perfect action lines and just enough bright color to make his art pop. The issue feels almost cartoon-like, but his care makes every expression is just right and creates a perfect flow of narration, much like watching an episode. Bold lines and fun sequences keep the comic from being too serious, but it will be exciting to continue seeing his art on the series. Although the lettering from Saida Temofonte was a bit thin in places, every sound effect was stellar from the punches to the crashes during the big fight scenes.
While "Adventures of Supergirl" #1 is an excellent introduction to a charming, lively character, it feels a little too fast-paced for its page count. However, if you love Supergirl, the story will likely be everything you wanted out of this series. It's close enough to the TV show to please die-hards, but fun enough to entertain casual fans.