This week Supergirl gets the DC Rebirth treatment, and the Hulk is laid to rest in The Fallen!
Supergirl Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)
It’s pretty strange that DC didn’t have a Supergirl series on the racks when her TV show debuted last year. Luckily for them though, DC Rebirth is here to give new Supergirl fans an easy entry point into the Girl of Steel’s comic book adventures. Written by Steve Orlando and drawn by Emanuela Lupacchino, Supergirl Rebirth is the perfect jumping on point for fans of the TV series, even if it does go a little too fast.
Kara Zor-El is desperate to get her powers back, and with the help of the D.E.O. (Department of Extranormal Operations), she gets them back pretty much right away, rocketing into the sun to recharge her abilities. Of course, the flip side of that is that the rocket that was used to help get Supergirl into the sun used Phantom Zone energy, which releases a kryptonian named Lar-On into our world, who’s also a werewolf (yes, you read that right). Recognizing the emblem on Supergirl, Lar-On goes on the attack, but it isn’t long before Supergirl is able to subdue him and gain his trust. In return for her help, the D.E.O. gives Supergirl a new secret identity as a high school girl in order to learn more about the humans around here.
That’s a lot of plot for one issue, and Steve Orlando definitely whips through the necessary plot points extremely quickly. Hell, Supergirl gets her powers back by the fifth page of the comic. Plus the whole “Kryptonian Werewolf” plot point is also a bit, well, weird. However, Orlando’s script gets the job done, and sets the stage for what could be a pretty fun series once the first issue hits. His characterization of Supergirl is already way better than anything I’ve read featuring her since the New 52.
While the plot is a little rushed, the art by Emanuela Lupacchino is incredible. I haven’t seen any of her work before, but holy crap I was super impressed by it. Lupacchino presents some really dynamic and thrilling pages in Supergirl Rebirth, but she also shows that she has a great ability to showcase the dramatic moments as well. There really isn’t a bad page in the whole book.
While Supergirl Rebirth is a little rushed and features some crazy moments, it’s still a really great jumping on point for new readers. If you’re a fan of the Supergirl TV show or even just curious about the character, this is the book to pick up.
The Fallen #1 (Marvel Comics)
Last week Marvel showed us The Accused, a comic that was pretty much the definition of a “needless tie-in”. This week though is The Fallen, the Greg Pak written one-shot that explores the fallout of the death of Bruce Banner amongst his closest friends. Featuring art by Marvel legend Mark Bagley, The Fallen is a really well done “eulogy” for the Hulk, but like The Accused, it’s not very necessary.
Much of The Fallen focuses on the funeral and the will of Bruce Banner, and how that affects Betty Ross, Amadeus Cho, and Rick Jones. Greg Pak, the writer behind modern classic Hulk tales like “Planet Hulk” and “Fall of the Hulks”, really does a great job of nailing the connections that the Hulk made with people, despite being a raging monster. Pak’s dialogue for Bruce’s virtual reality “will” was really well done, and there’s even some fun appearances from some characters from the Planet Hulk era of the jade giant in this issue.
Mark Bagley is pretty well regarded in the Marvel offices, but unfortunately The Fallen is not his best work. While you can definitely tell that Bagley drew this issue, it’s pretty clear that he wasn’t taking his time. There’s a pretty sloppy look throughout the issue, and it doesn’t complement Pak’s script that well. For the amount of care that Pak put into this issue, it wouldn’t have killed Bagley to at least try.
Like The Accused, The Fallen isn’t a necessary book to flesh out your Civil War II reading experience, but it’s definitely a much better book than The Accused. You can tell Pak really cares about Bruce Banner and the Hulk. In fact, The Fallen would even serve as a great capper to Pak’s Hulk run if he decided to quit writing the character. As far as Civil War II tie-in books go, The Fallen is definitely one of the better things to come out of the event, but really only essential for Hulk mega fans.