Old Comic Wednesday: (Rebirth) Supergirl Annual #1

I am a sucker for comic book annuals. I have annuals of series and characters that I don’t necessarily collect but there is a lot going on in there and that makes it well worth buying them.

In the U.S. it meant more money but also meant more story, or more storiesbig endings, big reveals, extras such as sketches and pin-ups and… stuff.

annuals

Often annuals were the culmination of a major plot line:

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For a time Marvel and DC were really big into making the annuals a Crossover Event. Marvel had Atlantis Attacks! and The Evolutionary War; DC had it going on for some years with their themed events such as Year One, Bloodlines, Elseworlds, Armageddon 2001, Pulp Heroes, and JLApe.

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Yes, this is a thing. And now, I want all of them.

I’m a Superman fan, my favorite Super series of all time is Superman Adventures which was based off of Superman: The Animated Series. The New 52 Superman left me very flat, the Grant Morrison run on the new Action Comics is great and George Perez gets “kicked off” of Superman; Great Rao what is up with that? Yes, I’m a New 52 Hater. There was some Good Stuff there but overall… a resounding meh.

Then Rebirth happened and I got All In with the Super titles and I loved the Lois and Clark prequel mini. In floppy form I have been reading: Action Comics, Superman, Super Sons, Supergirl and I was getting Trinity (Why did I drop it?) and I at least checked out New Superman and Superwoman but they weren’t my thing.

I’ve never been a major Supergirl fan, it seems that most of the time the character is directionless and the creators don’t know what to do with her within the At Large DCU. Her Big Moments were her 1st Appearance in Action Comics #252 and her death in Crisis On Infinite Earths #7. The current Rebirth era Supergirl title takes much of what it is from the current Supergirl television series, which works as at least there is something there to work with for character and plot ideas.

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By the way, the next CW crossover should be all LEGO!

So far it has been a very engaging title, very fun and too serious but serious enough really good superhero comics.

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This thing is, for lack of a better term, a hot mess. There is a lot going on in this middle chapter of the ongoing arc. The plot is very connect-the-dot… if we were connecting the dots on a Jackson Pollock painting.

Super – super powered Kara, Solomon Grundyzilla stomping around, Indigo acting much like Luthor in Action Comics right now – seriously, Cat Grant being… Cat Grant, the Emerald Empress as Snidley Whiplash; this thing seems to not know what it wants to be. Only the cliffhanger with Indigo throwing Supergirl under the bus with her comatose Cyborg Superman, but not that Cyborg Superman father, had any real gravitas to the story. Comic Box Commentary has a solid review of these issues also.

Steve Pugh arts his @$$ off and there is some really nice draft work with the panels, he draws well and is trying some creative layout choices. However the story is a pain to fit into those panels, Steve Orlando did him (and the readers) no favors.

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Art by Steve Pugh. Good art with good storytelling, many comic artists really don’t get this. If you can’t follow the story it doesn’t matter how good the art is.

Next time DC, Less is More and sometimes More is More; this didn’t know what it wanted to be and it falls in that “less” category. If the Plot Wagon is getting crammed full then make sure that it goes somewhere and not just in a circle. If this comic book were a part of the Donner Party it would have been some fatty eating, not much meat.

Overall it was overpaying for some story that should have been a part of the regular title and the annual should have been:

  1. The culmination of a Big Story.
  2. The start of a Big Story.
  3. Just a Big Story.

Not to play “armchair editor” but any other story would have been better:

  • Jon “Superboy” Kent and Supergirl team up
  • Lois Lane and Supergirl team up
  • To tie it further into the TV show, have Martian Manhunter and Supergirl team up.
  • Stan Lee makes a cameo, because Stan Lee. Just kidding but not really.
  • Mr. Mxyptlk + Supergirl + Silver Age pastiche = fun
  • Smaller, interconnected stories focusing on the supporting characters and how the Big Story of Supergirl affects them.

That wasn’t hard was it? This story was. I think I broke a tooth on it.

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