Supergirl Annual #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Steve Pugh
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: DC Comics
A Review by Greg Brothers
It has always been my experience that Annuals can be a bit of a mixed bag. At times, they may be a standalone story, or they might be part of the current storyline, or they might be used to change the status quo. Supergirl Annual #1 falls squarely into the current storyline with a twist that will change the status quo for Kara Danvers, and Supergirl moving forward.
Supergirl Annual #1 picks up right at where Supergirl #12 ends as Solomon Grundy and the Fatal Five are carrying out their plan in National City. As has been a theme throughout most of the series, Supergirl is once again having trouble controlling her powers. In a surprising twist, she has become too powerful, rather than her powers giving out on her when she needs them most.
Before I get into my thoughts on this issue, I am just going to get this out of the way: unless you are a regular reader of Supergirl, then you will be lost and confused when you pick up Supergirl Annual #1.
Writer Steve Orlando does a wonderful job bringing back a character who seems to have more origin stories than some characters have had series. He has taken parts of the current television version of the Supergirl, by adding Cat Grant and adding D.E.O, while tweaking the series and making Kara Danvers a high school student. Way back in Supergirl #1, we found out that Supergirl had lost her powers. In a bold move to try to get them back, she was launched into the Sun. While the plan worked and Supergirl could recharge, the issue of her powers not being completely right have been a current that has been bubbling under the surface.
Supergirl Annual #1 brings those issues with her inconsistent powers to the surface as Supergirl pushes herself fighting the Fatal Five. As her powers surge, innocent people in the area are put in danger and citizens question how safe their city is with her protecting it.
As doubt fills the citizens’ minds, Emerald Empress unleashes a secret that will have long lasting effects on the series moving forward. The reveal will allow Orlando to explore a completely different dynamic for both Kara Danvers, and Supergirl. It will be one that her cousin has rarely had to deal with and will help to separate the character from him. While the focus is on Supergirl, there are jumps to Cat Grant, and to Director Chase who are dealing with their own problems. The secondary stories help to establish that this attack on Supergirl is not just a typical attack, but instead is a systematic dismantling of all that has made the character feel safe.
Steve Pugh’s art shines throughout Supergirl Annual #1. Sharp and clean lines with a unique take on panel layouts help some of the characters feel larger than life, while moving the story forward perfectly. Meanwhile the colors pop as bright and engaging colors really draw your eyes into the action within the panels and some unique lettering moves your eyes along with the characters.
If you are a fan of the series than Supergirl Annual #1 is a Buy! Many of the themes that have been running throughout the series are brought to a head, and create a place for Orlando to take the character in a new direction. If you have not been following the series but are looking for a jumping on point, grab this and Supergirl #12 and you should quickly be able to piece together the rest of the story. Either way, the story and the art are both worth the price of admission. Orlando has taken a character who at times has been mistreated and instead starts to make her exciting and relevant.