By Steve Orlando, Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Michael Atiyeh
Supergirl #12 is the first issue that kicks off “The Girl of No Tomorrow“, pitting Supergirl against The Emerald Empress’s Fatal Five. This represents an interesting challenge for Kara, who is having trouble mastering her powers which are taking different directions to what she expected them to take, putting her in one awkward situation after another. She’s accidentally smashing windows and causing holes in school corridors, and whilst there’s no direct conflict with the Fatal Five in this issue, Orlando does a good job at fleshing out who Kara’s opponents are likely to be, balancing the page-time between Kara and her latest opponent.
The artwork is amazing, with Robson Rocha’s pencils and Daniel Henriques clean inks really adding an extra layer of depth to the character and helping to flesh her out. The panels where Supergirl is in flight are colored really well by Michael Atiyeh, with Daniel Henriques adding depth with some great inks. The book itself is an incredibly eye-catching one, adding much-needed depth to Supergirl’s emotions. The attention to detail on The Fatal Five is also really exciting as we get to see these characters developed very well. While it’s difficult to portray what the motivations behind these five villains are in this chapter, we do get to see what their powers are and how much of a threat they pose to Kara.
The book itself is a bit confusing at the start, but it’s clear that Orlando will answer most questions by the end of the current arc, so the intriguing element that Cat Grant brings to the table does a good job at hinting what’s to come with the character’s storyline. There are some questionable decisions made by Kara herself in this issue. Though she doesn’t have full control over her powers yet, when she decides to go to school anyway is something that puts herself and others at risk. It also looks as though the storyline could be going down a fairly predictable route that we’ve seen thousands of times before in other superhero comics (and the shows themselves), and if you’ve read the book than it will become apparent what is happening here. But hopefully Orlando knows that he’s going to have to do something to keep it fresh going forward, and it’ll be interesting to see what direction the creative team goes from here.
Supergirl #12 feels fresh, exciting and engaging, putting Kara front and center as it kickstarts an interesting new arc, balancing the development between her and The Fatal Five effectively. Despite a few minor squibbles (namely a couple of instances of under-developed dialogue that the issue suffers from), the book itself still remains an interesting read. It’s not perfect, but if you’re a fan of the character or of Steve Orlando’s work, you should consider picking this one up. It’s one of the best issues of Supergirl post-Rebirth despite its flaws, setting the ground for a very promising arc to come if it can keep the element of unpredictability that it needs going forward.