Review: Supergirl Rebirth #1
Submitted by: Kelly Aliano, PhD, Comics News Editor
17 August 2016
**Spoilers to Follow**
Supergirl Rebirth #1 begins with events on Krypton, before the planet’s destruction, but after Kara Zor-El’s departure. We see her father punish a man named Lar-On, sending him off-world to the Phantom Zone, for bringing a disease amongst the citizens. Zor-El reminds readers of the sacrifice he himself had to make for the safety of his only daughter, sending her away so that she might survive. It is a clever way for the story to begin with exposition in a way that is not simply Supergirl retelling her origin story to a willing listener.
The issue, written by Steve Orlando, with penciller Emanuela Lupacchino, inker Ray McCarthy, and colorist Michael Atiyeh, then takes us to the present day, where Supergirl’s life is much like it is on the “Supergirl” television series, about to return for a second season, albeit on The CW, as opposed to CBS. Supergirl is participating in a mission for the D.E.O., but this time, it is her Earth parents who are her handlers, as opposed to her adoptive sister on the television program. As might be expected, the villain they encounter is none other than Lar-On, who has just escaped the Phantom Zone and who is too powerful for the D.E.O. to battle on their own. Supergirl swoops in to assist; Lar-On recognizes the symbol on her chest and swears he will kill her, as revenge for what her father did to him back on Krypton.
The best part of the book comes when Kara is actually attempting to settle things with Lar-On. She realizes that his pain and anger is not so different from her own, as they are the lasts of their kind on a foreign world. She tries to explain to him what has happened, and draw attention to the similarities in their experiences. From there, the action slows so that it can set up the narrative for future books: that this follows the death of Superman, that she has not yet assumed her secret identity as Kara Danvers, and that she owes a great deal to the D.E.O. and therefore must follow orders. There is also a terrific little epilogue that I won’t spoil here, but it really is a highlight of the issue.