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Supergirl floats in space, arms flexed, wreathed in magenta, orange, and yellow flames in the shape of phoenix wings, fire glowing from her eyes like stars in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2 (2021). Image: Tom King, Bilquis Evely/DC Comics

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Quite simply, the new Supergirl will eff you UP

And anyone else who thinks she might be an easier target than Superman

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Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

I don’t think many folks knew what to expect from Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, DC’s Supergirl miniseries from Tom King and Bilquis Evely.

Superlative art, of course; I’ll read anything Evely does, no questions asked. But was Supergirl really the right character for one of Tom King’s characteristic moody character explorations, like Vision, Batman, Rorschach, or Mister Miracle?

Surprisingly, two issues in, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is not really like any of those. It’s an adventure-comedy potential-Bildungsroman in a space fantasy setting. Issue #2 was about Supergirl and the narrator — an alien farm girl on a Very Serious Quest to avenge her dad — having to take a Space Greyhound Bus full of weird alien yahoos across the galaxy.

And if the series has anything to say about Supergirl, it’s that we’ve all ben sleeping on the potential of Kara Zor-El, Superman’s cousin.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2

“Well. Let’s see,” Supergirl says to the ray gun pointed at her face, “I’m wearing a big yellow S on my chest. And a very fashionable red skirt.” She slurps her drink slowly and set it down on the bar. “So if I’m not Supergirl,” she says to the alien holding the gun, “who the %@## do you think I am?” The narrator explains that this sort of thing happened quite frequently during their journeys with Supergirl in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2 (2021). Image: Tom King, Bilquis Evely/DC Comics

It was hard to pick a single moment from Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #2, but I want this page — about what happens after an alien points a gun at a de-powered Supergirl and asks her if she’s Supergirl, cousin of Superman, who put his brothers in the Phantom Zone — on my wall.

So far, King has got his levels of comedy and pathos well blended, and Evely and colorist Matheus Lopes are bringing it to absolutely gorgeous life as always. I’m not sure about the conceit of the narrator being over-the-top verbose — there is such a thing as too much dialogue on a comics page — but so far it works more often than it doesn’t.

Superman and the Authority #1

From a hovering chair, Manchester Black excoriates Superman for various things as Superman gently explains that he has saved Manchester’s life and repaired his spine and needs his help in Superman and the Authority #1 (2021) Image: Grant Morrison, Mikel Janín/DC Comics

Grant Morrison is hit or miss for me but the first issue of Superman and the Authority hit me in just the right spot. The comedy of Manchester Black having some Good Points but being a total asshole about them with Superman taking a deep breath before calmly saying “I made an executive decision to save you from paraplegia.” That’s the kind of high pulp hijinks plus Characters Knowing How Weird This Is that I like.

Very curious to see how Morrison treats Superman’s interactions with Apollo (a character created in his image for a different publishing company) and his boyfriend Midnighter (same, but Batman). It’s the first series in the decade since Wildstorm was merged with the DCU that could finally lean into that weirdness.

Shazam! #1

“What if, one day, I can’t just go back to being a kid?” Billy Batson shares his fear of not being able to change back from his adult Shazam form with Nightwing, who replies “That’s what growing up is, Billy. Sooner or later, we all have to do it,” in Shazam! #1 (2021). Image: Tim Sheridan, Clayton Henry/DC Comics

I was not a big fan of Tim Sheridan’s Teen Titans Academy, whose first few issues had overpowering “How do you do, fellow kids?” energy. But I got no such vibes from Shazam! #1, which pairs him with illustrator Clayton Henry. Billy Batson is struggling with his powers, and it’s forcing him to actually interact with other teen superheroes instead of the Justice League.

There are infamous reimaginings of what happens to his superhero identity when Billy Batson grows up — from Miracleman to The Dark Knight Strikes Again to Kingdom Come — and they’re all dark as hell. Exploring that idea from the point of view that growing up is a natural part of life intrigues me.

Nightwing #82

Mr. Haley mediates a disagreement between John and Mary, Nightwing’s parents, and a violent spouse — the scene is rendered in simpler linework and fewer colors, to imitate an earlier era of computer coloring in Nightwing #82 (2021). Image: Tom Taylor, Rick Leonardi/DC Comics

I’m a simple woman. You render your flashback to Dick Grayson’s parents in the style of an earlier era of comics linework and coloring, and I put it in the roundup.


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