Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Joelle Jones
Publisher: DC Comics
Released: June 5th, 2020
Supergirl: Being Super is a graphic novel that immediately caught my attention thanks to the author behind it; Mariko Tamaki. I knew right away I had to read it, as I loved what she did in She Hulk and other series. Likewise, I had high hopes for Joelle Jones’ artwork.
Kara Danvers is a character that many a DC fan will recognize, if nothing else. She’s a Kryptonian, and as such, while on earth she has strength, ability to fly, and so much more. Yet she’s also a teenage girl, and that brings with it a whole new set of problems.
She had thought she’d found a happy balance to her life. Then the earthquake struck, changing her life forever. Now she has to find out the cause of all this pain and loss – ideally before it brings about more damage to the town that she has come to love so much.
I’ve got to say, I was both surprised and impressed by how much Supergirl: Being Super affected me. Then again, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. This is Mariko Tamaki’s writing we’re talking about, after all.
Kara’s journey is not a typical ‘teenage kid with powers’ tale, at least, it didn’t read that way to me. Sure, it had many of those elements, but it also pulled in so many other surprises. Not all of them good (for Kara that is, not for the reader).
Supergirl: Being Super is an origin story, that much is true. It’s another one of DC’s young adult graphic novels, and you can feel that right from the start. Yet it also felt very unique in many ways, avoiding a lot of the cliches that come with an origin story being repeated for the hundredth time.
There’s such a strong sense of guilt, as well as acceptance and understanding, in this volume. It added so much to the concept of powers and responsibility. It took it beyond a coming of age story, though it is still certainly that as well.
I should probably mention that I am far from being a Superman expert, as his series isn’t one I normally read. Nor are any of the spin-off series. This is an exception for me, as I simply couldn’t resist. That should probably say something about the story and the writing, and I hope that others are willing to give it a chance as well. I’m glad that I did.
One thing I would have liked more of: the entire story. Literally, I wouldn’t have minded if this graphic novel went on for another hundred pages or so. And by not minded, I mean I feel like I needed the story to go on. I can’t be the only one feeling like there’s more to this journey (and no, I don’t just mean because she appears all over the DC universe).