Supergirl has the rather difficult task of keeping its themes familiar to its television series cousin while also remaining deep and complex enough so long time fans have something to keep them intrigued.
In most cases, Supergirl #1 succeeds at needling that thread.
This Kara is a bit more high-strung than previous renditions, but it's understandable.
In a matter of months, she's gone from being the older sister to the younger sibling and from the more experienced to the untrained. Those things would require some adjustment on their own merits, but getting hit with both of them at the same time provides a wealth of mental baggage to sift through for anyone -- nonetheless an alien who's original purpose has become something altogether different.
You can empathize, but Kara's demeanor isn't the warmest, so you tend care from somewhat of a distance.
Kara's frustration is palpable, and writer Steve Orlando conveys that frustration through his snappy and sarcastic dialogue. She was one of the most brilliant minds on Argo, but here she struggles to work a simple projector, something she humorously refers to as a "stone tablet".
Kara's parents are the anchors thus far in the supporting cast, as both Cat Grant and Director Chase are initially a bit one-note. This is just a starting point of course, but they just don't have the same depth as either Eliza or Jeremiah.
We've all had instances where we struggle with our circumstances, and for Kara, it's mostly things out of her control. It's a struggle that most can relate to, and because of that even through the snarkiness Kara is still a likable character, but in a different way than her iteration on The CW (previously CBS). That's not a bad thing at all, it's just different.
Visually, Brian Ching's art and Michael Atiyeh's color work is extremely expressive and suits the tone of the book well. It's bright and vivid when it needs to be, yet warm and subtle when the situation calls for it. They've crafted a rather bold visual palette for the book, but their strength is in their facial expressions, especially in their character's eyes. More than a few times throughout the issue, Kara's attitude or feeling is completely conveyed without a single word necessary.
Supergirl isn't a book for everyone, but that shouldn't take away from what the book does well, which is deliver fans a Supergirl that is all at once alienating, intelligent, witty, sarcastic, compassionate, and awkward. In other words, she's human, but terms like human and normal don't really register to Kara. Watching her figure out just how human she really is should be quite entertaining indeed.
Rating 4 out of 5
You can view a preview of Supergirl #1 in the gallery.
Written By: Steve Orlando
Art By: Brian Ching
Colored By: Michael Atiyeh
Lettered By: Steve Wands