SUPERMAN BATMAN VOLUME 2 SUPERGIRL meets the quality bar set by VOLUME 1 PUBLIC ENEMIES, while also succumbing to one of the comic industry s biggest problems and clich s It titillates, creating a distraction from what is otherwise a beautifully drawn and thoughtfully written story.SUPERGIRL picks off several weeks after PUBLIC ENEMIES, and immediately zeroes in on a criminally underexplored element of Superman s character His loneliness He may look like an earthling, talk like an earthling SUPERMAN BATMAN VOLUME 2 SUPERGIRL meets the quality bar set by VOLUME 1 PUBLIC ENEMIES, while also succumbing to one of the comic industry s biggest problems and clich s It titillates, creating a distraction from what is otherwise a beautifully drawn and thoughtfully written story.SUPERGIRL picks off several weeks after PUBLIC ENEMIES, and immediately zeroes in on a criminally underexplored element of Superman s character His loneliness He may look like an earthling, talk like an earthling, and blend in with us, but he s not one of us In spite of his friendship with Bruce Wayne, his relationship with Lois Lane, and two human parents who love him to Krypton and back, he s the only one of his kind and ultimately alone until Kara, a teenage, blonde bombshell whose rocket ship was buried in the Kryptonite asteroid that was hurtling toward earth in PUBLIC ENEMIES, appears Kara s sudden appearance gives author Jeph Loeb another opportunity to explore the ways Batman and Superman are alike, and how they re dissimilar Superman takes to Kara instantly, and why wouldn t he At last, another Kryptonian, and the one living being capable of understanding who he is, where he came from, and his struggle to fit in Batman is, true to form, deeply suspicious and cynical Isn t it convenient, he posits to Superman, that a Kryptonian showed up out of the blue and green just when Superman was in desperate need of kinship PUBLIC ENEMIES and SUPERGIRL were published in the early aughts, but in retrospect, were amazingly prescient and, unfortunately, perpetually topical Lex Luthor s character particularly his arrogance and the ease with which he fearmongers to turn the general public against Superman in PUBLIC ENEMIES is terrifyingly and depressingly similar to current US president Donald Trump.In SUPERGIRL, Batman s suspicion toward Kara, an alien whom he believes may have sinister motives toward earth and her people, is not unlike much of the US s attitude toward illegal aliens It s not a one to one comparison Bruce Wayne isn t pushing to build a wall out of Kryptonite but it doesn t have to be His suspicion is in character, but also deftly makes the audiencesympathetic toward Superman and Kara who, like her younger cousin, is only trying to figure out who she is, what she wants, and how to go about achieving it.Loeb once again uses colored panels to capture Batman s and Superman s inner monologues They re often at odds with one another, allowing both sides of the Who is Kara and what does she really want issue to be explored from perspectives that are relatable to varying degrees But Loeb and the B S book s trademark literary device are at their best when they demonstrate the trust and faith Bruce and Clark show in one another, even when each believes the other is being foolish.Batman s and Superman s complex friendship remains at the core of SUPERGIRL, so where does that leave the third titular character In a tough spot, to be honest This book is beautifully illustrated, but is riddled with misogyny In defense of the creative team, that misogyny doesn t always seem intentional Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman all have strong opinions on what should be done with Kara, and what and who she should be, leaving Kara to step in and say, Uh, I m right here, and I have opinions about my life, too Unfortunately, the way Kara, Wonder Woman, and every other female character is drawn doesn t support Loeb s writing These women are everything wrong with comic book illustration Kara spends most of the first chapter nude except for a long trench coat, an outfit straight out of a porno In chapter 2, Clark mentions that Lois who doesn t appear in this book bought Kara clothes, but those clothes consist of tight fitting jeans and tight shirts that accentuate her breasts and show off her tanned abs When Kara eventually becomes Supergirl, her uniform is just as revealing.I don t have a problem with how some female characters are drawn Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, has always used her sex appeal as a tool and a weapon I m not saying that justifies her unrealistic proportions, and I know the whole But her sex appeal is a weapon excuse has become trite, but it wasn t when Selina Kyle came into her own Kara, however, is a teenager Lois Lane, the symbol for independent, powerful women in a medium that routinely objectifies them, just doesn t seem the type of character to sign off on those outfits We re also told that Martha Kent who also never appears made Kara s Supergirl outfit Sorry, I don t think so.Look, the title of this book is BATMAN SUPERMAN Loeb and his team got a chance to write a new origin story for Supergirl, one that takes place within a Batman and Superman focused story And that s fine It s their show, and it was used as a runway for Kara to launch her own book They can take center stage But the voyeuristic, overtly sexual nature of the artwork damages what is otherwise a strong story This was part of a mini re read of my Supergirl comics when I happened to be at home where they were I don t know a lot about the history of Supergirl, except what I ve read on Wikipedia and in Jeph Loeb s, so I came at this story aware that there had previous Supergirl, but not really knowing how her absence and death had played into the DCU post Crisis on Infinite Earths It seems as if Superman has been expecting Kara from Krypton to show up, to the extent not revealed in this volume that This was part of a mini re read of my Supergirl comics when I happened to be at home where they were I don t know a lot about the history of Supergirl, except what I ve read on Wikipedia and in Jeph Loeb s, so I came at this story aware that there had previous Supergirl, but not really knowing how her absence and death had played into the DCU post Crisis on Infinite Earths It seems as if Superman has been expecting Kara from Krypton to show up, to the extent not revealed in this volume that he d mis identified Power Girl as her further there had been other, non Kryptonian Supergirls in this inter crisis world, but I don t know how strongly or powerfully this had been emphasised Which is important to the storyline here, I think Coming at this cold, Superman comes across as overly trusting while Batman has asensible, sceptical viewpoint unless this is something that Superman has been waiting for ever since the last crisis, in which case his response seems entirely reasonable.However, I didn t come at this volume completely unknowing about Kara Zor El I think I ve seen the film, although I can t remember it too well I d read the first volume of this Kara s story, Supergirl, Vol 1 Power, a little before I read it The important contrast between that volume and this one is that it is a Kara Zor El story whereas this is a story about Supergirl the protagonists are Superman and Batman This is fair enough, as it s their series, but a bad things do result from this, which can essentially be summed up as possessiveness Superman, as her male relative, believes that he should have control of Kara s destiny, that she should stay with him so that he can teach her about Earth Batman is simply scared of the unknown female, which he cannot predict as he has not tamed it Wonder Woman tries to incorporated her into a society of women beautiful women, as Batman reminds us but little freedom is given to Kara to determine her own destiny, to decide what she wants to do Her options seem to be live with these women, or have Clark always looking over her I m not really sure how those options compare.Then, of course, there is Darkseid he purports to give her freedom but really is evencontrolling but one wonders about the options presented to Kara and how clear it is that she would run off to live in a place where she appears to befree, with a bad boy who offers her somethingexciting than what Superman and Wonder Woman have given her Of course he exploits and manipulates her, but one wonders how different this is to the treatment by Superman and the others.This review owes much to knowing what happens in later volumes of this story how the Supergirl identity is essentially forced on Kara, but people still talk about the responsibilities it entails how Kara ispowerful than Clark everyone says so but he has learned to restrict his power and thus tries to force upon her the restrictions with which he has grown up Apparently, it is too threatening to have a woman or even girl who ispowerful than a man and she must learn to restrain herself his way, rather than figure out for herself how to use her power.The most interesting thing about Kara is that she is Superman without the baggage of being a cultural icon, without the idiotic aphorisms of Martha and Jonathan Kent, without the well known history to determine her actions She can t escape being his cousin, but she d not him and shouldn t define herself solely through her relationship with him But instead of exploring how differently things can turn out, largely this story and to various extents those which follow seem to beabout Kara accepting her identity as Superman s cousin than actually forming her own.While I prefer the subsequent art in Kara s own series, there s nothing terribly wrong in this volume One does wonder why Wonder Woman is so much slimmer and less muscular than Superman and Batman which I can understand to a degree, but she s basically the same shape as the teenager Kara The design of the Supergirl costume has great bits I love how the cuffs of her sleeves go over her hands, it really gives the impression of a teenage superhero but one wonders why a twenty first century female superhero needs to wear a skirt Wonder Woman never has , especially as her suit so closely resembles her cousin s that it might as well be identical, except in teenaged girl size This would bother me less if she d chosen her own outfit, but she isn t given options or a say in the design process she doesn t even know that Martha Kent is making it until after she s wearing it but it seems as if Clark and Martha decided that what girls wear is short skirts and bare midriffs As for what Kara herself wants to wear, well, there will be some time before we get to see that Absolutely wonderful And a great though probably now completely superseded origin story for the Girl of Steel. A really solid story I saw the animated movie of this a while back, but the graphic novel definitely feltwhole as is the case with most books vs movies, of course The ending especially I don t remember everything from the movie, so I could be totally wrong, but I just remember the Supers kicking Darkseid s butt I don t remember there being some deeper plan with faking Kara s death which felt a lot smarter rather than just being Pow Bam Action Of course, I admittedly A really solid story I saw the animated movie of this a while back, but the graphic novel definitely feltwhole as is the case with most books vs movies, of course The ending especially I don t remember everything from the movie, so I could be totally wrong, but I just remember the Supers kicking Darkseid s butt I don t remember there being some deeper plan with faking Kara s death which felt a lot smarter rather than just being Pow Bam Action Of course, I admittedly watched that movie a long while ago, so I could just not be remembering it correctly If so disregard that entire critique, but keep the whole smart plan thing Anyways the best part is definitely Superman and Batman s thoughts alongside each other comparing the differences and similarities between these two friends and superheroes is a fascinating character study I also liked the mentions of Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and Dick Grayson, and the inherent comparisons to Supergirl I love mentor relationships, so having a new one with this take on Supergirl while echoing back to those others was a definite plus All in all I will certainly be keeping an eye out forof this series Oh boy I picked this up before all the SDCC drama, and I wanted to read it even though I m not 100% sure that I m going to continue watching the show after everything that happened The first story set is pretty good I understand the direction of the show a little , I like seeing Kara interact with the rest of the DC characters, etc The second set made no sense to me and didn t feel like it wrapped up at all, and then the third one just went right over my head Kara in high school, but I Oh boy I picked this up before all the SDCC drama, and I wanted to read it even though I m not 100% sure that I m going to continue watching the show after everything that happened The first story set is pretty good I understand the direction of the show a little , I like seeing Kara interact with the rest of the DC characters, etc The second set made no sense to me and didn t feel like it wrapped up at all, and then the third one just went right over my head Kara in high school, but I had no freaking idea why This entire collection reeks of misogyny, and it s incredibly obvious that an all male team worked on this Some of the dialogue doesn t sound like anything women would say, and the first set of stories opens up with Superman and Batman watching Supergirl Because obviously, you can t have a story about a woman that starts with her It has to start with men, because we trust menthan we trust women, right It s bullshit If you re going to do that, at least add in Diana so it feels slightly less voyeuristic and male gaze y Speaking of which, the male gaze is prominent throughout this whole thing A lot of things felt creepy rather than empowering Kara was naked wayoften than I want to see a 16yo be naked, especially when I know she s being drawn by an adult man , and then the art was disgusting Absolutely disgusting It s that art that people make fun of now for catering to straight cis allo white men who sit in their rooms and drool over women all day and just look at comics and porn instead of trying to talk to actual women, who grow up thinking they deserve women and that every woman was put on this earth just for them Every woman in here had perfect hair, sizable muscles in their arms and legs muscles are great, heroes are strong and should have muscles and then size E or F boobs and size 0 waists That s not how bodies work Any cup size over a B or C isn t going to be perky as hell without support, and most women who naturally have anything over a D cup are going to have waists that are slightly bigger as well Kara can t have size E boobs while also having a small enough torso that the reader can see her rib cage, and a waist men can wrap their hands around It s not realistic, and it s dangerous to show women this way for so many reasons we need to stop teaching girls that they need to look like this, and stop telling boys that they should expect women to look like this It s art meant for men to jerk off to, plain and simple I m gay as hell and appreciate women s bodies, but jesus christ, I was so disgusted by the art and the way all the women were drawn that I couldn t even enjoy the parts of the stories I liked Why would a woman wear a leotard that rides up her ass and barely contains her boobs You can t save the world in that It s not comfortable OR functional And why is Poison Ivy basically in a thong and bustier You can t destroy things like that either I know these were originally from 2004 2005, but good lord If you re a Supergirl fan and want to read this, read the first part and try to ignore how everyone is drawn, and then stop Most of this isn t worth the read Actually, originally I gave this three stars, but I m so angry about the art that I m dropping it down to two Good read Love how you get to see how Batman and Superman understand each other They balance each other out really well. Rating A SuperlativeMy only gripe is that ALL OF THE CHARACTERS HAVE THE EXACT SAME EYES, WHICH HAPPEN TO BE BABY DOLL STYLE SIGH.Hrrggn.Anyway, great story, Michael Layne Turner does a good job at improving his art hyperventilating in the future Superlative book. Okay, some of the actions of the characters were a bit off to me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this story Not just because Supergirl is major fan service either It s other areas.Most notably the leads Supes and Bats kick major ass here And Batman, despite being mortal, fearlessly takes a beating from Darkseid, one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse, and gets Darkseid to not just not kill him, but to back down.The story is straight forward When Crisis on Infinite Earths o Okay, some of the actions of the characters were a bit off to me, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this story Not just because Supergirl is major fan service either It s other areas.Most notably the leads Supes and Bats kick major ass here And Batman, despite being mortal, fearlessly takes a beating from Darkseid, one of the most powerful beings in the entire multiverse, and gets Darkseid to not just not kill him, but to back down.The story is straight forward When Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred, an editorial decision was made to kill off the other Kryptonians and make Superman the true sole survivor of Krypton.Over time, this was relaxed as the desire for a counterpart to Superman was too great Other versions were introduced, before finally the okay to reintroduce Kara Zor El was made This is that reintroduction.I know Supergirl got a bad rap and the new 52 now just the new period version of Supergirl ispopular, but I like the down homesiness of this one as well Can t wait to startadventures on this iteration.As always, I love the friendship of Clark and Bruce and the respect and camaraderie they have for each other Much better than these stupid stories of them not being friends Sighs This had several elements I really don t enjoy in older comics I don t want to spend hours on the art but the art was so offputting Not only do the women not have organs, I will never understand why Kara s thong was visible It s implied that Lois went shopping and bought her clothes but she never met Kara so who taught Kara to wear her underwear that way Clark Bruce Did she see it on the street and think hey, I should do that Because thelikely answer is that grown me Sighs This had several elements I really don t enjoy in older comics I don t want to spend hours on the art but the art was so offputting Not only do the women not have organs, I will never understand why Kara s thong was visible It s implied that Lois went shopping and bought her clothes but she never met Kara so who taught Kara to wear her underwear that way Clark Bruce Did she see it on the street and think hey, I should do that Because thelikely answer is that grown men decided to draw a 16 year old girl that way for their own reasons Gross I mentioned that the women are drawn so thinly, there s no way they have internal organs.I couldn t concentrate on how cool it would have been to see Kara v the s because there were so many ass shots that I was just annoyed Don t get me wrong, I love women but this kind of art just makes me want to get to the end of the story because I don t want to look at it for longer than I have to I don t understand why this is so common Porn is free Anyway, this story wasn t all that great in my opinion either because Supergirl is legitimately just a damsel the entire time One of the strongest beings on the planet exists to be rescued You see the problem with that I m reminded of how often supremely powerful women are depicted as mentally unstable or simply not trusted River on Firefly, Jean Grey, Wanda Maximoff, even Jessi on Kyle XY for some examples We see how powerful she is when she s disoriented and attacking people on accident and then she spends the rest of the story being held captive and then rescued She never gets to save herself Why For a story that s meant to culminate in Clark realizing Kara can make her own decisions, why not show her having a hand in her own rescue So, for the time period this story came out, it seems so incredibly backwards that this is the way Kara was re introduced If this had been written in the 1950s, I would have rolled my eyes and moved on though, I honestly think the art would have been a lotrespectful and that s depressing But, for the 2000s it s just offputting A beautiful, mysterious, powerful teenaged girl speaks Kryptonian and seems to be cousin of Superman Batman remains suspicious Wonder Woman wants to train her on theisle Will Darkseid recruit her to his bidding by offering freedom of choice Intro by Loeb, and Kryptonian alphabet translation keyCollects Superman Batman