Hey Friends! It’s time for another Best In Trade Review, where we take a look at a comic trade from the long or recent past. This week, we look at Supergirl: Being Super released as a DC Graphic Novel for Young Adults earlier this month from DC Comics!
Written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Joëlle Jones, Supergirl: Being Super is a retelling of the origin of Kara Danvers. Kara lives in the rural town of Midvale and keeps her powers a secret from her friends and others at the request of her parents. She has two best friends, Dolly and Jen, who make up her teammates on the school track team. It’s a normal teenage existence. Everything is quaint and quiet until an earthquake shatters her small, peaceful town. The event uncovers secrets about Kara’s past that she thought would remain a mystery. Now Kara must get to the bottom of this mystery and take on her true calling to save her town and find out the truth.
Origin stories are a staple of superhero comics. Every hero has one. Not all of them are interesting. Thankfully, Being Super is. The update to Kara Danvers’ beginnings is inviting and relatable and easy to invest in. Kara is an extraordinary young woman in an ordinary environment.This is a coming of age story where being super is necessary. She has to overcome obstacles and grow into the woman she’s suppose to be. The elements of clandestine organizations and hidden pasts are common tropes in stories like this one. But what sets Being Super apart is that it feels fresh with Kara and her friends’ perspectives. It’s an enjoyable, accessible read that plays to the heart of the character.
The artwork by Joëlle Jones is eye catching as ever. The reader feels for Kara in her search for answers and marvels at the subtle display of her abilities. Since this story’s first release in issue form, the artwork has always been something to marvel at. The only real difference in this current edition is a change in colours.
This is the third format release for Being Super. It came out in issues in 2016 and 2017. A trade paperback was released. Now, it’s a digest sized graphic novel. The only major change with this release is a new colour process by Jeremy Lawson. Instead of the bright, varied colours of previous editions, the graphic novel sports a colour wash on every page. A warm yellow/orange covers the scene of Kara and her parents at breakfast. A blue wash covers the night scenes. Each page follows the shades of the chosen wash. While it does look pretty, it doesn’t capture the energy of previous versions. I don’t know why they decided to change the colours but thankfully, it does not hamper the enjoyment of the story.
If you’re looking for a comic to give to a YA reader, Supergirl: Being Super is an excellent choice. The characters are engaging, the story is fun, and the mystery is intriguing. Supergirl: Being Super is available now as a Graphic Novel from DC Comics. A great read for mid-summer fun.
Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki for this review.
Find past reviews for Best In Trade HERE!
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