What is this all about?
I can tell you what this issue is not about, and that’s two super-powered people punching the snot out of each other in a violent fight to see who’s stronger. This issue is about letting go of power. It’s about finding strength in other people and helping your fellow man.
We need more comics like this.
I’m glad I’m reading Supergirl, because I need more good things in my life. Supergirl #14 isn’t a big event comic. It’s not going to shock you or promise that “things will never be the same!” What it will do is give you a solid story with great character work and a meaningful theme.
Supergirl’s powers have gone haywire since she got shot with a mysterious gun in issue #12. I haven’t read that issue, but you don’t need to in order to understand and appreciate this story. To get her powers back under control,
I-Ching teaches her about qi, or the flow of life energy in all bodies. Supergirl has trouble accepting the concept since it has no basis in scientific fact. She’s not dismissive or insulting towards I-Ching’s teachings; she just admits she struggles to grasp it. I like this aspect of her character, since it makes sense for a person raised on a planet of super advanced science.
Her training is interrupted when a suit of high-tech armor crashes in Mongolia. I-Ching warns that Supergirl will be in more danger with her training only partially complete, but people are scared, so she and New Superman fly off to help.
The armor belongs to Rocket Red, a Russian hero/super soldier. He’s pissed off because he got shot down, and the people in the town he crashed on are scared and angry, especially after part of his suit self-destructs. The language barrier doesn’t help, and Supergirl and New Superman get there just in time to jump in front of bullets as the people open fire on him.
Rocket Red is pretty furious and says he has the right to kill these people in retaliation. Because this is Supergirl, she tries to calm him and genuinely wants to help him, but he claims he’s being disrespected and attacks with a sonic weapon.
With Supergirl’s super-hearing even more powerful than normal, the attack really hurts.
What follows is the heart of the issue. Normally, this would be the part when the hero rallies and kicks the crap out of the bad guy, but Supergirl comes to a realization about power. She freezes Rocket Red’s armor and shatters it with a flick of her finger, all the while giving a great speech about what “power” gets you. I want to copy her entire dialogue here, but you should really just read the issue.
The next scene is heart-warming and shows Supergirl, Rocket Red, and New Superman helping the townspeople rebuild the homes and buildings that were destroyed in the crash and subsequent explosion. It’s really great, and I wish we saw more stuff like this in comics.
In the end, Supergirl admits to Kenan that she still doesn’t understand qi and doesn’t feel any different, but she’s learned a lesson about power and seems to have hers under control.
This issue was just lovely. It looks like in the next issue, we’ll be back to National City and the attack on Supergirl’s reputation, but it was nice to take a break from that drama and see Supergirl doing what she does best: helping all people, even the antagonists.
If you like seeing heroes stand for hope and make a positive difference in the world, then you should really be reading Supergirl.
Kristen Brand has a major superhero obsession. When she’s not reading comics, she’s watching superhero movies and TV shows, and since that’s not enough, she writes her own superhero novels. You can find out more about her work and read her free web serial, Fight Crime! (A Love Story), at kristenbrand.com.
Reviewed by Your Name: Kristen Brand
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by: Jose Luis
Published by DC Comics
Release Date: 10/11/2017