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Comic Book Review: Future State: Kara Zor-El, Superwoman 1

This week DC Comics drops round two of Future State. It seems a bit out of place that of all the DC Heroes, Kara Zor-El would get her own title when there are so many other superheroes more popular right now. In Superwoman 1 writers deliver something so different I sit back even now and cannot decide the quality of this title? Superwoman 1 is far different than any other title I have read so far. Does that just make it different? Or does it make it one of the best Future State titles yet?

Superwoman 1 – A New Kind of Look

The artists and creators of Future State have so far done an amazing job with the artwork in the series. While most follow the traditional look of today’s comics, a few ventured into different eras and areas of artistry. Superwoman 1 takes on the most unique look to date. The artwork at first looks a bit hokey and primitive in a way. The colors seem to be a watercolor style like the children’s books where all you need is water. The colors were tiny dots on the page that liquified when a child uses a watery brush.

While many of the new superhero outfits look amazing across the titles, but not here. Kara’s outfit not only misses the traditional S on the chest but its overly plain style and almost Disney Princess cut to make it rather blah. It comes across as very boring and uninspired.

Superwoman 1

But here’s the thing. It took me several pages to get into the story, but once I saw the true story it wanted to tell, the colors begin to augment the narrative. Over the course of the story, the colors come alive in many ways. Given the current viewer scores, I hesitate to compare it to this, but in many ways, this issue mirrors the narrative of Wonder Woman 84. This is not your traditional superhero tale. This tale speaks of what’s inside.

Superwoman 1 – The Girl From the Heavens

I will admit it. This story starts off terribly! The first several pages turn into nothing but an oversized pity party. Kara, who’s hiding on a moon colony, whines and moans about the state of her life to the tomb of Krypto the super dog. Seriously!? I don’t know of too many scenarios more pathetic than this. Woe is me oh dead pooch! My life is such a tragedy of unwontedness! This was going to be a very long read.

Then something happens. Queen Amidala’s H-type Nubian Yacht crashes through the shield (Okay, it’s not Nubian, but you know that’s where they stole the design). A strange blue girl emerges from the ship and then transforms into a Chinese dragon, a fox, and a winged ferret. Kara tried to stun it with her heat vision, but the ferret eats it! (weird enough yet?) The blue-girl pulls a Rogue maneuver and steals Kara’s powers. She reverts back to the female form and things seem normal. (Yes Kara’s powers come back)

Superwoman 1

her name is Lynari. She comes from a distant asteroid belt possessing the Starfell jewel. There is only one and it’s what gives Lynari her powers. If someone takes it from her she dies. The two bonds as Kara shows her what life on the moon colony is like. Kara likens it back to her relationship with Krypto and how he was the one training her all along.

Superwoman 1 – The Powers Within

To this point, the story became less whiny and a bit more interesting (and weird), but from here on it really finds its stride. Kara begins to relate her woe-is-me story about Clark and Jon, but in telling it to Lynari it begins to evolve. Kara begins to explain the importance of not doing things for the approval of others, but because it’s who you are inside. Kara really takes on the Sensei role which helps mold Lynari and keeps her from falling into her own self-pity. Kara also uses her relationship with Krypto to help guide her own actions, which makes the beginning fit in better.

Lynari rebels and lashes out at Kara (like most students do), but then flees in shame. Kara knows Krypto would never let her run away, so she flies after her. It really turns into a very good story overall, but of course, another factor has to intrude on our little hamlet.

Superwoman 1

Auntie Kimara, in the form of a giant, winged eel, captures Lynari. Kimara wants the jewel for herself. In these last panels, I really love what the writers did. Kara goes through the peaceful Zen state she associates with Krypto’s teachings, but then she decides a new course is in order. She remembers her anger, her rage, her inadequacies, and lets it stoke her fires. Kimara has her friend, Lynari…and Superwoman is PISSED!

Superwoman 1 – Final Thoughts

To me, the comparison between Wonder Woman 84 and Superwoman 1 is very strong. After the first viewing of WW84, I hated it. I thought the movie was terrible and wasted so much potential, but then I ruminated on it for a few days. I heard some of director Patty Jenkins comments and her thoughts on the film, and I went back and watched it again. When I let go of my expectations and realized the story for what it was and not what I wanted it to be, I really enjoyed it.

With Superwoman 1 the same thing happened. I was not liking this issue, but when I saw the overall story and where it was going/trying to do, I think this may be one of the better Future State titles to date. So much of it is unique and stands out in almost every way from the other titles. It won’t be for everyone of course, but for those willing to listen, it has quite the story to tell.

What did you think of Future State Superwoman 1? Head on over to our DC fanatics Facebook page and tell us what you thought.

By Ben Wolf

Long time fantasy/sci-fi lover who loves to write in his spare time. Avid movie lover and game player.

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