Caliburn24 here with issue 17 of the Maid of Steel.
Mike Johnson and his co-writer for the first twelve issues, Michael Green, have crafted a return of Supergirl. Her New52 re-boot has eliminated the confusing alternate versions of Kara Zor-El who has died, then a protoplasmic Matrix, which merged with Linda Danvers and became an angel, then yet another Supergirl named Cir-El. The New52 Kara is an interesting spin on the character, she has all of the powers of Superman, but does not pop out of her capsule with a smile. Instead, this is a troubled teen girl who suddenly finds her world she left minutes ago has been destroyed for years. She emerges from her ship in the super uniform, minus the skirt from her 1959 appearance, it has a sleek alien look. Her ship was in orbit several years absorbing the yellow sun so she has Kal-El’s powers, but the first issue has her overwhelmed by them. She is confronted by robot suit wearing soldiers and finally by Superman, but the Kal-El she remembers is a baby. Kara gets upset that someone is mocking the El insignia and wearing an uniform that she has yet to earn.
Another interesting part is her alieness is made more so by her understanding ony of Kryptonian language. The first meeting between Superman and Supergirl starts with a smackdown as Kara is confused by another Kryptonian. Her powers are out of control, but eventually Superman calms her down and explains that Krypton is destroyed. Supergirl’s following adventures include her adjustment to life on Earth. She faces the wealthy Simon Tycho who merges with a protoplasmic form. Supergirl fights the Worldkillers led by the powerful woman warrior Reign. Kara gains a friend in Siobhan, a woman who can magically speak languages including Kryptonian. She is also the Silver Banshee, a post-Crisis opponent of Superman, now a teen who’s father is the evil Black Banshee. Kara faces a nanotech suit wearing villain before getting her zero issue. Supergirl’s origin is more conflicted than Superman’s loving Kryptonian home. Her mother shoots her father in order to keep her on Krypton, but Kara is drugged to be placed in the ship. She again encounters Superboy after fighting with him in the second issue of his title. Supergirl fights against the revived Simon Tycho with Mike Johnson taking the writing duties on his own. Kara discovers the Sanctuary sent by her father which she uses to defeat Tycho. Supergirl is found by H’El, a Kryptonian sent by Jor-El to carry the knowledge of Krypton to the stars.
H’El, the H’El on Earth storyline also runs through the Superman and Superboy titles, is a pale Kryptonian with scars on his face. He is able to transport Kara and himself into Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. There, they enter the Bottle City of Kandor and take a quantum crystal. Kara falls for H’El because he says he has a way to save Krypton. Superboy joins the Justice League to assault the fortress taken over by H’El. Supergirl takes on The Flash. She also finds out that Krypto has survived and he protects her from The Flash. Superboy in his own title is wounded by H’El and is saved by Superman’s armor. Superman explains to Superboy and the Justice League that H’El plans on using the energy of the sun to return back in time to save Krypton. Superboy #17 has Supergirl fighting the clone, Superboy #0 revealed that Kon-El looks like a clone that nearly took over Krypton. He encounters the insect-like Herald, servant of Oracle, and is pounded on by Supergirl until Wonder Woman enters the fight. So that brings us to Supergirl #17. What? There’s a review in here somewhere? Yup, the best part of the Supergirl title is that it is one of the few comics that I can pick up anywhere in the run and not be confused.
Supergirl #17 features one of the best covers by series artist, Mahmud Asrar. Supergirl’s fists fly towards Wonder Woman readying her lasso in a green background. Asrar‘s art is clean and features some stunning splash pages in this issue to highlight the epic battles. A splash page has Supergirl facing Wonder Woman while Superboy flies off to stop H’El’s Star Chamber. This is followed by a two page spread of the two heroines locked in a fist fight. Oracle rises above the Earth tearing at space-time. Jimmy Olsen and Lois Lane are discussing the apocalyptic times that are not Mayan. Batman is coordinating wih the Justice League to evacuate civilians across the world. Supergirl flies towards Superboy and her foot is lassoed by Wonder Woman who sends her slamming back to the ground. Supergirl unties herself and slams into the Amazon princess. Asrar resolves this into H’El’s fist punching Superman. H’El batters Superman, but his comment that his human parents made him weak gives him a wicked uppercut. The mad Kryptonian responds with a punch that sends Superman out of the atmosphere.
Supergirl is blasting Wonder Woman with her heat vision which she blocks with her bracelets. Diana has studied Kara and is able to bind her with the lasso. A splash page has the bound Supergirl captured by Wonder Woman. Diana uses the lasso’s power to allow Kara to see through H’El’s lies. She unleashes her solar blast that breaks her free from the lasso and knocks Wonder Woman back in a splash page. Wonder Woman tackles Supergirl and they are thrown off the Star Chamber and crash into the Arctic. Out of the crater, Wonder Woman emerges with the unconscious Supergirl. Kara revivies and Wonder Woman shows her that H’El’s device is draining the sun. They are interrupted by H’El who bashes Wonder Woman away. Kara becomes suspicious about H’El and doesn’t want the Earth to die to save Krypton. A final splash page has Supergirl caught between H’El and Wonder Woman coming behind her with a sword. The conclusion of H’El on Earth is going to be in Superman #17. The aftermath of H’El on Earth is going to be in the following issue where Mike Johnson wraps up his super run.