You may think it odd that I have decided to compare and contrast. At face value, there is little in common; one is a spy, the other a female version of the archetypical hero that started it all. But take a closer look; both have gone through more than one costume and restart, both are blonde and both have recently been on hit(?) TV shows.
It has to be said, Mockingbird has been a bit of a surprise hit for Marvel. The storytelling from Chelsea Cain has been exemplary with pithy comments, sarcasm and outright laughs. Under Cain’s care, Bobbi has turned from an also ran Avenger moll, into a character who you feel could hold her own, in the fun arena, against other books of the same ilk like Captain Marvel and Spider-Woman. Cain is such a professional that this issue actually feels like a natural Civil War II tie-in. Sure, Hawkeye has been a semi regular in this book, so his recent actions were going to have to be mentioned at some point . DC should take note of how to show the ramifications of relationships rather than leaving Superman and Wonder Woman with an elephant in room that is their new status quo.
DC’s Rebirth issues have served as, for the most part, a re-introduction to its roster of heroes and heroines. Here Steve Orlando give us yet another Supergirl. Gone is the bratty one to be replaced by a TV-a-like version. The reason is obvious, to appeal to fans of the show. Characters, which are kind of close to their TV counterparts are thrown in, as in the Phantom Zone………again. Plot wise, like so many Rebirth books, it’s all set up. Unfortunately, obviousness is its own enemy. Orlando works hard to give his Kara a different tone from New 52 Kara; is the TV voice a new DC editorial edict?
The art in Mockingbird is by series regular Katie Niemczyk and, she nails it perfectly. Clean curvy Adam Hughes like lines, with fun situations adding to the vivaciousness of this character. Rather than diluting Bobbi, Niemczyk’s art is sexy without being over the top, which is a great achievement considering some of the risqué environments Bobbi has found herself in. Niemczyk also has fun with a couple of characters throughout as well as the whole idea of cosplay. Rachelle Rosenberg adds a level of vacation fun with a color scheme that highlights the brightness of being on holiday. Add in another fantastic cover from The Lady Killer, Joelle Jones and this book look gorgeous.
Over in Supergirl, Emanuela Lupacchino provides pencils in area that should be right up her street, after working on the previous Supergirl as well as putting in an issue of Adventures of Supergirl. As with the story and dialogue, the art looks to emulate the TV show especially with the thigh high boots. Lupacchino has an angular style around some of the framework of her characters which jars against some of the Supergirl images. In fact, I would go as far to say that overall, the pencils are reminiscent of recent Earth 2 pencils, albeit a little less chaotic. Inks and colors are provided by Ray McCarthy and Michael Atiyeh, each adding to the prevailing darkness in the book. Cover wise, if you can find the Adam Hughes variant, buy it!
In this review, one book has to be a winner and one a loser. One book is a new take on an old character, the other seems to been a trying to copy ideas from movies and TV shows, which I find odd as there is an actual book that fills that gap as it is. I am unsure that there is enough originality in the Supergirl book to make it stand out against other “super” books, so it’s no surprise that Mockingbird wins this battle of the blondes.
Writing – 5 Stars
Art – 5 Stars
Colors – 5 Stars
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artists: K. Niemczyk, S. Parsons, R. Rosenberg
Supergirl Rebirth #1
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3 Stars
Colors – 2.5 Stars
Cover (Adam Hughes Variant) – 5 Stars
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Emanuela Lupacchino, Ray McCarthy and Michael Atiyeh