“Everyone is Blue (Da-boo-dee-da-boo-die)” – Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #3 Review
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Bilquis Evely
Colors: Matheus Lopes
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Bilquis Evely & Matheus Lopes
Variant Cover Artist: David Mack
What You Need to Know: Last we saw Supergirl, she had taken up the employ of a young girl named Ruthye to hunt down and kill the murderer of Ruhtye’s father, Krem, who had stolen Kara’s ship as escaped across the stars. Now, we pick up where we last left off, with a newly re-energized Supergirl following the trail of the vagrant Krem. Where has he gone? And do Supergirl and her young ward stand a chance of catching him up?
The Breakdown: This is a story that haunts me for all the right reasons.
There’s a line that Ruthye says to close the issue out where she just says, “We are too small.” Without context it’s a nothing line. There’s nothing special about it. There’s nothing particularly flashy or ostentatious, no purple play on words. It’s just a statement. But in this issue, it means everything. Because as the previous issues gave Ruthye a perspective as to Kara’s own strength and heart, this one truly gives her the first glimpse of Kara’s responsibility.
Following Krem to a perfect little town called Maypole, Ruthye is disheartened to see that, although everyone in the town seems happy and kindly, they have never heard of any Krem. Meanwhile, she’s even more surprised to see that Supergirl is wary. Something is going on in Maypole, and Ruthye is along for the ride as Kara searches to find out what it is. It’s a mystery with a resolution that is so utterly chilling that it just leaves Ruthye, to put it in her own words, “sideswiped”.
This story is perfect because it opens up the world to Ruthye in the most unfortunate of ways, in a moment that we’ve all had while doom-scrolling social media. That feeling of powerlessness. Of hopelessness. The realization that things aren’t always as they seem, and how sometimes our own personal goals and perspective can limit our ability to see things even if they’re right under our noses. Previously she was just a girl from a small backwater planet whose only goal was avenging her father, and this is Ruthye’s adjustment into a bigger world, and it is perfect.
Kara plays her role here beautifully, unpacking the mystery of Maypole piece by piece because she’s the only one who can. She’s the one with the x-ray eyes that can peel back the fresh scars of Maypole and find the horror underneath, and it’s a journey that Ruthye is truly just along for the ride on and that makes things so much better. Supergirl has her powers, and Ruthye finally gets that taste for what that means. It adds to the powerless feel of the story, and I think that’s another intentional benefit of making this story from Ruthye’s perspective.
She remains to be our eyes in that regard. She continues to be the one who has to experience all of this as a “normal” person, and that makes her the perfect avatar for all of us. I appreciate how respectfully it’s been done so far, and I also love how we’re dissecting aspects of Kara’s life in less than predictable ways. I didn’t expect this issue, nor did I expect I would have as much to say about it as I do, but it’s hard to really get into the relationship these two share and how it advances without getting into some pretty major spoilers.
As a whole, the story keeps moments upbeat when it can, which is great, it continues the tone over from the last two issues in that way. It also advances the story a significant amount more than the previous issue did, and it really dives hard into this wonderful characterization it’s given Kara of this badass who is just so done with anyone and everyone who has it coming. That’s all great, but it’s hard to talk about anything else when it deals with some really, really dark subject material.
More here than the previous titles, I really think the art sells it. I love the designs for these Maypole aliens. They’re short, furry, cat-like creatures who have big eyelashes and wide smiles…but the smiles are filled with pointy, serrated teeth and their wide eyes sneer with hostility and hate. It’s the perfect deign for a race meant to be so two-faced. The decision to make Maypole a very 1950s-ish town fits from a thematic perspective (even if maybe a little too on the nose) and from a very unsettling perspective. This feels like the planet that all the house guests from Get Out came from, and that’s perfect. Nothing is outright horrifying, but the atmosphere is…unsettling.
And the play with colors is great. Getting into the story the colors blue and purple pop up a lot, and not just in the text, but in the overall art as well. There are many instances where the overall tone of a page can change, and it feeds into the mystery, and it blares this like subconscious alarm that something is wrong.
Blue and purple have been very prevalent in Lopes work already, they’re very serene, fanciful colors…but here they enhance the mystery and I think the moments where purple especially overtakes a panel or pops up in the background are exceptionally clever. I can’t give away a lot more without spoiling the mystery, but it’s not often that color placement really catches me and becomes something truly worth note in a review.
The Bottom Line: This one hits hard. If you’re a seasoned reader, I feel that you might know where the twist is going after about a scene or two, or at least have a very general idea about it, and that might soften the impact of the issue for some but I really hope it doesn’t. The subtext of the issue in terms of ethics isn’t subtle, and personally I think that enhances the terror of it but I’m sure there’ll be some discussion on that as well. Yet, beyond that, I think this is another truly impressive entry in the series, another stellar performance from the entire team, and the bitterest part of the whole affair is that after next month the book will be halfway over. Call me a pessimist, but it’s hard not to see it that way when I truly don’t know where I’m going to go next.
Summary Another stellar, if not sobering, look into the world of Supergirl may leave readers a bit unsettled, but carries a poignant weight not easily dismissed or forgotten.