The cover: Another 3D Motion Cover that I couldn’t pass up. Giuseppe Camuncoli and Cam Smith with Dan Brown are responsible for this cool cover. Looked at from one angle, Supergirl is flying strong above the city. It’s a nice traditional shot of the young Kryptonian on patrol. However, when looked at from another angle, Kara flies in space, her body transformed into a cyborg, while below floats someone resembling Superman, also a cyborg. If readers are familiar with Superman’s roster of villains, it won’t take too long to figure out what’s been done to her. Excellent 3D work gives this a startlingly smooth, and therefore dramatic, change. Great imagery and color. This is a slick cover. Overall grade: A
The story: As they all begin, “Five Years From Now…” above the planet Earth, Herald Two, Supergirl, has lead Hearld One, a similarly technologically enhanced Superman, to this world even though he states, “The last time I was here, it nearly destroyed me.” They are searching for something, and that is the key to this story, “The Perfect is the Enemy of the Good,” by Tony Bedard. Herald Two, as she refers to herself, retells how she came to be in her current state after she and Herald One decided to separate themselves from Brainiac. They went to inhabited worlds to upgrade them and to recreate Krypton. They have come to Earth because Herald Two believes that the Neo Sapien is there that will finally fulfill their quest. Landing in Wichita, Kansas, the two become obvious centers of attention. Herald One wants to strike out at the humans, but is restrained by Herald Two, because “they accept our presence.” Meanwhile, in The Block, Dr. Shay Veritas has her k-sensors go off. She screams into a microphone, “It’s been close to a year, but I think she’s finally back!” The pilot of a fancy plane is the recipient of her message, and what he does becomes the heart and soul of this story. This story goes through some obvious paces that will be familiar with anyone who’s read a comic, but I fell for it completely. There’s some honest emotion here that is heartfelt and it struck a chord with me. Is it predictable? Yes, but I loved it. The history that begins on Page 9 is fun and Herald One’s actions on 16 a wonderfully defining moment. The resolution of the story is quick, but acceptable for a one-shot. I just really enjoyed the message of the story. Overall grade: A
The art: The art team on this issue, Emanuela Lupacchino as penciller and Ray McCarthy as inker, do some really nice work. The opening shot of the two heralds above Earth looks good, with Herald One being nicely obscured by shadows. The Futures End look of Supergirl is both cool and creepy. Looking at the design work on her makes one weep at what she has lost to become what she now is. Page 5 is a particularly cool action sequence as the two heralds are accosted by the jet, with Herald Two making a strong statement. The splash on 6 is nice fallout of the statement, though the design of the pilot had me knee-jerk scream, “Mon-El!” …It’s not him (sigh…). His and Herald Two’s pose on Page 7 is nice, and I really like just seeing her floating feet to show where she is in relationship to him. The threat on Page 14 doesn’t pay off as well as it can; it works as a story element, but the art doesn’t carry it through successfully. Happily, this doesn’t last long, and 16 works wildly well. The final page had me feeling like a mush, as it perfectly lived up to the text. Well done work. Overall grade: A
The colors: Beautifully bright work from Hi-Fi on this venture. As someone who grew up with comics in the 1970s and 1980s just having solid blue for skies, it’s always a revelation to see the work that’s done with the big blue in books today. Page 3’s coming to Earth is wonderful, with some great bold, reflective work in panel two on the same page. I really like how colors are used to intensify the speech balloons for the heralds. Page 6 probably has the most amount of work done on it, with two colorful characters, an explosion, debris, and a sound effect. I’ve gone on and on about how good Hi-Fi is, can we just give this group an Eisner Award to make it official? Overall grade: A+
The letters: Scene setting, dialogue, opening titles, sounds, and some special dialogue from an individual on 18 is all created by Rob Leigh. I wanted to see a unique font for Herald Two because it would have made what happens later in the book more dramatic (after what occurs on 16), but what Leigh does is good. Overall grade: A-
The final line: This pushed all the right buttons for me. Is it a classic? Probably not, but it will make you feel good and proud of one’s choices. Overall grade: A
Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer’s Guide for several years with “It’s Bound to Happen!”, he reviewed comics for TrekWeb, and he currently reviews Trek comics at TrekCore. He’s taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for two years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.