Illustrated by Joëlle Jones
This story sets down a new origin story for Kara Danvers, also known as Kara Zor-El, and her life looks an awful lot like another famous Kryptonian. Kara's pod crash lands in a corn field outside Midvale, a farming community somewhere in the United States. Kara is taken in by a couple and raised as their own. Now, Kara's a teenager, battling normal Earth-teenager things like zits and homework, but it's all compounded with her secret powers and trying to figure out who she is. She keeps having this strange dream of people saying goodbye to her. Luckily, she has two amazing best friends, Jen and Dolly, who keep her grounded, even if they don't know about her abilities. Then, at a track meet, a powerful earthquake brings tragedy to Kara's life. Kara must overcome her grief, and figure out her powers, in order to stop a much more sinister plot from destroying her town, and everyone she loves.
This story of loss and self-discovery is complex. The novel is narrated throughout with the inner monologue of Kara, and her concerns echo what many teens go through daily (aside from the super-powers part). Most of this story is about Kara figuring out her life and battling her grief, and the super-powers and Krypton portion comes in the last third. The ending is unresolved, hinting at a continuation of the story. My main detractor from this story is that Kara's origin is almost exactly the same as Superman's. Kara's origin in other stories does differ from Kal-El, so I'm not quite certain why in this, she had to be so similar. Jone's illustrations are extremely detailed and beautiful. The color palettes alternate between two main ones: yellows for inside, blues for outside. Special pops of color are used sparingly in the first half (note: the review copy I had was black-and-white through the second half, so the color schemes could be completely different in the second half of the final version).
DC rate this for Teen. The main element elevating this from lower grade levels is death and grief. There is some violence, but no bloodshed.
Sara's Rating: 9/10
Suitability Level: Grades 7-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Net Galley. This graphic novel will be on sale July 7, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 9/10, Suitability: Middle School, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Superheroes, School-Age, Grief
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