Today’s books for review are all over the place, spanning from National City to Krypton (Supergirl), from the deepest reaches of space to Warworld (Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), and a New York Police Department interrogation room… at least a few weeks in the future (The Black Monday Murders).

Supergirl 2
Written by Steve Orlando
Art by Brian Ching

We continue the running theme of family matters going through many of the books this week, as Kara encounters the Cyborg Superman, who is also known as Kara’s father, Zor-El. Her father preys on Kara’s feelings of not fitting in with the people of Earth and tries to convince her to join her on a re-made Argo City.

In her alter ego of Kara Danvers, Supergirl faces possibly a tougher challenge, as Cat Grant, the former Daily News gossip columnist and now the founder of CatCo Worldwide Media, takes a liking to Kara after coming to her high school in search of a new apprentice.

So, DC Comics is now trying to thread an interesting needle with Supergirl, by placing her in a setting similar to the television show while trying to keep its own identity (especially given Kara is a teenager in high school here and now a 20-something young professional). But the setting has proven successful for the TV show, so why not try and make it work in the comic book?

I do like the change of the Cyborg Superman as Zor-El, someone who wore the crest of the House of El in the past and not some random scientist with a grudge against Superman. It gives the character a bit more weight as a Super-family villain, where the pre-Flashpoint version of the character had mainly become a Green Lantern villain and a member of the Sinestro Corps.

Interestingly, the Supergirl TV show’s first season introduced us to Hank Henshaw (the pre-Flashpoint alter ego of the Cyborg Superman), but he turned out to be a secret identity for the Martian Manhunter. So, all parts of the DC Entertainment sphere is separating Henshaw from the Cyborg.

After two issues (plus the Rebirth issue), the book seems to be on good footing, but it’s still establishing itself within its own universe. Hopefully, the quality continues to fly high. A nice long run for this book could go a long way in keeping Supergirl established as a premiere book for the company.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps 6
Written by Robert Venditti 
Pencils by Rafa Sandoval
Inks by Jordi Tarragona

I guess things are starting to get good in the book, but I really have grown tired of the pacing of this book. The first six issues of the book have been positioning the players in preparation for a great conflict between Hal Jordan and Sinsetro; for the Green Lantern Corps to rescue Guy Gardner; for Jordan to reunite with the GLC and for Gardner to finally manage to find a pair of pants to put on.

But all of that positioning has killed the pacing of the book and for several issues over the last three months, it’s felt like absolutely nothing has happened. It’s not a fun feeling when you spend $2.99 on a book – twice a month – and little happens. Jordan and Sinestro have been talking about fighting each other for six issues now, and there’s been lots of posturing – and Hal has taken out some members of the Sinestro Corps – but little else has happened. And the book is called “Hal Jordan AND the Green Lantern Corps.” was it really necessary to keep Jordan away from his team for this long? I’m betting writer Robert Venditti is assuming a save from the GLC will be more dramatic next issue, but again, it’s hurt the pacing of the book.

I assume the first arc ends with the seventh issue, which promises a confrontation between Jordan and Sinestro, and that ends my one-arc commitment to the book. And the end will not have come soon enough.

The Black Monday Murders 3
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Tomm Coker 

The first two issues of this series from Image Comics featured a lot of backstory, letting readers in on how the rise and fall of the financial world depends on a small cadre of families and their representatives and their connection to Mammon. There was flashbacks, supplemental material and a lot of talking about the history of Caina as an NYPD detective tries to solve a murder that’s tied to the families.

The third issue purposely devotes the entire issue to one location, as the entirety of the story takes place within the NYPD’s First Precinct interrogation room. Viktor Erasko is under arrest for the murder and detectives try and get him to confess. After a consultation with an attorney from financial corporation Caina-Kankrin’s board of directors, he decides on a gambit with Detective Dumas, who’s been investigating the case. Erasko shows off the power he has at his disposal, which creates one of the more disturbing scenes I’ve read this year.

Hickman’s The Black Monday Murders seems to be running along pretty smoothly so far, and I hope it can keep up the quality it’s shown in the first three issues.

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