REVIEW: ‘Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Future State Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Marguerite Bennet, art by Marguerite Sauvage, and letters by Wes Abbott. Years from now, Kara Zor-El retired from the active superhero community. She lives a quiet life on the moon, aiding a colony of refugees and anyone else who feels like they have nowhere left to go. But when a strange, shape-shifting runaway crashes onto the colony, Kara may find that, whether she wants the superhero life or not, it’s come back to her.

There are many heroes in the DC stable that struggle due to the shadows of their predecessors. While most people would immediately think of the various Green Lanterns or Flashes when talking about this sort of struggle, I think perhaps no character has ever highlighted it better than Kara. She so often feels relegated to being the “other” Kryptonian. Her most famous comic book moment is even one in which her lifeless body hangs in the arms of her far more famous cousin. And even this image seems to emphasize the pain of Superman over the sacrifice just made by Kara. This lack of focus, of always being the other hero wearing the S, seems to have not gone unnoticed by the character herself. And writer Bennet brings an interesting look at the future of this often shunned, Superwoman.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 opens with Kara standing at the grave of her most constant friend. One who always loved her and never saw her as an inch less than her more famed cousin. That grave belongs to Krypto the Superdog. As she stands there, we are permitted to listen in on Kara’s thoughts about her old place in the superhero community, her struggles with her family, and how Krypto did so much to help her accept herself and not allow others to define her. After all, we can never change how others see us. Only how we see ourselves.

Writer Bennet does a wonderful job scripting this moment. The words that fill Kara’s thoughts are bittersweet. That she has managed to make peace with a situation not of her making and carve out for herself a place of meaning and value are things she is clearly proud of. But even though she says she has made peace with the things she cannot change, they still weigh on her. Such burdens are rarely ever totally removed from our shoulders, even if fiction often likes to act like they can be.

Kara’s musings are interrupted by the unexpected arrival of an alien craft. While the initial meeting is a little rough, Kara soon finds another role she can fit into. This one of a mentor. But even as she tries to help this runaway find her path, she may not be allowed the time before their past catches up to them.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1’s unique take on the Woman of Steel is greatly aided by Sauvage’s art. The art style employed here greatly enhances the calm and serenity that Kara has worked hard to earn and continues to struggle to maintain. Everything from the way Kara is designed to the colors that permeate the story enhances the narrative’s calm and emotion.

Rounding out the presentation is Abbott’s letter work. A slower moving story generally means more talking and dialogue to keep straight. Luckily, Abbott does a great job keeping the monologues and mentoring lectures running smoothly throughout the story. Along with some nice text design, Abbott delivers the letters with all the skill and style the story could ask.

When all is said and done, Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 introduces readers to a different look at its title character. But instead of just putting a twist on the character for the sake of it, Bennet and company seem to be crafting something truly retrospective for the character.

Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 is available on January 12th wherever comics are sold.


Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1
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TL;DR

When all is said and done, Future State: Kara Zor-El Superwoman #1 introduces readers to a different look at its title character. But instead of just putting a twist on the character for the sake of it, Bennet and company seem to be crafting something truly retrospective for the character.