Turns out that Supergirl dresses pretty much the same in her civilian life as she does in her costume. You’d think that be a potential secret identity risk, but oh well.
Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives, by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle, represents a small but significant turning point in the New Krypton saga, as it’s the first time that the Kryptonians seem to score any kind of victory against the aggressive earthers. They not only capture Reaction but Alura even fakes his death and makes him a secret prisoner, complete with torture and the rest. I think it comes back to bite her in the end, but in the meantime it does feel like they are beginning to get their act together at last.
Perhaps the least believable thing about this whole New Krypton thing is how it’s taking for full-on hostilities to break out between the two worlds. It seems like most people in the story want war. Certainly it seems like the people with the ability to make any decisions on earth are gunning for it, and the leading Kryptonians (General Zod, Alura) aren’t opposed to it. And they’d be better off, it turns out, if they just launched into a pre-emptive strike against earth rather than waiting for the humans to marshall their forces.
Indeed, the Kryptonians turn out to be pretty inept. They totally fail to do anything like, you know, use their super powers to keep surveillance on the earth, to suss out the evil humans plans, or to just take out their enemies. They fail, even, to do something as simple as approach earth by another route than just straight from their planet (meaning that the humans can always track their presence).
It’s that whole issue about who would win in a fight–the answer is it depends on who is writing the story. Other writers will take one Kryptonian (or Kryptonian analog) and make them almost unbeatable (the Plutonian, Kid Marvelman, Superboy Prime, Black Adam), even against the combined might of the earth. But in this story, 100,000 angry Kryptonians are no match for an ornery old man and a couple of creeps with Kryptonite hearts.
Anyway, back to the story. This chapter follows up on the whole Codename: Patriot debacle, with Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird all wanted for the apparent murder of Mon-El. A bunch of well meaning anti-Kryptonian soldiers chase them around before they themselves are betrayed by Reactron, who must be one of the most annoying and unlikeable villains I have ever read. The action is pretty typical New Krypton-fare, with the everyone flying around and lots of heat vision and lots people getting punched great distances, cars being smashed, and so on.
There is some character stuff as well – primarily Supergirl works through her issues with Thaka Ak-Var. We also get a bunch of backstory told in flashbacks – such as the history of Kara and Thara’s friendship and the history of Zor-El and Alura’s relationship. Most successfully, there is an interesting tale of Kara having to decide which Kryptonian guild she is going to join, which gives some genuine relationship development between Kara and her mother, something which has been sorely needed. I’d call it one of the most successful segments of the New Krypton story, along with the reworking of Mon-El’s origin a few books back.
Superman: New Krypton Index
Last Son • Brainiac • New Krypton vol. 1 • New Krypton vol. 2 • Mon-El • Supergirl: Who is Superwoman? • Nightwing and Flamebird vol. 1 • New Krypton vol. 3 • Codename: Patriot • Supergirl: Friends and Fugitives • Nightwing and Flamebird vol. 2 • Supergirl: Death and the Family • Mon-El – Man of Valor • New Krypton vol. 4 • Last Stand of New Krypton vol. 1 • Last Stand of New Krypton vol. 2 • War of the Supermen