Story: Marguerite Bennett
Colors: Wendy Broome
Letterer: Wes Abbott
What They Say:
Her name is Faora Hul-Ul, and she was born on the planet Krypton. The name means “the hidden one,” in the tongues of Earth, and that will mean something to you soon enough. Her world is dying, and she needs you to know this story before it dies as well.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Bombshells has been a bit all over the map with the last couple of arcs as it’s bringing a lot of stuff together and that’s a delicate balancing act. While Bennett has largely handled it well, that taste of Suicide Squad for an installment had me really ready to head down that tangent a bit more. With this issue, she’s paired up with Aneke on the art duties once again and she gets to flesh out Faora’s background and story, which means new characters, new worlds, and a chance to set things in a particular tone for a bit. While Aneke doesn’t overdesign – simplicity is the rule of the day when it comes to digital-first series for the most part on a weekly basis – there are some very fun things to be had.
With Faora narrating, which means we can trust it only so far, we get a look at her view of how Krypton was toward the end of its life. It’s one that’s certainly familiar in that it was all about clean breeding and noble houses, though taken a bit further in some instances. What we see is how she, Lara Lor-Van and Alura In-Ze were all close friends and those friends had genetic flaws. Through some archaic medical help she help Alura become pregnant, resulting in Kara, but at a time when everything was falling apart. Faora’s view of her as being the one who conceived Kara is fairly literal in a way but it works so she can try and establish a bond with her. While the hope had been among many to escape Krypton and start elsewhere, it goes badly and even Faora’s friends turn against her as they see her going so far, so militaristic in it all, that it shatters the bond as Faora ends in the Phantom Zone. It’s certainly a new retelling of familiar ideas from over the decades and it works well.
Faora’s story is one that plays out over decades before Kara arrives on Earth and grows into who she is, so we see how the Thanagarians found her in space, striking a deal with them, and then ending up on Earth as the place where she would establish what she really wants out of a world compared to what Krypton was. This takes us through the empires she toyed with, the world wars that came along, and the rise of others that want to see much of it burn like her. The overview is solid and the way she talks about how she let Kara and her sister do and experience what they did when she could have radically altered it all at any point is chilling. Kara’s pushback at the end isn’t a surprise as she is her own person and has gone through her suffering for it, but she refuses to see humanity in a bad light after it all in classic Super fashion. It’s a good affirmation of who she is as she has some big things to face as we barrel towards issue 100.
Bombshells does a lot of exposition here but Aneke makes it flow very well and in a fun and engaging way. With lots of character designs to work with, leaving me wanting a Lara and Alura spin-off to know their tale alone!, there’s a good bit of variety all while maintaining that hard and metallic kind of edge to it that Faora gives off. It’s not a warm and inviting piece and isn’t meant to be as that’s not who Faora is. There’s definitely a lot to take in here and connections to other events in the overall series that ties it together, such as the Thanagarian element, but it all comes back to the humanity of the cast and Kara is definitely representative of that. Good stuff all around that has me curious to see if there will be a solid enough buildup to the 100th installment.
Age Rating: 13+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 5th, 2017