This is Not My Life: Part 1 of 3
This was a super fun issue and helped to cheer me up after all the recent news. I’d been looking forward to this story ever since reading the CBR interview with Kelly Sue DeConnick, and I wasn’t disappointed. I became quite invested in the characters and their peril over the course of the story, and was firmly on the edge of my seat when I reached the last page.
The art features some different character designs from what we’ve seen before on Supergirl, and some of the early pages seemed a bit rough. I’m not sure if that was the pencils or the inks. The art started to smooth out over the course of the book and I got used to the characters’ facial structures. Hopefully artist ChrisCross will have found his bearings by the next issue. Lois and her flaily hands are funny :)
This issue convinced me that setting Supergirl on a college campus could be really fun. I’m glad we got a chance to see that, at least for a brief time. Kara got to show off her smarts in both poetry and the scientific method. One character notes that she “can see the patterns” and is “full of science magic”. I always enjoy when writers remember that Kara is smart.
Kara’s relationship with Lois is much more fractious than it was in James Peaty’s story; I explained that away for myself as a sort of “two steps forward, one step back” as Lois tries to figure out her relationship with Kara in her Linda Lang persona. Kara seemed to be thrown off guard by the students of the “Silk Pajama Society” more than I think is likely for her at this stage (the art was a bit overdramatic in those panels.) On the other hand, I can’t remember the last time Kara’s had to deal with a bunch of obnoxious youths as just Linda Lang. She couldn’t pull out the “scary alien who might do anything” threat this time.
Kara’s talkative roommate Shirley amused me :) I wasn’t familiar with the version of Starman (Mikaal Tomas) who makes an appearance at the beginning, but he was fun and had a great little speech for Kara that summed up his character quickly.
I like that Kelly Sue DeConnick chose to tell a story set in its own self-contained world which didn’t require prior knowledge of any other characters (unlike the Dubbilex “surprise reveal” a few issues back). Dr. Ivo is an existing villain, but everything you need to know about him is on the page. This makes the story welcoming to new readers, which was a conscious choice by DeConnick:
I kind of wanted to keep the DCU out of it as much as I could. I was afraid of it getting continuity-hamstrung, you know? When I was doing my research I was having to hop around a bunch of different titles to get caught up and it was frustrating, confusingâ€”and expensive! It left me wanting to section off my little arc and make it as self-contained as possible so that it would be accessible to, you know, people like me.
Having seen Amy Reeder’s cover to the final issue in this story, I’m more curious than ever as to where this is going. It has a beautiful sci-fi romantic feel to it that I love.
I tried to write a gift for her, a story that’s fun and romantic and playful and dances with themes and images from childhood and adolescence. And now, knowing what this story is in the larger context, I’m doubly happy with it. I got to put the period on the end of that sentence and I did it in a love letter.
I can’t think of a better way to end the series.
I’m looking forward to reading the next 2 issues, and recommend getting them now just in case they aren’t collected in a trade paperback.