Plot: Cat Grant is held captive and is at the mercy of The Dollmaker. Meanwhile Supergirl is out trying to get information on the kidnappings of a few children from local villains.
Comments: Sometimes you get a comic and you have a set idea of what you are getting yourself into. Supergirl is normally fun and action packed. This issue is no different except for one little thing. It is very, very creepy.
At the tail end of the previous issue Cat Grant found her home invaded by The Dollmaker who then took her captive. The Dollmaker wants nothing more then to be Cat's son. He really is fanatic about this idea despite what Cat may think. What Gates does here is pretty fantastic. He takes the idea of The Dollmaker wanting to be Cat's son and let's it evolve quickly in such a way that there is actual gravity to the situation, not just a rushed haphazard motive of a villain. He dives into a brief backstory of The Dollmaker and hits all the important parts in his life and all the things that will reflect to the reader just what makes The Dollmaker tick.
Needless to say, Cat Grant isn't going to let anyone replace the memory of her son. She refuses to be his mother and off-handedly says, “I wouldn't love you if you were the last child in Metropolis.” The Dollmaker decides to call her bluff stating that he's going to go on a killing spree to kill all the children of Metropolis. Unable to move, and because The Dollmaker forgot to replace the fabric covering her mouth making her unable to speak, Cat does something she know's she will never live down. She yells out for the help of the one person who hates her the most—Supergirl. It's a very telling moment into the character's...errr, character.
Around this part the pacing is pretty fast. However, the solution seems a bit pat, leaving the reader with the feeling that the book was gearing up to something then just stopped a bit too short. Admittedly though, the way Gates does this is the only logical way for the issue to proceed. It would be hard for most readers to think that in some way The Dollmaker could beat Supergirl by himself with him having no means of escape.
There is also a small little Lois and Superwoman part in this comic. It was a nice little side story to help break up the action and suspense of the main story. It let us get into the minds of Lois and Superwoman as Lois questions Superwoman about who she truly is. Lois is a tough woman and the book highlights this nicely. She doesn't even really do anything but Gates's dialogue is so spot on at this moment that he really gives you this sense of strength from Lois with no action necessary. Similarly, Superwoman shows she puts up a pretty tough front but somewhere deep down inside she has feelings. It's a fairly emotional few pages and works very well with the pacing of the story.
What really completes the comic is the art. It really is something special. Besides just looking good, it fully complements the writing. There are parts in this comic that are just plain creepy because of how the panel was drawn in conjunction with the dialogue. Some parts are really just unsettling and to be able to evoke that feeling from a reader is a feat in its own.
Final Word: It's a great issue. It's a lot of fun and the writing in it is top notch along with the artwork. The only part that really upsets me about this issue is that it is Sterling Gates' last issue of this amazing run of Supergirl.
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