The current Supergirl series set up an intriguing status quo for the character by putting her in high school, but this setting was largely avoided over the book’s first year. Writer Steve Orlando emphasized superhero fantasy and put Supergirl in increasingly spectacular circumstances, but what makes the Super-characters so rich is the relationship between their secret and superhero identities. Writer Jody Houser has done exceptional work exploring that dynamic with her work on books like Faith and Mother Panic, and her arrival on Supergirl puts Kara Danvers back in the spotlight.
Supergirl is currently being hunted by the organization she used to work for, so she has to stay grounded in her human alter ego and resist the temptation to fly into action. Kara can only stand back for so long while innocent people are threatened, and this exclusive preview of Supergirl #16 focuses on her inner conflict as she’s forced to sit around the house while Strange Visitor wreaks havoc. Orlando and Houser are a great writing team, and the book is maintaining its connections to DC continuity—check out that editor’s note pointing readers to Superman Vol. 2 #173—while delving deeper into the lead character’s personal conflicts.
Artist Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques, and colorist Michael Atiyah reinforce the contrast between Kara’s civilian and superhero lives in the artwork. The scenes of Strange Visitor attacking National City feature dramatic compositions and vibrant coloring, and both of those visual elements are toned down when the action shifts to the conversation within the Danvers home. The most striking piece of art in this preview is Stanley “Artgerm” Lau’s variant cover, a sunny headshot that captures Supergirl’s youth, optimism, and warmth. Lau packs this close-up with personality, and it’s a remarkable example of using lighting to reinforce character expression. This is an instantly iconic Supergirl image, and creative teams would be wise to use this image as inspiration for how to approach her character.