Usually coming of age stories tend to be a little stereotypical. But this one is far from ordinary, Supergirl: Being Super #1 sees Kara Danvers before she was Supergirl – approaching her 16th birthday. She doesn’t know who she is or where she came from. It’s a complete fresh start. This is largely separate from the rest of DC Comics, it doesn’t feature Superman and gives Kara the chance to flourish in her own storyline as her own character. It’s great to not have to worry about the complexities of Krypton, Superman or supervillains for once. Just a 16 year old girl trying to make it through high school, puberty and realising she’s a little different.
What’s absolutely brilliant to see is that the supporting cast aren’t just two-dimensional plot devices, there just to service Kara in whatever capacity. But they’re completely fleshed out characters in their own right. They’re also not all stick thin, average height supermodels either. It’s a small aspect of the story that gives a sense of reality to the Supergirl: Being Super #1. Representation is a huge topic of conversation at the moment, and this issue wonderfully addresses it without being overtly obvious.
This origin story isn’t restricted by a pre-existing main plot that it has to follow, it’s allowed to be as slow and as explorative as it likes. And it wonderfully tells us a story of a girl growing up in high school and realising she’s different. It allows the reader to connect with Kara on a level that some comics may miss out on. The writer, Mariko Tamaki clearly knows how to write interesting, three dimensional characters – and we can’t wait to see where she takes the story next. (Read her new Hulk series featuring Jennifer Walters) If you’re looking for an action packed thrill ride, Supergirl: Being Super #1 isn’t the one for you. If you’re interesting in an impressively written coming of age story that allows it’s characters to flourish then you’re definitely in the right place.