Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones

Supergirl: Being Super Cover


Goodreads: Supergirl: Being Super
Series: None
Source: Library
Published: 2020 re-release


Sixteen-year-old Kara Danvers has pretty great parents and great friends. She should be happy. But she also possesses powers she cannot explain–and now they seem to be going rogue. Then an earthquake strikes her small town. Will Kara embrace who she truly is? Or will she continue to hide away from the world?

Star Divider


Supergirl: Being Super is a phenomenal introduction to the Girl of Steel. Kara Danvers has wonderful adoptive parents and two great best friends, but she is still troubled at night by her strange dreams and how she cannot remember her past. Worse, her alien powers seem to be malfunctioning, but she is afraid to talk about it to her parents, because they fear what would happen if their small town found out Kara is different. Supergirl: Being Super introduces readers to a teenage girl who has not yet decided to become a superhero, but whose story of self-discovery is as gripping as it feels relevant. Readers will fall in love Kara, and cheer her on as she decides what she wants out of life.

Supergirl: Being Super is so wonderful in part because Kara feels so relatable. Even though she has super speed and super strength, she feels like the average teenager. She loves her parents, but does not want to admit it to them. She feels a little ironic about school. She is worried about her future and trying not to think too hard about things like impressing college scouts. Her weird fluctuating powers may be a big concern to her, but readers may feel Kara is not so different, after all. She really wants the same things most people do: a loving home, a certain future, a general sense of safety and stability.

This message of common longings is the subtle heart of the story. Mariko Tamaki never says it explicitly, but Supergirl: Being Super is about who embraces or does not embrace the stranger, the refugee, the person who is different. Some of Kara’s relatives love her unconditionally, but others do not. And there are some who believe that Kara does not deserve protection or dignity simply because she is not from Earth. Kara herself grapples with these issues, sometimes fearing to reveal her true self in case of rejection, but also sometimes clearly fearing that she might, after all, not really belong. Her story is about reminding others that she is worthy, but also about reminding herself.

I fell in love with Kara from the start. Though she doubts herself, she possesses bravery and a true heart. Even if she never decided to be a superhero, she would have been enough. I think most readers will fall in love with Kara, too. So if you were wondering where to start with Supergirl, or even if the Supergirl comics were for you, Supergirl: Being Super might just be the book you were waiting for. The book that will show you we all need a little bit of Supergirl and her love in our lives.

4 stars

6 thoughts on “Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki, Joelle Jones

  1. Michael J. Miller says:

    This is so exciting! I fell in love with the CW’s ‘Supergirl’ when I tried to binge-watch the entire series before Season Five began (I did not make it…but I came close!) but I’ve struggled to find comics that felt familiar after watching it. I mean, I don’t need the comic to be exactly the same – I like how each are their own things – but the comics I found felt SO different it was jarring. This seems like it may be what I’ve been looking for. Also, remember when you were just a Marvel person?? Now you’re constantly introducing me to all these DC titles I’ve never even heard of!


    • Krysta says:

      I watched the first season of Supergirl and I loved it. And I was really afraid this book wouldn’t live up to my vision of Supergirl because of that. The characterization is rather different, She’s younger, of course, and more unsure, but I do think the heart of it feels the same.

      Oh my goodness, yes! I never imagined a world where I read DC comics! But the new lines they are putting out are so accessible for people like me who don’t really understand the DC world!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael J. Miller says:

        I think that’s when the characters are best served – where the different versions of the comics and various movies and TV shows can all do their own thing but the heart of the character feels the same. I love going from one to the other and being surprised by what the story holds but I like the character to still feel like THE CHARACTER.

        And eventually your second point will be revised to read, “But the new lines they are putting out are really exciting, even for people like me who know all about the DC world!” ;D. You’re becoming an expert as we speak!


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