Tom King’s Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow is, aside from the art by Bilquis Evely, an entirely unenjoyable comic. Beyond writing that at times feels like it came directly from someone who just read Catcher in the Rye and thinks they’re hot shit because they see themselves in Holden, Supergirl is a comic about a woman that is very obviously written by a man who should not be writing women until he figures out how to do it properly. Now, typically I’m not too fond of King’s books. Out of the (admittedly few) that I have read, The Vision is the only one I remember enjoying. Caveat: I was at most fifteen when The Vision came out, and I haven’t read it since.
Woman of Tomorrow is first and foremost a True Grit rip-off; it’s extremely difficult to dispute this claim when there are so many similarities between the plots. The similarities are so present that I question why King didn’t just adapt True Grit as a graphic novel; he obviously wanted to. Instead, Woman of Tomorrow comes off as one of those outlandish crossovers one can find on fanfiction.net; an x meets y situation wherein Tom King took a character and put her in a situation that no one in their right mind would think to put that character in, and in doing so, portrays her in a way that feels entirely out of character for her.
There’s a line early in the book where Kara says, “I’m 21 now. Official. Which means it’s okay”, while that line is about Kara drinking, the phrasing of it feels off. It’s phrased in a similar way to how arguments centered around the age of consent are, and it just ends up feeling gross.
As I’ve said in the past, I take issue with misogyny in a piece of media only to make a character unlikeable. The same goes with violence against women and girls; to take a very real, very serious issue and to use it as a shortcut is not only lazy (there are ways to make a villain villainous without having them slap a girl), but it leaves a bad taste in the mouth for anyone, especially a man to take that issue, and use it entirely as a quick way to make a case for someone being a villain. This isn’t the first time I’ve taken issue with something in this vein (see the above link for my thoughts on using “broodmare” as an insult in Empyre), and it most certainly will not be the last.
Beyond the rest of these points, my biggest issue with this book is how it ends. Tom King did not need to kill (or injure, we still aren’t 100% sure what Krypto’s fate will be) Krypto. It’s entirely unnecessary to do so, and I have no idea what King’s motive could be beyond being edgy and generating headlines around it. Either way, it sucks. It’s a bad decision, and Tom King should be ashamed of himself. That’s the takeaway from this issue; Tom King should be ashamed of himself.