Kara Danvers’ bad day begins when she pops a zit.
As origin stories go, Tamaki (The Moon Is Up, 2018, etc.) focuses on Kara the teenager over all else. Having arrived on Earth as a young child, she endures bad dreams and has no idea that she’s an alien. Blonde, blue-eyed Kara has just turned 16, and her odd abilities are glitching. At a track meet, an earthquake takes the lives of several people, including one of Kara’s best friends, who slips out of her grasp. Later, when responding to a mysterious cry for help, she discovers not only the reason for her malfunctioning strength and the quake, but a dark-haired, olive-skinned man strapped to a table who speaks a language that she has only heard in her head and who has the answers to her questions about where she is from. His escape from the facility, however, causes problems that Kara could have anticipated if she was not so busy giggling at his face and admiring his abs. Superpowers are sidelined by the drama of fitting in, keeping secrets, and dealing with grief. Of her small circle of friends, the brown-skinned lesbian Dolly has enough sass to power Kara through everyday interactions as well as the weightier theme of the death of a loved one.
More “teen drama” than “super,” this is an interesting choice for those looking for more than the usual hero fare. (Graphic novel. 12-16)