(Note: I’m skipping the Gen13 epilogue in this issue, as it’s not relevant to the rest of the plot.)
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Cover Date: September 2014
Story: Tony Bedard
Pencils: Jeff Johnson and Emanuela Lupacchino
Inks: Scott Hanna and Ray McCarthy
Cover: Jeff Johnson and Cam Smith
As Supergirl desperately fights Worldkiller-1 as she’s weakening due to Kryptonite poisoning, the pair land in an occupied area. The armor bonds to a human instead, but the host is too fragile, and quickly burns out. Kara’s horrified, and the armor pledges to continue using up humans if she will not submit. The Kryptonite in the air’s making her feel worse and worse, and then she realizes that’s her ace in the hole. She allows Worldkiller-1 to bond with her, then uses her Red Lantern ring to drag them both to the sun. She’s recharged there, but it’s not enough…so she yanks off the red ring. The armor tosses her dying body into the star and crushes the ring, deciding to find Superman instead, but the solar power revitalizes Supergirl and allows her to destroy the armor. No longer a Red Lantern, Kara vows to help the remaining Diasporans and finally make a life for herself on Earth.
“Red Daughter of Krypton” concludes in spectacular fashion. I don’t think anyone realized just how good this story would be! Despite the constant crossing over with Red Lanterns (and Action Comics [Vol. 2], albeit briefly), the story never felt like an “event.” Looking back on the whole thing, it just felt like a realistic character arc, and that’s the mark of a good story indeed.
Using the sun to save Kara’s life was great; the ring did warn of instant death, but she’s a Kryptonian. They’re hardier beings by default, and beyond that, you don’t die immediately if your heart stops. Besides, it was implied that the sun didn’t just restore her to life, it also supercharged her somehow. I assume that’ll be explored a bit in future Supergirl issues. As for her leaving the Red Lantern Corps, Guy Gardner and crew are aware of the problem, but hopefully their investigation thereof will be brief. (I imagine Guy will be shocked that she successfully removed a red ring without the help of a Blue Lantern!)
I’ve gone on and on about Emanuela Lupacchino’s amazing artwork., and having Jeff Johnson assist was a good choice. His style is recognizable but not too much of a departure from Lupacchino’s work, so the pages flowed from one to another at a rapid clip. The breakneck pace of the story was great to read, bringing everything to a satisfying conclusion for both the issue and the entire “Red Daughter” saga.
I’ll miss Red Lantern Kara, but I do appreciate that her time with a red ring wasn’t driven into the ground. Kudos to the Supergirl and Red Lanterns creative teams for doing such a great job on this story!