Overall, I really enjoyed artist Mahmud Asrar's art in this issue, even if there were some moments where the characters appeared a bit strange. For example, I wasn't too keen on the way the artist depicted Superman and Superboy, to me it didn't really look like these two characters. Other than that, however, I loved the way he drew Krypton and the interaction between Kara and her friend Tali.
I thought it was great to see the story open with Kara and Tali, two best friends who love each other a lot. I think it's rare to see friendship between two girls depicted in comics, but there is a great example of that in this issue. I love the line where Tali mentions she would "trade a million kisses from Tak-Ro for another day with her best friend." It's clear that their friendship is really strong and meant a lot to Supergirl and it's nice to see that she actually had someone important and special in her life.
The flow of the story was really good. In the start of the issue Kara mentions that she would want "the next person she kissed" to really mean something. I think it's fair to say that she is, very obviously, manipulated in this issue the way that Mike Johnson structures the story. First he introduces this great friendship between Kara and Tali, and then he has Kara face her best friend who is stranded in a sort of stasis. Whether H'el knew of the relationship between the two girls or not, after seeing her friend in that state Kara was left vulnerable, and it's obvious that H'el then proceeded to prey on that vulnerability.
It is still unclear what H'el's powers are, exactly. There is a scene where H'el shrinks Kara down and transports her to Kandor. In this scene, H'el uses an "astral projection" to show Kara what he used to look like, but he only does this when she is still in Kandor. When she leaves Kandor and goes back to her "normal size," H'el appears to her as he did before. What is strange is that he doesn't shape shift or manipulate her into seeing him the way he used to look. Perhaps he doesn't want to give his powers away? He doesn't want to show her all the cards he has up his sleeve, so to speak? Or perhaps he isn't strong enough to manipulate his own image to appear to her the way he used to look. Anyway, all of this is unclear and I think I would have liked to see more of an explanation of his powers in this issue.
I also understand that Kara is young, but it's strange to see her going into this situation so blindly. Where are her instincts? Doesn't she feel a bit hesitant about trusting this guy she just met? I think that might be my biggest problem with this issue; it doesn't paint her in the best light. She doesn't seem very intelligent here.
Although it's great to see Kara wearing her heart on her sleeve, sharing an awesome moment with her best friend, and having these events pull on her heart strings; I think it's still a bit off that Kara isn't thinking about the consequences of her actions and is trusting H'el so blindly. Although it creates a great dynamic and leaves readers with a cliff-hanger, it was a bit predictable, wasn't it? I was also hoping to see the writer delve further into H'el's powers and get into the reasons for his actions. Hopefully we'll see more of that in the future. All in all, not a bad issue of SUPERGIRL, but not the best either.