I am presently geeking out on the Peter David run of Supergirl. For most Supergirl is Kara Zor-El, the cousin of Superman, and that’s also the concept I grew up with, and I really love those 60’s Supergirl stories where she is Kal-El’s cousin with the secret identity Linda Lee Danvers of Midvale. Some think that she is Superman’s little sister, cute concept but wrong, but close enough. Peter David’s run from the late 90’s to 2004 however veers away from this Kryptonian familial connection as a consequence of the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths where Supergirl was killed, a maxi-series which I think is overrated but still very seminal. To understand Peter David’s Supergirl we need a new paragraph. In Peter David’s Supergirl:
Matrix is a character in the form of a goo created through the DNA of a pocket universe Lana Lang by a benevolent pocket universe version of Lex Luthor. I don’t know the difference between a pocket and a parallel universe. Matrix is sent to our world to ask Superman for help for some mission, and for better understanding she takes the form of a female in a Superman costume, hence Supergirl. She is eventually adopted by Superman’s foster parents, the Kents, and retains her Supergirl guise with some secret identity called Mae. Linda Danvers is an altogether different character, a very disturbed girl who joins the demonic cult of Buzz and is eventually killed. To save her soul, Matrix/Supergirl fuses her soul with Linda, so we now have:
Eventually she discovers that Linda and/or Supergirl is an Earth-Born Angel, hence we have this collection of four personas in one: Matrix/Supergirl/Linda/Earth Angel with Burning Wings.
Through a series of steps which I am reviewing now each character has been separated from another as the years went by. In 2005 it was decided that this was so confusing so Jeph Loeb took the writing reins, sort of retconned the whole fused personality story, and restored Kara Zor-El as the one true Supergirl, the cousin of Superman. The story of this one true Supergirl took quite a few years to get its footing and I almost stopped reading it, until Sterling Gates took to writing the character with illustrations by the magnificent Jamal Igle.
In my quest to read all the DC comic books ever published I am now catching up on Peter David’s Supergirl run. Back in the days when I was totally dedicated to the 60’s Supergirl I hated that they totally changed the whole Supergirl concept, but now I think it’s one excellent excellent run.
In this scene from issue 14 Linda tries to reveal to her parents that she is Supergirl. It has been one of my fantasies: revealing to a friend/family member that all these years I am actually a super hero with the ability to transfer my mind to a cat or kill noisy butangs with an exophthalmic stare. Of course before she could actually say it Linda’s parents accused her of all sorts of things: