Supergirl Mondays is a weekly celebration of the Girl of Steel, who has graced the pages of DC Comics in a variety of forms for more than five decades.
This feature’s primary focus is to take an issue-by-issue look back at Supergirl’s adventures in the post-Crisis universe. From an artificial being on a mission to save her home world, to an Earth-born angel on a mission to save her soul, each Monday, before the airing of “Supergirl” on CBS, reflect on the earliest days of the incredible and winding journey of a frequently divisive, sometimes confusing, but always entertaining era for the Maid of Might.
At the conclusion of “The Supergirl Saga,” a horribly injured Supergirl was left by Superman in the care of Jonathan and Martha Kent, as well as Lana Lang. Following this, the character was absent from the Superman titles for about three months before returning to begin the second major chapter of her story.
Issue: ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #448
Cover date: 1988
Cover price: 75 cents ($1 Can./50p U.K.)
Cover by Jerry Ordway
Story: “The Ledge”
Jerry Ordway, writer/penciller
Dennis Janke, inker/embellisher
Petra Scotese, colorist
Albert DeGuzman, letterer
Renée Witterstaetter, asst. editor
Mike Carlin, supreme editor & poobah of all stuff
Superman created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
Paralleling her introduction under the writing hand of John Byrne, the second chapter in the post-Crisis Supergirl’s story unfolds in a series of interludes throughout the course of several issues over several months. Originally mostly divorced from the issue’s main story, these interludes grow in size and importance, slowly becoming more interwoven with the main story while at the same time building to a head that concludes with a watershed moment for the character.
This first interlude, the entirety of which is reproduced above, finds Supergirl — or Matrix as she calls herself — along the path to recovery after being attacked and left for dead by the Phantom Zone criminals.
No longer a shapely blonde or a Lana Lang double, Matrix now much more closely resembles her “natural” state: pink, fleshy and decidedly non-human. Her mental faculties, too, have taken quite a hit as a result of the trauma of the Phantom Zone criminals’ brutal assault leaving Matrix seeming much more childlike in knowledge, speeh and sensibilities.
Still, it’s interesting to see the spirit of Superman (or Superboy) that inspired the character in the first place remains with her wanting to help — and doing so, in her own misguided way. Despite the positive role model, Matrix has a very long way to go to not only recover from her injuries but to acclimate herself to this new world she finds herself in.
Note this also is the first use of the name “Matrix” in reference to the character. And while it isn’t clear (in this issue, anyway) if this is a something she has started calling herself of her own volition, or a nickname bestowed upon her by the Kents and Lana, she is the one to first use the name within the context of the readers’ introduction. The second chapter of Matrix’s (nee Supergirl’s) story is about establishing who she is, and that’s an important step in the character’s independence and becoming more than a blank slate continually molded by others.
This issue contains reader letters in response to SUPERMAN (Vol. 2) #22, the final chapter of “The Supergirl Saga.” See Supergirl Monday 11 for more on what readers had to say.
Next time on Supergirl Monday: A departure!