Today’s Super Comic — Supergirl #1 (1996)

supergirl_vol_4_1Peter David’s terrific run on Supergirl wasn’t like any other Supergirl before or since. This Supergirl wasn’t Superman’s younger cousin from Krypton—only one Kryptonian allowed at this point in DC’s history. So instead, she was a, um, blob of alien proto-matter that fashioned itself as Supergirl. She also spent some time as Lex Luthor II’s girlfriend before coming to her senses.

As a blob of alien proto-matter, she didn’t have much of a life. So David gives her one in #1—someone else’s. Supergirl merges with a young woman she failed to save from an evil cult, acquiring all her memories as well as influences from her personality. The blob of alien proto-matter essentially solidifies into Linda Danvers, and Supergirl’s life is now hers and vice versa. Problem is, Linda might not have been a purely innocent victim.

Yeah, not the easiest version of Supergirl to market, but still a great run of comics nevertheless. You need to start with #1, though, which does an excellent job doling out just enough exposition to intrigue the reader as it introduces us to Supergirl’s new secret identity, leaving ample room to cover in future issues. A focus on mysticism and religion helps to distinguish Supergirl from Superman’s titles, and it truly is a unique incarnation of the character. She’s two people in a single body—one person good, and the other considerably less so.

It’s not what you’ll see on television this fall, but it’s a compelling Supergirl in its own right.

Writer: Peter David

Penciler: Gary Frank

Inker: Cam Smith

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology; included in Supergirl by Peter David vol. 1 (TPB)

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up