Saturday, May 31, 2008

It Came From the Back Issue Box - Supergirl and Team Luthor

In 1993, DC released 'Supergirl and Team Luthor', a one-shot comic that took place in between the 'Death of Superman' storyline and the 'Reign of the Superman' storyline. The issue contains 2 stories, but before the review, some backstory.

This is the 'Matrix' incarnation of Supergirl, the protoplasmic being from a pocket universe with super-strength, invulnerability, shape-changing, and telekinetic blasts for powers. She was 'created' by a good version of Lex Luthor. Because of that connection she falls in love with the DCU's Lex Luthor. Here Lex has lush red hair because he is in a cloned body and claiming to be Lex Luthor II, Lex's illegitmate and Aussie son.

Matrix was a tough Supergirl to really love. After coming to our world, she goes crazy and thinks she is Clark, actually replacing him when he exiles himself in space. She then exiles herself into space and becomes Brainiac's lackey. Then she returns to her senses, but falls for Lex and ends up being used by him.

Anyways, onto the issue.
The first story is written by Roger Stern, with layouts by June Brigman, and finished art by Jackson Guice and Dennis Janke.

The plot is fairly simple. In the immediate aftermath of Superman's death at the hands of Doomsday, Lex tries to foist Supergirl as the new hero of Metropolis. He creates a marketing blitz that includes scenes of Supergirl saving people during the Doomsday fight, breaking up brawls, and even saving kittens.

The overwhelmed Metropolis civil services allow Lex to set up a himself and bunch of men in super-armor (Team Luthor) and Supergirl as a policing force. In the end, Lex gets his leg broken and needs to sit out future patrols. Supergirl showers him with affection.

The story ends with Lex ominously saying 'I wish I had a hundred of you', a foreshadowing of his attempting to clone her in the 1994 Supergirl mini-series. Overall, not much going on here. Guice draws a leggy Supergirl.

The second story is written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Denis Rodier. In this story, Supergirl is called on to defend a Luthor-funded homeless shelter; remember lots of folks lost their homes or were displaced in the destruction of the Supes/Doomsday fight. When some mutant-y looking people from the Underworld try to stay in the shelter, the humans attack them and the shelter gets lit on fire. Supergirl comes in and saves the day. But the Underworlders leave rather than be judged simply by their looks.

This is a somewhat trite tale about acceptance.

There is a brief Supergirl gallery at the end, with pin-ups by John Byrne, Tom Grummett, Kerry Gammill, and Art Thibert.

Even for a Supergirl fan, there is not much happening in this issue. But if you see it in the $1 box at your next convention (heck, it might be in the quarter box), you should spend the cash.


Rick said...

I used to love this issue as a kid. I'd always read it time after time and try to copy the artwork inside.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, as a Kara fan, I see little reason to care for this issue. A Supergirl-In-Name-Alone is being manipulated by Lex Luthor who pretends to care for his experiment/tool/sex toy.

I bear no enmity to Matrix, but that subplot was dumb and harmful to the character.