Thursday, July 10, 2008

It Came From the Back Issue Box: Supergirl 7, Who is Linda Danvers?

It struck me after posting the cover to Supergirl 7 in the last post, that reviewing the character of Linda Danvers might be a great way to get ready for Reign in Hell.

In the Peter David Supergirl, the Matrix Supergirl was called upon by Fred and Sylvia Danvers (a cop and devout Christian respectively) to save their 'sweet innocent' artist daughter Linda. Supergirl finds Linda near death, sacrificed to a pagan god. Supergirl somehow merges with Linda, creating one being where there was two.

Early in the series and initially after merging, Supergirl has little recall of Linda's life. In issue 7, she decides to review the art Linda was producing to try to jog her memories.

They aren't good memories as we find out that Linda was certainly not sweet or innocent. Oh she starts out that way, but like most adolescents she begins to question the authorities around her.

She is sent on an errand to the local pastor's house and looking in the window, she sees him beat his wife to death.

While confused about all she has learned about a loving God and the goodness in man, she meets a man named Buzz who begins to seduce her to the evil there is in the world. Buzz later turns out to be a chaos demon on Earth.
First Buzz begins to have Linda question the authoratative nature of the bible; he even quotes noted dark magician Aleister Crowley.

Then with Linda intrigued by his bad boy nature, he shows her his world, bringing her to a demonic orgy ... a place of evil she finds attractive.

Later, as Buzz's girlfriend, he sends her further down the path to damnation. He kidnaps the pastor from the earlier scenes with the plans to kill him. It is strongly implied that Linda takes part in the killing.

Supergirl realizes that she has saved an evil person who wallowed in sin. Disgusted with the person that she has merged with, Supergirl vows that the evil that was Linda will die as she was meant to.

Over the course of that series, Linda/Supergirl comes to realize that the sacrifice made by Matrix to save her has made this new being an angel on Earth. She fights the Carnivore, a demon bent on overthrowing heaven. Eventually she wins that fight but has the angelic aspect of her ripped away.

That series was so wonderful. First we see the redemption of Linda. Her soul speaks to Supergirl in issue 9 telling her that she regrets the things she has done. We also see evolving humanity of the Matrix aspect, a being we learn was lost, feeling soulless like an automaton.
So the question becomes which Linda will we see in Reign in Hell? The cultist murderer? Or the one redeemed? As I have discussed in prior posts, it is not as if Linda has reason to serve a higher power unflinchingly since that power robbed her of her daughter.


Heath Edwards said...

yeah, see... being into spiritual/religious type stuff, i would love for the dc people to actually spend a bit more time on this side of the dcu. of course, this is why we have 'reign in hell', so yay...
but, the caricatures that come out most of the time, really make me lose interest, quickly. i think this is why i didn't make it through this series of supergirl. but, i do hope that 'rih' will make me want to give it another go...

Anj said...

yeah, see... being into spiritual/religious type stuff, i would love for the dc people to actually spend a bit more time on this side of the dcu.

Thanks for the post.

I think this Supergirl series was a pretty good take on religion in a world of super-heroes. How'miracles' would be commonplace and that faith is needed more than anything else.

That whole theme was carried forward in the conflicted character of Linda/Supergirl who just could never seem to love herself or believe in herself until she makes a great sacrifice in issue 50.

I hold the first 50 issues of that Supergirl run in the highest regard.

My hope will be that Reign in Hell has a serious perspective on the topic and is not foolish.