Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Other Bizarro Supergirl
A new Bizarro Supergirl is just around to corner, being teased in solicitations for Supergirl #54 and #55.
I may be getting a little ahead of myself by looking back at prior Bizarro Supergirls before this new one has even been introduced. Still, it is always wise to look back.
And so let's look at the Bizarro Supergirl who played a somewhat key role in the later issues of Supergirl Vol. 3. While I think I may be understating things when I say that Peter David's 'Earth Angel' run on Supergirl was controversial, I have to say I really enjoyed it. After a very strong first 50 issues, the book toiled a bit for the next year or so as a depowered Linda followed a chaos stream across the USA in an attempt to reunite with the angelic aspect of Supergirl.
Lilith, the Demon Mother, tries to thwart Linda's efforts throughout the story. After all, Linda had killed Lilith's son, The Carnivean, in the climactic Supergirl #50.
During one of her mishaps on the road, Linda was actually taken to an ER where a blood sample was obtained in case she needed to be transfused.
Linda's guide down the Chaos Stream was Buzz, a former demon with jumbled ethics. In this scene from Supergirl #62, he succumbs to his more evil desires. He teams up with Two-Face who has kidnapped a scientist with cutting edge cloning technology. Craving some revenge against Linda for making him feel human emotions and losing his malevolent edge, Buzz gives the blood to the scientist.
Nudged along with a little Buzz black magic, the cloning chamber is able to process the blood sample and create a ... hmm ... I guess imperfect duplicate is the best way to describe what is created.
That's right, a Bizarro Supergirl is not only created, but is programmed to be the thrall of Two-Face and Buzz.
David has a lot of fun with the 'backwards speak' of this Bizarro. Here Buzz tells her to 'be gentle' with Linda. Of course, the Bizarro does the opposite and gives Supergirl an old-fashioned beatdown. The rules with this backwards speak are loose. Later Buzz tells her to kill Linda quickly. He wants her to kill her slowly, which is what she tries to do. But how did she know that it was the 'quickly' he wanted her to do the opposite of and not the 'kill'. Couldn't that be interpreted as 'heal her quickly' just as easily as 'kill her slowly'; heck even 'heal her slowly' would be the true opposite.
David does use the Bizarro Supergirl as a comic element during this arc. Here, from Supergirl #63, she enjoys shocking herself with a power line. He also has her chase Linda's friends on a pogo stick and get run over by a train.
She also is an interesting foil for Linda.
Remember, Linda's quest here is to reunite with the 'Supergirl angel' and regain her angelic powers. Here, the Bizarro Supergirl actually manifests some of those angelic powers, unleashing the holy 'flame vision' that Linda had in the first 50 issues.
Part of the theme of this whole arc is Linda discovering some self-worth and realizing that she is good with a capital G. For her to see the Bizarro Supergirl have access to the sublime powers while she is denied them was demoralizing.
David also is able to make the Bizarro Supergirl something of a tragic figure. As the story moves along, she begins to sense that she is close to something holy but not quite there. The Bizarro actually begins to question her own self-worth. Despite her bizarre and scattershot actions, she wants to be more like the perfect Supergirl. She has Linda's memories. She knows what Supergirl was. She wants to be more than she is ... but she is too flawed.
In Supergirl #69, after a skirmish with the other Earth Angels Blithe and Comet, she manifests Bizarro versions of more of Supergirl's holy powers. She sprouts black flame wings and is able to 'shunt' or teleport as the angelic Supergirl did.
Her shunting takes her to Lilith's evil garden where the Demon Mother has captured the angelic aspect of Supergirl, the angel of fire.
In Supergirl #71, the Bizarro Supergirl tries to free the Supergirl spirit so she can 'play' with her.
Lilith stops Bizarro Supergirl from interfering with the spirit. But the Demon Mother has a role for Bizarro in her plots against Linda.
Nice art here from Jamal Igle. I think this might be Jamal's first work with the Supergirl character.
In Supergirl #73, Linda and Mary Marvel arrive at Lilith's land to battle the Demon Mother and reunite Linda and Supergirl.
Lilith knows that her key to defeating Linda is to continue to break her down psychologically. In a move that is disheartening to Linda, the Bizarro Supergirl is able to link with the perfect Supergirl angel spirit and sends it to fight Linda. It is another way to cement the idea in Linda's head that Supergirl has rejected her, doesn't want her ... that she isn't worthy of the Supergirl spirit.
This is no easy task for Bizarro Supergirl, who can barely control the spirit without burning out.
In the end, the Bizarro Supergirl breaks the link with the angel spirit and joins the fray.
In Supergirl #74, Linda is actually able to use the backwards speak and addled mind of Bizarro Supergirl to her advantage. Linda actually tricks the Bizarro to attack Lilith and the resurrected Carnivean. Bizarro's role in the fight over, Lilith decides to destroy her. Hurmizeh, Lilith's plague demon servant, realizes that Bizarro is 'more vegetable than animal' and releases a plague of locusts against her. She is devoured.
And thus ends the short and tragic life of the 'other Bizarro Supergirl'.
One day I'll right a thesis about the merits of PAD's Supergirl. At the very least, it was clear that Peter David is a huge Supergirl fan, stuffing his run with a lot of Easter Eggs.
So we have seen the Silver Age Bizarro Supergirl and this Modern Age Bizarro Supergirl. I look forward to seeing how bizarre Sterling Gates' and Jamal Igle's Bizarro Supergirl is.