Whenever a new creator or a new direction is about to happen, the writers and artists usually say the same thing in regards to Supergirl and her book. One, she needs a rogues' gallery. And two, she needs a supporting cast.
I always chuckle a bit when I read it because if everyone seems to know that those elements are part of a great book, why have so few been able to achieve it with Supergirl?
I suppose those that decide to portray her as a bitter, disaffected, angry loner might have a hard time with writing characters that want to hang around Kara.
It seemed like Tony Bedard was working his way towards a supporting cast. And it looks like a school setting will immediately provide K. Perkins and Mike Johnson with supporting characters. And I am hoping that Greg Berlanti and Ali Adler will give Supergirl some interesting characters around her on the show in 2015.
With all this in mind, I thought I would take a look at one of my favorite Supergirl supporting casts, the citizens of Leesburg in Peter David's run.
It all started at home with Fred and Sylvia Danvers.
These were great three-dimensional characters who struggled initially with the Supergirl/Linda fusion but then became 100% supportive.
Sylvia was an extremely devout woman who relied on her faith for guidance. With the religious overtones of the book, she was an interesting sounding board at times. She slips into alcoholism when she learns of the merging of Linda and Matrix but then literally 'sees the light' and stands by her daughter.
Fred started out as a no-nonsense dad struggling with Linda's rebellious ways. Early on he seemed to be a vicious man with a quick temper. But then we see him soften, struggle with his wife's dependency, but then become a rock of the family.
Linda also has friends in town.
Dick Malverne is her boyfriend dealing with health problem that he is hiding from everyone else. Despite coming from tremendous wealth, he is an everyman with an 'aw shucks' quality to him.
Mattie Harcourt is Linda's best friend, a young physician in training, and dealing with some fallout from her brother's death during the Final Night. She remains a good friend to Linda, helping her through issues.
And Cutter Sharp is a reporter for the local newspaper with a sharp tongue. He was investigating Linda's disappearance when it happened and ends up as Supergirl's agent. He often provided the humor of the book and at times seemed to give a 'big picture' speech about the problems people were facing.
And then there was Comet, super-speed cold-powered half-horse mystery man who turns out to be the other identity of Ande Parks, Cutter's ex-wife, lesbian feminist. Ande has a very deep backstory dealing with isolation from her parents because of her orientation and struggling to walk the line between good and evil.
They all had histories, distinct personalities, and seemed so well-rounded for a cast. And I haven't even mentioned Wally and Twilight and the Carnivarean!
This series was so solid.
For those interested, these Who's Who pages are from the Team Superman Secret Files book from 1998. I have divulged more of their histories than what is presented on those pages.