Over on the Fire and Water Podcast Network, Shag and Rob have finished their review of Who's Who Update '88. This is an incredible feat. These two have gone through all the standard Who's Who books from DC in the 80s, page by page. It was the Who's Who podcast that introduced me to these guys and this extended group of comic fans I am happy to call pals.
All that said, in this last issue, Shag and Rob blew by what I thought was the most important entry. Because it was in this book that the future of Supergirl was hinted at.
I'll remind everyone that a year earlier in Who's Who Update '87, Supergirl's erasure from the DC Universe was spelled out in unflinching black and white.
Here we were a year later and Supergirl was back ... sort of ...
This issue came out shortly after the pocket universe story in Superman. That is the famous (or infamous) story where Superman kills the Phantom Zone criminals from the pocket universe. One of the more important things to come from this arc was Matrix. This Supergirl had a rather tumultuous early career. From this entry, she then became unhinged and impersonated Clark/Superman (while Clark had exiled himself). Then she became a slave to Brainiac. Then she became a naive lover of Lex Luthor. It wasn't for several years that she scrubbed the stink of these early stories off and became a hero.
Still this was the Supergirl in Who's Who, a couple of paragraphs in the index, full of potential.
In the end, under the guidance of Peter David, I came to love the Matrix Supergirl as much as her Kryptonian predecessor.
I actually thought the fallout of the Pocket Universe story was pretty profound. Superman killed, regretted, mourned, exiled, and then returned more determined to never kill again. It is a shame that some people use that story as an apologia for what Zach Snyder has done on screen.