Hat tip to my blog friend @FKAJason (who runs the excellent Captain Atom Blog Splitting Atoms) for sharing the Supergirl relevant cards from The Return of Superman card set from 1993.
As I have said in the past, the Matrix Supergirl prior to the Reign of the Supermen storyline was something of a muddle, a being totally being used in all ways by Lex Luthor. Prior to that she had been insane, wandering the cosmos, and then finally a slave of Brainiac.
But once Superman died and Funeral For a Friend and Reign of the Supermen happened, Matrix started to turn more towards the light. She started to question Lex's motives. She totally realized the hero that Superman was. She decided she would become the hero and defender of Metropolis. And she followed him into the battle against the Cyborg Superman.
This card has a great art by Jackson Guice. I love ... and I mean love ... Guice's take on Matrix. Just great.
I love how this card stresses the fact that Supergirl has become Metropolis' new defender.
And I also love that they simply say 'born in a lab on a faraway planet' instead of trying to explain the Pocket Universe in the small amount of text space they were given.
"Her brillian psionic powers make her a formidable opponent for any who cross her path!" Nice.
This was something of a high water mark for the Superman books. Guice was on Action. Here we see Tom Grummett's work on Adventures. And the running arc of the four supposed replacement Supermen was a done very well.
The idea that one of the replacements was actually Superman in some way was a very good mystery.
And given the unclear future for Superboy given his impetuous nature, this card correctly states these two could be enemies, friends, or something more.
Thanks again to @FKAJason for sharing these! And I am glad that Supergirl got some mention in this card set!