Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: DCU Legacies #8

Earlier this week DCU Legacies #8 was released, covering the next time period in the history of the DC universe. The issue sports a very solid cast of creators - Len Wein, Dan Jurgens, and Jerry Ordway are all on the main story, while Scott Kolins continues to draw the framework pages.

I freely admit that I am probably enjoying this more than most. I am DC history nut, and something of a continuity nerd, so I am really thrilled to see this timeline laid out before me. In particular, these last few issues have been fantastic for me, retelling the stories I grew up with, that I collected when I began to increase the scope of my collecting.

This issue covers the Knightfall storyline where Batman finally defeats the Jean Paul Valley Az-Bat. But the bulk of the issue retells the Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Supermen stories which came after Superman died at the hands of Doomsday.

This time period in the Superman mythos is a very fruitful one with some excellent arcs. I thought the Death of Superman issues, the actual fight with Doomsday, were pretty pedestrian. But Funeral for a Friend and Reign of the Supermen were both very good. And not only did this time introduce us to Doomsday, but also major new characters - Steel, Superboy, and  the Cyborg Superman.

But one thing that stuck out for me in the earliest parts of this issue which covered the funeral portion of the story was the complete lack of the Matrix Supergirl. Supergirl was a major player in the Superman books back then (even if she was romantically linked to Lex). Heck, she was even a pall bearer at the funeral.

I was thinking 'if the pre-Crisis Supergirl got a couple of panels to shine in Legacies, why not Matrix?'

And then I saw this panel!


Sure, it is one panel and no lines, but she is there. And if Matrix exists then it stands to reason that the Linda Danvers/Matrix Supergirl exists too!

Anyways, I am happy that we got this panel ... at least an acknowledgment that Supergirl was a major player in the Reign of the Supermen and Superman in general in the late 90s.

Here are a couple of Supergirl moments from Reign of the Supermen.

First off, here is the Legacies scene as it played out in the story. From Superman:The Man of Steel #25, written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Jon Bogdanove, here is Supergirl dealing with the presumed threat of the Kryptonian Battlesuit.

No one knew Superman was in the suit as it walked out of the ocean so this was pretty daring of Supergirl. I always thought that Bogdanove's 'in your face' style was an interesting and appreciated contrast to the other artists on the Reign of Supermen run.

Maybe my favorite Supergirl moment in Reign is this one from Action Comics #691, by writer Roger Stern and artist Jackson Guice. When Superman first returned he only had a fraction of his powers and was pretty vulnerable. Still, he leaped headfirst into battle without fear.

It is revealed that Supergirl was with him all along while he was in his weakened state, invisibly tagging along and protecting him. It showed just how much Superman had come to trust in Matrix. Clearly she was a key part of his strategic plan to defeat the Cyborg Superman. In a perfect little nod to the pre-Crisis Supergirl, this story is titled 'Secret Weapon'.

I always loved Guice's Supergirl. She seemed so graceful when he drew her.

Anyways, at least for one panel, that incarnation still exists in the current DCU. Much like the pre-Crisis Supergirl panels, I think DC simply wants to acknowledge the breadth and complexity of continuity. Some people may have vague memories of people who simply no longer are around. Congratulations to Len Wein for putting this story together and celebrating the DCU.

And I didn't even mention the Frank Quitely drawn New Gods second story! That was a great second feature and a sympathetic look at Orion; it would have been worth the cover price itself.

Overall grade: A


Martin Gray said...

(I think it may just be the two of us reading this, Anj)

Actually, given that Action Comics sequence, Matrix is also in the 'flying to Engine City' panel, just invisible!

Kandou Erik said...

I tried out the series at first, especially for the Golden Age Heroes in the first two issues -- but once it got to the Silver Age, the whole story seemed more formulaic than entertaining, so I stopped after issue #3.

TalOs said...

Yet another truly brilliant instalment in the 'official' retelling of current main DCU E-0 contunuity! Loved the fact that Matrix (as well as PAD's Linda) is still in continuity! :-D

P.S. Erm since when did "Mae" wear a blue skirt instead of red though? :-/

Anonymous said...

Wait... why is her skirt blue? Is that a coloring error?-ealperin

Anj said...

Wait... why is her skirt blue? Is that a coloring error?-ealperin

Must be an error.

Rick said...

I really hope this is Matrix and they are not trying to play it off as Kara or just "the previous Supergirl Linda Danvers who's origin we cannot explain since we're wiping Matrix".