Saturday, November 26, 2011

Who's Who Matrix

A lot of good has sprung from my recent blog crossover with the Idol Head of Diabolu Martian Manhunter blog reviewing the DCCP three part story which introduced Mongul to the DCU. It made me realize that I haven't read the early issues of the next rendition of Mongul in the post-Man of Steel John Byrne Superman run. So I started thumbing some of those issues, one of which was Action Comics Annual #2 (1989) which included Mongul, Warworld, the warrior Draaga, and the origin of the Eradicator device. It also had art by George Perez, Curt Swan, and Mike Mignola!

But what I had completely forgotten about this issue was the inclusion of a Matrix Who's Who page. This was in the almost immediate aftermath of the 'pocket universe' storyline were Superman executed the Phantom Zone villains. Superman is off in space atoning. And Matrix is a crushed near-infantile being nursing her wounds at the Kent farm. Shortly after this she 'became' Clark Kent, keeping his secret identity intact while losing her mind.

It is an interesting Who's Who page, the mid-point between the 1987 Supergirl Who's Who page and the 1990 'binder size' Supergirl Who's Who page. For Supergirl fans in 1989, this was the closest we would get. An image of Supergirl is only a small part of this page. This reminded me that Supergirl fans should really be happy about the prominence of the character right now. The art is by Superman big gun Dan Jurgens.

Also in that issue was a Who's Who page for Cat Grant. I include it not only for completeness sake but also because Cat played such a big part of the excellent Gates/Igle years. This is definitely a younger less jaded Cat here. Her son Adam is still alive at this time and she is fighting harassment in the workplace.

Here is the distinctive cover of the issue for those looking for it. It played a pretty big part in some upcoming stories of that time period. Mongul, Draaga, and especially the essence of the Eradicator all played big (if not huge) roles in Superman's history of that time.

For those interested in prior peeks at Supergirl Who's Who pages here at the Comic Box, here are some links.
The 1987 original Who's Who Supergirl page:

The 1990 binder size Supergirl page:


Diabolu Frank said...

I always forget about those frustrating Who's Who pages from the annuals. They were such a poor substitute for additional updates, they typically featured very minor/supporting characters, and they invalidate my having a complete set of the project (plus I'm missing a few looseleaf pages, particularly from the companion Mayfair set.) I have to assume Matrix was never intended to stick around so long and be elevated to such prominence, or else they'd have handled her better.

I've never read this issue, and was unaware Mignola contributed. That must have been wild, like the stuff he did on Action #600 and that one issue from the Byrne run.

Martin Gray said...

Always loved that cover, it reminds me othe earlier classic, Superman Under the Red Sun, with it's desperate, bearded Superman.

I reckon you're right about Matrix's 'career path' being unplanned - from protoplasmic blob to Lana to Supergirl to Mae to Linda/Matrix and so on. Rest in peace, Matrix.