What I Remember:
The 1980s and 90’s were a rough time for Supergirl and her fans. For starters, she was killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped from existence. The editorial mandate was with each super-powered cousin, dog, cat, etc. Superman loses a bit of his uniqueness. He is no longer the last survivor of a dead world, but one of many and so, the Superman family was shrunk to one.
However, this didn’t stop writers from trying to bring back many of the Super-Family and adjusting them so that they were not also survivors of Krypton, Superboy was a clone of the Man of Steel, Krypto was a puppy rescued by “Sooperman’s number 1 fan” Bibbo and Supergirl was a shape-shifting alien called the Matrix who dated Lex Luthor Jr. (who was actually the original Lex posing as his own son.)
At the time of this series, Matrix has bonded with a human girl, Linda Danvers. I don’t remember too much more other than that I picked this book up because I remember Wizard raving about it.
Supergirl #9 "Tempus Fugit"
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Gary Frank
Inker: Cam Smith
Colorist: Gene D’Angelo
Letterer: Patricia Prentence
Publisher: DC Comics
Publication Date: May 1997
Cover Price: $1.95
Re-Collection Price: $1.50
This book is the end of Peter David’s first story arc on the title. It picks up with a boy named Wally asking what appears to be his grandparents (the grandfather resembles Wilford Brimley) for permission to go out. He runs out with a baseball bat.
Cut to the Danvers house where Buzz and Tempus have attacked Linda Danvers’ family during dinner.
Linda battles Tempus and he blows up the house, killing her parents.
At the Leesburg Tribune, two very 90s looking reporters receive a call that there is a fire at the Danvers house.
Buzz and Tempus regroup notice Wally from the beginning of the issue standing under a streetlight. Buzz orders Tempus to kill him and he obliges, shooting a blast from his sickles and the boy hits it back with a Ruthian swing.
Supergirl rockets from the fire and vows revenge on Buzz and regrets not killing him before. She intercepts Tempus at a hospital where he’s terrorizing the staff.
Supergirl thinks she’s seeing the world for what it is, insane, created by an insane God.
Linda Danvers attempts to reach Supergirl, who’s vowing not to show any mercy and kill her enemies.
As the battle goes on Supergirl is showing the signs of stigmata. Buzz asks her if she will follow Linda’s way or her’s as they finally become one entity. She drops Tempus. Tempus, furious at their lost chance to corrupt Supergirl, whips Buzz away in a tornado. Supergirl tries to catch him but is unable.
She wakes up in her apartment, in the Supergirl costume but as Linda Danvers and Dick Malverne, who was Tempus in bed, recovering. She receives a call from her parents, who are fine. It's as though nothing happened.
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Yes, this was very unusual for a Superman family story, if felt more like a John Constantine story, with the hero battling demons from hell. A lot of this book went over my 13 year-old head. This is a story of Supergirl’s loss of faith in humanity. Dealing with Buzz convinces her that no matter what she does people will die and no longer sees the point in superhero-ing because she can’t save Linda’s parents.
Her faith in mankind is only restored when she hears Linda’s voice in the back of her head. The girl, who just witnessed her parents being blown to bits, pleads for Supergirl not to kill their killers, restoring Supergirl’s faith.
This story left me wanted to read the rest of the run because some parts were confusing but that’s probably only because I came in at the end of the story.
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