Convergence: Supergirl Matrix #1

Years ago, Lex Luthor was an Australian clone of himself. And Supergirl was a shapeshifting, telekinetic blob. 

It sounds daft, but the situation was played straight in the Superman titles of the time, and it made for good drama. This Convergence tie-in, though, sees writer Keith Giffen play the scenario for cheap - but funny - laughs. And he doesn't entirely deny the Matrix Supergirl - Mae to her mates - the respect the protoplasmic proto-heroine deserved. 

The story opens with Supergirl and Lex Luthor meeting in a park, in a Metropolis surrounded by a dome created by Brainiac lackey Telos. Lex is moping because Superman isn't around to pester - I assume this takes place during his self-imposed space exile - so he feels he has no purpose. 
He's incredibly rude to Mae, but as she's his bodyguard and hasn't hasn't yet developed much sense of self-worth, Supergirl takes Lex's abuse rather than punching him into next Tuesday. When the dome goes down, Lex sends her on a maguffin mission involving a way to get off the world. 
Mae bumps into a couple of heroes from the next city over, husband and wife Lord Volt and Lady Quark, the greatest warriors of Electropolis. They're meant to be fighting her for the right to save their version of Earth, but can't stop bickering long enough to attack their assigned enemy. Mae is OK with that, as she'd rather find a way offworld. But the quarrelling continues, with the rather butch Lady Quark landing some vicious verbal barbs on the somewhat fey Lord Volt, and Mae quickly diagnoses the big problem with them. 
It's so obvious, she does even spell it out to the reader. This being a comic book, the fight scene finally arrives and it's Mae all the way. Lord Volt is down, while Lady Quark is punched across the city, giving Mae time to follow Lex's eep-ing machine, which is attuned to teleportation technology. Which explains the guy who arrives on the final page ...

Howard Porter and Hi-Fi's cover is decent, but doesn't represent the book very well. I suspect it was commissioned before DC assigned Giffen the two-issue mini. But the opening page, well, that tells us what we're getting - JLI-level Giffen super-nonsense. 
Oh, this is fun. Good on Giffen for not embracing the opportunity to moider a few bums; instead, he reintroduces us to a rather potty time in the history of the Superman Family, while fleshing out Lord Volt, a barely seen fatality of Crisis on Infinity Earths. Lady Quark has a more storied DC history, having survived the Crisis cut and become a member of L.E.G.I.O.N., but she was a humourless old bag so I'm happy to see her the butt of a few jokes. 

And while I should likely kick against Mae stereotyping by appearance, some gay men are a bit fey and melodramatic, while some lesbians do like the short hair. We know that in Nineties continuity Mae goes on to merge with teen Satanist Linda Danvers and make at least one gay pal, Andrea, who's also a space super-horse/angel (now THAT'S diverse), so consider her consciousness eventually raised. 

The point here is that in seeing how Lord Volt and Lady Quark, victims of an arranged marriage - and I realise that in the real world there are many, many such matches that work, as love and respect grows - attack one another, Mae gets an insight into her own situation. She begins to realise Lex has no right to treat her like so much purple chewing gum on the sole of his shoe. And that's something that paid off in Mae's Nineties history. 

The art by penciller Timothy Green II, inker Joseph Green and colour house Hi-Fi is light and airy, perfect for this issue. Their Mae is pretty darn delightful, while the unhappy couple that is Lord Volt and Lady Quark are kinda sexy in their own way. As for Lex, with that ginger Abe Lincoln beard, he looks as terrible as he did back then. The fight scenes have a lovely angular fluidity. And the final page is a real winner. It's great storytelling from start to finish. And that includes the contribution of letterer Corey Breen. 

It's good to see a super-silly Supergirl story, I can't recall any since the original had a run-in with Ambush Bug. Here's hoping next issue continues the fun and games. 


  1. Got a few notes for you,

    #1. I think you mistaken on the time. Superboy and Steel are around. Hal Jordan is Pallax.So I'm assuming this take place after Superman returned from his death at the ends of Doomdsay.
    #2. The original Sliver Age Kara had a run with the Ambush Bug. Here's a link to review of it by a fellow blogger of you:

  2. Thanks Dr Thinker, I'm sure you'll be right about the timescale, I've not read the GL/Parallax issue yet.

    Cheers for the link to Anj, but that's exactly what I was referring to in my final paragraph.


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