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Supergirl [Matrix]

Alias: Matrix, Linda Danvers

Titans Member
Joined: 
New Titans #121 [1995]

Related Links:  Supergirl (Kara Zor-El)Superboy

Supergirl Quick Bio: A protoplasmic shape-shifter from a pocket universe, Matrix felt most comfortable when she adopted the form of Supergirl. Arsenal invited Supergirl into the ranks of the Titans, where she became a member for a short time.

Team Titans File Photo:


New Titans Group Photo:

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History


It Came From Outer Space

An artificial lifeform, Matrix is the only survivor from a pocket universe destroyed by super-powered criminals. Upon arriving in our universe, Matrix took the form of Supergirl. Soon, she met Lex Luthor and allied herself with him. Luthor was an honorable man in her universe, leading Supergirl to assign the same attributes to our Luthor. But Supergirl soon uncovered the full nature of Luthor’s duplicity and ended their relationship.

In her time in this universe, Supergirl forged a very strong relationship with Jonathan and Martha Kent (who called her “Mae”, short for Matrix, as the alien no real name to call her own). After her fallout with Luthor, she stayed with the Kents for a time, until she decided to strike out on her own.

Supergirl recounts how she joined the team in NEW TITANS ANNUAL #11 [1995].

Team Player

Later, Supergirl was attacked by Raven, who had been reborn as an evil avatar of Trigon. Raven  – seeking to continue her father’s fiendish legacy – implanted the souls of Trigon’s unborn child in the Girl of Steel. Gathered with Raven’s other infected allies, the corrupted Supergirl clashed with the New Titans. It was through the mystical guidance of Phantasm that the Titans were able to repel Raven and free the heroes from her demonic thrall.

Soon after, Arsenal offered Supergirl membership in the Titans. She accepted, and served as a member for a short time. Eventually, the newest incarnation of the Titans disbanded, as each member seemed less dedicated to the team.

ABOVE: Supergirl is impressed with Mirage’s powers  in NEW TITANS #126 [1995].
 BELOW: Supergirl commiserates with Arsenal in NEW TITANS #126 [1995].

Guardian Angel

Following her time as a Titan, Matrix sacrificed herself by merging her protoplasmic body with the dying Linda Danvers. The blending created a new and unusual entity. However, for Linda Danvers, who had fallen far from grace, it was an entrance into a world seen through the eyes of a being who only looks for the best in others. For Supergirl, it was a connection to humanity and the granting of a human soul – albeit a dark and flawed spirit which she was able to redeem through great effort.

Together, they were a new and powerful incarnation that was, quite simply, an earth-born angel. An angel on earth with wings of flame, serving to protect the interests of both mankind and God.

Supergirl has assisted Titans-related teams since then. She helped Atom’s Teen Titans liberate Fringe from the alien-hating group known as The Veil – and later, assisted the Titans when Victor Stone unwittingly threatened the Earth with his so-called “Technis Imperative.” Arsenal offered the Girl of Steel membership when the Titans reorganized, but she declined due to other obligations.

Powers & Abilities


Super powers include super-strength, super-speed and flight. As an earth-born angel, she was able to manifest wings of flame and project fire vision.

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Essential Reading


Superman #16 [April, 1988]: First appearance of post-Crisis Supergirl
Showcase ’95 #2 [1995]: Continued from Showcase ’95 #1. Supergirl is kidnapped by an alien artificial intelligence that is intrigued by her morphing abilities as Matrix. After the two-part adventure, Supergirl was attacked by an evil incarnation of the former Titan, Raven. These events lead into New Titans #120.
New Titans #118-121 [1995]: Raven , now reborn as an avatar of Trigon, is intent on planting the seeds of Trigon’s unborn children into new vessels. She plants ‘Trigon seeds’ in Supergirl, Changeling, Magenta, Deathwing, and Thunder and Lightning. Eventually, Raven and her demon allies come into conflict with the Titans. With the help of Phantasm (who reforms himself, sensing he is needed), the Titans finally destroyed this evil incarnation of Raven (or so they think). Mirage seemingly has a miscarriage in issue #121.
New Titans Annual #11 [1995]: A YEAR ONE tale featuring Arsenal’s Titans team. The Time Trapper reveals Mirage, Deathwing and Terra are all from this timeline. Mirage is a street urchin from Brazil. Terra destroys the Time Trapper’s message before it reveals her origins, and later unearths the original Terra’s coffin to find it empty. Minion adjusts to like on earth. Supergirl recounts how she first met Arsenal and when she was asked to join the team.
New Titans #126 [1995]: A great downtime issue featuring Arsenal’s Titans team and art by Rick Mays. Arsenal assesses his new role as leader. The Titans play war games. Fellow Titan Donna Troy tries to reach out to her, but Rose rejects her, still reeling over the death of her mother. Fellow Titan Impulse confesses a crush on her but she is oblivious to his affections. Mirage continues to exhibit new abilities.
Supergirl #1-2 [1996]: Linda Danvers is Supergirl. But Linda Danvers is dead, murdered at the hands of her mysterious ex-boyfriend. And if Linda is dead, then who is Supergirl? This journey of self-discovery, punctuated by battles between good and evil sets the stage for Supergirl’s next phase. Supergirl encounters the dying Linda Danvers, injured in a cult ritual. Supergirl swore an oath to Linda’s parents that she would save their daughter, so she sacrifices herself by merging her protoplasmic body with Linda’s. The blending creates a new and unusual entity. However, for Linda Danvers, who had fallen far from grace, it was an entrance into a world seen through the eyes of a being who only looks for the best in others. For Supergirl, it was a connection to humanity and the granting of a human soul – albeit a dark and flawed spirit which she was able to redeem through great effort.
Teen Titans #4-5 [1997]: “Coming Out,” parts 1 & 2. It’s guest stars galore, when Nightwing enlists Robin to investigate the new team. Meanwhile, Supergirl and a strange creature are kidnapped by a mysterious organization known as the Veil
JLA/Titans: the Technis Imperative #1-3 [December 1998 to February 1999]: The original Titans were reunited in a mini series that also featured the Justice League of America. Former Titan Victor Stone threatened to carry out his Technis Imperative and turn the earth’s moon into a new Technis world. The JLA and Titans first clash, then unite to save the earth and Victor Stone.
The Titans Secret Files #1 [1999]: Arsenal offers Supergirl membership, but she declines.

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Titans Allies, as depicted in TITANS SECRET FILES & ORIGINS #1

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 Peter David on Supergirl


From Wizard #63 1996
By Patrick Daniel O’Neill

Reunited with Gary Frank and (am Smith (with whom he had a long run on Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk), Peter David is now breathing new life into an old spin-off concept: Supergirl. The Maid of Might is once again known as Linda Danvers, haying accidentally merged with the body and consciousness of a human girl. Her powers seemingly remain unchanged, although her ability to morph into new forms is somewhat altered (at least as we can tell so far). Wizard asked the “writer of stuff” about his approach to the character.

WIZARD: Why, when you accepted the assignment of Supergirl, did you decide to merge her with human girl?

DAVID: I had trouble connecting, on an emotional and creative level, with a character who is essentially a blob of protoplasm that coincidentally is in the shape of a human female. I really couldn’t wrap myself around that, and I felt I would he able to connect better with the character if she had some sort of personal stake in humanity. That meant bringing her as close to being human as we could possibly make her, and making that one of the linchpins of the series.

WIZARD: In her previous incarnations – back when she was Kara Zor-El – the creative teams for Supergirl seemed to have difficulty finding a milieu, a background, for the that worked. What background do you plan for Linda Danvers?

DAVID: Her base of operations is a small town called Leesburg. One of the things that always intrigued me about super-heroes is that, when they operate out of a city, all kinds of weird stuff happens in that city, and no one even remarks upon it. Leesburg is sort of a deconstruction of that, It seems to be a perfectly normal town – and then stuff started happening. So Leesburg’s citizens start to realize that everything was normal until Supergirl got there. And in a subsequent issue, we will explain what is going on and whether Supergirl’s arrival triggered these events.

You won’t to avoid having Supergirl in a big city, because you want to avoid the inevitable comparisons with Superman. But if you have her in a small town you have to came up with a rational explanation – or at least on interesting irrational explanation – for why this perfectly normal town suddenly has super-villains, gorillas and giant chemical creatures descending upon it.

WIZARD: How much crossover will you have to he rest of the Superman Universe?

DAVID: Supergirl does have a history with Superman and connections to people in that world that have to be honored and adhered to – the Kents and Superman himself, for instance. The Kents will show up in issue #5 and Superman in #6. But we don’t have any extensive tie-ins.

WIZARD: What about Luthor?

DAVID: Luthor is not coming into the book at the present time. I think that relationship has been done to death. Similarly, there are still questions about her origins and the packet universe and all that, but we ain’t gonna answer them in this book. I’d like to move on to other staff rather than dwell on the past.

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 New Titans At Zero Hour


The Titans: Beyond Zero Hour
[from Wizard Press Presents: Beyond Zero Hour]

“The Titans have had a series of problems in the past year,” says Titans writer Marv Wolfman. ‘They lost a number of members. They were sued by the government and people generally hated them. Finally, their leader Dick Grayson – Nightwing – left them.”

Left in such disarray, the road to rebirth has been a long one. “Even before Zero Hour, Ray Harper, once known as Speedy and more recently known as Arsenal, was approached by Checkmate’s leader, Sarge Steel, to align the Titans with the government,” Wolfman says. “It seems that the JLA has broken ties with the government and Checkmate wanted a new superhero team to replace them. After going over the problems and being assured [his team] will have complete autonomy, Roy agreed to sign with Checkmate.

“Trouble is, he had no members to go with him. On his own and with Sarge Steel, new members are found recruited and a brand new Titans is formed.”

Wolfman reports that this new group will have a slightly different focus than past Titans teams. “Long ago, when the Titans were first created, the team featured already-existent heroes. In many ways we are going back to that original premise,” be maintains. “Arsenal leads a group consisting of Damage, Green Lantern and Impulse, characters who either have their own titles, or in Impulse’s case, is featured in Flash. Also in the New Titans are Mirage and Terra from the now-defunct Team Titans. Finally, rounding out the title is Donna Troy, now a Darkstar. So we’re bringing in characters from other books as well as several already-known Titans.

“Interestingly, all the heroes mentioned are in one way or another orphans whose past lives are shrouded in mystery,” he continues. “Where the last Titans team came together to fight Raven’s demonical father, Trigon, the new team comes and stays together because they are all in a similar situation. The Titans is a place for these people to get together, to find themselves, to be with others like themselves. They are not coming together to fight some great battle, but to understand themselves and to grow. This common need will allow them to become close and eventually became friends.

“So the role of the New Titans is a club for the young DC heroes, a way of getting together with their peers, a place where they can he with their own kind and learn from each other as they grow.”

Of course, no new team can be formed without problems. “For the present, Roy Harper is in charge of the Titans. Dick Grayson is off with Batman doing whatever he’s doing. But Dick will want to return,” reveals Wolfman. “When he does, he will find a group that doesn’t necessarily want him as their leader. They are quite happy with the one they have, thank you. What will Dick do? Will he try to take over? Will he form another group of Titans? Who will stay with Arsenal and who will go?

“The book has gone under a lot of changes in the past few years, but all were evolutionary,” Wolfman says. “Heroes died, new heroes replaced them, tempers flared and, because they were young, mistakes were often made. That is the way life is. But now we begin with a new group. A revolution, so to speak. New heroes, all with their own lives, hopes and desires. This allows us to create a very different kind of Titans book.”

ABOVE: The New Titans play wargames in NEW TITANS #126 [1995].

Marv Wolfman: New Titans, New Faces And The End Of An Era
[An interview from The Titans Companion, 2005]

TTC: What brought about the shake-up in the line-up where new characters like Green Lantern and Supergirl joined and the older members left the group?

MW: This was the decision of an editor whose name I will never mention. It’s the only editor that I would say that about. Even if I disagreed with the others, they were all good guys, and sometimes their ideas were great, sometimes not as great. Sometimes mine were great, sometimes mine weren’t so great, either. In this case, every decision was incorrect, was stupid. He was in charge of plotting. He wouldn’t let me plot a story. When I tried to take my name off it and asked for my name to be off it, he wouldn’t do that, which is what finally prompted me to quit. I hated working with the editor to such a degree that I couldn’t take it anymore, and I finally decided that as much as I loved the characters, I hated the book. I hated the concepts, I hated the plots that I was being given, and my hate factor was larger than my desire to keep it going. [laughs]

TTC: How much say did you have in who the new members would be?

MW: None. I was given the lineup.

TTC: So did you have to start reading books like Impulse and Damage to find out who these guys were?

MW: Yeah. Impulse, I knew who he was to some degree, because occasionally I’d read the Flash and Mark Waid’s stuff was good. Damage I did not know at all, and I thought it was a stupid grouping of characters because there was no logical reason for those characters to be together.

TTC: How hard was it to write someone else’s plots?

MW: Oh, it was impossible. I hated every minute of it, and, as I say, it suddenly hit me that I had stayed on the Titans to help protect the characters that I had created with George, and suddenly I was on a book that was only the Titans in name. That’s when I suddenly realized, “Wait, I’m no longer on a title I need to protect. Let somebody else do it,” and I quit.

I asked at a DC Christmas party if I could get off and go on to something else, mainly Night Force – the first revival of Night Force – and they asked me to stay on four more issues. I said, “I can’t,” and they said, “We’ll bring in another editor for the four issues,” and I went, “Okay, as long as I can wrap up the storyline without much interference, and try to bring it back to some sort of a status quo.”

TTC: Did you get to do everything that you wanted to do in your last storyline?

MW: No, because I could not use Nightwing. I was told I would not be allowed to use him, and to me that was a disaster, but at least I was able to get most of the other characters back. It was a far more complex story than it needed to be, but the attitudes between the characters came about. I didn’t have a chance to bring back Raven’s body, which I had wanted to do, but I got the group caring about each other again. I got them to be a family again, and that’s all I cared about. What the exact plot was was still not that important to me in this particular case. I think it was a fine plot, I just don’t remember it that much. But I got the characters to be a family again, and that’s all I was really concerned about.

 


Sources for this entry: DC Who’s Who Binder Series, DC Universe Role-Playing Games: Sourcebooks and Manuals [ West End Games], DC Secret Files, supplemented by titanstower.com


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