The lineage of Supergirl stretches back farther than younger audiences may expect, and farther than older audiences may remember. Everyone knows Superman’s cousin, Kara, as the original and most famous Supergirl. But the story of the far more obscure Linda Danvers remains as strange today as ever.
Created by writer Peter David and introduced in a post-Crisis New Earth where Kara’s Supergirl was erased from the continuity entirely, this Supergirl is the product of a human merging with a Matrix protoplasm entity, gifting her with superhuman powers she uses to fight demonic forces as an Earth-born angel. Her backstory is a long story, to say the least, but Linda nonetheless adds to the surprisingly long legacy of Supergirl before eventually retiring shortly after saving Earth-One’s Supergirl. Unfortunately, though, Linda’s story never received a proper happy ending before David’s run on the Supergirl series was abruptly canceled.
In a 2003 blog from Peter David himself via his website, he explained his plans for Supergirl’s legacy to expand even further, by turning the solo book into one focusing on a superteam comprised of all three versions of Supergirl. “The ‘S’ equivalent of Birds of Prey,” David calls it. Linda would have rebranded herself as Superwoman while Kara would have been the official Supergirl. And yes, Power Girl would’ve been brought in as well. “The tone of the book would have been straight up fun–three super blondes getting into adventures. In my truly demented best-case scenario, I would have subtitled the book “Blonde Justice.”
David had hoped that the Supergirl series would have become so undeniably successful that it would have manifested leverage for himself to convince “the powers that be” to eventually rebrand it in this superteam vision, but Supergirl wouldn’t last longer than the 80th issue. To his credit, it’s easy to envision a world where this superteam series would be better received than the initial run. The closest we get to this is seeing several versions of Supergirl unite to take on Darkseid in Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuiness’ Superman/Batman #24.
During David’s run, though, this superteam rebrand seemed bound for success because, originally, it would appear as though many critics felt it alienating to see a new character in the Supergirl role when audiences had grown accustomed to Kara for nearly 40 years prior to Linda’s comic book debut in 1996. This way, Linda becoming Superwoman would’ve allowed her to take the first steps to form her own identity, all the while readers who prefer Kara in the role would get their wish. Meanwhile, Power Girl being on the team would’ve been an added bonus for everyone involved.
Even through modern eyes, a Supergirl trio sounds like a fun idea, assuming anyone today decides to pick up the ball where Peter David left off.
Source: Peter David’s Official Website