Supergirl Annual v3 #2 (story #1)

Supergirl Annual #2 cover


October 1997


Part 1: “I Led Him On” / Part 2: “I Lied for Love”
(Cover Title: “I Lied for Love!”)


At 20th century Legion headquarters, Brainiac 5 is distracted by images of Supergirl.  When Supergirl starts experiencing dangerous reality fluctuations around her, she is directed to consult Brainiac 5.  Examining her and the fluctuations, Brainiac 5 determines a magical root to the problem, and refuses to help her.  Supergirl, playing on Brainiac 5’s emotions — he has a “thing” for statuesque blondes — convinces him to help her.  When Leesburg begins to fade out of phase with them — or they with it — Brainiac 5 tries to “invoke enough raw truth to punch a hole in the world” as a way to resolve the situation.  The truth needed ends up being from the two of them verbalizing how they were both playing each other to achieve their own ends.


Tom Peyer (Writer) • Anthony Castrillo (Penciller) • Jordi Ensign (Inker) • Gene D’Angelo (Colorist) • Albert Deguzman (Letterer) • Maureen McTigue (Assistant [Editor]) • Mike McAvennie (Editor) • Joe Chiodo (Cover)


Date of Change
Content of Change
Unified to a single file
Name corrections
Tracking update from Legion Lost #1
Tracking updates from Genesis #2
Note addition to General
Typo corrections
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #99
Tracking update from Superboy v3 #45
Name correction
Name corrections
Tracking updates from Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Tracking corrections from Legion: Secret Files #1 (story #3)
Added Appearance Counts and associated Notes
Tracking method revisions

Tinted cells and text indicate missing or incomplete information.

Character and Object Tracking



Previous Appearance

Next Appearance


Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Genesis #2
Gates (Ti’Julk Mr’Asz) Legion: Secret Files #1 (story #3) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #97
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) Legion: Secret Files #1 (story #3) Genesis #1
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) Legion: Secret Files #1 (story #3) Genesis #2
Apparition (Tinya Wazzo-Nah) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Genesis #1
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Genesis #1
Andromeda (Laurel Gand) No actual appearance; flashback to < >
Supergirl (Linda Danvers) Previous Legion appearance:
     <The Final Night # >
Next Legion appearance:
     Genesis #2
Also appears in flashback to Supergirl v3 #< > and Supergirl v3 #< >
Superman (as Clark Kent) Previous Legion appearance:
     Superman #119
Next Legion appearance:
     Genesis #2
     Aztek (Uno/Dr. Curt Falconer)


Gorilla Grodd (flashback) In flashback to Supergirl v3 #< >
Brainiac 4 In flashback to < >

Supporting Characters

Koko Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Genesis #2
Sgt. Shvaughn Erin Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #97
Coluan scientist In flashback to < >
Sylvia Danvers None in Legion books None in Legion books
Fred Danvers None in Legion books None in Legion books
Dr. Mattie < > None in Legion books None in Legion books
Brad (S.H.X. newscaster) None None to date
Tippi (S.H.X. newscaster) None None to date
Darl-Af (ancient Kryptonian scientist) No appearance; mention only
One-shot or Untracked Characters:
     unnamed patients (5) and staff (4) at the Leesburg hospital
     unnamed police (10) at the Leesburg police station; one is a sergeant and four are plainclothes officers
     unnamed townspeople in Leesburg and at the Leesburg library


Happy Harbor, Rhode Island Previous Legion appearance:
     Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96
Next Legion appearance:
      Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Danvers home, Leesburg, Virginia None in Legion books None in Legion books
Leesburg, Virginia None in Legion books None in Legion books
Main meeting room, Team 20 Legion headquarters Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >
TV lounge, Team 20 Legion headquarters Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >
Brainiac 5’s lab, Team 20 Legion headquarters Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Time Needle, Happy Harbor Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >
One-shot or Untracked Locations:
hospital in Leesburg
police station in Leesburg
library in Leesburg


S.H.X. (superhero cable news network) None in Legion books None in Legion books
Legion flight ring Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Superboy v3 #45
Omnicom Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96 Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #98
Brainiac 5’s force shield belt < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #99
Telepathic earplugs < > Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #99
One-shot or Untracked Items:
     Feelin’ Good Lard
     “salad in a can”

Analysis Notes

General In the pre-Crisis Legion, prior to the original Supergirl’s death and subsequent removal from DC continuity, she and the preboot Brainiac 5 were romantically involved.  This story echoes that romance.
This issue was released the same month as Genesis.  There is no indication as to whether it occurs before or after that event, but from the lack of commentary on any change to Spark’s powers, we will consider this to occur immediately before Genesis, and immediately after Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96, since Inferno is not seen here.
1 Secret Hearts is the name of an old DC romance comic.  In the early 1980’s, it was used as the name of the soap opera on which Linda Lee Danvers (Supergirl) starred.
The orange-tinted captions throughout the first half of the story are Supergirl’s internal monologue.
2:1 The city is apparently Happy Harbor, Rhode Island.  Frankly, it’s a mighty large city that is depicted here, and Happy Harbor has never been deemed a large city before.  It is possible that Metropolis is right across the river; that city’s location has sometimes been said to be in Rhode Island.
2:1, 3, 5 The off-panel word balloons are from Spark.
2:1-2 This is the first we’ve heard of either S.H.X. or a superhero news network, but the existence of one in the DC universe certainly makes sense.
2:3-4 Attribute these two word balloons to newscaster Tippi.  It would be typical on this sort of a news/entertainment show for one of the two to start the narrative and the other to finish it.
2:5-3:2 These TV balloons are from newscaster Brad, given the continuation by him in 3:3.
2:5 Brainy’s notice of Andromeda had not gone unnoticed by their fellow Legionnaires.
3:1 This is a flashback to Supergirl v3 #< >, where she is under the power of < >.
3:3 This is a flashback to Supergirl v3 #< >.  Gorilla Grodd is in the background.
3:3-4 While some fans have speculated on a connection between Grodd and Koko (and that is one of the tamer speculations that have been made!), the is no evidence of such.  Brainy’s bug-eyed reaction here is completely with regard to Supergirl.
4:2 Linda’s mother is making fried chicken in the proper old-fashioned manner: dip the chicken in an egg mixture, then roll it in a seasoned flour, before frying in oil.  (Lard, of course, being both bad for you and politically incorrect, these days.)
4:4 Given that normal green salad (lettuce, tomato, etc.; “uncanned”?) was seen in 4:1, this “salad” must be something else.  A good possibility would Three Bean Salad (green beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans), which would account for the word “green” on the can.
4:5 On the refrigerator is a can labelled “X Brand”.  The “X” is similar to the X-Men logo (and Tom Peyer has worked on X-Nation 2099, while Supergirl writer Peter David has worked on X-Factor).  During the Silver Age, DC letter columns referred to the competition (Marvel) as “Brand I”, and DC was apparently sometimes referred to as “Brand X” in some circles, which prompted a Not Brand Echhs comic from Marvel at one point.
6:2 The car’s license plate reads “AMPELAI” (or perhaps “AMPELA1”).  See also 7:2.
6:5 One has to wonder why Supergirl came through the floor of the car (which would irrevocably damage it, not to mention that she would be unable to pull Fred out that way without injuring him).  Tearing off the roof or the door would seem a more logical path. Based on 6:6, a fair guess would be that it was to set up the chest (breast?) symbol shot.  (And let’s see: after pulling her fist out of the hole, she moved her chest forward to, um, titillate her father?)
7:2 That is presumably honey dripping from the fluorescent lights.
The red-haired doctor’s name badge reads “AMPELA”.  Assuming that the word isn’t the name of the demon causing the problems, it was probably inserted by the penciller or inker, and might be a girlfriend’s name, or something similar.
7:3 The problem is presumably worse than Mattie indicates; otherwise, she could just use heat packs to act as cold compresses, and stimulants as sedatives.  Of course, if the reversal problems suddenly ceased, then such actions could be detrimental.
7:5 An interesting comment from Supergirl, given doctors’ choices between treating symptoms (reacting) and searching for the causes of the symptoms (acting).
10:4 The handset of the phone has a dial pad in it.  That seems kind of redundant, since the phone in 10:1 clearly has a dial pad on the main body.
10:5 One has to wonder how she dialed.
“Mae” is short for “Matrix”, and is the name Supergirl was referred to while she was being raised by the Kents.
10:6 The university diploma in the background may be an honorary diploma of some sort.  Clark Kent attended Metropolis University, not “Littlevil[le State] Univers[ity]”.
11:7 Whatever Brainy was working on apparently dissolves 30th century (artificial?) fabrics very well, but not the cotton briefs Brainy was wearing.  (And now we know Brainy’s answer to “Boxers or briefs?”)
12:4 About the only time Koko had left Brainy’s shoulder up to this point was to attend the meeting of white monkeys seen in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 7#94.  He presumably means something else, of course.
12:6 Supergirl has some telepathic powers.  Brainiac 5 has just given her the “in” she needs to manipulate him.  Telepaths have a hard time filtering out thoughts directed right at them.
13:1 Brainiac 5 could have used his flight ring, of course, but it probably doesn’t have the speed that Supergirl does, and besides, he wants her to carry him.
Brainy certainly must have had a spare uniform.  He couldn’t have changed into instead of wearing those ugly shorts?  (Maybe whomever’s turn it was to do the laundry was slacking.)
13:2 Clark told Supergirl Brainy’s full name on the phone (we presume), and she said it herself in 11:5.  She should have asked about his connection to Brainiac long ago.  She is either quite clueless, or has been playing Brainy all along.
14:2 This looks nothing like the Omnicoms we are used to seeing.  Maybe it is a special purpose one Brainy has.
17:3 It is usually assumed that Brainiac 5’s force-field belt is too complex for most people to operate, explaining why the technology hasn’t been widely used in the 30th century.  We will have to assume that he set it for some basic functions which can be done automatically, and that Supergirl will have it off most of the time, or she would be unable to hold the items she is supposed to be obtaining.
This may be our one and only chance to see Supergirl in a potential Legion outfit.
19 The green-tinted captions throughout the second half of the story are Brainiac 5’s internal monologue.
Based on Brainiac 5’s captions here, he presumably could do a fair degree of probability forecasting and emulate some of Dreamer’s abilities.  Of course, hers are always correct, and can predict much further in advance.
20:1-3 It should be remembered that Spark joined the Legion at age 14.  While she is probably closing in on 16 now, she is still one of the youngest members on the team.  Still, this is pretty juvenile.
20:3 So where was the mop handle in the previous two panels?
21:1 To echo Gates’ comment, it would be very interesting to hear Brainy’s side of this “personal talk.”  It is hard to imagine Brainiac 5 opening up to anyone to the degree indicated here, and Spark seems one of the least likely candidates.
21:3 Flashback to < >.  Coluan scientists do not actually look like this — and they were more ape-like in the original flashback — but Brainiac 5 sees them as “primitives.”
21:4 Flashback to < >.
21:6 Supergirl is not wearing the force-field belt.  Since Brainiac 5 shows that he knows she is in the complex in 22:4 and is wearing the belt himself in 23:1, Supergirl must have dropped the belt off by Brainy’s lab, and then came to the meeting room to wait for him.
22:1 Things flying from the eyes — daggers, usually, but lightning bolts are appropriate for Spark — are a form of comics iconography indicating a glare.  Since Ayla exhibits this same effect in Legends of the Legion #2, this could be actually electricity, however.
22:2, 22:4 Spark is not wearing her flight ring on either hand.  Ferro borrowed her ring in < >, and he was given a ring after his brother died in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #< >, so maybe she never got her ring back, and the team as a whole is trading rings around when as needed.
23:1 Based on 24:1, Brainy’s wand is not broken; it’s just drawn that way.
23:3 Brainy’s second word balloon is the same bit he used icily to Spark in 20:2.
23:1-2 All of Brainiac 5’s actions and props — iron kettle, voodoo dolls, costume, nonsense verbiage — seem to be just props, fake materials intended to make Supergirl believe he is capable of performing magic.  Her smile in 24:3 indicates that she knows he is faking the entire setup.
24:4-25:5 Supergirl’s new “power” to make things the opposite (more or less) from what they should be has caused Brainy’s fake preparations to become real magic.
25:4 As indicated later in the story, the fact that Supergirl is lying to herself causes the “emptiness” — a lack of truth — that Brainy senses.
26:5 Brainy probably tried to put the force field around Supergirl, but got the force tendril instead.
27:3 Brainy was probably pretty lucky that Supergirl’s new reality warping effect didn’t affect his force field belt here.
27:4 The crater was created by the ground warping in 25:5 and 26:1.
28:1 What Brainiac 5 means is that the phenomenon is created from a natural source — Supergirl — but what is causing the phenomenon to occur is unnatural — the demonic possession and such in Supergirl’s recent past.
28:4 “Rain Dogs” is an alternative rock band from Clarksburg, West Virginia (which could be near Leesburg, Virginia; hmm, “Leesburg” has been acknowledged as a reference to Supergirl’s pre-Crisis identity as Linda Lee, making Clarksburg intriguing with its connection to Superman, although that’s undoubtedly 100% coincidence).  “Rain Dogs” is also the name of a Tom Waits album.
“A+P” is the name of a grocery store chain; the man is carrying a grocery sack, it would seem.
29:2 “Darl-Af” has never been mentioned in the past.  Note that the name adheres to the “joke” naming convention of the two-letter extension being a phonetic letter (Darl-F, Jor-L, Dev-M).
29:3 The best physical laws have a degree of philosophic poetry to them.
30:3 Brainy must expect anything Supergirl actively touches to become a victim of her power.  (Her phasing through the wall in 29:3 is a “passive” touch; she didn’t want to touch the wall, but wanted to pass through it instead.)  This would seem to indicate that Supergirl’s new reality warping powers are subconsciously driven.  A reasonable explanation would be residual demonic energy subverting her innate shapeshifting powers into an external mode of operation.
30:4 Literary and emotional truths tend to be much more dependent on context than scientific ones.  One the other hand, the magical basis of Supergirl’s problem coupled with the definite context basis of her immediate presence and Leesburg itself should indicate that it is these other truths which may be needed after all.
30:5 Brainiac 5’s force field is usually seen as a body-hugging form or a simple wall or shield shape.  This cleaved sphere is a new application, and may be indicative of the eventual development of the Time Bubble.
31:1 Supergirl believes that her “context” has changed, now that she is isolated within the bubble, so the reality warping changes.  However, since she also knows the bubble is in the context of Leesburg, she will still exhibit the warping, just on a severely localized basis.
31:5 After this incident, one would hope that Brainiac 5 would adjust his controls to make them more accessible in tight quarters.
32 It is uncertain if Supergirl would be able to survive the crushing field; if she were still just protoplasm, she might, but the presence of Linda Danvers in her makeup changes things.  However, she is probably invulnerable enough that Brainy’s controls would break first.
33:4 Note Brainy’s use of “mate,” reducing the actions of dating and romance to the simple procreative action.
34:1 The disk-topped tower in the cityscape appears again in Legion of Super-Heroes v4 #96.  We will dub it the “Time Needle” due to similarities in its appearance to that of Seattle’s Space Needle, combined with Brainiac 5’s time travel research.
35:3-4 This entire experience will hopefully have a humanizing effect on Brainiac 5, making him more cognizant of emotional honesty and interpersonal relationships.  Change does not happen overnight, though, so it may take time.

Appearance Counts

Character Name


Panels / Speaking

Brainiac 5 (Querl Dox) X 99 / 88
Gates (Ti’Julk Mr’Asz) 5 / 3
Spark (Ayla Ranzz) 21 / 25
Saturn Girl (Imra Ardeen) 6 / 3
Apparition (Tinya Wazzo) 3 / 0
Ultra Boy (Jo Nah) 4 / 0
Andromeda (Laurel Gand) 1 / 0
Supergirl (Linda Danvers) X 131 / 112
Superman (as Clark Kent)
1 / 1
Gorilla Grodd (flashback) 1 / 0
Brainiac 4
1 / 0
Supporting Characters
Koko 20 / 3
Shvaughn Erin 2 / 1
Coluan scientist 1 / 0
Sylvia Danvers 8 / 9
Fred Danvers 5 / 5
Dr. Mattie < > 4 / 5
Brad (S.H.X. newscaster) 1 / 4
Tippi (S.H.X. newscaster) 1 / 3