||In the pre-Crisis Legion, prior to the original Supergirls
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 Sparks 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.
||Secret Hearts is the name of an old DC romance
comic. In the early 1980s, 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 Supergirls internal monologue.
||The city is apparently Happy Harbor, Rhode Island. Frankly,
its 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 citys location has sometimes
been said to be in Rhode Island.
|2:1, 3, 5
||The off-panel word balloons are from Spark.
||This is the first weve heard of either S.H.X. or
a superhero news network, but the existence of one in the DC universe
certainly makes sense.
||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.
||These TV balloons are from newscaster Brad, given the
continuation by him in 3:3.
||Brainys notice of Andromeda had not gone unnoticed
by their fellow Legionnaires.
||This is a flashback to Supergirl v3
#< >, where she is under the power of < >.
||This is a flashback to Supergirl v3
#< >. Gorilla Grodd is in the background.
||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. Brainys bug-eyed
reaction here is completely with regard to Supergirl.
||Lindas 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.)
||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
||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.
||The cars license plate reads AMPELAI (or
perhaps AMPELA1). See also 7:2.
||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 lets see: after pulling her fist out of the hole,
she moved her chest forward to, um, titillate her father?)
||That is presumably honey dripping from the fluorescent
|The red-haired doctors name badge reads AMPELA. Assuming
that the word isnt the name of the demon causing the problems,
it was probably inserted by the penciller or inker, and might be a girlfriends
name, or something similar.
||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.
||An interesting comment from Supergirl, given doctors choices
between treating symptoms (reacting) and searching for the causes of
the symptoms (acting).
||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.
||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
||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].
||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 Brainys answer to Boxers
||About the only time Koko had left Brainys 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,
||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.
||Brainiac 5 could have used his flight ring, of course,
but it probably doesnt have the speed that Supergirl does, and
besides, he wants her to carry him.
|Brainy certainly must have had a spare uniform. He
couldnt have changed into instead of wearing those ugly shorts? (Maybe
whomevers turn it was to do the laundry was slacking.)
||Clark told Supergirl Brainys 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.
||This looks nothing like the Omnicoms we are used to seeing. Maybe
it is a special purpose one Brainy has.
||It is usually assumed that Brainiac 5s force-field
belt is too complex for most people to operate, explaining why the technology
hasnt 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.
||The green-tinted captions throughout the second half of
the story are Brainiac 5s internal monologue.
|Based on Brainiac 5s captions here, he presumably
could do a fair degree of probability forecasting and emulate some of
Dreamers abilities. Of course, hers are always correct, and
can predict much further in advance.
||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
||So where was the mop handle in the previous two panels?
||To echo Gates comment, it would be very interesting
to hear Brainys 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.
||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.
||Flashback to < >.
||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
Brainys lab, and then came to the meeting room to wait for him.
||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,
||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.
||Based on 24:1, Brainys wand is not broken; its
just drawn that way.
||Brainys second word balloon is the same bit he used
icily to Spark in 20:2.
||All of Brainiac 5s 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.
||Supergirls new power to make things
the opposite (more or less) from what they should be has caused Brainys
fake preparations to become real magic.
||As indicated later in the story, the fact that Supergirl
is lying to herself causes the emptiness a lack of
truth that Brainy senses.
||Brainy probably tried to put the force field around Supergirl,
but got the force tendril instead.
||Brainy was probably pretty lucky that Supergirls
new reality warping effect didnt affect his force field belt here.
||The crater was created by the ground warping in 25:5 and
||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 Supergirls recent past.
||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 Supergirls pre-Crisis identity
as Linda Lee, making Clarksburg intriguing with its connection to Superman,
although thats 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.
||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).
||The best physical laws have a degree of philosophic poetry
||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 didnt want to touch
the wall, but wanted to pass through it instead.) This would seem
to indicate that Supergirls 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.
||Literary and emotional truths tend to be much more dependent
on context than scientific ones. One the other hand, the magical
basis of Supergirls 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.
||Brainiac 5s 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.
||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.
||After this incident, one would hope that Brainiac 5 would
adjust his controls to make them more accessible in tight quarters.
||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 Brainys controls would
||Note Brainys use of mate, reducing the
actions of dating and romance to the simple procreative action.
||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 Seattles Space Needle,
combined with Brainiac 5s time travel research.
||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.