|First Appearance:||Superman Vol 2 #16 (April, 1988)|
|Created by:||John Byrne|
In an alternate reality (a "Pocket Universe") three Kryptonian criminals escaped the Phantom Zone, and tried to take over that reality's Earth. There was no Superman in this reality (his younger self, Superboy, having died before the criminals' escape) but there was a Lex Luthor who hadn't gone bad. Using an artificial lifeform called the "protoplasmic matrix," Lex made a young blonde woman out of the protoplasmic matrix. This Lex had also patterned her physiology to resemble Superman's, whom he had seen using one of his many inventions to look into the mainstream universe.
Like Superman, the creature was superhumanly strong and fast and could fly, but also had the powers of shapeshifting, telekinesis, and invisibility. The girl, whom Luthor called Matrix, was given a feminine version of Superman's uniform, and fought the three criminals as "Supergirl". Her powers were no match for theirs, however. Desperate, Lex sent Matrix into the mainstream universe to recruit Superman. Her efforts were successful, and Superman did aid in stopping the Kryptonian criminals, but the alternate Earth had been ruined, and was now lifeless. Superman took the orphaned Matrix back to the mainstream DC Universe with him.
Upon arrival on the mainstream Earth, Matrix was taken to live with Superman's parents, the Kents. Jonathan and Martha did a fine job raising their new "daughter", but Matrix (or "Mae" as the Kents named her) became delusional for a time, believing she was Clark, even assuming his form. After a fight with the real Superman, Matrix came to her senses, but concerned that she might become unstable again and cause the Kents harm, she fled into outer space. After many adventures (or misadventures), she returned to Earth, where she met and fell in love with the mainstream Lex Luthor (Disguised at the time as his own son). Again donning the uniform her reality's Lex had given her, (and once again in the form of the young blonde woman), she assumed the role of Supergirl in the mainstream DC universe, determined to make this Earth a better one than the one she left. One of her first acts was to return to Smallville, Kansas, and reunite with her "parents", Jonathan and Martha Kent. Her parents and Superman were shocked when they learned that their dear Mae was now dating Luthor. Mae began living with Lex, and even had an altercation with her "brother" Superman over it.
Lex Luthor's Girlfriend
When Doomsday killed Superman, Supergirl used her powers to protect Metropolis, but was met with some derision, as many people saw her as Luthor's "pet". She did an admirable job of rescuing victims, teaching the new hero Superboy about the importance of being serious when saving lives, and helped Superman return once he was found to be alive again. She even posed as Clark Kent, pretending that Clark was trapped in a well-stocked cellar during Doomsday's initial attack, to help explain why Clark was gone while Superman was dead. But her biggest shock came when she learned that Lex had cloned her, making thousands of his own personal "Supergirls". She went berserk, and destroyed his lab, his clones, and almost killed Lex before he fell into a coma. She decided to join the Teen Titans for a short while, but left shortly afterwards, realizing that it just wasn't for her.
Earth Born Angel
After some soul searching, Mae began to wonder if she was even a real person or if she even had a soul. But this was solved when she held the hand of a dying girl named Linda Danvers. Matrix's shapeshifting ability merged the two into the new Supergirl and Mae became the Earth Angel of Fire, simultaneously losing her shape-shifting abilities as she subconsciously defined herself as just Linda and Supergirl. The remnants of her protoplasmic form that were not absorbed in the merge became an evil, insane Matrix, who fought the Mae/Linda merged Supergirl, until she was absorbed by Blithe, the Earth Angel of Light. Later, when the good aspect of Matrix was separated from Linda, she was merged with Twilight, and became a new Angel of Fire.
Powers and Abilities
Telekinesis: her primary power was telekinesis which she could use to move objects with her mind and enhance her strength and speed to superhuman levels. By levitating herself, she could fly at supersonic speeds. She used her telekinetic powers to surround herself with an aura of psionic invulnerability which could deflect almost any attack. She could focus her psychokinesis into devastating force blasts, or extend a psionic barrier around others to shield them from harm. She could even use her psi-power to rearrange the molecular structure of fabrics, and alter clothing and costumes with her thoughts (an ability that enabled her to change her clothing when she changed shape, and turn tattered rags into a costume for Superman).
Superhuman speed - Her speed and reflexes were augmented, though not to the same degree as Superman's; however, this may have required some degree of conscious concentration, as when she was suffering from exhaust after Superman's battle with Doomsday, a rescue worker was able to snatch a cup from her hand against her will.
Shape-shifting - Possibly an application of her psychokinesis. Minor changes in coloration and facial features were relatively effortless, but significant changes in size, build or gender were apparently quite strenuous.
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- Low-Level Superhuman
- Her stamina, while probably greater than a human's, was not unlimited. She was vulnerable to fatigue, and to physical and emotional stress. When under the influence of The Eradicator, she suffered an identity crisis and believed that she was Superman (Clark Kent), as well as having impaired cognitive abilities.
In Other Media
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