Supergirl starts a huge journey with this week’s Supergirl #22, traveling the universe to investigate Rogol Zaar’s claims about Krypton and, more importantly for her, his possible murder of her family and homeworld.
The journey starts on Mogo, as Supergirl accesses the Green Lantern Corps’ records in #22. But writer Marc Andreyko says her search for answers will take Kara to “all corners of the universe.”
Working with artist Kevin Maguire, Andreyko took over Supergirl with issue #21, kicking off the Rogol Zaar follow-up storyline that spins out of work Brian Michael Bendis was doing on Man of Steel.
Newsarama talked to Andreyko to find out more about his approach to Supergirl, why this search is so important to the character, and how Ambush Bug and other characters get involved.
Newsarama: Marc, what were your thoughts behind taking Supergirl on this journey to investigate the destruction of her home planet. Why did this part of her story make sense to you as you took over the book?
The whole impetus for me going after the gig for writing Supergirl was finding the kernel of what about her is integral to who she is but has not really been fully embraced and explored.
For me it was, when Krypton was destroyed - and she says this to Clark in issue #21, she says, “For you, Krypton is only theoretical. You were an infant. I was 17. I lost everyone and everything I knew.”
It’s like being the grandson of a Holocaust survivor or an actual Holocaust survivor. The loss is painful and shared, but for someone who was actually there, they can name names of the people that aren’t there anymore.
So she needs to do this to deal with her own sort of survivor guilt and the loss that she’s dealt with over various permutations of her.
And it’s a way for her to excise her own demons and come to a place where she doesn’t feel guilty about surviving and she realizes that she is good. And by living her life, she’s not betraying Krypton by moving on.
All those very human emotions are behind this big, fun, colorful space adventure.
So hopefully, like great mythology, her internal journey is mirrored by her external journey and they complement each other and make this both a character study and a rollicking adventure.
It’s still a very vibrant, action, sci-fi story, but at its center, it’s got a very honest emotional truth that every single person can relate to on some level.
Nrama: In the last issue, Kara got the Green Lanterns involved. At that point, it was Hal Jordan, but we know from solicitations that she looks into the information the Green Lanterns can supply. You mentioned space adventure. This involves the Green Lanterns and other space-based characters?
Andreyko: Yeah, it’s going to take over to all corners of the universe.
We’re going to see, as she’s trying to find out about Rogol Zaar and whether he’s telling the truth. As she says, you can’t just destroy a planet by yourself. There’s going to be receipts. And dealing with the remaining, surviving members of The Circle and finding out how far this conspiracy goes - it’s a detective story at its heart.
So Kara’s following clues from decades ago scattered over planets and galaxies to try to not only get justice for Krypton but give her some peace of mind and some closure and the ability to live her life fully.
Nrama: One of the fun things that happened in the last issue was that she brought Krypto with her on this journey. Why that team-up? Why that companion for Kara?
Andreyko: Well, I’m a dog owner. I’m a dog lover. My dog is family. And Clark says he knows why she has to go, but he can’t. Earth is his home. He has obligations here.
But he doesn’t want her to go by herself. It’ll make him feel better if someone’s with her.
And if you’re an animal lover, you know that pets make every day better. You can be having the worst day of your life and there’s this unconditional love and support and enthusiasm, as well as a protector for her. She doesn’t maybe need it, but when Superman says he wants Krypto to go with her, it’s like a dad giving his daughter some pepper spray after she gets her driver’s license. She’s probably not going to need it, but she just takes it to make him feel better.
And Krypto - working with Kevin Maguire on this, you know, he’s probably the best facial expression guy in comics. And in issue #22, he does it with animals. Krypto is more than just a pet or comic relief. He’s part of this. And it’s so much fun to have him be part of the book.
Nrama: You mentioned Kevin doing facial expressions well. Can you describe what this art team brings to the book and the character as you’re writing her?
Andreyko: I cannot say enough great things about the art team that I’ve been blessed to work with on this book: Kevin Maguire and Sean Parsons on inks and FCO Plascencia on the colors. I feel guilty that I have dialogue covering up their exquisite art.
This experience has been the best of making comics. It’s been like summer camp. And it’s been great working with Jessica Chen, my editor. She’s been instrumental in gathering this team and helping us shape a story that we’re all contributing to - it’s been a collaboration on every conceivable level. I’m truly one of the luckiest people on the planet.
Nrama: Solicitations have indicated that Ambush Bug also makes an appearance. Can you talk about what might bring him to the story or what readers might expect from that?
Andreyko: He’s not going to be a huge part of it, but when I was reading Man of Steel and saw that he was at a bar at the edge of a universe, I thought, well, how many times am I going to get to have Ambush Bug in a book? Of course! That’s all because of Brian Bendis and Steve Rude.
I mean, Keith Giffen and Kevin and Ambush Bug and all that stuff were such a huge part of my formative years. So to have this character even briefly appear is the best thing ever.
Nrama: You mentioned “The Circle” and the idea that Rogol Zaar was working with a deeper organization. Can you talk about the mystery and how big this might actually get as Kara is chasing its origin?
Andreyko: Yeah, we’re taking the seeds and the hints Brian laid throughout Man of Steel and exploring them to their conclusion.
Sometimes people with the best motives are involved in things that end poorly. It’s like, did FDR know Pearl Harbor was going to happen, and did he let it happen because he knew we needed that to get into the war? Sometimes you don’t have to be evil to be complicit in evil things. And that’s really interesting.
And this is going to take Kara to the far corners of the galaxy, and we’re going to see some familiar faces, and we’re going to see some brand new faces. And it’s going to be a lot for her to unravel.
Nrama: Is there anything else you want to tell people about your version of Supergirl or the storyline they’ll see as Kara goes off into space beginning in this week’s Supergirl #22?
Andreyko: I’m standing on the shoulders of everyone who worked on Supergirl before. As a writer and a fan, I like taking everything that worked in previous incarnations and helping that shape the version of the character that I feel is the fully realized version of all the great stuff that has gone before.
So this isn’t me saying everything that you knew is wrong and here’s the right Supergirl.
It’s taking all those different moving parts and helping merge them together and make her a character who is vibrant and stands on her own as well as being Superman’s cousin.
I want to make Supergirl the power player in the DC Universe that she deserves to be, and not just because of her family members, but because she’s a smart, vibrant, exciting, good person.