Although the last chapter of H’el on Earth is a few months back, the Supergirl comic still feels like a crossover in which other superheroes fly in and overstay their welcome. Now we are seeing double, as Supergirl and Power Girl share the story, in “Home Invasion,” by new writer Michael Alan Nelson and continuing artist Mahmud Asrar. Power Girl is usually an Odd Couple with the Huntress in World’s Finest, but pairing like to like works as well, and this crossover is easy chemistry. However, the crossover turns out to be too paradoxical for Supergirl’s computerized home away from home, Sanctuary, to handle, despite that the computer is the wittiest addition to the cast yet.
Last issue, Kara was irradiated by Kryptonite. In #20, Power Girl returns Supergirl to Sanctuary for treatment. Sanctuary is an artificially intelligent Kryptonian dwelling, and it detects that both women share the same genetic markers; both are Kara. Longtime readers know that one of the Karas is from Earth One, and the other from Earth Two, but Sanctuary apparently knows even less than the readers that jumped aboard this issue. The situation, as Sanctuary understands it, creates a paradoxical dilemma: if there are two Karas, one is obviously a clone. As Sanctuary is a Kryptonian intelligence, it has inherited the Kryptonian prejudices against clones, and decides one of the Karas must be annihilated. A judicious analysis ensues, after which it decides that the Earth One Kara is the clone. Sanctuary one-ups Jarvis (from the Iron Man film franchise) in its striving to provide excellent service, even as it beseeches first one, than the other Kara, to be obliterated in a sanitary way.
Readers of DC comics know Michael Alan Nelson from his work on The Ravagers. The Ravagers was kind of like The Uncanny X-Men, if the X-Men never left the Danger Room. There was a paucity of setting and a monotony of character that one hopes will not be carried over to Supergirl, as The Ravagers never managed to fastball special itself out from the threat of cancellation and we don’t want Supergirl to loiter in cancellation limbo with them. Mike Johnson’s run had a few problems, also mainly with the setting and backdrop, but his characters were strong and their motivations deep. Issue 20 has wit and inventive banter and seems to demonstrate that Michael Alan Nelson has an understanding of these characters. Let’s just hope the story finds itself outside of its claustrophobic undersea setting within the next eight issues.