Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes: A comic guide for tv only Fans
Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes was a book series, that is collected in 4 trades. The first three were written by Mark Waid. Fans of the show might feel right a home, as the main threat are the Dominators.
The setup: Legion is set in a kinda repressive (almost Brave New World style) future where rebellious teenagers get together and formed the Legion. At the beginning the book they beat the bad guys but also blew up their headquarters and ran out of money, so they have to strike a deal with their version of the United Nations (the United Planets) to stay in business, which makes some of their followers really unhappy.
Strange Visitor From Another Century: Supergirl shows up, introduces herself. Just like Superman Supergirl is a figure of Legend for the Legion and everybody fangirls her like crazy. However, Supergirl just arrived on earth from Krypton before being thrown into the future and has decided that all of this must be a dream. Meanwhile the Legion comes across some mysterious activity, including a closed door murder.
Adult Education: The Legion take Kara to a planet where the descendants of the survivors from the shrunken city Kandor live to convince her that indeed she is not dreaming. They clash with a rival group there that has just revealed itself.
Kara decides to go with the Legion rather than staying with this pseudo Kryptonian planet.
At the end they discover the phantom projector containing Mon-El in a Kryptonian museum. He is trying to warn them of something. When he comes out he is crazed from too much phantom zone time and attacks everybody before they can feed him the cure. Some more intrigue keeps brewing in the background.
Dominator War:Arguably THE core story of the book. Robots set off by the Dominators attack earth, Legionnaires get abducted and tortured, that mysterious group the Legion has come across reveals itself to be a rival group who thinks the Legion is to nice and weak to take out the Dominators.
The Quest for Cosmic Boy:Cosmic Boy, the de factor leader of the Legion has been picked up by fanboys from the future. But his friends don’t know that. Kara gets elected leader of the Legion without running for it. She gets manipulated by Brainiac to set up 3 search teams to try to find Cosmic Boy. Kara comes across a portal to the past and her Legion friends persuade her to go back (Brainiac also takes away her memories of her time with the Legion).
(note: if you are confused why Strange Visitor is called Volume 3 on some covers, it’s because the book was called something different before Supergirl joined)
Recommended? Yes or No? IMO Dominator Waris an excellent comic book, very well written. Lots of twists and turns, pretty dark in some surprising ways. However, you need to understand one thing. This series of books is very Cosmic Boy centric. Heck, there was a letter column in an earlier book that almost made it sound like Mark Waid took on a dare that he could make Cosmic Boy actually interesting. So Cosmic Boy gets all the interesting moral decisions, the emotional moments, he’s the one who gets to smart. That said, it is still a really well constructed book and it is imo interesting to read stories about people trying to outsmart each other.
I also think Mon-El’s part in the story is kinda tragic, even though, or rather because he gets shoved around and is everybody’s pawn. If you are interested into the Karamel aspect of it, again, don’t walk in with expectations. They are just in the same book, though at least hear they actually exchange some words with each other, which is more than happens in some other team up books. And of course there’s a big drag out punchy fight between them, instigated by Brainiac.
Beyond that, I think the moments of Kara on the planet with the Kandor survivors had some really good emotional moments, when she wakes up and mistakenly thinks she is on Krypton.
Personally, even though some nice and fun moments came out of it, I got kinda uncomfortable with the whole “Kara thinks she is dreaming, everybody thinks she is brain damaged” story, especially when it seemed like it was used mostly so Cosmic Boy could get to make yet another tough!moral!decision! And of course all the “every second boy is in love with Kara immediately and it never goes anywhere”. (though the Kara/Cosmic Boy stuff is mostly over/resolved/put on the shelf by the end of Adult Education)
That said, this is probably one of the sweetest, friendliest, nicest, fluffiest bunny Kara characterization I’ve ever seen (and Kara generally already is friendly, nice and fluffy in most books) and it really tugged on my heart strings. She also gets some cool superpower moments, like punching out an asteroid, stopping an earthquake by whistling and fighting without superpowers using only her flight ring and her knowledge of Kryptonian history. (Mon-El btw, doesn’t really have much characterization other than being nice and easily excitable after that much time in basically sensory deprivation in the phantom zone)
The last book, Quest for Cosmic Boy was written by a different author. I would argue it is more Lightning Lad centric. It mostly features Kara being elected Legion leader for cool moments. And it’s a good book if you want to fume over what an ass Brainiac is.
IMO Dominator War is a standout book, just genuinely a good read, all the others are okay, but it helps if you like or are interested in the Legion characters. My ranking would be: Dominator War => Adult Education => Strange Visitor => Quest For Cosmic Boy
Shipping News: if you hate the Supergirl/Brainiac or Mon-El/Shadowlass pairings? This is the book for you. Seriously, from this book? You would have no idea that those were even a thing. Kara is hung up on Comic Boy instead. Brainiac is a huge asshole and romantically obsessed with Dream Girl. Shadowlass gets a more punk-y makeover and a storyline where she goes from dating Karate Kid to dating Ultra Boy complete with Karate Kid explaining that she was never happy with a thinky guy like him and much more happy with a caveman style punch-y guy like Ultra Boy.