Of all of the issues of Supergirl I drew, Issue 50 was the single most challenging for a number of reasons. At 40 pages, it was the single longest issue I had drawn in several years. I was purposely pulled off Supergirl to have the time to draw the entirety of 50, then World's finest #3 (which we'll review tomorrow) so they would ship in time. I really wanted to pull out all the stops on this and I think the results were positive.
The book actually picks up from the Supergirl annual #1 story which delved into the origin of Lucy Lane as Superwoman. Lucy had, up until that point been groomed secretly by her father General Lane, being promoted quickly without merit so that he could incorporate him into his unit. He then provider her with a supersuit that was made to mimic Kryptonian DNA as well as several other alien species.
When we pick up the story, the newly reconstituted Lucy, having drained the lifeforce from an errant hiker, lies naked in a crater in the woods.
I wanted to show a sense of genuine concern from the General as a set up to what follows.
This was an awesome stroke from Steling as writer. We created almost a mirror to the scene with kara and Zor-el, as general Lane's fear and Xenophobia kick in upon the realization that he's turned his daughter into the very thing he hates, a Kryptonian.
One of the subtle indicators of this change was the way I drew the heat vision as more of a direct beam rather than the wavy beam I drew in her previous appearances
We then move into the next scene. Gangbuster, a long time Superman supporting character, had been recently reintroduced in the the DC universe in the Trinity maxiseries by Kurt Busiek and Mike Norton
Originally Gangbuster was was a man named Jose Delgado, a High school teacher , who created the identity when Lex Luthor started recruiting his students for his criminal activities. he would be crippled saving Lois Lane's life, then healed via a cybernetic implant from... Lex Luthor. It would also allow Luthor to control his body.Eventually Superman and professor Emil Hamilton would break him free from Luthor's control.
The second Gangbuster was an alternate identity created by Superman, who was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress because he was forced to execute an other dimensional version of General Zod, Faora and Quex-Ul.
(Yes, that was an actual story)
Where was I? oh yeah, So anyway This story actually has seeds that go back all the way to Superman # 671, but more on that later. now When we pick up this story, Lana Lang, Supergirl confidant and Clark Kent's ex girlfriend has died.
Okay... not really. What happened was Lana kind of died, only to become a entombed in a cocoon in Supergirl # 49
So when we pick up the story, Gangbuster is running through a insect hive being chased by giant hybrid bug people.
One of my all time favorite Supergirl pages.
We eventually find out that Gangbuster had been hired by STAR labs after the hive took over the hospital where Lana was and the Metropolis Crime Unit along with the superhero called The Guardian, had either been transformed or captured.
I had also gotten to draw Kimiyo Hoshi aka Dr. Light in this issue. to be honest, she's not my favorite character. I actually think she's kind of lame. Not powerwise, she's pretty powerful. I've always found her to be boring and one note. However you do what you can and I went out of my way to try and present her in the best possible ..ahem... light... trying to soften her look a bit.
I was also in the midst of refining my look for Kara at the same time, making her a little softer than I did previously to show her to be a bit more vulnerable.
I love this spread. Sterling suggested having cockroaches covering it, as if they were on the lens of a camera.
When Kara revives we are introduced to the transformed Lana as the new Insect Queen.
Now you might say "New"?
Back in the 1950's Lana Lang had become the insect Queen as a reward from an alien whose life she saved. She was given a Bio-ring that would allow her to mutate parts of her body.
Lois Lane would borrow Lana's Bio-ring become the insect Queen as well.
Now, remember I mentioned Superman #671. Well, in that storyline we were introduced to another insect queen , who had cloned a version Lana's body and was going to use it to take over the Earth.
So when I was redesigning Lana as the Insect Queen I wanted to harken back to the original costume design, using a wasps like coloring. I combined that look with the design by Peter vale
I even played with a more horrific version.
I was definitely going for an similar feeling to the end of the first Ghostbusters movie with this scene.
The issues ends with a newly revived Lucy as Superwoman, ready and full of evil.
Again, it was a great story to work on, an endurance test almost but I'm proud of it.