I had barely turned seven when my older brother, eight years my senior, returned from the comic book store one day with a puckish glint in his eye. Thrusting the latest issue of Crisis on Infinite Earths under my nose, he could barely contain his glee. “She’s dead, she’s dead,” he taunted, his voice rising to a near-cackle.
The cover—still fresh, its future as a meme just a glint in someone’s eye—corroborates his statement. On it, an assembly of superheroes, heads downcast in mourning, surrounds Superman, his own face twisted in grief. Lying supine in his outstretched arms, with her blonde tresses thrown back and her red-and-blue costume in tatters, is his cousin and protégé, Kara Zor-El. Supergirl.