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Interview: Writer Michael Alan Nelson Talks SUPERGIRL

The 28 DAYS LATER writer discusses his take over of the SUPERGIRL series and reveals what he has in store for Kara.

Yesterday we ran an interview with Justin Jordan, the new writer for DC's SUPERBOY series. But SUPERBOY isn't the only Superman Family title that will be undergoing new creative team changes in the near future: SUPERGIRL will as well. We recently caught up with the series' new writer, Michael Alan Nelson, to discuss his plans for the upcoming series. We touched on everything from Supergirl's relationship with H'el, to what new villains the creator has in store for this character. Check out the full interview below!

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Comic Vine: Supergirl has spent the last few issues during this 'H'el On Earth' story arc falling in love with H'el for, what some might say, all the wrong reasons. Do you plan on building on that relationship following the end of this series?

Michael Alan Nelson: Supergirl's relationship with H'el is definitely going to color her view of the world, but I'd like to see her in a relationship with someone who doesn't have powers (whether or not that relationship lasts). Kara is searching for a place to belong and the vast majority of people on Earth don't have powers. If she's going to fit in, she's going to need to relate to the mundane among us. It's not going to be easy for her and it might not even work out, but I think she should try. Plus, having a non-super around might help ground her and gain some perspective on the world around her. Not to mention that I think it could be fun watching Supergirl not only deal with her own insecurities, but deal with someone else's when they realize her last boyfriend was [a] super-powered bad boy who never needed to wear a shirt because his smoldering hotness kept him warm.

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CV: If we had to choose one word to describe Supergirl it would have to be that she is really stubborn. Lately, she's been doing nothing but butt heads with both Superman and Superboy. What are your plans for Supergirl's role in the "Superman Family"? Will she continue to rebel again Kal-El, or will readers get to see their relationship change?

MAN: There's always going to some tension between Supergirl and Superman/Superboy. It's hard for her to look at them as fellow Kryptonians because they never lived on Krypton, had a life there. And it's frustrating to be lectured to by someone whose diapers you probably changed at one time. But even though she's pretty antagonistic toward them, I do see her moving toward a begrudging acceptance of them. Much like realizing that you have to be nice to your annoying cousins when you see them during the holidays just so you can make it through dinner without throwing mashed potatoes at each other. It's only once a year so suck it up and it will soon all be over.

Supergirl's relationship with them really is a great microcosm for what she's dealing with. We don't get to choose our family. And they're the closest thing to family she has any more. But who she does get to choose are her friends. And it's those friends who eventually become your real family. It's just like real life. We develop relationships with friends that can become just as strong as any blood relationship. Even stronger. And once Kara starts to build that family, she'll start tolerating Superman and Superboy a bit more. Not that she'll be inviting them over for a holiday dinner any time soon.

== TEASER ==

CV: In the last 16 issues Supergirl hasn't really managed to adjust to Earth. Is that something that fans can expect to see in your take over of this series? Will we witness the character evolve? If so, in what way?

MAN: That's one of the things that I really want to focus on with Kara as a character. I'm not saying that she will be able to adjust to being on Earth right away, but I want to at least see her try. That would be a lot of fun to see. I look at it this way. When my father passed away a few years ago, I was devastated. I had never known that kind of pain before. Blinding sadness, mind-numbing confusion, and blistering rage were all roiling inside like feral beasts fighting over which one gets to be the first to eat my heart. But I had friends and family to help me through that grief. And eventually those overwhelming emotions subsided. They're still there and they will always be there, but they're not all-consuming any more. And I think that's where Kara is right now. She had an unbelievably difficult tragedy to deal with. She lost EVERYONE and there's no one to help her work through that pain and confusion. She's been having to figure it out all on her own. Now she's coming to realize that Earth is her new home whether she likes it or not. Yes, it's unfair. Yes, it's a big bucket of suck. But that's the way it is. So the cloud of losing everything she ever knew will always hover overhead, but it's starting to dissipate enough to let some sun shine through. I think it's time she started asking the question, "Okay, what does this planet have to offer?" Supergirl is a good person and someone who I think wants to be happy. So I'd like to see her start trying to find some happiness.

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CV: What do you plan on bringing to Supergirl that we haven't seen yet?

MAN: I want to try to bring a sense of fun to the title. Like I said before, I think she wants to be happy. So how does she go about that? Especially in the midst of all the chaos that seems to find her. Now, don't get me wrong. It's not going to be puppies and rainbows all the time. It's still me writing the series and those who are familiar with my work know that I have a bit of a dark streak. I'm not going to make it easy on Kara. But I want there to be no doubt that there is hope in her world. She CAN be happy and it's her struggle to find that happiness that I want to explore.

CV: She doesn't seem to have a lot of friends and relationships. Any plans to expand on that?

MAN: 100% yes. That is the most important thing I want to do with her character. There are few things more important to a teenager than a social life. And right now, she really only has Siobhan the Silver Banshee and her brother as friends. Now that she's starting to accept Earth as her home, she's going to want to develop those relationships even further while exploring new ones. And not just with other super-powered people. And just like every other teenager in the universe, those friendships and romantic relationships are going to be complicated and full of dramatic highs and lows. Pile on a host of super-problems and she's going to have her hands full.

CV: In terms of adversaries, she has been through a lot. Do you plan on bringing in villains we have seen since the start of the 'New 52' into this story? Any plans on introducing new adversaries?

MAN: I'm sure we'll see some familiar villains, but I'd really like to introduce new adversaries. I want to really help establish Supergirl's own corner of the DCU and villains specific to her are a great way to do that. We really want to build Kara's own rogues gallery, not only to populate her world but to also make her a character unto herself. She doesn't define herself by her relationship with Superman or any other characters in the DCU. Her villains shouldn't be either. She's her own person and her adversaries should be unique to her. And that's something that we're striving to create.

CV: What have been some of the challenges you have faced writing Supergirl?

MAN: For me, the biggest challenge has been honing in on the right tone of her character. Too far one way and she becomes silly and annoying, too far the other way she becomes overly-brooding. So the trick is finding that middle ground where the weight and seriousness of what she's experienced and what she must continue to deal with is tempered with a sense of fun, wonder, and adventure. Kara is a rich character with the full-spectrum of emotions swirling around inside of her. It's been challenging finding a way to see that internal chaos manifest itself in a way that makes us love her as a character and want to follow her story.

SUPERGIRL #20
SUPERGIRL #20

CV: What challenges do you have in store for her character?

MAN: We're going to see her deal with some things that make her re-evaluate her own life and how she sees her role in the world. And as her relationships develop, those relationships are going to be tested. She's also going to be faced with empathetic baddies, find herself on the wrong side of obsession, and be haunted by her past in a way that she never would have expected.

CV: Any chance Kara will get a "real" love interest in the future?

MAN: Yes. Very much so. Romance and all of its wonderfully twisted aspects are going to make an introduction into Kara's life.

CV: Any plans for another cross over?

MAN: Right now I want to concentrate on Kara, establish her world and her role in it. So when things start to go haywire across the whole DCU, we've got a good understanding of who she his and what she has to add to the greater story.