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Superman is transporting a starship back to its world while Supergirl protects Earth in his absence.

Quote1 You need to get off Earth for a while, and not just to the Moon. You need time to clear your head. I haven't spent enough time teaching you how to use your powers and how to not rely on them, but that's going to change. I just tossed you into this life and relied on other people to train you. I'm sorry for that, but I'm going to make it up to you. I've asked Power Girl to watch Metropolis for a week while we get away. Quote2
Superman src

Maelstrom is a 2009 storyline starring Superman and Supergirl. Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with art by Phil Noto, it was told entirely in the dedicated miniseries Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom (Volume 1).


Superman is transporting a starship back to its world while Supergirl protects Earth in his absence.

Meanwhile on Apokolips, a soldier called Maelstrom watches a group of laborers while pondering ways to win over Darkseid's love. Figuring Darkseid will notice her if she gives him something no one else can give him, Maelstrom steals a Boom Tube device and heads towards Earth.

Supergirl is keeping watch over an unusually quiet Metropolis when she spots Maelstrom going on a rampage to draw Superman's attention. Supergirl engages her, but Maelstrom beats her easily, demolishing a hospital during their battle. Before she can kill the Girl of Steeel, Superman shows up. Superman isn't impressed by Maelstrom's declaration of bringing his head on a platter to Darkseid in order to win her master's love, and he quickly wrestles Maelstrom's teleporting device from her before tossing the Apokoliptian warrior into a Boom tube leading back to Apokolips.

Kara struggles to stand up again and look for survivors despite her wounds and Kal saying he's already taken care of everyone. Eventually she loses consciousness and Superman takes her away.

Three days later, Superman finds her cousin sitting on the Moon, still depressed. Kal tries to reassure her by stating they can't win every battle, but Kara's inconsolable: many innocent people died because she lost one fight. Seeing her cousin's usually shaky confidence is at rock-bottom, Kal decides she needs to get off Earth for a while, and he needs to teach her how to use her powers and not rely on them. So he announces they're going on a one-week-long space trip while Power Girl watches Metropolis. Kara doesn't want to go, but Kal replies they're leaving anyway.

Back on Apokolips, Granny Goodness is torturing Maelstrom while mocking her foolish dreams of being Darkseid's partner. After she's been through Granny's torture, Maelstrom is led to an arena called the Terrorium.

Meanwhile, Superman and Supergirl face their own problems. Superman has taken his cousin to an alien planet located in a red-sun system. Kal is dangling from a cliff as Kara uses a spear to fend two giant monsters off, the whole time reminding Kal that it was his idea go camping on an alien world where they are powerless. Kara gets rid of a monster and hurts its partner, but she gets thrown off the cliff. Superman catches her, but now both are dangling precariously from a cliff wall, and the last monster is waiting for them going back up.

In the meantime, Maelstrom is about to fight four genetically-engineered super-soldiers as Darkseid, Granny Goodness and DeSaad watch the duel. Maelstrom kills the four warriors, the whole time proclaiming her devotion towards Darkseid. Bored, Darkseid orders she's thrown in the slave pits.

Back on the alien planet, Kal and Kara manage to climb themselves out of danger and scare the injured monster away. After checking in each other, they proceed to climb their way to a summit. Kara wonders whether they aren't neglecting Earth by spending time away from it. She also wonders how her cousin's identity secret helps to enlighten humanity. She thinks they should use their powers and advanced knowledge to elevate human civilization. Kal answers he's not trying to enlighten humans, and being an advanced civilization didn't save Kryptonians.

Back on Apokolips, Maelstrom toils in the slave pits. Determined to escape, Maelstrom picks a fight with a guard and tries to stage a slave uprising, but her fellow slaves will not follow her, and she's overpowered by more guards and thrown in an isolated cell.

On the alien planet, Kal and Kara have set camp and are having dinner. As they're eating some kind of roasted bird, Supergirl considers to make a salad, but her cousin warns ninety-eight percent of the plant life is toxic. Kara complains about being dragged to a planet where she is depowered and surrounded by hostile beasts and toxic plants, disregarding her cousin's claims they're perfectly safe. Both cousins argue and Kara storms off.

Kara keeps grumbling about her cousin's actions and attitude until she notices she's ventured too far into the jungle and is surrounded by hostile creatures. Kara screams for help instinctively, which gets Kal rush to the place and find her already fighting a herd of humanoids. Superman backs Supergirl up, reprimanding her for relying too much on her powers for fighting, but Supergirl single-handedly beats her ambushers away and points out she was trained by the Amazons of Themyscira. Superman asks why she called for help then, but Supergirl doesn't want to admit to have done so. When Superman gets frustrated because of her confrontational, biting remarks, Supergirl replies maybe she'd be less bad-tempered if she hadn't spent her entire childhood trapped inside a space ship. Feeling tired, she decides to go back to the camp.

On Apokolips, Maelstrom is taken to Darkseid's chambers. Darkseid criticizes her unhealthy obsession and states he has no interest in taking a woman or sharing his rule anyway. Nevertheless, he asks why her attempt on Superman's life failed, and Maelstrom blames it on Supergirl's interference. Darkseid doesn't believe she's a match for either of them, whatever Maelstrom claims, but he makes an offer: he'll consider making Maelstrom his personal slave if she brings Superman's corpse, but he will banish her forever if she fails. So Supergirl doesn't interfere again, Granny Goodness will provide backup. Maelstrom leaves to armor herself, and Desaad questions why Darkseid is indulging her delusions. Darkseid replies false hopes lead to greater torment when they get crushed. DeSaad praises his master's unsurpassable cruelty.

The next day on the alien planet, Kal and Kara are wading a river when a beast attacks both and causes Superman to fall into the river. He gets his arm broken and nearly gets drowned but Kara manages to rescue him despite her own head injury. Kara brings Kal back to life performing CPR and declares she's taking both back home. After a run-in with a herd of bug-headed humanoids, Kara gets ready to set her cousin's arm.

Back on Apokolips, Granny expresses her displeasure at being forced to waste resources only because Darkseid wants to see Maelstrom humiliated. Maelstrom suggests to just give her the promised escorts so she can leave right now. Grudgingly Granny calls four Female Furies in.

Superman and Supergirl walk back to their ship. Kara is worried about Kal's broken arm and Kal about Kara's wounded head. Kal says he's sorry about her missing out on being a normal kid and suggests to stay with her parents in Smallville, but Kara says she likes New York City.

When they get to the ship, they find strange aliens investigating it. Kara tries to scare them away, but one of them shoots a dart at Kal. Superman collapses and Supergirl rushes to her cousin's side as the aliens walk away. As Kara cradles Kal's head on his lap, her cousin says he's been poisoned. Quickly, Supergirl confronts and persuades the aliens to give her the antidote.

Many hours later, Kal-El comes around. Supergirl informs he was out for thirty-six hours. Then he woke up briefly and lost consciousness for other twenty-four hours. She was distressed beyond imagination and they've been out of food for nearly three days because she didn't dare to leave his side, but at least she has managed to repair their ship. All of sudden, Kal passes out again. Kara doesn't like to hunt and doesn't want to leave him alone, but she has no choice. She picks up a wooden spear and reluctantly walks in the woods.

While on Earth, Maelstrom and four Furies arrive in Metropolis and star tearing the city up in order to draw Superman out.

Back on the alien world, Supergirl is plundering a nest when she's attacked by a flying, squid-like monster. Supergirl is nearly eaten, but she manages to kill the monster... unfortunately getting drenched with its internal fluids in the process. She is severely grossed out but at least she has found dinner.

On Metropolis, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen are trying to report Maelstrom and the Furies' rampage.

On the alien planet, Kara has returned to the camp. Kal is up and about again. As they start fixing dinner, Kara grumbles about that trip being a stupid idea, but her cousin disagrees: she's learned how to fix the ship and fend for herself without powers. Kal wants to have a heart-to-heart talk but Kara would rather to not talk about thorny emotional issues, let alone boys. Supergirl is afraid she's about to hear a "We have to accept that we don't have a choice in being heroes" lecture, which prompts Superman to tell they always have a choice between making things in their benefit or in other people's, even if it means they must do things they don't want to. People will get hurt and even die because they can't save everyone, but not even trying to help out when they can make a difference is just as bad.

Kara is unhappy about the fact she'll never be good enough to save everyone, but Kal insists Earth is worth fighting for. Kara stands up and suggests to go back home now and try to make things a little better for everyone. Both cousins pack and start their ship up. Kara'll not miss the planet but she readily admits that she'll miss spending more time with her cousin.

On Metropolis, Maelstrom has taken Lois and Jimmy hostages and demands Superman to come to her.

Superman and Supergirl have made their way to the Earth's Sol and are letting its light heal their wounds and sickness. They're getting back to their ship, and Kara is in the middle of apologizing for being difficult during their trip, when they someone on Earth calling for Superman.

On Metropolis, Maelstrom and the Furies are frustrated because their rampage hasn't drawn Superman out. Mad Harriet suggests to eat their hostages but Stompa doesn't want to get herself infected by eating "lowly humans", and catapults Lois and Jimmy up into the sky.

Before Lois and Jimmy fall down, Superman and Supergirl show up, catch both of them and put them to safety.

Down on the streets, the Furies are resuming their rampage when Maelstrom is thrown back by twin blasts of heat vision. The Kryptonian pair has turned up and Maelstrom is eager to fight Superman, albeit annoyed because the Furies will not let her fight Superman alone. Both sides engage each other, but the Kryptonians are concerned about collateral damage and casualties.

As Superman fights Maelstrom back, Supergirl crushes Stompa between the two halves of a car, and then grabs Lashina, Mad Harriet, and Bernadeth and slams the trio into the nearest mountain. Then she flies back to Metropolis, gets Maelstrom off Superman and flies her out of the atmosphere. Supergirl demands to know why Maelstrom wants to kill her cousin and Maeltroms groans out her desire to offer Superman's head to her eternal love Darkseid right before running out of air. Supergirl remarks her enemy thankfully passed out -ergo, stopped talking- just in time.

Later Supergirl has put Maelstrom and the four Furies to sleep and got them in a ship headed to the planet she and Kal just left. Superman states they'll escape via a Boom Tube. Supergirl thinks maybe they'll learn something out there. After all, she did. Superman praises her cousin's performance and leaves to rescue a sinking ship, encouraging her to go out and have some hard-earned fun.

Three hours later, Superman finds his cousin hasn't left her spot above the atmosphere. She's been listening for emergences and can't bring herself to enjoy her free time when people is in danger. Superman states they can't solve all their problems for them. Some things, humans must achieve for themselves. Regardless, Supergirl decides to go down and do some heroing, and Superman joins his cousin.



Superman tells Supergirl that Power Girl will watch Metropolis while they are away, yet she never appears in the story.

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Superman Our Worlds at War Vol 1 TP
Superman Family Storyline
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Supergirl Storyline
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