"Young Love" is a Supergirl 2004 short story published in Solo Vol 1 issue #1, written by Diana Schutz with art by Tim Sale. It picked up a plot thread left dangling from the original Supergirl's story, bringing it to a powerful and heart-wrenching conclusion.
Kara Zor-El/Linda Lee (later Danvers) and Dick Wilson (later Malverne) grew up together in the Midvale Orphanage. They dated through college, but they grew apart after Linda (alias Supergirl) moved to San Francisco.
Several years later they meet again. Dick has several things to tell the young Kryptonian woman before his time runs out. And Supergirl remembers an earlier love during simpler times.
Not to be confused with the DC romance comics series of the same name.
"Young Love" provides examples of:
- Arc Words: "Hey-Hey! Linda Lee! You sure do look pretty..."
- The Big Damn Kiss: When Linda and Dick kiss, they float in the air. Literally, since Linda started hovering.
- Came from the Sky: In the beginning, Linda reminisces her arrival on Earth and her meeting with Superman.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Dick grew up at the Midvale Orphanage during the same time that Linda did, and he had a huge crush on her. Although the two dated for a while they grew apart after college. They met again as adults, and Dick confessed he always loved her and knew of her secret identity before dying.
- Continuity Nod: Linda remembers several moments of her childhood:
- Arriving on Earth and meeting Superman (The Supergirl From Krypton (1959))
- Dick taking a picture of Supergirl by chance (Action Comics #256)
- Linda going to the beach with her parents, and later going to skate with Dick (The Unknown Supergirl)
- Once she left him stranded in an amusement park maze for an hour.
- Their reunion in Supergirl (1982) #23 when they are in their twenties.
- Double Meaning: Dick often told sentences which implied he knew Linda's Secret Identity:Dick: You really are super, Linda.
- Eating the Eye Candy: Linda remembers she and Dick ogled to each other that time they spent the day at the beach.
- Expy: Dick was an expy of Lois Lane and Lana Lang, although according to Linda, he was kind of Lana's Distaff Counterpart.
- Forceful Kiss: When Dick meets Linda again, he grasps her chin and kisses her all of sudden.
- Heartbroken Badass: Dick died after confessing he loved Kara and knew her Secret Identity all along, leaving her heart-broken.Kara: That was the last time I saw Richard. Tonight I know what it is to be human. Tonight my super skin is still invulnerable, but my Richard is never coming back, and my heart is broken into a million pieces.
- Heroes Want Redheads: Depending on the artist, Dick's hair was chocolate-brown or reddish.
- Interspecies Romance: Linda is a Kryptonian woman and Dick an Earth man.
- Keeping Secrets Sucks: Back when she and Dick Malverne were dating, Linda Danvers often wished she could reveal her hero identity to Dick instead of cooking up ridiculous ploys to keep him fooled, but her cousin warned her against letting suitors in on the secret.
- Killed Off for Real: Before dying from cancer, Dick confesses Supergirl he loves her and he knew her secret all along. They kiss and he passes away later that night.
- Kindhearted Cat Lover: After Dick's passing, Supergirl spends the night petting her cat Streaky.
- Kirby Dots: In the second panel, masses of black dots are used to represent the space vacuum.
- Last Kiss: Linda/Kara and Dick gave each other one last kiss goodbye before he died from cancer.
- Little "No": Uttered by Supergirl when Dick reveals he is dying.Dick: And I'm sorry I never made it back to see you a couple weeks ago. The doctor's appointment left me pretty shook up. I'm dying.
- Mythology Gag: The first half of the story shows several scenes of the life of Linda Danvers: her arrival on Earth (Action Comics #252), Dick Wilson -later Malverne- taking a picture of her accidentally (Action Comics #256), Linda and Dick meeting again after several years (Supergirl Vol 2 #23)…
- Nigh-Invulnerability: Linda states her invulnerability saved her life when her rocket landed.Supergirl: The landing should have killed me. But by then I was already quite strong. Invulnerable, the reporters would call it.
- Non-Action Guy: Dick is an average guy with absolutely no fighting skills who dated Supergirl for a while.
- No Romantic Resolution: Kara's second solo book ended with Dick Malverne showing up and kissing her all of sudden. Readers never got to see Kara's reaction because the series was abruptly cancelled and the character killed two years later (DC had plans for a relaunching but they never materialized). Several decades later writer Paul Kupperberg revealed that Supergirl would turn Dick down. Young Love finally gave that plot a –very different- resolution.
- Old Flame: Linda and Dick dated together for years before drifting apart. The story starts out when they meet again after several years.
- Powerful and Helpless: Earth-One Supergirl can move planets, fly faster than light, survive in the heart of a supernova. She cannot save a cancer patient, not even if he is her crush.
- Secret Chaser: Subverted. Dick tried to out Linda over and again when they were teens until he decided to keep it a secret.
- Secret Identity: Kara's secret identity is Linda Lee (Linda Danvers after being adopted).
- Secret Identity Change Trick: Linda used to come up with all kind of excuses.Supergirl: Instead, I invented wild ruses to sneak away for work. Richard was so patient with me. But I once left him stranded in an amusement park maze, after having sealed most of the exits. It took an hour before he finally found a way out.
- Secret Secret-Keeper: Dick knew Linda was Supergirl all along.Supergirl: Mr. Malverne? You asked to see me...?
Dick: Hey-Hey... Linda Lee... I wanted to see you one more time... You sure look pretty.
Supergirl: You... You know —?
Dick: I always knew, Linda.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Kara fell for Dick because he was handsome, sweet and really, —really—, patient.Supergirl: I'd had other boyfriends... but there was something special about Richard. He was sweet, and he loved me.
- Up, Up and Away!: Supergirl puts an arm forward as she flies to the hospital.