1. Maybe the eighth or ninth comic I ever read in my entire life was Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, featuring the death of Supergirl. I'd certainly never seen the character before that, but I knew that her heroic sacrifice was a big deal.
2. After that, once I discovered back issues, I read a few stories featuring Supergirl, and they weren't very good.
3. I rented the Helen Slater movie, and watched it on VHS. It, also, wasn't very good, but I had a giant crush on Helen Slater. Years later, as her career faded and she made coked-up late night television appearances, I became saddened.
4. John Byrne, I recall, brought Supergirl back -- sort of -- as a kind of Proty character, who had adopted the form of Supergirl, but wasn't really her. I did not follow the Superman titles for much longer after Byrne left, but I understand that the Supergirl of the 1990s was still that Proty thing, stuck in human (or superhuman) form. I could be completely wrong about that. I certainly never read an issue of her series in that decade, and I have no idea if it was any good or not.
5. I have since fallen in love with the Legion of Super-Heroes, and cherish her appearances in the 30th century and her sad, doomed relationship with Brainiac 5. Also, I own both volumes of the Supergirl Archives, because I now understand why the Silver Age Superman family comics are so utterly brilliant.
6. I have a Supergirl action figure from the Justice League Unlimited line, and my daughter loves to play with it. In fact, she insists on only using the girl figures. And Batman. She likes Batman.
7. When Jeph Loeb brought Kara Jor-El -- a new Kara -- into continuity in the pages of Superman/Batman I was not very interested. I read the issues, I said, "hmmm," and I seemed to understand that she was some kind of evil, faux-Supergirl in the end. Apparently she wasn't. Or she was, but then she overcame her evil. Or she wasn't ever really evil. I am easily confused by this character.
8. Mark Waid and Barry Kitson presented a much better version of the character in their Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes comic. Kara brightened up that series so much that I tried a few issues of her solo comic, and I thought they were some of the worst comics on the stands. I have no idea what happened, but about a thousand creative teams came and went in the first twenty issues, and I remember Mark Sable coming on for an issue and then not getting credit for the rest of the arc and it just seemed like a total car wreck for a while.
9. Like Grant Morrison, I thought the Supergirl story from the Bizarro hardcover was the best version of the character in a long, long time.
10. Supergirl #34 is a huge step in the right direction. Sterling Gates is part of team Johns, and that's a good thing, because Supergirl seems to matter more now than she has in ages. And in this one issue, Gates quickly establishes Kara's character, offers an in-story critique of her recent behavior, returns Lana Lang to prominence, and makes me want to read another issue of the series for the first time ever. I'm still not a fan of the belly shirt, but I think this issue points the way for a meaningful, fun, engaging Supergirl comic, and I'm looking forward to what Gates and artist Jamal Igle do next.
11. There is no number 11. Start reading Supergirl now.