Posts tagged ‘Stanhope College’

Adventure 406 – Supergirl graduates from college

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Despite never going to classes, at least not that we ever see, Supergirl graduates from Stanhope College in this Mike Sekowsky story in Adventure 406 (May 1971), getting a new job in a new city.

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Her adoptive parents, Fred and Edna Danvers, make a rare appearance, showing up for Linda’s graduation, which is marred by a campus riot.  While Robin’s series at this time was all about the turmoil in universities during the Vietnam War, the Supergirl series rarely showed anything of campus life, aside from occasional dances.

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Linda heads to Metropolis to see her cousin, with Nasty tagging along behind.  Clark informs her of a job at a television station in San Francisco, and Nasty overhears, heading there as well.

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So by the end of the story, Supergirl is now living and working in San Fran, the hub of hippiedom.  Again, this is part of the move to make the Superman family more hip and modern, but aside from the location, the Sueprgirl series would pay no more attention to the world of Haight Ashbury than her college days did to the Vietnam protests.

Nasty becomes her romantic rival, while still trying to prove Linda is really Supergirl.

Her powers continue to come and go, and this issue ends with a cliffhanger. Linda gets injured in a fire, winding up in an ambulance, terrified that her invulnerability will return while she is under medical care.

Adventure 397 – Supergirl and Wonder Woman go clothes shopping, plus the debut of Nasty

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Both the stories in this issue are written and drawn by Mike Sekowsky, and Adventure 397 marks a change in the Supergirl series, as DC attempts to make it more 70s.  Sekowsky also held the reins on Wonder Woman’s comic at this time, when she had lost her powers, ditched her costume, as was acting a lot like Diana Rigg from “The Avengers.”  His changes to Supergirl were not as dramatic or memorable.

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The first story in the issue pits Supergirl against a supernatural foe, Zond.  He runs a cult, and one of Supergirl’s friend from Stanhope joins it, but winds up in a mysterious coma.

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Her first battle with the cultists results in her costume getting torn up.  Supergirl calls on Diana Prince, who runs a dress shop at this time, and together they whip up a batch of Supergirl outfits.  For the duration of her run in Adventure, Supergirl’s costume would change regularly.  Some were decent, some really awful.

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Wonder Woman also calls on her friend, the witch Morgana, who was an occasional supporting player in Wonder Woman.

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It turns out Zond is an old enemy of Morgana, and she uses her magic to lead them to Zond, and helps Supergirl defeat him.

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The second story in the issue introduces Lex Luthor’s niece, Nasthalita, better known as Nasty.  Although Lex calls her his niece, it’s unclear who her parents are, or were.

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Lex gives Nasty the mission to uncover Supergirl’s identity, and she enrols in Stanhope College.

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Nasty’s plans are none too subtle, and once Supergirl starts listening in on her conversations, she discovers that Luthor is her uncle, and apprehends him.

As for Nasty, she just gives her a good scare, and hopes this will cause her to back off.  Considering that Nasty sticks around for the next few years in this book, perhaps she should have tried something more.

 

Adventure 393 – Supergirl and the crime predictor

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The story in Adventure 393 (May 1970) is not great.  In fact, considering it was written by Robert Kanigher, it’s not even good.  But there are a couple of things that make me include it in this blog.

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First of all, Dick Malverne makes his only appearance during Supergirl’s run in Adventure Comics in this story.  That’s the back of his head there. Had it not been for the text, there would be no way to know it was him.  He next appears in Supergirl’s first, short-lived series a couple years later.

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Professor Miles Morrison comes to Stanhope College to show off his crime predictor.  It accurately foretells an assassination, and a scandal ruining an actress’ career.

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Supergirl does her best to prevent both incidents, but the victims turn on her, and she is prevented from helping them.  Superman shows up to dump on her, and all of Stanhope is against her by the end of the story.

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She figures out the professor is really Mr Mxyzptlk, using a huge guess, really.  And then tricks him into saying his name backwards.  Somehow this makes everything not have happened, even the assassination, which really doesn’t make much sense.

But it has Dick Malverne and Mr Mxyzptlk, so despite its crappiness, it’s in the blog.

Adventure 386 – Supergirl vs Mr Mxyzptlk

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Supergirl deals with a magical monster that almost exposes her identity in this Cary Bates story from Adventure 386 (Nov 69)

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The mysterious beast seems to have a crush on Supergirl, and follows her around.  Only she can get it to obey, and even then only briefly.

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It shows up at a dance at Stanhope College, and tears off Supergirl’s Linda Danvers guise, but as it’s a costume ball, and another student was hiding a Superman outfit under his costume, Linda gets away with the situation – although no one seems to notice that she lost the brown wig she wears as Linda – the blonde hair of Supergirl is clearly her real hair.

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She brings the creature to the Fortress of Solitude, where she causes it to say kltpzyxm, which reveals the creature as Mr Mxyzptlk, and sends him back to his dimension.

Her logic, when she explains her deduction to Superman, leaves much to be desired.  The creature could easily have been a magical creature, there was nothing to prove it HAD to be Mxyzptlk.  But this story clearly didn’t care too strongly about logic gaps, after the wig situation.

Adventure 382 – Supergirl gets tested

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Adventure 382 (July 1969) brings Supergirl back to Stanhope College, as Cary Bates is joined by Kurt Schaffenberger, who drew many Supergirl and Lois Lane tales in the 60s and 70s.

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Supergirl’s robots are causing trouble, and she discovers a mysterious glowing being called Topar has taken control of them.  Aside from his abilities to reprogram robots, his primary power seems to be overt sexism, as he insists Supergirl should not be a hero, simply because she is female.

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After fretting that Topar might be Superman, who got peeved with her earlier in the story, and eliminating Mr Mxyzptlk as a suspect, Supergirl deduces that Topar is really the Kryptonian teacher robot that had tested Superboy early in his career. (Adventure 240, for those who want to check out that story)

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The robot confesses that his plan was to make her doubt herself, because he could not believe that a female would be capable of being a super-hero.  But he admits his error, and concedes that she is just as capable as Superman.

Which makes this one of the better stories dealing with sexism from this time period, sad to say.

Although this is the last chronological appearance of the teacher robot, he does appear again in a Superboy story in the mid-70s.

 

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