Posts tagged ‘Superman’

Adventure 423 – Supergirl saves the Justice League

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Aliens plot to conquer the world using mind-controlling sunglasses in Adventure 423 (Sept 72), a story by E Nelson Bridwell and Steve Skeates, with art by Mike Sekowsky and Bob Oskner.

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Linda is out shopping when a pushy saleswoman shoves a pair of sunglasses on her, and she discovers she cannot remove them.  The glasses also force her, or anyone wearing them, to follow the commands of the aliens who created them.

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She is ordered to Metropolis, where she switches the glasses with Clark Kent’s usual ones, rendering him under the aliens control as well.

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The two aliens brothers behind this are not working together well, and one decides to betray the other, and has Supergirl use her heat vision, which results in the destruction of the glasses, freeing her mind.

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Superman brings the glasses to the Justice League, but Supergirl intervenes, much like the scene on the cover, and gets Green Lantern to destroy the glasses Superman is wearing.

A fairly silly story.  She still has her problems with her powers vanishing at times in this tale, although that has been used less frequently in recent months, and this would be the last story to reference that.

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Adventure 390 – Supergirl`s all-romance special

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Adventure 390 (Mar/April 1970) is an 80 page giant that reprints 5 stories from her run in Action Comics.  I will be talking about those individual stories when I cover Action, but I included this to highlight how much of a romance comic the Supergirl series was in the 60s and 70s.

This issue has stories of two of her main boyfriends from this era, Dick Malverne, who she met while in the orphanage, and later went to high school with.  He was essentially her `Lois Lane`, in that many of the tales had him trying to prove she was Supergirl.

Two of the stories in this issue deal with her romance with Comet, the Super-Horse. Somehow the bestiality element never seemed to occur to the writers.

This issue also reprints the tale in which Supergirl finds an alien double of herself, and matchmakes the woman and Superman.

From bestiality to quasi-incest, the path of true love never did run smooth for Supergirl.

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.

 

Adventure 381 – Supergirl begins

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After a decade as a back-up feature in Action Comics, Supergirl moves to take the lead in Adventure Comics, with issue 381 (June 1969).   Cary Bates and Win Morimter take the reins on this tale, which has Linda visiting her cousin Superman in Metropolis.

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She encounters a group of female thieves, one of whom is a friend from Stanhope College.  After being captured, the women have no memory of their crimes.  Supergirl connects them to a “sleuth school,” and decides to enter it undercover to investigate.

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The top student is a woman named Barbour, who has her own secret agenda, but the man running the school, Jonathan Maxom, is unaware of that, and pits her and Linda against each other.

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It turns out Barbour is Batgirl in disguise, who saves Supergirl when Maxom tries to kill her with kryptonite.

Not a bad story, mediocre art though.

Adventure 354 – The Adult Legion

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There have been many stories that show the future of various heroes.  As I write this, “Future’s End” is showing the entire New 52 line five years ahead.  But no story influenced later tales as much as the Adult Legion story in Adventure 354 (March 1967), another classic by Jim Shooter and Curt Swan.

Of the five dead heroes that appear on the cover, only Ferro Lad had even appeared.  Chemical King’s fate would match the cover exactly, while stories of Quantum Queen, Reflecto and Shadow “Woman” (Shadow Lass when she got introduced) would play with the dooms foretold here.

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Superman’s visit to the 30th century to see his adult team mates was not just a list of dead members.  Marriages were shown for Cosmic Boy and Night Girl, Duplicate Boy and Shrinking Violet, even Light Lass and Timber Wolf, the former Lone Wolf, who had not appeared in any Legion tale since his introduction.

Aside from those shown as statues, the story let us see Ultra Boy and Phantom Girl with their children, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, and Star Boy and Dream Girl all in wedded bliss.  More surprising was Bouncing Boy and Duo Damsel and their “triplicate” son.

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Aside from the marriages and deaths, we discover that Matter-Eater Lad has become the president of his home planet, Bismoll, and Colossal Boy in retirement after an injury.  Polar Boy disbanded the Substitute Legion and became a member of the Legion.  All of these elements would come into play in later stories.

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After all the revelations, the story gets into some action, as a masked figure starts destroying the Legion headquarters.

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Unmasked, he is revealed to be Douglas Nolan, the brother of Ferro Lad, who had been mind controlled by Saturn Queen.  The story closes with her, Lightning Lord and Cosmic King preparing for the final battle between the Legion of Super-Heroes, and the Legion of Super-Villains.

Douglas Nolan would not appear again until Legion of Super-Heroes 300, which would cast this whole two-parter in a completely different light.

The story concludes next issue.

Adventure 291 – Bizarro Lois gets kidnapped!

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Bizarros are almost invariably presented as confused but well-meaning.  They may be destructive, even deadly, but are not malicious.  In this story, Jerry Siegel introduces three residents of Bizarro World that break that mold.

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They kidnap Bizarro Lois, and force Bizarro to commit crimes before they will free her.  He heads to Earth and begins a sort of rampage, although since the Bizarros value what humans consider worthless, his “crimes” are more like good deeds.

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He gets them garbage, worn out tires and sawdust, and thrilled as they are, the evil Bizarros keep demanding more treasures.

It’s Superman who steps in to save the day, disguising himself as Bizarro, he leads the three to a planet made entirely of coal.  The evil Bizarros are in such glee that they reveal Bizarro Lois’ location.  Superman intuits that the evil Bizarros are so greedy that they will never leave their planet of riches, and as they never appeared again, it seems he was right.

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