Friday, March 04, 2016

Action #305: What Part of "I Hate Supergirl" Don't They Understand?

Linda Lee Danvers spotted a local girl going over the falls in her canoe, and rescued her.  But instead of saying "Thanks," Karen Blair says she'd rather die than be helped by Supergirl.

Why?  Obviously, Karen lashed out from a feeling of inferiority, "some sort of girlish jealousy," Supergirl figures.

Coincidentally, this is Supergirl Week in Midvale, celebrating the anniversary of her arrival on Earth.  Linda and her adoptive mom, Edna Danvers, find that downtown is so crowded, they can't get a good parking space. 

(By the way, Mrs Danvers's car, as depicted, is a small-to-midsize car, for the times.)

However, let's be honest -- doesn't Linda's trick cause as many problems as it solves?  I mean, how're they going to get the car OUT of this space without MORE super-shenanigans?  And what about the traffic cameras?  Won't they catch this little lagniappe? 

Oh, yeah -- this is 1963.  No cameras.

Anyway, in the local grocery store, they're giving away Supergirl statuettes with every $5 purchase.  Back then, folks, you got A WHOLE SACK OF GROCERIES for five dollars.

The part about "all profits go to the orphanage" seems wonky.  They're giving away something extra.  How does this generate a profit?

In the bottom panel, we see more evidence that the creators of the comics were of a previous generation than the readers.  "She's my ideal!" the little girl squeals about her statuette.

This is a reference to a song from Maurice Chevalier's 1930 movie Playboy of Paris. "She's My Ideal" remained in the popular songbook, played in the 1940s by Glenn Miller and recorded in 1955 by Bing Crosby. 

In the final panel of the page, we see racial tension rear its ugly head, in Karen's ethnic slur about giants from Poland.

Poor Supergirl!  Like me, she can't understand why everybody doesn't love her!  What's not to love?

Not Supergirl's honesty, to be sure.  In a bit of ballot-rigging, Supergirl cheats and draws Karen's name from a big basket of entries for a super-flight tour of the area.  How many children or adults had their hearts crushed when Supergirl ignored each of them?

You'll note that Karen hates the Maid of Might, yet she still showed up at this ceremony.  And she's so upset when her name is called that she dashes for the PASSENGER SIDE of her car.  Does she think she can get away faster by opening the wrong door and sliding across the seat?

Tune in Monday and you won't find out!  But you WILL get the next couple of pages in this Silver Age saga of angst, tragedy, and -- perhaps -- reconciliation.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Action #305: The Girl Who Hated Supergirl!

'The Girl Who Hated Supergirl!" appeared as the second story in October, 1963's Action Comics.  The script was by Leo Dorfman.  This tale established a canonical date for Supergirl's arrival on Earth: May 18.

This story's splash panel demonstrates the kind of chronal vacuum present in many comics stories.  Supergirl/Linda Danvers's hometown, Midvale,  is a typical small town, in which "everyone else" is Supergirl's friend.  So, shouldn't these two people (three if you count Secret Identities) have crossed paths before?

The story begins with a pastoral scene in which Linda (Supergirl)  Dancers and her boyfriend Dick Malverne are riding through the sward (like Dennis Moore), when Super-vision sees a girl in a canoe about to take a tumble.

A little augmented equestrian jump over a hedge, and Linda Lee Danvers is free to switch to Supergirl and rescue the girl.

Only problem is, Karen Blair freaks out at the sight of Supergirl.  She evidently would rather have taken her chances on the rapids than accept aid from the Maid of Might.  Why?

Come back Friday to begin unraveling this psychological mystery!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Birthday, Supoerman! -- Action #305: Filler

Yes, it was established in a 1967 comic that Superman's birthday (not Clark Kent's) was to be celebrated on February 29, Leap Day.   Here's an article about it.

Today's page-by-pages from October, 1963's Action Comics #305 Come just past the staple -- we're halfway through!

I guess these ads might have been effective in shilling the poor kids of their allowances -- these come-ons were seen every month in a wide range of titles.  If I had to guess, I'd venture that the planes were probably the outlines or line drawings of aircraft, maybe printed on a square card or rounded bit of pressboard like a milk-cap insert.

And who would want a bunch of old stamps, anyway, where there were bubble-gum monster cards to be had, and marbles to be played?

Now, I do have this Flash Annual, but it doesn't count since I bought it only twenty years ago or so.  Do you suppose very many kids actually pinned up the portrait of the Flash?

See you on Wednesday, when we'll start the second story in this issue, "The Girl Who Hated Supergirl!"

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© by Mark Alfred