Friday, March 18, 2016

Action #305: The End

After all the battle's won, when the hurley-burley's done, we have the ads that fill up the rest of this issue.

The Space Game on the top appealed to the upper crust, both forward-thinking (outer space) and solvent ($1.98).  That was the entire "Game."  The "toys only" cost $1.50.  And just when I thought that the entire package would consist of cheaply printed cardboard, in the fine print of the ad we are assured that "All the 3-D toys above are made of unbreakable plastic."

Ah, the unordered merchandise of youth!

Likewise, the lower ad featured a bunch of stuff you could order as a "war game" or just the toys.  And wouldn't you imagine that both "Helen of Toy" and "Five Star Toys" were probably the same storefront?

Now the Army Men were the real deal!  I still have one creeping guy, bought from the downtown Kresge's as part of a big haul.  Regarding this bunch, I would suppose that the "footlocker" was probably pressed pasteboard.  Anybody know for sure?

And the knights' "Treasure Chest Case"  -- who knows?  It looks like Olde Oake, but that's the wonder of "depictions."

Inside the rear cover we have the omnipresent "mine-your-acquaintances" ad for either greeting cards or seeds.

The outside rear cover features a glorious depiction of a Revolutionary War set.  Remember when the bad guys were trying to make us pay a tax on tea?  We weren't revolting against bankers or anti-pot laws.

Should we lament the passing of the simple conflicts of the Silver Age?  Thanks to the storytelling customs of those days, a bad guy was often easy to spot as he kidnapped a child or robbed a bank or threatened to steal a da Vinci.

Nowadays the good guys are tainted; the bad guys have "justifications."  However ...

In your daily life, friends, you often have the chance to help somebody.  And if you look for those chances, you can probably distinguish them without too much difficulty.  Let somebody onto the on-ramp?  You can do that.  Pick up a stranger's dropped book?  Go ahead!

Wasn't that easy? 

Thanks for joining me on this page-by-page journey through Action Comics  #305, the issue cover-dated October, 1963.

See you again on April 4th for the beginning of April Foolishness, 2016!


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Action #305: Karen Apologizes for Hating Supergirl

Now , through a flashback-via-chronoscope, the resentful Karen Blair has seen for herself that the catastrophe which put her brother in a wheelchair and ended her father's life WAS NOT caused by the coincidental arrival of Supergirl's rocket to Earth.

The thing that zapped Dr Blair's observatory was an
If Dr Blair hadn't been a'shootin' those cosmic rays out inta space to talk to some other aliens, his equipment's space buzzin' wouldn't have disturbed that critter.

Soon all is forgiven ... the same Super-Memory that Karen didn't trust to remember Supergirl's rocket arrival now is good enough to get Dr Blair's gizmo "registered."  "Famous" surgeons are working to fix Bill Blair's legs; and Karen Blair now has a new ideal.

This filler page contains a fun Super-Turtle strip.  Note that Super-Turtle's first instinct isn't to just rescue the guy from the desert.  No, instead he's got to build a long pipeline to bring some water!

And the house ads for new-and-upcoming books includes one comic dear to my memory.  The middle issue being promoed is Superboy #108, on which I reminisced briefly in May 2008.  That comic was the only one to which I wrote a fan letter -- at the age of seven!  I only know about it because my Mom didn't mail it!  Once again, READ ALL ABOUT IT HERE.

See you on Friday for the wrap-up of out page-by-page tour through this fine Silver Age comic.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Action #305 : Supergirl Didn't Do It!

After missing last Friday (sorry), we continue with the tale from October, 1963's Action Comics.  We've learned the reason why "The Girl That Hated Supergirl!" does so -- she blames the arrival of Supergirl's rocket from the dying Argo City for the destruction of her father's observatory.  The conflagration killed her father and left her brother paralyzed.

Supergirl has been recounting her origin in Argo City and how at its destruction, she was sent Earthwards to join her grown-up cousin Superman.

Contra the CBS TV show and other more recent retellings, the Silver Age Supergirl arrived on Earth to be a junior partner for her cousin, the long-successful Superman.  While she learned Earth customs and mastered her powers, she remained in a Secret Identity as Linda Lee at the Midvale orphanage, and was later adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers.

Now, Supergirl is narrating to a resentful Karen Blair how her trip to Earth ended.  The last thing we saw was the take-off from Argo City.

As we can see, Supergirl's rocket came to Earth in a nice- controlled descent.  It was under positive control the whole way!

(Never mind that in Action #252, her actual arrival was depicted with a little more ... um. force!  It's still purple, but the landing is a little .. less .. directed.)

But no matter how Supergirl tells the tale, Karen refuses to believe her.  As a final irrefutable resort the Maid of Might takes Karen to Superman's Fortress of Solitude,  which as we know has a handy-dandy Time Viewer.

We establish the scene of May 18, 1959, with the last seconds before the disaster.  The black shape appears -- the beam of light -- destroying the lab -- dooming her father -- maiming her brother -- it wasn't Supergirl's rocket at all!

(Note three separate links in this phrase, folks!)

Thereby we learn that Supergirl DID NOT perpetrate this evil.  This catharsis leads the way to a possible reconciliation, as we we'll see on Wednesday.

Its cartoonish aspects aside, we must admit that artist Jim Mooney does indeed do a fine job conveying the emotions of the characters in this tale, from Karen's anger and Supergirl's puzzlement in earlier pages, to Karen's surprise in the central panel here, and supergirl's commiseration in the last panel seen.

See you Wednesday.
All original content
© by Mark Alfred