Supergirl Saturday: Action Comics #268, “The Mystery Supergirl!” #272, “The Second Supergirl!,” and #273, “The Supergirl of Two Worlds!”
|January 25, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Supergirl Saturday|
No new characters or major insights into the Silver Age Superman’s psyche for you today, folks – just a couple of stories with Supergirl doubles, including Supergirl’s first two-parter!
Our first story begins with Linda getting…well, basically an internship, though they don’t call it that, at the Daily Planet:
I like the implication that with Clark, Lois, and Jimmy away, the only one who can write the entire newspaper is some random teenager.
But it’s good that Linda’s there, because she’s the first to hear when:
But how can this be???
I’m including this mostly because I love it when Linda gets to do those dashing changing-to-Supergirl poses that Clark does all the time.
Linda checks on her Linda Lee robot, but the robot’s not the culprit. Meanwhile, the redheaded Supergirl does some more astounding feats:
Linda decides to lock herself in the Daily Planet’s vault, just in case it is somehow her doing these things:
The next day, this mysterious new Supergirl shows up at the Planet for an interview:
But don’t worry, Linda’s not a murderer – in fact, she’s got a way to stop the kryptonite from hurting Supergirl:
So why the hoax?
It was a publicity stunt, of course! The Supergirls were all actresses wearing jetpacks and all of their amazing feats were rigged. Man, I wish they promoted movies in our world with actresses wearing jetpacks.
Okay, enough of that. Time for a REAL fake Supergirl, in this two-part adventure, “The Second Supergirl!”
Bored of her workaday little adventures, Linda decides to find a planet that’s an almost exact double of Earth, so that she can do super-feats publicly:
Linda wanders around Terra, learning about its differences from Earth, and soon spots a major one:
After Marvel Maid stops the tigerrabbit, she heads off to her Fortress of Marvels, and Supergirl follows to introduce herself:
It turns out that on Terra, Marvel Maid is the primary hero instead of the sidekick. Supergirl asks if there’s a double of Superman, but Marvel Maid has to go off on a space mission, so Supergirl takes over for her:
Oh my God, she’s so happy, you guys. It breaks my heart.
Anyway, the first crisis Supergirl has to tackle…doesn’t exactly go as planned:
Supergirl explains the situation, and Marvel Man in turn explains that he came to Terra’s surface years after Marvel Maid because blah blah plot whatever, and keeps his powers hidden until he’s fully trained, just like Supergirl on Earth. He lives in prison because, without adoptive parents like Marvel Maid’s, he has no identification papers, a crime punishable by imprisonment on Terra.
So let’s just think about that for a moment: on Terra, Marvel Man is in a situation exactly the same as Supergirl’s…and he’s IN PRISON. Supergirl even likens Marvel Man avoiding parole to her avoiding adoption. This comic could not be clearer about what a terrible, cruel situation Superman is forcing Supergirl into.
Another crisis springs up when the Fortress of Marvels falls out of the sky for very little reason at all. But Supergirl’s got a plan to help her new friend out:
But the plan doesn’t go as, um, planned:
CLIFFHANGER ENDING TIME!
Uh-oh! Can Supergirl fix this mess in time?
The story continues in the next issue, in “The Supergirl of Two Worlds!” Supergirl and Marvel Man repair the Fortress of Marvels before Marvel Maid comes back, and Supergirl takes the fall for it crashing in the first place. Marvel Maid not only forgives her, she’s so impressed with Supergirl’s super-deeds that she tells Supergirl to continue covering for her while she flies to Earth to tell Superman to let Supergirl operate publicly. (Whew!)
However, the minute Marvel Maid arrives on Earth, Superman makes a decision:
Turns out he’s been planning this for a while:
When Marvel Maid finally gets a word in edgewise, she explains to Superman what’s going on, and tells him how well Supergirl’s done on her world, blunders aside. They tune into a video screen to see Supergirl in action on Terra:
Uh-oh! Luckily Marvel Man is able to pull the boat backwards, preventing a collision. Not only that, it turns that there was a car stalled on the bridge, so by preventing it from sinking, Supergirl actually saved lives.
Marvel Maid has come to a decision:
Unfortunately, so has Superman:
This makes me SO ANGRY. Superman’s made plenty of mistakes on strange worlds! But this really speaks to something deeper, because making mistakes is part of who Supergirl is. She’s young, she’s learning, and she’s doing her best, but sometimes she screws up, and that’s okay – because she’s a kid. Part of being young is being able to make mistakes and learn from them, and this being the Silver Age, none of those mistakes are going to have very significant consequences. So Superman’s not just punishing her for something she’s done, he’s punishing her for something she is. Patriarchy’s always moving those fucking goalposts, kids.
Ugh, and that last panel really sticks in my craw. Not only is he FORCING HER INTO A SITUATION THAT IS EXPLICITLY LIKENED TO JAIL and dangling rewards in front of her only to yank them away on technicalities, he’s tricking her into thinking he’s doing a nice thing. ARGH SO ANGRY. JESS SMASH.
Finally, it’s time for a new hairstyle for Linda! What do you guys think?
CONTEMPO CUT. I VOTE CONTEMPO CUT!