Supergirl Saturday: Action Comics #274, “The Reversed Superpowers!” and “Supergirl’s Three Time Trips!”
|February 2, 2014||Posted by Jess under Comics, Supergirl Saturday|
Awwwww yeah. Let’s take some time to enjoy that cover story before jumping into the backup, shall we?
This is basically just the cover again, but I’m including it because she calls him “Unsuperman” and HA HA HA HA HA.
Our story begins with Perry sending Lois to cover a potentially hot scoop: Superman thinks he may have found a way to make himself invulnerable to kryptonite! So off Lois and Supes fly to the fortress, where Superman’s amazing experiment consists of “let’s put on these silly hats and think good thoughts.” Somehow I don’t have a lot of faith in this plan, guys.
Well, that can’t be good.
But Superman, as usual, looks on the bright side – now that he has no powers, they can get hitched!
I think we can all tell by now that this is some elaborate moralizing hoax Superman is pulling on Lois, right? Still, I’d like to note that Superman’s excuse for not marrying her is completely bogus. Why not tell her he’s Clark and marry her in that identity? (You know, like he…did.) If you don’t want to marry her, quit stringing her along.
A robot Superman flies them back to Metropolis, where:
AHAHA HIS SAD FACE.
Anyway, Lois agrees to keep Superman’s sudden powerlessness a secret so that the criminal underworld doesn’t get too excited. She also decides to date around to see if she still likes Superman best, and the evidence is pretty strongly in old Kal-El’s favor:
That cartoonish “foreign” stereotype is wildly problematic, but Lois spurning princes with “Have deadlines, must travel!” will keep me warm even in the iciest Polar Vortex.
But something even more shocking happens the next morning:
This being the Silver Age, she immediately dons a costume and saves the city in the least plausible way possible:
I love that random city dweller’s speech bubble in the first panel. Did you know humans can drown, Unseen Metropolitan?
Lois spends the next few days doing good in secret and enjoying it immensely, much to Superman’s annoyance. Finally he puts his foot down:
I like that after keeping her hanging on for years, he loudly berates her for not answering his proposal promptly when their lives have just turned upside down. I bet Prince Turban’s looking better now, huh, Lois?
Lois, you’re my hero. P.S. Why do you think Superman will never change out of that outfit? That’s kind of gross.
Lois is a Class Fucking Act and don’t you ever forget it. (A Class Fucking Act who never misses an opportunity to get in a dig at Lana Lang. LOLZ x 4EVER.)
The next day, Superman announces that he is Leaving Forever, then collapses. Lois tries to fly him to the Fortress for help, but discovers that her superpowers have disappeared. All seems lost, until:
Okay, so it wasn’t Superman himself tricking Lois. Still, he programmed the robots, and they deliberately emulate his behavior. I think he can stand to shoulder most of the blame here.
The robot explains that the experiment was actually to transfer superpowers to Lois, and declares that Lois is unworthy of Superman, since she turned him down when he was powerless and she wasn’t. (Whereas Superman is a prize for doing the same, I guess? Robot, you’re dick.) Lois is aghast:
Ugh, he’s so patronizing. Whatever. The IMPORTANT thing is:
“The woman does not know I am a robot, and that she is here for an unsuspected purpose!”
“Gasp! I fell right into that cunning robot’s trap!”
WHICH IS BETTER??? Trick question, they are both amazing sentences and I plan to use them as frequently as possible for the rest of my life.
Well, that was delightful. Now for the Supergirl story!
Nnnnrgh. Um, maybe let’s get through this as quickly as possible and then never talk about it again.
Our story proper begins with Linda saving a life, helping a fellow orphan get adopted, and being assigned to write about the historical figure she’d most like to be. This takes seven panels. Our girl is efficient, y’all.
Since she can’t decide between Pocahontas, Annie Oakley, or Betsy Ross, Linda decides to fly back through the time barrier to see what their lives were really like. Annie’s first, and she’s got a problem:
Naturally, Supergirl takes her place:
She’s a hit, of course, despite a baffling encounter with some kryptonite which shouldn’t be around in the past before Krypton blew up. Even that snob Becky Daggert is impressed. I’m less impressed by the historical accuracy (ha) of this story, since I did a report on Annie Oakley in elementary school and she was not a trick rider, just a sharpshooter. However, Wikipedia does have this amazing anecdote which is way better than horse backflips:
In Europe, she performed for Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, King Umberto I of Italy, President Marie François Sadi Carnot of France and other crowned heads of state. Oakley had such good aim that, at his request, she knocked the ashes off a cigarette held by the newly crowned German Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The Annie Oakley Foundation suggests that she was not the source of a widely repeated quip related to the event: “Some uncharitable people later ventured that if Annie had shot Wilhelm and not his cigarette, she could have prevented World War I.” After the outbreak of World War I, however, Oakley sent a letter to the Kaiser requesting a second shot. The Kaiser did not respond.
Annie Oakley was rad as hell, y’all.
Anyway, it’s off to 1776, where Betsy Ross has just sent her completed flag off to General Washington! (We don’t get to see her sewing it, because that would be crazy boring. That said, this story isn’t really about Betsy Ross, per se, which isn’t that big a deal because she maybe didn’t even make the first flag.) However, the messenger accidentally drops it on some fire because our early militia was not very good. Luckily, it’s Supergirl to the rescue!
There’s another confusing encounter with kryptonite, but otherwise all is well, flag-wise. And all thanks to an illegal immigrant, too. Take that, GOP!
And now it’s time for Pocahontas. Sigh.
There’s a couple of pages of the standard superpowers and trickery here and a lot of lines like “Accursed spirit! I will destroy you with my tomahawk!” and some kryptonite and let’s all move along, okay?
Back in 1959, Supergirl tells Superman about the Mysterious Past Kryptonite, and he posits that it happened when he blew up some kryptonite with an H-bomb, because sure. Not sure what the point of the kryptonite plotline was, but whatever.
So who did Supergirl wind up writing about?
Not bad, not bad. But speaking confidentially, Linda, I think you should have looked at the story before yours and written about Lois.
Finally, what do the editors have to say this month?
Oh, bite me.