Supergirl Saturday: Action Comics #318, “Supergirl Goes to College!” and #319, “The Super-Cheat!”
|October 31, 2015||Posted by Jess under Comics, Supergirl Saturday|
It’s Supergirl Saturday! Finally! I know, I know, it’s been ages, but with Supergirl premiering this past Monday I couldn’t very well miss the MOST IMPORTANT SUPERGIRL WEEK OF ALL, at least since 1984. (Which was, of course, the most important Supergirl year because I was born. And also I guess there was a movie or something.)
Speaking of which, DID YOU GUYS WATCH THE SHOW??? BECAUSE IT WAS THE BEST, DUH. I recapped it over here at Panels (and will be doing so weekly from here on out) if you want to roll around in the episode forever like I do, or if you just miss my recaps. (Sorry, guys, but with six or seven superhero shows on my plate this season I don’t know if or when the other recaps are coming back. However, if you miss me ranting about dumb old Oliver Queen, or how awful Barry is to Iris, I’ve got another Panels article for you over here.)
Anyway, back in the Silver Age we’ve got some important things going down in Midvale too. Namely: Supergirl’s off to college! Let’s check it out.
…And it’s all about fashion and backstabbing. Stanhope might not be the most intellectually rigorous of fictional universities.
Of course, before Linda can attend college, she needs to graduate from high school, and so:
I LAUGHED SO HARD AT THE FIRST PANEL. “Dick…I’m so proud of him! I’m nine hundred thousand times better, obviously, but he tried hard with his tiny brain, and that’s important!”
Second panel: sorry, what, she got a free ride to college for being modest? The early 60s were a dystopian hellscape, y’all.
Linda’s excited to see what Stanhope has to offer her, but the first thing she encounters is some good old-fashioned hazing:
“That’s why her bangs are so big – they’re full of spite.”
After witnessing a few rounds of this cruelty, Linda decides to teach Donna a lesson by pledging herself. Donna’s first prank on Linda backfires, though:
LINDA NO, STOP DATING SUPER-PETS. I’m alarmed that this inspires jealousy among the 18-22-year-old women of Midvale. What is in the water there?
Donna’s next harsh test is the one we saw in the splash page: Linda will have to wear a torn, dirty dress to a dance and humiliate herself. But of course our girl finds a way around that too:
She causes an eclipse, so that it’s too dark at the outdoor venue for Dick to see the dress. Linda must be a hell of a pool player.
After Linda thwarts another prank with the help of Comet, Donna gets smart. Clearly Supergirl’s looking out for Linda…or maybe, Supergirl is Linda. Donna decides to test it by making Linda solve a problem without Supergirl’s help: move all the books from the college’s old library to their new one in one day.
Naturally, Linda rises to the occasion:
This is the Silver Age, so Donna’s plot to prove Linda’s Supergirl is of course insane and suicidal: she takes Linda out for a drive, then straight-up drives off a cliff so that Linda will have to change to Supergirl and save them. Linda does, of course, but she uses the rearview mirror to flash dazzling light in Donna’s eyes first, hypnotizing her. Then:
Shaken by her brush with death, Donna apologizes for suspecting Linda and promises to reform. Linda makes it into Alpha Lambda, but Donna’s reformation is short-lived, as the next issue makes clear:
Bangs still very fluffy, I see. You can’t fault her there.
Okay first of all that is clearly a typewriter, and second of all, what kind of computer wouldn’t be electronic? (I mean, I guess an abacus is technically a computer.) Second, Linda, this isn’t actually any of your business and also I feel like the fact that you’re spying on Donna just because you don’t like the idea that she might be good at math kind of undercuts any moral high ground you might have here. But I didn’t get into college on a character scholarship, so what do I know? (I’m definitely never modest.)
As we saw from the splash page, Donna cheats on the science assignment as well:
One chemistry problem will take students a week and an entire lab a whole day? That is some difficult homework they assign at Stanhope!
Once again, Linda can’t expose Donna without revealing her own identity as Supergirl (although also, LINDA, THIS IS NOT YOUR BUSINESS). Same with the world’s most incoherent “mythology” assignment:
This is actually crazy, right? Like, this is totally bananas. This story has gone completely off the rails. I LOVE IT.
It gets even nuttier from here on out, as Linda, who appears to be mostly motivated by spite by this point, decides to wreck the grade curve. Also, Stanhope’s assignments become even more bizarre:
THEY ARE COMPETING TO SEE WHO CAN HAVE THE BEST FISH PICTURES. HOW IS THIS A COLLEGE ASSIGNMENT. HOW.
After further shenanigans involving a geology class being assigned to find precious gems and minerals just lying around because sure, we get to the assignment that made me clap my hands with glee: history. Donna uses her father’s money to observe the filming of a super-accurate Civil War movie. Linda, however, takes the rest of the class on a trip through the time barrier to witness…
one two three four five six seven eight NINE
IT’S THE TEN DUEL COMMANDMENTS
That’s right, it’s the Hamilton-Burr duel! And as you know if you’ve seen me on Twitter lately, I, like the rest of the internet, am currently obsessed with Hamilton, which is bar none the most brilliant show I have ever seen, not to mention the most important, game-changing addition to the musical canon since probably Oklahoma. Plus it’s catchy as hell. WHO LIVES, WHO DIES, WHO TELLS YOUR STORY? Supergirl and her classmates, apparently.
At this point, Donna has finally had enough and decides to get revenge on Supergirl ONCE AND FOR ALL. What a Burr.
But you should never try to frame a Super-person, especially when you’re in the habit of wearing tiny recording devices, and that Super-person has small friends in small places:
Naturally it was a simple matter for Shrinking Violet to sneak into Donna’s earrings and hook them up to the PA system. See ya, Storm.
Thus begins Supergirl’s career at Stanhope College (Well, if it ain’t the prodigy of Stanhope College/ Supergirl/ Give us a verse/ Drop some knowledge okay I’ll stop). Already she’s learned so much, like how to make collages of pictures of fish, and how to be as conniving and petty as her tormentors! I’m so, um. Proud?