Supergirl Saturday: Action Comics #321, “The Enemy Supergirl!” #322, “The Planet of Outcasts!” and #323, “The Kryptonian Killer!”
|January 2, 2016||Posted by Jess under Comics, Supergirl Saturday|
It’s the first Supergirl Saturday of 2016! *tosses confetti* And we’re kicking it off on a low note, with the thrilling saga of how women are just, honestly, the worst. Just terrible. Down with women, I guess. (The women’s lib backlash in the comic book industry was protracted and full of whiny babies stomping their feet.
And is still ongoing.)
Our first story begins with Linda giving blood to the local hospital, after first using red kryptonite to render her powerless enough for the needle to penetrate her skin:
Debbie turns out to be fine, or as fine as one can be after a car accident and brain surgery, but she’ll need some time in the hospital to recover.
Linda goes about her life, and one day while she’s carrying a fishtank full of water for some reason:
Unfortunately, this mysterious phony Supergirl doesn’t stop at one criminal deed:
Of course, Supergirl promptly rounds up the escaped prisoners, but her reputation is taking a hit – and the danger’s about to get a little closer to home:
WHO COULD THIS EVIL SUPERGIRL BE??? …Obviously literally the only other character of any significance in this issue, Debbie, especially since comics have historically been very clear about what happens when you get a blood transfusion from a superhero:
There’s something really unsettling and vicious in the way Linda uses the kryptonite on Debbie. This comic is messed up.
But why did Debbie decide to commit evil with her newfound powers? Eh, just because:
Next time I get in trouble for something I’m just gonna shrug and say, “I became evil.” It pretty much covers all possible bases.
Anyway, superpowers acquired via blood transfusion are temporary, and so Debbie promptly reverts to being a normal car accident victim/person recovering from brain surgery:
Seriously, Linda’s total calm in the first two panels is terrifying. KRYPTONIANS ARE MONSTERS.
But this is just one girl who turned evil after a traumatic experience! Surely all women everywhere aren’t monsters, right?
Yep, nothing sinister here!
This story begins with Supergirl encountering a group of superpowered women from another planet:
Not only do they all have superpowers, they come from a planet where everyone does:
“Feminax” definitely sounds like a horrifying 1950s women’s hygiene product of some sort.
Anyway, Supergirl has stumbled into a trap, because the denizens of Feminax aren’t heroes – they’re villains, and they’re after Supergirl, because…reasons:
Honestly, Feminax seems super dramatic and stylish, I’m kind of digging it.
Well, no problem, Supergirl can just toss their planet into a backwater of space and fly off, right? Not so much:
So, like…Supergirl ends up on a planet full of evil women and no men, with her powers sapped by a rainbow beam? That’s not…hugely subtle. This story is hateful.
And thus Supergirl is imprisoned…and quickly learns that she’s not the first heroine to be treated this way:
Without her powers, Supergirl is no more capable of freeing her fellow heroines than she is of freeing herself. But then Ran-Kor (subtle name, that) returns with a glimmer of hope:
Ran-Kor suggests that though Supergirl’s physical powers are warped, her “super-mentality” probably still works just fine. If she puts on this weird helmet and concentrates her mind towards the prisoners, she might just be able to wake them. And sure enough:
Once again, I question the Silver Age’s grasp of historical accuracy, but OH NO, WHAT A CLIFFHANGER! With these three diabolical women on their side, Feminax is on their way to taking over the galaxy – and Supergirl can do nothing to stop them!
Seriously, nothing. The next issue is a tremendous letdown:
We open with the three wicked women from history beaming their evil skills into Supergirl’s mind via a Feminiaxian invention. Soon they have transformed her into their evil slave:
So yeah, this suddenly just got super racist. Great.
Jesus Christ that second panel is creepy. Guard, you are disgusting. I do have to admit to finding “My alluring methods have dazed him” to be utterly hilarious, though. Linda, hitting someone’s face with your face might not quite be the seductive triumph you think it is.
But spying isn’t enough, not with Lucrezia Borgia and Lady Macbeth around! Supergirl must now brew a terrible poison, and commit murder with it:
With Comet dead (hooray!), the Feminaxians want Supergirl to try her poison on a humanoid superbeing, so she offers the criminals in the Phantom Zone a deal: if one of them is willing to test her poison and survives it, she’ll let him stay free. Some Superman-looking jerk named Py-Ron is up for it:
With Py-Ron and his incredible eyelashes dead, Supergirl has another assignment, and it’s the expected one: kill Superman.
Superman’s very understanding about all of this, considering that one time he banished Supergirl from Earth for playing with Krypto.
Queen Ravenne’s final command to Supergirl is, of course, to drink the poison herself. And that’s it, Supergirl and Superman are both dead…but there’s another SHOCKING REVEAL in store:
SOMETIMES WOMEN SAY THEY’RE YOUNG AND PRETTY, BUT THEY’RE ACTUALLY OLD AND UGLY! MONSTERS! Wow I hate this comic.
Anyway, surely Supergirl had a clever scheme up her sleeve this whole time, right?
…WRONG! It’s her creepy horse boyfriend who saved the day! See, the kryptonite-based poison didn’t work on him, since he’s not from Krypton:
Comet swapped out the poison with a potion that rendered Superman and Supergirl only temporarily unconscious, long enough for Feminax to gloat and turn their attention elsewhere. Revived, Superman and Supergirl head off to Feminax to bring them to justice…but suddenly, violent earthquakes wrack the planet, apparently caused by someone who looks just like Superman…and they kill absolutely everyone.
Superman and Supergirl are sort of vaguely perturbed by this genocide, so it’s back to the Phantom Zone for Py-Ron:
Just. This storyline is horrifying. The fact that Py-Ron is treated with vague sympathy (Superman APOLOGIZES for sending a genocidal murderer to the Phantom Zone) while our “heroes” react to the actual deaths of the Feminaxians with “eh, that’s what you get” is just… Let’s set these comics on fire, guys.