Thursday, March 7, 2013

This blog still gets the occasional visitor, so if that's you and you like what you've read, you can now find my reviews in the CGC eNewsletter (that's from the Comics Guarantee Corporation). You can find my archived columns there, starting with December of 2007. The monthly column is called The Spinner Rack (It got that name toward the end of 2008, so most of that year's prior columns were just the article titles). I do there what I used to do here -- delve into delicious DC Silver Age goodness and recount the storylines with all the affection I have inside me. I do so love those wonderful, goofy stories of yore. Head on over to the CGC site, sign up for the newsletter and while you're there, get any of your comic grading needs taken care of. They're a great bunch of people, which is evident when you realize their business is grading and encasing comics and my column is dedicated not to high grade condition, but to the joy of the stories held within. Every month I release another article. I hope you come along for the ride!

Monday, March 10, 2008


As you may have guessed by my absense over the last couple of weeks, I haven't been able to get the time and energy needed to prep a new story. At this time, I'm going to suspend the blog until I can find the hours to do another revisit. Sign up for the feed so you can be alerted to new posts because they're no longer going to be on a regular schedule.

I apologize to those of you who have been loyal readers. I hope you'll find me again the next time I post. For now, I bid you an abbreviated adieu and hope to be back soon.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I messed up. Didn't get the new story chosen, scanned, written, well, you get the idea. Been working on something else. I'll do my best to get you the new story next week. My apologies.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Action Comics 289 (Part 8, Finale): WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID

When last we read: Superman has the hots for Supergirl but she's his cousin so he doesn't have the hots for her at all. Instead, Supergirl checks on the computer for a double and finds Luma Lynai on the planet Staryl. Luma and Kal-El fall instantly in love and he asks her to return to Earth with him.

Oh no! This is terrible! As soon as Luma Lynai gets to the earth's solar system she becomes weak and unpowered! (Today's No-Prize goes to Jim for nailing the ending to this final bit of match-making.) Naturally, Supergirl is still spying on her cousin. It's beginning to feel like the Maid of Might is a stalker. And it's still creeping me out a bit that Superman's dream woman is his cousin. I always thought they had a very brother/sister vibe about them. Then again, Lois Lane is the only woman for him in my book. (You couldn't tell I was a Lois fan? Are you even reading this blog?)

Superman speeds Luma back to her home planet with the blue and/or orange sun, depending on which panel you're reading. Actually, it appears they've settled on orange now. Luma takes her time telling Superman she's feeling better (all the way home, actually. Guess she didn't recover as soon as they left the earth's yellow sun behind. Or maybe she just feels that being carried by a big, strong superhunk was kinda ginchy).

She doesn't quite understand what happened, so once again we're treated to Superman talking about growing up on Krypton and then coming to Earth and getting powers under the yellow sun. (Yeah, I know -- my whole beef about the weird placement of that backstory in another scene was silly but you have to admit it was a clumsy way of getting the info out. Right in the middle of their love discussion Superman and Supergirl tell each other about where they both grew up and from whence comes their powers? It was weird, I tells ya! Okay, I'm over it. Let's move on.)

When he finishes telling her his backstory, he offers to move to Luma's planet, but she won't have it. Earth needs its Superman. Her thought balloon, however, is a classic romance comic "I'll always love you..." said with the tearful turned face. This was done at a time when romance comics were selling well so a little borrowing from that genre couldn't hurt.

I'm wondering if Superman's offer was sincere. He's spent most of his life dedicated to truth, justice and the American Way. He's earth's greatest hero. He's more tied to that planet than he ever was to Krypton. And yet he's willing to leave it forever for a woman he met five panels ago? He didn't even take a whole story, let alone a whole comic (" a booklength adventure!") to fall in love. It rings a wee bit hollow to me. Especially since she says, "No! Earth needs you! Go – forget me!" and the next panel he's back home. Didn't take much to convince him. No argument, no fuss, no goodbye.

Then again, how serious was she? He made the offer. She could've said yes. But instead, she pushes him back into the arms of another, er, planet.

Perhaps I'm wrong. The next panel has him back on Earth with Supergirl in his arms. Maybe it's he's feeling so blue that the hand that's touching him turns blue itself. (oooh, spooky! Coloring error or subliminal message? It's a Superman story from 1962 – coloring error.)

Resigned to his bachelorhood, Superman bids Kara adieu. "Maybe fate had a purpose in foiling your three attempts to get me married off!" Supergirl ponders her own summing up of the experience, thinking that perhaps Lois Lane (yes!) or Lana Lang (no!) could be fate's plan for him.

Back home in her Linda Danvers identity, she tells her adopted parents the entire story. Linda swears she's learned her lesson and will never play cupid again. But what's this? While doing her homework, she comes across a picture of Cleopatra. Immediately, her mind starts whirring, wondering if she would make a perfect mate for Superman.

SLAM! She shuts her book and with a somewhat evil expression (not sure why she looks evil, but that arched eyebrow and pursed lips kinda give me the willies) catches herself. She made a promise not to interfere and by gosh by gum by golly, that's what she's gonna do! No more cupid! From now on her only other persona will be as Supergirl!

And that's the end of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID! I hope you enjoyed it. If so, let me know in the comments!

As has become my custom, I won't be posting next week so that I can find the next comic to give the business to. There's a lot of prep needed – searching for the right story, making scans, etc. so I'll need the time. Come back March 3rd for the next comic book revisit! And while you're waiting, tell all your friends that this blog is the best place on the web to revisit the gems of the golden age, atom age, silver age, and bronze age. Share the love!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Action Comics 289 (Part 7): WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID

When last we read: Superman and Supergirl gave the legionnaires chunks of an anti-gravity meteorite for Christmas. Then, after quite a build-up, Saturn Woman finally enters the scene. The next thing you know, Superman is all over her, liplocking under every piece of mistletoe he can find. Is Saturn Woman the one he'll fall in love with? Find out now in Part 7 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

"Hey, what do you mean by kissing my wife twice, Superman?" come the angry words of Lightning Man. Well, I guess we should've known that anyone who can get plaques for loveliness would probably be off the market. Superman is immediately chagrined and makes a hasty retreat. Supergirl is also upset. She forgot to do her research. (Ever heard of Google, Supergirl? You haven't? Oh, right. You're the 1962 version and even though you've spent a lot of time in the future, it's really more about superpowers, wacky Christmas trees and jumpsuits than futuristic innovation.) She now wishes she'd set him up with Phantom Woman. Wrong again, Supergirl. She's hitched to Ultra Man.

Once back in the past that is their present, Supergirl confesses. She tells Superman that she had been trying to set him up and had failed. Next comes an hilarious and yet oddly creepy panel where Superman tells Supergirl he could only fall for someone like her. Then comes a lengthy discussion about cousins marrying that seems bizarre in contrast to the intimate picture below it.

The drawing looks like two lovers. But they're cousins, so that's icky. But some places it's legal to marry cousins so they can't do a total ick on it for fear of insulting all those married cousins. Then comes a description of Kryptonian law. This panel is just... well take a look for yourself. Weird, isn't it?

Wisely, Supergirl gets some distance. Supes, however, is not through lecturing. A quick recap of their origin story later (really? The origin story? That's what we needed in this panel? I'm not sure why. Seems a bit of a non-sequitor to me), and Supergirl, speaking of the sun as the source of their powers suddenly remembers the large computer she's standing next to. What? I am so confused. They recap their origins and discuss their power source so that we can get to the computer? Isn't there a less clumsy way of doing that? I can think of a couple dozen ways, just off the top of my head. It's just... weird. These last two panels feel like changes from the editor. Maybe they have a "story of Krypton" and "sun as strength" quota and they were behind. However, I could be wrong. Often things seem very out of place and later in the story that information becomes a key component of the story. Perhaps the origin and power recap are foreshadowing. Guess we'll have to wait and see, because Supergirl has an idea and when she's playing Cupid, there's no stopping her!

Supergirl enters some data in the supercomputer and badda bing, it gives her the name of a planet – Staryl. Apparently, there's a duplicate of Kara living on Staryl. Oh goody. Superman can fall in love with his cousin without it being his cousin, and yet it still has a creepy factor! That's quite a feat.

Superman agrees to go to Staryl to meet his cousin's double. He heads for a planet revolving around a blue sun. The next panel has Supergirl spying on her cousin with her telescopic vision. I have no idea how much time has passed, but Superman is already liplocking with the caped double of Supergirl. "Love at first site," thinks Kara. She then adds a thought about the "super-scientific devices" of Staryl allowing her double to speak English. Just in case you was a-wondering, dear reader.

Superman and Luma Lynai (how amazing that this Supergirl look-alike romantic interest just happens to have the initials LL like every single woman Superman's ever fallen in love with! What are the odds?) fly around Staryl starry-eyed. Good thing she's also super-powered, has a logo on her chest and wears a cape. Then again, she wouldn't be a double for Supergirl otherwise, so I guess that makes total sense. He wants her to come to Earth with him and get married. She wants to go wherever he goes (wonder if she can cook for aliens and clean the fortress?). I have no idea why, but in the background there's an orange sun when two panels earlier Superman distinctly mentioned it was orbiting a blue sun. Of course, there's a big orange ball-o-fire behind the small blue sun, but why mention the blue sun if only an orange sun can be seen from the planet? And is this the one true love who will marry Superman and make all of the comics printed after it a lie because she's rarely mentioned ever again? She must be! She's the one! He loves her! She loves him! They're going to Earth! What could possibly go wrong?

Don't forget to come back Friday for the thrilling conclusion of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Action Comics 289 (Part 6): WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID

When last we read: Supergirl cleaned the fortress and then she and Superman flew into the future to attend a Christmas party hosted by the adult legionnaires. Because our heroes forgot to bring presents, they slipped out the back door to rustle something up. What could they be? Find out now in Part 6 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

It doesn't take our super pair more than a few moments to return with Christmas presents I know I'd like to get. It seems they went into outer space and found an anti-gravity meteor (who knew such a thing existed? I never learned about them in astronomy class. But then, my professor – a man named Johnny Mathis, I kid you not – was not super-powered and thus, probably hadn't personally searched all of space in the moments it takes to find one of them). Supes breaks it up into little pieces so each of the legionnaires can put a chunk in their belts. "You need only give mental commands, activating it, and you'll fly!" So not only are the meteors able to break the pull of gravity, but they do so only when given a mental command?

Wow. Just... wow. That is some cool meteor. If Johnny Mathis knew about this and didn't tell him I'm gonna be so ticked off. Bet that's what all those shuttle missions were about, too. Hubbel Telescope is probably looking for them as well. It's a conspiracy to keep ordinary people from having mentally-commanded anti-gravity belts! They're saving all the chunks for the superheroes who may some day materialize!

Back to the story. Everyone likes their present. But Supergirl has much more on her mind than mere meteors. She's got some matchmaking to do. First, she shows Superman a plaque that honors Saturn Woman for driving off space monsters. Then she whips out a second plaque that honors her for "...exceptional intelligence and loveliness!" (Loveliness? Really? They gave her a plaque for that? Is physical beauty still the only real accomplishment of a woman 1010 years into the future? Can you imagine giving Batman a plaque for craggy handsomeness or Superman for good grooming? Loveliness. Oh, man.)

Superman responds to the plaques with "She must be quite a gal." Doesn't he already know her really well from his youth? He was in the Legion with her, for crying out loud. He already knows she's "quite a gal." Perhaps it's temporary amnesia brought on by searching for anti-gravity meteors.

Saturn Woman enters the room giving Superman a va-va-vooom moment (why is she touching her breast? That tease). He says he never dreamed she'd grow up to be such a spectacular beauty. (So... he considered her hopelessly ugly as a teenager? Perhaps he thought she'd peaked at 18 and there was nowhere to go but down. Whatever he thought of her, she's a mind-reader so she knew all about his low opinion. Or I could be wrong he thought she'd grow up to be a beauty, but just not a spectacular beauty. If so, his thoughts probably weren't all that offensive. And now, back to the story.) Pleased that Superman is attracted to Saturn Woman's nationally recognized loveliness, Supergirl sets a mistletoe trap (and that's why it's Christmas, of course! I should've seen that one coming).

And then come two panels I would've loved as a little girl, had I owned this story then. (I'm actually relating this story to you from an 80 page giant because I sold my copy of the original. This is an all Supergirl giant, Adventure Comics 390 from Mar-Apr 1970. My copy is, of course, coverless. A low grade collector such as myself never balks from a coverless book as long as the stories are intact. Anyway, my point is that I can't believe I missed buying this giant when I was a kid because 80 pages of Supergirl fun, excitement and romance is something I would never have passed by. I really missed out.)

Superman gives Saturn Girl a big smooch and by gosh and by golly, the lad likes it. In fact, he likes it so much, he gives her another. Supergirl is overjoyed. She immediately builds these two kisses into wedding bells. Saturn Woman doesn't appear to be fighting it, either. Could Supergirl have found the perfect match? Ooh, la la! With all these liplocks, she may just have succeeded!

How will you find out? Looks like you'd better come back Wednesday for Part 7 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A little treat

Because I didn't give you an update yesterday (I forgot that my computer was going to do the big monthly backup and the backup program conflicts with both my wp and my image programs, so I couldn't get it done) I'll give you a little visual treat. Years ago, just a short time before his death, I had the pleasure of speaking on the phone to Curt Swan, one of the giants of DC's illustrators. My little fangirl heart melted with joy. Then, to my utter surprise and astonishment, he drew something just for me.


This gorgeous pencil drawing of Saturn Girl, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl is perfect for this story and this blog. I hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day and will return on Monday for the next installment of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!