Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Action Comics 289 (Part 2): WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID

When last we read: Supergirl watched a sad movie and decided that she needed to play matchmaker for her cousin, Superman. After dreaming of him happily married, she awoke with a plan and an idea of the perfect wife. Who is it? Join me now for Part 2 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID and find out!

Supergirl heads off to the Fortress of Solitude because she's figured out who the perfect woman is for Big Blue the Bachelor. Once finished in the fortress (don't let your curiosity get too out of control as to what she did there. We find out in the next panel) she heads off into the time stream by turning invisible. I like the effect of this panel – much cooler than that rainbow thing they usually use for the time stream. Kinda neat to see her fly out of the fortress and disappear.

So what did she do in the Fortress? She left Superman a note. He finds it after returning from some nondescript space mission (my guess is he was visiting his dear friend, the ugly green alien. I hear they're very tight). The note says, "Superman: Important! Join me in Ancient Troy on day indicated in Time Traveling Log Book! Supergirl."

On a table in front of Superman is none other than the Time Traveling Log Book. I'll admit that I never knew this existed. I had no idea that Superman and Supergirl (and Krypto the superdog, and Beppo the supermonkey and Comet the superhorse and Streaky the supercat and the host of other super beings) had to log all of their time travel in a book. ("January 23, 1961, went to January 22, 1961 to tell myself not to eat Lois's spaghetti and meatballs. Bleurg." "January 23, 1962, went to January 22, 1962 to beg for table scraps because Superman wasn't eating. Woof!")

I'm assuming Superman, upon reading the urgent note, immediately checked the log, signed in his own trip and made sure Beppo wasn't cheating by throwing his feces at the book instead of signing it.

"And now let's visit Ancient Troy where Supergirl has flown through the time-barrier..." Oh yes, let's do that. What is she up to? Is she looking for Hercules because he is mighty enough to be Superman's mate, not that there's anything wrong with that? Nope, she's making a bee-line for a famous beauty because we all know that good looks make a person invulnerable to harm. What's that? It doesn't? Er... I guess Supergirl sorta forgot why Superman isn't married. Apparently she thinks it's because he just hasn't found anyone pretty enough.

And there she is – Helen of Troy! It must be a challenge to be an illustrator and be told to draw Helen of Troy. It's not like we know what she looked like. Just that her beauty launched a thousand ships. That's tough to draw.

But draw her he did! (I believe the penciller is Jim Mooney, but don't quote me on that.) Helen of Troy sits serenely in the Royal Box in a giant arena. Next to her is a guy with a headband (is he from Krypton? I thought only guys from Krypton wore those headbands) and behind her is a guy from the 1960s. Well, he's supposed to be a Trojan, but his hair, long sideburns and goatee scream the 60s to me. Beside Helen is a giant vase because we all know that the only thing ancient people ever did was make pottery. They had it everywhere, even in their arenas.

Supergirl swoops in, startling Helen. While she swoops, Supergirl thinks some exposition, so the audience can catch up. Although Superman has never changed history (even over that meatball thing) Supergirl thinks she can because love conquers all (including the time stream, apparently). She stoked because the most beautiful woman in history would make a perfect match for Supes. Yeah, I'm still not seeing that (especially since Lois Lane owns a man-bait dress that makes her irresistible).

Headband guy turns out to be the court advisor of her father, King Tyndareus (we know this because he announces that fact to her. I would've thought she already knew, but apparently beauty doesn't equal smarts). He tells Helen to beware of the strange flying maiden. Helen dismisses him and asks Supergirl "Who be you?" (That's how Trojans spoke, I guess. I had no idea). Supergirl introduces herself as Linda Lee. I'm not sure why. When she's in costume, she's usually Supergirl. And there's always her Kryptonian name, Kara Zor-El. And since we saw in the beginning that she's living with her adopted parents, she's usually Linda Danvers. But nope, she uses her orphan name, Linda Lee. Not that it matters because she's in the past, but it just strikes me as a bit odd.

She tells Helen that she wants to introduce her to the world's mightiest man, who'll be dropping in shortly. That's got ole Helen intrigued, but that darn court advisor butts in saying that he won't be mightier than the warrior-suitors who'll be battling in the arena that day. Apparently, they're all hoping to "gain Princess Helen's favor." Ooh, fight! Hope none of them are made of Kryptonite. (Nah, no chance. There is no Kryptonite in the distant past because Krypton hadn't exploded yet. Well, it may have exploded, but nothing had been able to make the trip across however many lightyears away Krypton was. Okay, this is a slippery slope. If I start talking real astronomy, we're in big trouble because of the fact that every star you see in the sky is merely a reflection of that star in the distant past because of the time it takes light to travel through space. We really don't want to try to wrap our heads around Superman arriving on Earth as a baby and pieces of his planet littering our landscapes as it it were the next planet over.)

It sounds like the scene is set now for Superman's arrival. Will he fall in love with the beautiful Helen? Will the court advisor throw a monkey wrench into the works? Will Supergirl get in trouble for using her real name ("Oh, look at this ancient scroll we just uncovered – it says a flying maiden named Linda Lee chatted with Helen of Troy. It has a drawing and – holy cow! That's Supergirl! Then Linda Lee must be her secret identity!")? Will the other suitors defeat Superman (Sheya, right)? Will a thousand ships remain in the dock if Helen gets the hots for Big Blue? Come back on Friday for Part 3 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!


F.S. said...

"Sheya, right." I had to say that out loud to get it.

I'm struck by the pose SG's striking in the last panel. Is she a little teapot? Is she a Valley Girl saying "Like, I'm like, all journeyed here to, y'know, introduce you to ..."

Jim Perreault said...

You know, when thinking of the perfect wife for Superman Helen of Troy never would have occurred to me. Of course, knowing him, he probably had already dated her. Although maybe Supergirl checked for that in the log book (love that concept).

I wonder who the next woman will be. Or why she didn't think of Wonder Woman.


Joanna Sandsmark said...

Love the little teapot image. It's a typical pose for this artist when drawing Supergirl -- you'll see it again.

Wonder Woman would've been my first thought but because she was involved with Steve Trevor, TPTB probably didn't want to enter those murky waters (they do later, but this is the early 60s). She was also too busy doing Impossible Talesl in her book, where she teamed up with herself as a tot and a teen (the bizarre origin of Wonder Girl, who was thought by other editors to be a new character instead of just Diana as a teenager).

You'll see on Monday who the next choice is.