Friday, February 8, 2008

Action Comics 289 (Part 3): WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID

When last we read: Supergirl had crossed the time barrier and was in ancient Troy visiting the beautiful Helen. She'd left a note for Superman to join her in hopes of doing a little matchmaking. Superman's arrival is imminent, so let's get to the story of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

Flying through the rainbow of time (no disappearing this time. Instead we're back to the time barrier being bands of color) Superman races to ancient Troy worried that Supergirl might be in trouble. Upon arriving, he flies to the arena and asks Supergirl, "What's the emergency?" His cousin coyly tells him that she never said it was an emergency and then quickly introduces him to Helen of Troy.

The court advisor is worried because Helen appears to be attracted to the man whose underwear is on the outside. He thinks, "The flying mortal might thwart my evil ambitions!" A moment whilst we consider this. It's ancient Troy where the gods often show up and hang out with the people, or so their stories say. Seeing a guy flying would, I'd assume, give one pause. Is he a god? I'd think he'd have to be because no one else flies. That's Hermes' game. Although he's not dressed like Hermes, were I in ancient Troy, I'd probably put my money on that anyway. Yet Mr. Advisor instantly assumes he's a mere mortal. Not only that, he also assumes this stranger is there to thwart his evil plans. Does Helen fall in love so quickly that a fancy red cape is enough to dazzle her? Or perhaps she likes people who fly? Whatever the case, the advisor correctly assumes that Superman is trouble. (Had he also assumed Superman was rocketed to earth as a small child when his home planet exploded, he'd get extra points.)

Rhondous (that's the court advisor's name) urges the warriors to destroy Superman "...lest he win the princess's heart!" Since they're all dressed for battle, they agree. I'm not sure what the evil plan is, but apparently it includes some warrior marrying Helen. He doesn't appear to be too particular about which one it is.


Dutifully, the warriors attack Superman, who stands there looking bored and superior. Supergirl hears their shock at his inability to be slain and says, "Disappointed fellows?" Meanwhile, Rhondous gasps while hiding behind a pillar, stunned that the warriors' weapons have no effect. He decides to unleash the beasts of doom. (Oh, man, not the beasts of doom! With a name like that, they're gonna be horrible, frightening, hellish monsters! Hold me; I'm frightened!)

The beasts of doom are... a unicorn and a minotaur. A unicorn? Really? That's your beast of doom? Little girls like unicorns. They about as scary as My Little Pony. Rhondous, you are one incredibly lame adversary!

Okay, so the cuddly beasts are unleashed and Supergirl totally buys into the whole doom thing. "Ulp! Two fierce creatures... a minotaur and a unicorn... are running amok! They're attacking the spectators! Since Superman is busy right now, I'll handle this menace!" (I guess Superman is busy standing still while warriors attack him. Or maybe he's flirting with Helen. I'm not quite sure. And why does Superman have to be busy in order for Supergirl to take care of My Little Pony? Is there a hierarchy between them? Is Supergirl not allowed to save people unless Superman is busy? 1962 was not a good time to be female. They got less respect than Rodney Dangerfield.)

Supergirl subdues the beasts with some bad puns while the untrampled spectators give her compliments. (I'm assuming the trampled ones aren't up to conversation at this point.) It's also become apparent that when Supergirl introduced herself, the entire arena heard her because someone in the shadows says, "Not only is Linda Lee beautiful, but she is more powerful than Achilles!" (Shadow Guy could be Rhondous, I suppose. It's not clear. Without a headband, I just can't tell.)

I'm now thinking that might've been Rhondous because in the next panel he tries to cover his tracks, telling Supergirl to slay the guy who let the beasts out. Since Rhonny told the guy to do it, he'd probably prefer it if the beast keeper gets offed. Supergirl refuses to do so. There's that whole "no killing" code and all.

Helen decides to make another appearance. She tells Supergirl that it's not her decision whether to kill the guy or not. Nope, that's Helen's choice. She explains the whole thumbs up or down thing to Supergirl and ends with "...Now to decide!" Ooh, the tension mounts. What will her thumb do?

And this leads to a fabulous thought balloon that could've come straight out of The Simpsons. Supergirl's thinks, "She's starting to gesture "thumbs down"!! What'll I do??" Apparently, it takes Helen a long time to gesture. There's enough time for Supergirl to have that whole thought balloon, and possibly come up with a plan and then execute the plan before the gesture passes the point of no return into a no. I'm no Flash, but I can do a thumb's down pretty quickly. Maybe ancient people lived at a slower pace and felt that gestures shouldn't be rushed.

The question is, how on earth is Supergirl going to keep Helen from completing her thumb's down gesture? There's so much power in that digit of destiny! Oh woe is me, the suspense of that slowly gesturing thumb is almost too much for me. I must know what happens next! How can even Supergirl control a thumb on someone else's hand?

You'd better come back on Monday to find out if Helen will complete her gesture in Part 4 of WHEN SUPERGIRL PLAYED CUPID!

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