Friday, June 6, 2008

It Came from the Back Issue Box: Solo #1 - Tim Sale


In 2004, DC comics came out with a series called Solo which lasted 12 issues. Each issue showcased a creator who was allowed to use the pages in any way they wished. Filled with autobiographical stories, super-hero stories 'out of continuity', or simply stories, it was a nice format and allowed fans to get a closer look at some great artists. The first issue showcased superstar Tim Sale.

Within this issue is an 8 page Supergirl story written by Diane Schutz. I don't know much of Schutz. Her bio on http://www.comicbookdb.com/ states she is a senior editor at Dark Horse as well as professor of comic books at Portland Community College. Her resume of Dark Horse editing jobs is impressive including heavyweights like Grendel, Sin City, and American Splendor just to name a few.

As a Supergirl fan, I cannot tell you how great this short story is. It is emotionally powerful. The art perfectly captures the words. It picks up a plot thread left dangling from the pre-Crisis DCU. And it clearly shows a love of the Supergirl character.

The story revolves around Linda (Supergirl) Danvers on again/off again relationship with Dick Malverne. Dick started out as an inquisitive boy at the Midvale orphanage with Linda who was always trying to prove she had super-powers. Later they both get adopted, attend Stanhope University together, and date. In the last issue of Supergirl Vol.2 (1982), the last panels, drawn by legend Carmine Infantino, show Dick re-entering Linda's life suddenly.




The comic was cancelled and a proposed Superboy/Supergirl comic never came to fruition. Supergirl was seen sparingly thereafter and was killed in Crisis #7.

The Schutz/Sale story picks up right where that issue left off.



Similar panels, aren't they. The first couple of pages of this story recap the Malverne/Danvers relationship, replaying actual scenes from Supergirl continuity ... the first time he thought Linda was Supergirl, seeing him for the first time since they were adopted - a chance meeting on a beach, a date at a carnival ... all from prior issues but re-imagined briefly here. It is such a nice homage to what had come before. Clearly, Schutz and Sale have a love of the character. Here is a snippet of the beach scene.




Sadly, Dick confesses that he sought out Linda to tell her that he is dying of cancer. He also tells her that he has always known she was Supergirl. He implores her to be strong ... to find her inner strength. He implores her to be the hero she can be.

He succumbs to the cancer and passes on.

The last panel shows a crest-fallen Linda sipping wine in her bunny slippers, stroking Streaky, as she realizes that despite her invulnerability her heart can still be broken ... that her powers cannot save everyone.





The words here are wonderful.



What's is not to love here? Sale's art is solid throughout. He really does a nice Supergirl.





The writer clearly had a solid understanding and knowledge of Supergirl's history. And we see a growing Supergirl, still with some of the innocence of the Silver Age ... I mean Streaky and bunny slippers! Absolutely perfect! Absolutely spectacular! If you are a Supergirl fan, I highly recommend you find this comic.


Overall grade: A+

5 comments:

The Fortress Keeper said...

Great looking blog. I'm a big Supergirl fan as well, so its nice to see Kara and Linda, etc. etc. get their due.

Keep up the good work!

Anj said...

Thanks so much for the compliment.

You run such a great blog that it really means a lot.

I will try to keep up the good work, and promise to review one of Aparo's Batman/Supergirl Brave and Bold issues soon.

dto said...

Again, great Supergirl blog!

"Solo #1" is a beautiful (if bittersweet) coda for the second Supergirl series, FINALLY tying up a loose end that dangled for 20 years! And the fate of poor Dick Malverne sadly echoed what happened to his post-Crisis incarnation in Peter David's series. I also highly recommend it.

Anj said...

"Solo #1" is a beautiful (if bittersweet) coda for the second Supergirl series, FINALLY tying up a loose end that dangled for 20 years! And the fate of poor Dick Malverne sadly echoed what happened to his post-Crisis incarnation in Peter David's series. I also highly recommend it.

It was great to see this story told in such a wonderful way. I recommend this issue all the time.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering...

Where have the rest of the cast members of Peter David's Supergirl gone?

I only say Wally pop up in the Supergirl in the 8th Grade series.

What about Buzz, Cutter, Linda's Parents and Andy?

-ealperin