Tuesday, June 3, 2008

'Nasty' Luthor in All-Star Superman

I have a been a big fan of Grant Morrison's work in the DCU. I think his work on Doom Patrol, Animal Man, and JLA were all great, thought-provoking, and pushed the boundaries of the medium.

No big surprise that I have also enjoyed his and Frank Quitely's All-Star Superman title. It has a great Silver Age feel to it, but with a 21st century comics sensibility.

But as a Supergirl fan, my favorite little Silver Age touch in the title, albeit in a very small part, has been the inclusion of Nasthalthia 'Nasty' Luthor, Lex Luthor's evil niece.

'Nasty' was introduced in Adventure Comics #397 and remained a foil for Kara throughout the rest of her run in that title. In the first story, 'Nasty' enrolls at Stanhope University as a student. Working with her Uncle Lex, she hopes to lure Supergirl out into the open where Lex will kill Kara with a kryptonite bullet. 'Nasty' then begins a campaign of bullying students to force Supergirl into action. In the end, the plot is foiled and Lex is captured.

'Nasty' remains on campus to thwart Supergirl and in issue #406 graduates with Linda Danvers. During the ceremony, 'Nasty' feels she has discovered that Linda *is* Supergirl. To prove it, she follows Linda to San Francisco, where both begin work as junior reporters for K-SFTV.

When the Supergirl run in Adventure Comics ended with issue #424, 'Nasty' faded into comic limbo.

That is until All-Star Superman #5! Luthor is giving Clark Kent an interview from his prison cell and has Nasthalthia escort him out of the prison on a sub-prison boat. When the issue came out, I was thrilled but figured that would be that. She would be in a couple of pages as a bone for the Silver Age buffs.

Ahhh, but last week All-Star Superman #11 came out and we were treated to more 'Nasty'. Here we see a bit of the old 'Nasty' as she talks about her evil plans to conquer the world and her absolute thrill in getting her hands on Uncel Lex's arsenal.

I know that only Supergirl nerds would get such a little thrill of seeing a minor character from 27 issues from the early 70's brought back. But heck, isn't that what this title is all about? Isn't All-Star Superman all about bringing back that Silver Age magic?

I, for one, hope that 'Nasty' shows up again in issue 12.

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