Friday, November 5, 2010
Supergirl Annual #2 Easter Eggs
Supergirl Annual #2 re-imagined and re-created the Supergirl/Brainiac 5 relationship which is such an important part of both of the characters' histories. One thing that I really liked about this issue was that it looked forward, bringing the current Supergirl and Legion together for the first time and adding romance with Brainy to the current Kara's life.
But as a Supergirl fan and amateur comic historian, I loved how it also looked back at the older adventures of Supergirl and the Legion, acknowledging them with some Easter Eggs sprinkled through the issue. Heck, there were even some more modern homages in there as well. It just showed how much Sterling Gates knows about and appreciates the character's history when the small things are included. It many ways, it reminded me how Landry Walker had historical flourishes throughout Supergirl Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade.
Of course, one giant Easter Egg was a new version of Satan Girl and her Crimson plague vexing the Legion. I just reviewed her original appearance in Adventure Comics #313. Here are the Easter Eggs I found in Supergirl Annual #2. Let me know if I missed any!
When we first hear about Supergirl joining the Legion and having adventures with them, we see some snapshots of what she has been doing. The first is 'finding ancient artifacts'. I love Supergirl flying from underground, wielding Excalibur.
That was a nice nod to Action Comics #276 - written by Jerry Siegel and drawn by Jim Mooney. I review that issue here: http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2010/04/back-issue-box-action-comics-276.html
In that issue, Supergirl first joins the Legion in the Silver Age. One of her challenges includes finding Exaclibur, which she does in this panel.
In the Annual, we also see Supergirl wearing one of Brainiac 5's force field belts while she shatters incoming Kryptonite asteroids.
It mirrors, in many ways, an occurrence in Action #276 again, where Brainiac 5 risks his life by giving Supergirl his belt so she can shatter a massive Kryptonite meteor about to strike Earth.
And we see Supergirl leading a flock of ghostly doves against an ethereal menace.
I love the Gandalf-ian 'You shall not pass' as she faces this threat. And the flock behind her really makes this a special panel.
It clearly is an homage to Action Comics #287 story 'Supergirl's Greatest Challenge', also by the creative team of Siegel and Mooney.
In that issue, Supergirl has to somehow defeat 'The Positive Man', a bitter scientist whose warped experiments made him into an energy creature.
Supergirl realizes that to defeat a 'Positive Man' she needs a 'negative' creature. When the scientist's home world was destroyed by the experiment that made him The Positive Man, it also made a negative bird of some sort. Supergirl is able to lure the negative bird into The Positive Man, destroying them both.
It is sort of silly and incredibly, that is only the beginning of that story which really deals with a doppelganger Legion taking the place of the real Legion and putting Supergirl into the Phantom Zone. In fact, she is only able to escape and turn the tables because Streaky's descendant Whizzy has telepathic powers. He has been put into the zone as well but is able to use his telepathy to get someone to save them. What a wild story!
In a panel, I am sure will be discussed for some time, the animatronic Jimmy Olsen tour guide talks about Supergirl's adventures in the past including her tragic death saving the world from a great threat.
I guess it isn't really an Easter Egg ... more like a big old egg farm. But that description sure sounds like Kara's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, written by Marv Wolfman and drawn by George Perez.
As Supergirl flies through the museum's wing dedicated to her, she flies past her Rogue's Gallery. We see the Insect Queen and Silver Banshee and Superwoman. And then a couple of other villains we haven't seen in her title yet.
The woman next to Superwoman is Blackstar, or at least the Blackstar as seen in Action Comics #850, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Renato Guedes. In that issue, Supergirl is in the 31st century with the Waid reboot Legion and looking back in time to 'potential' historical events. In part of the story we see her and Superman squaring off against that version of Blackstar.
We've seen other versions of Blackstar battling Supergirl as well. I have always hoped we'd get another version of her into continuity.
And the statue next to Blackstar in the museum in Ms. Mesmer. She was one of The Gang, a group of villains from the Daring New Adventures that I have talked about before here: http://comicboxcommentary.blogspot.com/2010/06/poll-results-gang-back-issue-box.html
Ms. Mesmer had pretty powerful hypnotic powers, even being able to place a post-hypnotic suggestion into Supergirl at one point. How interesting to see her there. I think at some point Sterling Gates talked about liking her character a lot so maybe he had some plans for her.
The last Easter Egg I found in the issue was Brainiac's ramblings as he is being tended to by Supergirl. They are almost direct quotes from their first interaction, again in Action Comics #276.
Here is the 'sacrifice' line, when he had risked his own life by giving her his force field belt.
And here is the 'please remain and be my girl' line.
As a card-carrying old-timer, I like when homages are done right. I don't necessarily like simple retellings of older stories. And I don't think they should be so crucial that if you don't recognize it as an Easter Egg that it lessens the story or makes it more difficult to understand. So these were just right. They were there to be appreciated if you could but not necessary elements to the story.
I always think the inclusions of these bits of continuity add to the depth of stories as well. DC is filled with legacy characters so when I see flourishes like this I know the creator is aware of where this character is coming from, thus they know where the character should be going.
As I said when reviewing the Annual, I am glad that Brainy and the Legion are in this Supergirl's mythology again. Thanks to Sterling Gates and Matt Camp for throwing these extra goodies in the issue on top of that.