Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Fate Of Dick Malverne

Earlier this week, I interviewed Paul Kupperberg, writer of Daring New Adventures of Supergirl. I asked him about the cliffhanger ending of the last issue of that volume of Supergirl, the re-arrival of Dick Malverne! This is what Kupperberg had to say.

Anj: The last issue of the title ends with the return of Dick Malverne and a romantic kiss. Do you remember what your plans were for that storyline? 
Kupperberg: Not really, although Linda was definitely going to reject Dick. At the time I wrote Supergirl #23, we thought the character was going to continue in a new title, DC Double Comics, which she was going to share with a revamp of Superboy. I wrote the first issue (which got as far as being penciled by Eduardo Barreto, and lettered), which has a scene between Linda and Dick; he confesses his lifelong love for her, but she doesn’t want any part of it. After that, Linda took off for what was planned as a six month space adventure on New Krypton, but I don’t remember what we had planned for Dick. 

Well, Mr. Kupperberg has sent me 4 unpublished pages from DC Double Comics (a Superboy/Supergirl split comic that was never published) that at least shows the initial response that Linda has to Malverne's return. Here are beautiful pages by the late Eduardo Barreto .. comments to follow.

Kupperberg always wrote Supergirl as strong and confident. So it it totally within her character to respond the way she did. Dick is living in a fantasy world. He hadn't been part of the last three phases of her life, years in San Francisco, New Athens, and New York City. So he was in love with an idealized fantasy not a real woman.

Still, you can also understand the pain she is feeling as he basically makes her feel awful for spurning her first love.

But I am glad she didn't simply fall into his arms and swoon. That would not be consistent with the Supergirl she had become.

Thanks once again to Paul Kupperberg for sharing this slice of 'what might have been' with the Supergirl fans here! Just great stuff to share!


Anonymous said...

I think but am not sure that "Back Issue" magazine might have reprinted some of these pages as part of a retrospective on the aborted "Double Comics" project. I would have loved to have seen Barreto as SG's prime penciler back in the day.
Reading stuff like this makes me angry about COIE VII all over again.


Anonymous said...

The pages had such poor resolution on the web page that I wasn't able to read the words that were printed.

Anj said...

The pages had such poor resolution on the web page that I wasn't able to read the words that were printed.

If you double click on the image, it makes it bigger.


Dave Mullen said...

What a nice gift to see these pages.
I have a lot of time for that series, the one place I liked Carmine Infantino's style, the book never got the chance it deserved due to the limted distribution and the addition of Ed Barretto for the final issues made it all the more bitter an ending.

Looking at these pages they continue the trend in Kupperbergs series of an introspective and more assertive Linda Danvers, it works really well read here and is actually well ahead of its time. Those scenes with Dick Malverne are very very unusual for a DC comic, especially a Superman related one, as they go into a subject and emotional range their books didn't touch. Maybe it's the Teen Titans influence, or maybe at that time DC was realising the readers expected characters their own age bracket to be more rounded and relatable, whatever the case the characterisation is quite compelling. If the book only had more support and visibility I do see it as a real breakout book for that time... both the Titans and Firestorm were great successes and Supergirl was doing things here that fitted the same criteria that made those more youth orientated books so succesful.

Anj said...

Thanks for the comments.

I agree that Kupperberg really gave us a mature and relateable and confident Supergirl. It is probably why that series has remained a good read even now while other Supergirl stuff has aged badly.

Poor Dick though!

Martin Gray said...

Hey, scoop! What a treat to read those pages. I see Kara's point of view, though she went a bit OTT on that last page - she'd burst his bubble, the guy had apologised, why the anger?

You know why? Cos she loves him too!

Gene said...

The Back Issue that John Feer speaks of is #17 from August 2006 with Tigra on the cover.

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is heartwrenching! I feel so sad for Kara and Dick!-ealperin