I am an addict of the dollar box at my local comic book store. Any time I can, I pick up issues of the late 1980's Secret Origins book. I have been enjoying these Post-Crisis retellings, some more retread than reinvention ... but all fun.
Last week I came across this Phantom Girl issue, an origin story with art by Dave Cockrum! For a $1!
Anyways, Tinya's origin story was fine. And The Grim Ghost back-up story was beautiful with lush art by Michael Bair.
But the thing that really grabbed me in this issue was the informational text in the letter column by editor Mark Waid.
So this is Waid describing the character of Phantom Girl, her long tenure in the Legion, her love of Ultra Boy, her bright and cheery disposition. And as a Tinya fan and a Legion fan I thought this was great.
But it reminded me of a darker time. It reminded me that as much as I complain about the way Supergirl is treated these days, it is better than what was happening in 1989.
Because there was a time that Supergirl was like Voldemort. She couldn't be named ... not even in a text piece in the back of an issue. Waid ... maybe cheekily ... calls her S*p*rg*rl. As if reminding people that there was a Supergirl at one point in the DCU was forbidden.
Anyways, I should remember that there was a time Supergirl wasn't around in any form.
At one point Kara was 'She Who Shall Not Be Named'.
As for that issue, I reviewed Action Comics #276 4 years ago, the issue where she joins the Legion, the issue which introduced a gaggle of Legionnaires including Braniac 5.
So next time I complain too loudly about angsty Supergirl remind me about S*p*rg*rl!