This month I have been celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 by taking an in-depth look at the impact of the issue and the death of Supergirl.
So far the celebration has included:
Crisis on Infinite Earths review, part 1
Crisis on Infinite Earths review, part 2
Dick Giordano's death note
Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 merchandise
I have enjoyed writing these posts as they have definitely made me relive some of the feelings I had back in 1985. The years have made me realize the importance of this event both for comics and for Supergirl. But writing about this issue on this site for the first time has really made me think about how angry and sad I was when the issue came out.
I can't thank Greg enough for sending me this as I feel it adds some historical context to the review of the issue. Thank you so much Greg! I owe you!
Amazing Heroes was one of the few comic magazines out back then, a mix of reviews, previews, historical articles and interviews. For the time, it was a great book, a way for me to learn about creators and comics I might not otherwise buy.
Amazing Heroes #74 came out just days before Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.
Even in those pre-internet days, it was well known that Supergirl was going to die and was going to die in the seventh issue of Crisis. That means that 'Requiem for Cousin Kara', written by Dwight R. Decker, was done before readers actually saw Supergirl die. Whether Decker had read a preview of the issue or was flying blind is hard to tell.
I find this article to be a bit odd. And I think it shows maybe why DC thought Supergirl could be expunged from the rewritten DC universe.
The definition of requiem is '
He starts out by saying that the only way Supergirl distinguished herself in comics is by how unrelentingly mediocre her stories were throughout her career.
And then, as if to further differentiate himself from me, he says the best stories for her were the ones written and drawn by Mike Sekowsky, the Adventure run where she was depowered and where Sekowsky didn't show any understanding of basic Kryptonian continuity, bungling basic concepts like gold Kryptonite and the Phantom Zone. I really don't like the Sekowsky run.
Decker then calls Supergirl a 'pale copy' of Superman. And she has less going for her than Beppo the Super-Monkey.
Now he does blame the writers for this. He doesn't say the character of Supergirl, in theory, is worthless. But he doesn't seem to think much of her entire history.
At least tucked in the middle of the article he says that Supergirl deserves better than being killed.
I don't know if those were the best stories. They set up a lot of the underpinnings of the character moving forward. But they are pretty goofy and super-sweet.
And then he throws Daring New Adventures under the bus. Daring New Adventures ! The Supergirl series where she really became an independent hero and was probably at her strongest. To Decker these were 'unfortunate stories' which 'spin their wheels'.
Decker ends the article again saying that Supergirl deserved better than dying in the Crisis. But he also seems to be saying that she deserved better than her movie. And he feels she deserved better than every story written for her.
You might be asking what does this article add to the Crisis anniversary. But I think it is important as a way to see how DC might have been looking at Supergirl. Here is someone who is a big enough fan of Supergirl to rattle of a long article looking at her comic career and movie. And yet his requiem is a withering attack on almost every incarnation of her, comparing her to Beppo, saying her stories are lost or inane.
Can you see why DC might think that killing of a character wouldn't be a big loss if her biggest fans seem to hate her? Maybe DC felt there wouldn't be a fan backlash. Maybe they agreed with Decker that people don't get Supergirl or can't write a decent story for her. Maybe they thought that a small niche fanbase who complain this much aren't a group to worry about severing ties with. Maybe all of these things were in Dick Giordano's mind when he scribbled a note asking if he could kill her. Maybe this negativity or apathy was in Jenette Kahn's mind when she checked of the 'yes' box.
All I know is if a younger Anj was asked to write a requiem article about Supergirl back in 1985, it would have had a very different tone.
Just two more posts to go in this review. Thanks for sticking with me as I review this landmark issue.