Last week, a true treasure appeared in my folder at the local comic book store.
Back Issue #84 came out, an issue 100% dedicated to Supergirl in the Bronze Age. Given the 30th anniversary of Supergirl's death in Crisis on Infinite Earths, it makes perfect sense for this issue to be published. And it is chock full of great stuff for any Supergirl fan.
We start out with the cover, an obvious homage to Adventure Comics #397 where Kara peruses a bunch of costume variations.
The inside of the magazine has great articles about her stories in the Bronze Age, the movie, Superwoman, merchandise from back then from podcast friend Chris Franklin, an Alan Brennert interview from Aquaman Shrine's Rob Kelly, a brief look at Matrix ... it is all good. Any Supergirl fan should purchase it from TwoMorrows.
Just a couple of samples, a mere scratching of the surface.
After reviewing pretty much all of Supergirl's stories from her Adventure Comics through Daring New Adventure and talking to a ton of the writers from those books, there is a nice summation at the end of the article.
It is clear that each writer basically tried to wring Supergirl into a shape that fit their vision. Thus we saw the all the professions, all the locales, all the personality quirks. And yet, it is all of that sort of change which actually grabbed me as a kid. It felt like Supergirl was trying to figure things out. For me, it made her relatable.
There is a very fun comic in the middle by Karl Heitmueller Jr. focusing on her costume changes. I love it.
In the coverage of Crisis on Infinite Earth #7, there is a portion dedicated to fan reaction.
After being a sort of forgotten part of the DCU, it was interesting for me to see just how much backlash there was to her death. There was no internet then. I didn't read a lot of fanzines back then. So seeing how much ill will it brought about was interesting.
"Some heroes appear bigger or more important when they pass away - that is exactly what happened here with Supergirl."
And then there is Rob Kelly's Alan Brennert interview. The classic story 'Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot' is touched upon. I love hearing how Brennert disliked Supergirl's sacrifice (and even existence) simply being forgotten. So I love that he decided he needed to repudiate it. And, after vilifying Dick Giordano a bit for his role in Kara's death, it was fascinating to hear how he grabbed to story to draw himself.
And I love the hand-wringing from the current creators who were told Supergirl could not be referenced. Hearing how they tried make this vision be an astral projection of Power Girl made me chuckle. Interestingly enough, it was Giordano who shuts them up with the simple statement 'guys, it's just a nice Christmas story'.
I love Back Issue. And I love this issue in particular.