Thursday, September 3, 2015

Crisis On Infinite Earths #7 Fallout: Legion Of Super-Heroes #38

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 came out 30 years and two months ago.

In July, I did my best to cover Supergirl's death in that issue, the decision, the issue, and the ramifications of that in the comic world.

I was supposed to put the Crisis behind me but somehow I ended up covering some of the fallout of the issue throughout the rest of the summer.

Today I finally end my coverage of the death of Supergirl from the Crisis by looking at one more nod to her heroism in a universe that was supposed to have forgotten she had existed.

In Legion of Super-Heroes #37 and #38, writer Paul Levitz tried to reconcile Superboy's place in the Legion mythos in the new universe where Superboy never existed. John Byrne wrote the Man of Steel miniseries in the summer of 1986. Shortly thereafter, Byrne created the Time Trapper's 'pocket universe', a place where Superboy existed.

In Legion #38, Superboy turns on the Time Trapper and ends up sacrificing himself to save the world. Despite being a slave of the Trapper, he aids the Legion and dies a hero. It is an interesting story, one of the many somewhat loopy arcs that came out in the immediate aftermath of the Crisis as DC tried to hammer some major continuity issue smooth in the new timeline.

This issue, sporting a wonderfully powerful Bill Sienkiewicz cover, came out in June 1987.

 The inside art was by then-current Legion artist Greg LaRocque. I loved LaRocque's work on this title.

Here is the end scene where Superboy's body is laid to rest and a Superboy statue is placed in the hall of heroes. After all, dupe of the Trapper or not, he was still the team's inspiration and he died to save them all.

But look in the background!


That is a statue of Kara in the hall of heroes.

We are two full years away from her death in the Crisis and definitely well into a History of the DC Universe where she didn't exist.

I am sure that this somehow slipped by the DC editors.

But serious kudos to Paul Levitz and Greg LaRocque for slipping her in. She died saving the multiverse. She should be remembered ... honored.

And so ends my 30th anniversary of the Crisis review.


Anonymous said...

Its no accident, Paul Levitz wasn't in power eighteen months as DC's Top Swak and Kara Zor El was Back in all her Cousinly Glory. I have always maintained he "Is One of Us", a Kara fan missed when she was gone plotted to bring her back as soon as he was installed in power...


Anonymous said...

The greatest irony of all is that 30 years after the death of pre-Crisis Supergirl, the only active version of the character is... pre-Crisis Supergirl. (... not including the DC Bombshells version, I suppose...)

In fact, Justice League 3001 #2 came out 30 years to the month of COIE #7, with Kara jumping out of purple rocket and everything. I'm almost certain that's not a coincidence.

Anj said...

Yes, Levitz is one of us, as is Mark Waid.

And great pickup on the timing of JLA 3001 #2. But that would be interesting because I don't know if Giffen is one of us.

Anonymous said...

I think Giffen at least respects (maybe even likes?) exactly one version of Supergirl: the late-Silver Age/Bronze Age Supergirl.

I'd be wary if he were to write Matrix, the New Earth Linda Danvers, post-Crisis/pre-Flashpoint Kara, or New-52 Kara for any extended period of time (or even for a short period of time for anyone not named Kara Zor-El).

Uncle Screensaver said...

Paul Levitz is definitely one of us, the man even had New52 Power Girl use the word "stodgy"! :P

I also think Giffen respects, if not loves, the original Supergirl. He has said in the past that Supergirl was a hero he'd love to write because she has so much potential. He later said something to the effect she wasn't a hero at all, but I think that was during the early time of Kara's Pre-Flashpoint series. In an interview of his Convergence Matrix title, he said it was a "final farewell" for the character and you could definitely tell he didn't like her. I think he was incensed that for years Supergirl had been glorified PeptoBismol abused by Lex Luthor. She "thought she was Supergirl" was contempt for the character in that not only was she not Kara, but because she was, at time, written as an "it," who even thought she was Superman for a time! I also think it echoed what was said in a DC coffee table book which briefly touched on Supergirl and which mentioned that the character of Matrix had taken on Supergirl's skin, insinuating there had been another, even if she wasn't remembered/ didn't exist. I remember that because I was always upset about Kara, and my nephew pointed it out in the book at the book store.

In any case, while I was upset with how Giffen messed up the Sub legionnaires back i the day, and Pre-Flashpoint Linda Danvers, I was happy with his treatment of Matrix as it was like some justice for Kara fans, yet also had some respect given to the character in that she tears Lex a new on. I also loved his rendition of Kara in the LSH issues, around that time that Brainy told Kara "she was too damn distracting." Her cape was long and regal, and as a child I thought she looked so beautiful, and still do.

Anyway, I remember that these "cameos" of Kara after Crisis did reach editorial because in the lettercol, an editor addressed people's questions about the statue of "the girl with the 'S' on her chest" (since they couldn't even "say" her name - see the Secret Origins ish of Phantom Girl where the editorial referenced the character as "S*p*rg*rl". Even during Zero Hour when Satan Girl appeared, "Watch out guys, she has all the powers of" the character saying this was punched out before he could say "Supergirl.") I think the editor basically said that it slipped by them and that you wouldn't see the statue again, or that you wouldn't see it again due to her being replaced (and Laurel Gand appeared soon after).

Uncle Screensaver said...

Btw, thanks Anj, I hadn't realized/ remembered these "appearances" of Kara, so I will now have to add them to my collection. :)

Anj said...

Thanks for the great comments.

It is so interesting to revisit this time when creators who loved Supergirl were forced to sneak her into comics.

And I guess Giffen has only been rough on Matrix. But I still worry she might be an easy punching bag for her. At least, so far, he has treated her well in 3001.

Uncle Screensaver said...

Well, Giffen wasn't exactly kind to Linda Danvers in "Reign in Hell."