Thursday, October 1, 2015

John Byrne Action Comics #252 Homage

My comic book store recently put out a glut of $1 books that required some degree of patience as I flipped through the jumbled collection. One of the things that I came across were nice crisp copies of all three parts of 'The Supergirl Saga', the formal introduction of the Matrix Supergirl to the post-Crisis DCU. The copies in my collection were somewhat dog-eared from the multiple readings. So I splurged the $3 to buy a more pristine set, putting the older original ones in the 'readable' pile, a longbox I have of beloved issues, out of bags and boards, and available for reading in almost any environment.

I haven't reviewed this story properly on the site, something which feels like an oversight that I should rectify at some point.

But until that day, I thought I would share one panel from Superman #21 which is a nice homage to Supergirl's first appearance.

In the issue, Superman feels he is being followed and so does some fancy flying to end up face to face with ... Supergirl?

Surprised, he says 'Great Guns! A flying woman in a variation of my costume! Is it ... some kind of illusion ..?'

Those words sound awful familiar

Looking back to the classic cover of Action Comics #252, we hear Superman say something very very similar. 'Great guns! A girl flying! It - uh - must be an illusion!'

Changing the 'girl' to 'woman' makes sense given the time and the character of Matrix.

But there can be know doubt that those words were chosen very carefully by Byrne. How often does Superman say 'great guns'? These sort of Easter Eggs are appreciated by this old time fan.

Writer/artist John Byrne always had a healthy respect for the source material and often would do nods to the past like this one. I have talked about how this Bizarro story was very similar to Bizarro's first appearance in the Superboy book. And over on Too Dangerous for a Girl, I talked about Byrne's reimagining of Lori Lemaris in the new universe. So this little nod to Supergirl was recognized and appreciated.

So should I review this story in the usual in depth Anj fashion?


Uncle Screensaver said...

I still remember when I first saw this comic book. I was a child still hurting from Kara's loss and when I saw this cover I grabbed it as I thought Kara was back. I was horrified to find out that it wasn't. It still makes me sad but the anger finally left.

Is it true? I had chatted years ago with someone who said Byrne had originally intended for Supergirl to still be Kara but she'd have a new origin, possibly even from Atlantis, but then that went to Power Girl. Because DC already had a Kara who was no longer a cousin to Superman, he created Matrix.

Also, I find some people, due to the reworking of Kara Zor-L merging in Kara Zor-El's place, think Power Girl used to be Supergirl. Even today, when the PG Sideshow Premium Format statue was made known, there was one place ( ?) that had: "The original Supergirl in the costume that made her famous!"

Anonymous said...

Only in the New 52 Earth 2 did Power Girl start out as Supergirl, otherwise Kara Zor-L was always Power Girl (with a varied origin and varied costumes, but always Power Girl).

Anonymous said...

> So should I review this story in the usual in depth Anj fashion?

Before or after you do the Supergirl Movie review, Anj? Time's atickin' on when the Supergirl TV pilot officially comes out :) :)

To answer your question though, yes, please review it... but I'd prefer the movie review first.