Monday, December 5, 2022

Review: Comet: The Origin Of Supergirl's Horse

I took a short trip south around Thanksgiving time, visiting Virginia. One of my goals whenever I travel is to do my best to hit local comic shops. This time I went to Local Heroes, a cool little shop in Norfolk. 

Inside, I discovered something I didn't know existed and which made me give thanks. A big kid's book about Comet the Super-Horse! There is a whole line of these books about DC Super Pets. 

It is written by Steve Korte with wonderful art by old friend Art Baltazar.

Perhaps most impressively, the book for the most part holds true to the Silver Age origin from Action Comics #293. Makes me think I might need to follow-up this post with one looking at that issue. (To be honest, I'm a little surprised I haven't reviewed that issue over my time here.)

This is a wonderful book for a Supergirl fan or a Comet fan. It is a great story for a kid's book filled with magic and heroism. And the art is perfect for the story. It starts with the front cover with a confident Supergirl and winking Comet. Also, I love the sneak peek at Comet's origin on the back. 

This definitely makes me want to seek out the Streaky book!

On to some details.

We start out in a time when centaurs exist. We meet Biron, a good centaur who loves Circe the powerful witch who rules the land.

Unfortunately, Circe doesn't have eyes for Biron or knows his feelings for her.

One day, Biron sees the evil sorcerer Maldor trying to poison Circe's well. 

Biron shoots the well, scaring Maldor into dropping the poison on the ground.

Very nice to have Biron shoot the well and not directly at Maldor. Remember! This is a kid's book!

Circe is so grateful that she promises to give Biron a reward. He asks to be made into a human. I suppose he hopes to woo her as a man. 

But the spell fails. Instead of becoming a man, he becomes a horse.

Saddened that her spell failed, Circe tries to make up for it by giving Comet incredible super-powers and immortality.

In the original comic, Circe is in a more classic Greek toga and sports a long ponytail. Here, we see her in the more classic DCAU, Kirby-esque costume and sporting her purple big 80s hairdo. 

Unfortunately, Maldor holds a grudge.

As in the comic, he magically banishes Comet to a distant asteroid, confining him their with a force field.

Thanks to his immortality, Comet just stays there for hundred of years.

Meanwhile, Krypton explodes and Kara Zor-El is put into a rocket from Argo City and sent to Earth.

Luckily, her rocket flies towards the asteroid Comet is trapped on. The rocket's automatic defenses blast the asteroid in its way, finally freeing Comet. 

I love this illustration of Kara's little rocket blasting the rock to rubble and Comet literally being blasted free.

Comet follows Kara's rocket back to Earth and lives with the wild horses on Earth. But he always keeps his eyes on her, watching her grow into her role as Supergirl and wondering if he will ever join her on adventures. 

One day he is pressed into service. A flying saucer starts blasting away at Midvale. The lasers both knock construction workers off a scaffolding as well as sending debris to the streets.

While Supergirl rescues the workers, Comet streaks in to grab all the falling detritus. 

Finally, the super-horse and Supergirl are united!

With the saucer using Kryptonite lasers, it's up to Comet to save the day, kicking the saucer and forcing it to the ground. 

That is exactly as it happens in the comic (even if we don't see the aliens in that story). 

But this is such a fun page with Supergirl joyously riding Comet as they take down the invaders. Look at that final image at the bottom with Kara just beaming! I love it!

So not a bad reinterpretation of a classic Supergirl story! I was utterly charmed by this.

But there is a bonus!

A sort of Who's Who page giving us some details and a list of Comet's powers!

As a Supergirl and a Comet fan, this was pure pumpkin pie! Circe, Maldor, the asteroid prison, the alien attack ... it's all pulled from the classic comic.

Now I have to find the Streaky one!


Scipio said...

That's very impressive, that they would choose not to make up some new, simpler story, but to recreate Original Origin from the Silver Age. Then again... those comics were written for kids!

Anonymous said...

Amazon has the Streaky book. I got both of them in January. Very cute.

Those are for grades 1 and higher :).

A year earlier I also came across "Supergirl: An Origin Story", part of the DC Super Heroes Origins series. That one is for Kindergarten. I was a year younger then! She's Kara Zor-El, but drawn with Kara In-Ze's colors.

By the way, Supergirl stars on 5 pages in this week's Monkey Prince #9. She's also featured on two of the variant covers. There's a subplot that is going to tie in to the Lazarus Planet event.


Martin Gray said...

What a lovely book this looks, in the original story Biron doesn’t aim at Maaldor either, he hits the vial.

One nice thing in that story is that Superman sees the alien plot foiled from a distance and thinks of how well Kara is doing. OK, he doesn’t actually TELL her…

I wonder if Paul Kupperberg named his Maaldor in DC Comics Presents after Maldor.

Anonymous said...

Anything that gets kids interested in comics, I am for it, be it Krypto, Comet, Streaky…even Beppo the Super Monkey.


H said...

Aw, baby Kara asleep in her rocket is so adorable! Fun story definitely, though it's probably best they stopped before his crush on Supergirl and the 'turning into a cowboy when the comet passes over' thing. That's a bit too complicated and maybe hasn't aged as well.

Anj said...

Thanks for comments.
Great book for kids.
Thanks for Monkey King tip!

And will avoid the Bronco Billy stuff for now.

H said...

No, you can still talk about that stuff if you want to- I have no problem with that and am not offended by it. I'm just not sure it would fly in a book that was aimed at younger audiences nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Sasha from “Casually Comics” on Youtube covered “Bronco Bill” a ways back and brought some needed perspective to a seemingly well worn topic.


Professor Feetlebaum said...

Looks like those corny Silver Age ideas still have some life in them! I hope Mort Weisinger is getting a laugh out of it, wherever he may be.

Another Supergirl book for children is "Supergirl Takes Off!", published by Random House as part of their "Step into Reading" series. The book is written for preschoolers to first graders. Kara is drawn wearing her New 52 costume, but the story has something of a Silver Age vibe. Kara is rocketed to Earth after Superman is already established there (none of that "she was his babysitter on Krypton" stuff), and the two cousins get along right from the start. Streaky makes an appearance, and there are two pages of sparkly stickers in the back.

Casually Comics has covered a number of Supergirl related topics, including her '70's series, Daring New Adventures, Lesla Lar, and costumes she has worn. There are others, but these come to mind. Worth checking out.

Comets said...

Haha, it is quite funny;)