Friday, September 12, 2008

It Came From the Back Issue Box: Action Comics #289


I know the back issue reviews have been coming fast and furious recently. I hope people don't mind.

This weekend I am going to be the Best Man at my best friend's wedding and with romance in the air, I couldn't help but dust off Action Comics #289. Written by Superman creator Jerry Siegel and drawn by Supergirl wunderkind Jim Mooney, two major legends, it is titled 'When Supergirl Played Cupid!' Plus it has one of the potentially Supergirl creepiest panels ever!

Ahhh ... ain't love grand!



At the beginning of the issue, Linda (Supergirl) Danvers has just finished watching a tear-jerker romance movie with her adoptive parents Fred and Sylvia Danvers. After seeing the character in the movie end up alone, she vows to find an appropriate wife for Superman.


Despite protests from her father that Superman should find his own wife, Kara comes up with an idea and speeds to the Fortress of Solitude. There she realizes who would be the most perfect woman for Superman ... none other than Helen of Troy!

Supergirl travels back in time and leaves a note for Superman to follow her back in time. While in ancient Greece, Kara is unable to achieve her goal of having Superman fall in love with Helen. In fact, Supergirl gets involved in some adventures and shows her charm, grace, and strength so well that she supplants Helen as the most beautiful and wonderful woman in the land.
After being hailed as 'The Toast of Troy', Supergirl faces the ire of a rather jealous Helen. Realizing that this match-making effort has failed, Kara and Superman return to the present.

But Supergirl isn't finished. She realizes that there is someone else who might make a great spouse for Superman ... Saturn Girl, or rather her grown-up self Saturn Woman. Supergirl convinces Superman to fly into the future with her. There they spend a holiday party with the Legion. Superman is rather taken with how beautiful Imra has become. In fact, it feels like love is in the air! And Kara helps fan the flames by putting some mistletoe up, leading to a couple of rather steamy kisses between Superman and Saturn Woman.

And boy it looks like he is a super-kisser too! Saturn Woman seems to be melting in his arms! Of course, she neglected to tell Superman that she is 'happily married' to Lightning Man! I guess no woman can resist the Big Red S! Sheepishly, Superman releases Saturn Woman from this kiss.

Realizing that this attempt has failed as well, the Super cousins return to the present again. There Kara reveals that she is only trying to make sure Superman is happy in the future and hopes to find him a wife. And then we get this panel in which Superman says that if he were to marry ...

Okay, it is a tad creepy that Supes is talking to his teenage cousin this way, don't you think? In the prologue of the Supergirl:Many Happy Returns trade, Peter David talks about this panel and says (and I am paraphrasing) 'so the only thing keeping Superman's hands of his jail-bait cousin are the moral codes of a world long dead!?'

That said, what is not to love about Supergirl? Who wouldn't love someone so super and lovable?

I just don't know if a 30-something cousin should be this into her.

Supergirl seems unfazed by this ... heck maybe a bit flattered. Realizing that Superman hopes for a woman just like her, she gets back on the trail.

And with the help of her super-computer, she finds a near duplicate super-heroine on the planet Staryl. Her name is Luma Lynai, continuing the curse of the initials 'L.L.' in Superman's life.


And once again, Superman shows he has all the moves as Luma also quickly swoons. The two fall in love almost immediately. After a short time on her planet, she agrees to join him on Earth forever.


Unfortunately, Staryl is a planet in an orange-sun system. The yellow rays of Earth's sun act like kryptonite to her. Luma cannot live on Earth and so must return home. Superman is so in love with her after such a short courtship that he actually says he will leave Earth to live on Staryl with her! Wow, he must really be in love with her! Luckily, she knows better and tells him Earth needs him and so he must stay.

And thus ends another whirlwind romance. Luma leaves and Superman returns to his normal life stating perhaps fate has another woman in mind for him. Kara is crest-fallen and returns home to tell her parents the tale.


She vows never to play match-maker again.

This is such a fun Silver Age story! Kara showing up Helen of Troy. Superman professing a hidden love of Supergirl. Gorgeous Jim Mooney art. This one sort of had it all. I can almost laugh off the slightly creepy innuendo from Superman.

The truth is I think there are a lot of Supergirl fans who are guys who fell in love with Kara as boys while reading her adventures. Of course, we are going to agree with Superman when he says he hopes to find someone as super and lovable as she is. Definitely an issue to look for and buy if affordable.

Overall grade: A (drippy with Silver Age gooey-ness)

As I am celebrating my friend's romance, I probably won't be posting again until early next weekend. Talk to you all soon!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

There is a LOT of subtext to the olde SG stories if you know where to look.
You'd almost think Kal El shoved her into the orphanage because she induced uncomfortable thoughts in the Man of Steel.
And of course, even when he TELLS her he has a thing for her, she remains blissfully ignorant of the consequences.
Like you say, gotta love the silver age...and Mooney's artwork?
Perfect.

Heath Edwards said...

fun story :)... it's too bad they won't give this story an update, with perhaps someone other than superman, of course...

Anj said...

There is a LOT of subtext to the olde SG stories if you know where to look.
You'd almost think Kal El shoved her into the orphanage because she induced uncomfortable thoughts in the Man of Steel.
And of course, even when he TELLS her he has a thing for her, she remains blissfully ignorant of the consequences.
Like you say, gotta love the silver age...and Mooney's artwork?
Perfect.


Thanks for the post. Even though there is that sub-text, I was able to enjoy the innocence of this issue for what is was.

But you are right ... I have wondered if he stashed her in that orphanage as 'out of sight out of mind'.

TalOs said...

That's just plain sick (in a utterly gross way) if you ask me. *Shivers at the mere thought of that* I mean, having your mid 30's cuz thinking all these lustful thoughts about you a mere 15 or 16 minor at the time young girl/family member and all. *Shivers again* How ever, in having said all of that, Mr. Joe Kelly did try to revive this very concept within his whole "Candor" arc when Supergirl under Saturn Queen's mind influence tries to marry Kara to our supposed 'Kal-El' (who really turned out to be the original Pre-CoIE E-3 own Crime Syndicate of America's actual Ultraman member here instead) though. :/

Oh and, aside from the above scenario, I honestly really enjoyed this read at the time come finding it in a back issue bin in my child hood come mid 80's just like you, anj. :)

Anj said...

*Shivers again* How ever, in having said all of that, Mr. Joe Kelly did try to revive this very concept within his whole "Candor" arc when Supergirl under Saturn Queen's mind influence tries to marry Kara to our supposed 'Kal-El' (who really turned out to be the original Pre-CoIE E-3 own Crime Syndicate of America's actual Ultraman member here instead) though. :/

Thanks for the post.

I agree that the issue is a bit cringe-worthy.

I had blissfully forgotten about the Joe Kelly Candor wedding plan with the 'Kal-El' pretender. Now that was creepy.