Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More Cosmic Adventures Production Art !

Landry Walker must realize that fans of Supergirl:Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade are missing their regular dose of the book.

To help us with our withdrawal, Walker is posting production art for the series on his blog. The latest post ( http://xray-studios.livejournal.com/50394.html ) shows us the concept art for Streaky. Apparently Streaky is based on Walker's feisty cat Jojo.

The concept art seems to have been right on the money.

Here is an example of the finished product of Streaky.

Walker is even letting fans of the Cosmic Adventures series know about some 'what might have beens'.

On this blog, Walker told us about this list of concepts/characters he has planned for potential sequels:

Lesla Lar.
The Phantom Zone.
Satan Girl.
Melinda Mee.

And now on his blog we see some other ideas that didn't make the cut.

First off Brainiac Five.

We hear him mentioned in the book by Supra-Girl who met him in the future. He sort of has a feel of the B5 we saw on the WB Legion cartoon. But here is what Walker says about Brainiac and Cosmic Adventures.

Brainy was never seen in the series. Originally he was planned to have a major role, but the only limitation given to us by DC was to not use Brainiac 5. At the time, he was a major player in the Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st century book so I can understand why.

Too bad DC made him untouchable.

And then Metallo ??

This sketch is shown here: http://xray-studios.livejournal.com/50165.html And Walker's comment:

There was an entire story behind this that involved duplicity and betrayal. The heart was to be made of gold kryptonite (heart of gold) that only had a short term effect. We had already explored the effects of green, red and blue. So gold was the next logical choice.

I love the literal 'heart of gold' concept linked to betrayal. There were innumerable Silver Age stories about Linda falling for a guy who turns out to be a criminal in disguise. It would have been another nice homage.

Walker explains that issue constraints as well as the big role Reactron and his Gold K heart was having in the main book pushed this idea out.

It makes me wonder ... with all these great pre-conceived ideas ... why was this only 6 issues? And why haven't we heard about a sequel yet?

Monday, June 29, 2009

WHAT !!! More Bike Shorts Talk !!!

One of the things I am really really really surprised about is how polarizing the bike shorts under Supergirl's skirt are in the Supergirl fanbase. We already are a tough group to please but this seems to have taken root with people choosing sides.

This is definitely more polarizing than the 'for or against the secret identity of Linda Lang' argument ....

Maybe even more polarizing than the 'Loeb/Kelly or Gates' argument ...

The topic that seems to come up time and time again on message boards is the presence of those red shorts under the skirt. In fact, some Supergirl message board topics have started out talking about one thing only to derail into a 'panties vs bike shorts' discussion. And people can get quite angry and defensive about their position.

I confess I have been part of the problem. I have always been pro-bike shorts and I have talked about the 'panties vs bike shorts' topic here now and then. It's like picking a scab!

Now incredibly (!!) ... almost absurdly ... the topic has become so huge that it was the lead story on Newsarama late last week. A whole column devoted to Jamal Igle talking about the decision to put bike shorts under Supergirl's skirt ( http://www.newsarama.com/comics/060926-Supergirl.html )!

Since they were added, I haven't seen any lurid up-skirt shots in Supergirl. The last panty shot I recall was in Final Crisis #6. The bike shorts just makes sense to me. But the topic has continued to fester.

I already mentioned how it was a point of discussion at the DC Nation panel at Heroes Con.

As always, the whole Newsarama column is worth reading. In particular, Igle really sounds passionate about his concerns of the over-sexualization of the Supergirl character and that adding the shorts was just one thing he did to help curb that look.

Here are some blurbs:

“One of the reason why I went with the shorts rather than just draw the skirt in a way where it was either longer, or I never showed it flying up was that I wanted freedom of movement,” Igle said. “With the fight between her and Reactron on the rooftop in issue #40, she’s doing martial arts and moving around. It makes sense that if you’re doing martial arts, you’re going to have something that’s going to cover you a little, especially if you’re wearing a skirt.”

Yeah, the whole flying around and fighting in a skirt thing makes me think that bike shorts are simply more functional. No one seems to complain about Stargirl wearing bike shorts as her actual uniform.

So I don't know why it is such a big problem here. And then this tidbit ...

While the shorts have become an official addition to Supergirl’s costume, Igle said that there is a more changed version of Supergirl’s costume “floating around the DC offices” that he and Gates keep going back and forth on in terms of adopting.

Now that is interesting. I have heard murmurs of a 'new costume' being introduced in issue #50.

Could we be moving to something more in the vein of the Crisis-era Supergirl or the Matrix Supergirl ... a leotard with an overlying skirt? I have never hidden the fact that I prefer the full shirt/red skirt look.

What do you all think? For or against the bike shorts? Time for a new costume?

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Review: Superman #689

Superman #689 was another interesting issue in this current run focusing on Metropolis without Superman. One thing that I have liked about the last couple of issues has that they have really focused on Mon-El. Despite setting up a huge supporting cast for the title, James Robinson really has been concentrating on the dying Mon-El, setting him up as a tragic hero.

Last issue, Mon-El realized that he needed to get as much out of whatever is left in his life. As a result, this issue reads more like a travelogue. He is travelling around the world to help international heroes stop major threats and, should time permit, to take in some sightseeing.

While he hops from country to country some ominous things are unfolding at home.

First off, we are re-introduced to WGBS owner Morgan Edge who looks and acts remarkably like old shock TV host Morton Downey Jr. In this instance, Edge decides to take an anti-Kryptonian stance voicing his concerns in a televised statement. Part of his concern is about Mon-El who he feels is an outlawed Kryptonian brazenly acting openly against the UN decree.

While I question Edge's underlying motivation, I can understand his confusion. Mon-El has a Kryptonian name, Kryptonian powers, and was given the city to protect by another Kryptonian. If you are a fear monger, you would be pointing your fingers right at Mon-El.

While Edge continues his statement, Tellus is released from S.T.A.R. labs. He tells the Guardian that he has to leave to protect the universe from some upcoming threat. Before leaving he does something to the Guardian to even up his upcoming fight against Agent Assassin. My guess is that some sort of psychic blocks have been placed in Harper's mind so that Assassin can't mentally attack him.

I would love to know why Robinson picked Tellus to be part of this story. Certainly there are many telepathic characters that could easily be plugged in here, even from the Legion. Tellus! Unbelievable!

But enough about Metropolis for now.

Mon-El starts his sightseeing in Russia, visiting Red Square where he helps some Red Rockets fight off some armored troops. After the battle he gets his first kiss from Rocket Red Ivana.

He then travels to England and Spain to fight along side those countries heroes: Beaumont and Sunny Jim in London and La Sangre in Barcelona. One thing I did like here was Robinson including some of these new heroes rather than retreading the old Global Guardians. He even gives them some quick backstory too.

Back home in Metropolis, Steel continues to hang out with his new BFF Atlas. Of course Steel thinks Atlas is just a guy named Tom who he met at the diner. But he has hit it off so well with Tom/Atlas that he gives him access to the nanobyte protected Iron Works.

This was the one part of the issue that just felt wrong. Would Steel really give this new friend total access to his top secret lab? After being attacked and beaten up for years as a hero, would he open up so quickly to a man he just met?

Here is one of those new heroes that Mon-El meets on his world tour. In Germany he fights along private detective Von Hammer, a man who sounds like that country's James Bond and Doc Savage rolled into one. Their mission sounds like it has been ripped from old pulp novels. I actually would consider reading more of this guy's adventures.

M0n doesn't stop there though. He fights alongside Freedom Beast and Congorilla in Africa. He fights along side Dr. Light and Rising Sun in Japan. Each time he visits some part of those places searching for peace whether it be communing with nature or meditating in shrines.

I have to say this world tour felt like a completely appropriate response to last issue's revelation about life and living. Plus it allowed Renato Guedes to work in some very sharp near-splash pages throughout the issue.
But while Mon-El searches for peace, Metropolis is starting to boil a bit.

First the Guardian feels he needs to publically defend Mon-El and actually goes on Morgan Edge's show revealing that Mon-El is not Kryptonian. The Guardian does talk up Mon's heroism leading Edge to welcome Mon-El to Earth.

I don't know about you but I don't trust Edge in the least.
General Lane also makes an appearance and shows that he is still watching Metropolis very closely. He has some plans for the big city. To enact that plan he has hired to Prankster to help set up the playing field. For one thing, the Prankster has arranged some events to lead Black Lightning out of the city.

Now Lane tells Prankster that he needs to manufacture a crime scene away from Metropolis to lure its other heroes away too. And not just any crime scene ... a murder scene .... a superhero's murder scene. Lane promises to provide the body ... Steel's body.

I do think it is interesting that Lane doesn't seem to have any problem working with super-criminals. I wonder if he simply plans to eliminate them once they have served their purpose.

Once inside Iron Works, Atlas wastes no time to drop his guise and promises to kill John Henry. Nice cliffhanger!

Overall this was a very nice issue. The part of this current arc that I like the best is the journey Mon-El is going on so I was happy that was the main thrust of the issue.

But the background events seem to move the overall story of a 'Metropolis without Superman' forward nicely.

I have said in the past that the cast of characters that Robinson has here seem unwieldy. We added the Prankster and Morgan Edge to that cast but seemed to have lost Black Lightning. We also haven't seen Zatara in a while. I was concerned that some space would be devoted to the individual SciPo officers in the Guardian's unit and so far that hasn't happened. This book really feels like it is Mon-El and the Guardian's title rather than some large team book. I like that.

Overall grade: B

Saturday, June 27, 2009

More Justice League: Cry For Justice Previews ... No Matrix Costume!

I know it is coming out in a few days, but I can't help but post more preview pics from the James Robinson/Mauro Cascioli Justice League: Cry For Justice mini-series. Over at The Source, DC has posted a couple of new pages and the finished covers. Here is the link:

The art work is simply awesome. I love Supergirl flying right smack dab in the middle of the cover!

As we have seen before in the previews, Hal is addressing his concerns for a pro-active league to the current members of the JLA ... well sort of. How Superman can be there who knows. This will be one of those stories that gets sorted into my continuity timeline as 'the recent past' ... sandwiched somewhere between Final Crisis and New Krypton.

Cascioli really is spectacular! But what happened to the Matrix costume!

Here is the originally preview which I posted a bit ago. Notice the full shirt?

And now in the most recent preview, we are back to the half-shirt. I was so hoping to see the current Kara back in a Matrix-style costume. I guess I will have to wait.

I am also sort of upset that Supergirl joins Hal's JLA in the third issue. I was hoping she would be a presence throughout the series. I am looking forward to seeing just how Robinson portrays her here. What is her motivation to join this league ... Zor-El's murder? I also hope there is a scene with Supergirl and Superman where Kara defends her decision to join Hal.

I will definitely review this book here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Supergirl Cover Art For Sale

Josh Middleton's website has been revamped and now includes a 'shop' section ( http://www.joshuamiddleton.com/shop.html ). That page includes sections for cover art, interiors, sketches, and prints.

In the cover art section ( http://www.joshuamiddleton.com/coverart.html ) you can drool over the line work for some Supergirl covers including the spectacular Supergirl #34. Sigh .... if only I had an extra $2200 lying around I would snap this up in a heartbeat.

Also listed is the line art for issues 36, 37, 38, 41, and 43. I really love the cover for Supergirl #38. This would be second on my wish list.

Anyways, here is hoping that the Supergirl cover art gets immortalized as prints to be purchased. Most if not all of Middleton's Supergirl covers are absolutely worthy of being made into a print or poster. I really think he is an important part of the title's creative team.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cosmic Adventures Production Art

I really like any glimpse I can get into the creative process behind comic book production. Whether it is promo art or concept art or the travel from thumb nail to finished sketch, I like seeing it all. It gives me a better handle on what the writer or artist is thinking.

Anything I run across like that involving Supergirl I will always post here. So imagine how excited I was to see on Landry Walker's blog that he is going to start showing the production art behind Supergirl:Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade. Here is the link for the Lena Thorul page: http://xray-studios.livejournal.com/49567.html . As always, it is best to head to the source itself and read Walker's whole entry.

On the blog, Walker says that the general look of Lena was already cemented and that the big decision was her hair style ... hence the pics above. Looks like they knew what they wanted there too.

More interesting was the development of her battle armor. Here is one design that was shot down.

And Walker's own words on the subject:

Part of it was that these designs were way to busy. Part of it is that they removed to much of Lena's personality. But mainly, it was that we needed to strengthen the association between Lena and Lex. By having Lena in battle armor reminiscent of her brothers giant indestructible robot, we helped create a visual short-cut between the two characters. This is just as effective at establishing the relationship as the secret emails between brother and sister at the end of issue 2.

I agree that you sort of lose Lena in the proposed armors above. It looks a little too Gundam-y insect-y for me. The top one looks more like she would be the sister of The Great Machine in Ex Machina.

Here was the final armor which clearly shows a more Luthor family feel to it. It makes you instantly know where Lena's loyalties lie.

Walker has since posted production stills of the series' teachers including Mr. Mxyzptlk in his Principal Pycklemeyer guise.

And next he says he is going to post sketches of other students including one based on Dick Malverne! The student is named Ricky Wilson (of course Dick Malverne was Dick Wilson before he was adopted).

I hope some of these can be included in the back of the eventual trade.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Review: Action Comics Annual #12

Action Comic Annual #12 was released last week and provided the back story for the Nightwing and Flamebird duo, Chris Kent and Thara Ak-Var. The issue was written by Greg Rucka who tells it mostly in exposition with only a handful of dialogue balloons throughout the whole book. The art is solid by Pere Perez. I have already talked about the excellent cover by Renato Guedes.

One thing that really did stand out is the excellent coloring job by Mazi. There was a lot of nuance in the tints of flames and energy here. Really super stuff.

The issue starts with the Black Zero unit of the Kryptonian military flying to Kandor to fight Brainiac as he attempts to steal the city. Black Zero is led by Ursa and includes fighters Ak-Var and his wife Tes.

Of course, there is an emotional edge to this battle for the Ak-Vars. Thara is in the city.
Black Zero ends up getting routed by Brainiac. During the skirmish, Ursa actually collapses in fear. She then leaves her troops, running away as the Brainiac drones engage the force field bottle. While Ursa escapes, Thara's parents, previously wounded and lying in the path of the force field generators, are literally ripped in half by the bottle. In what has become a recurring theme, Thara witnesses her parents' death ... a horrifyingly gruesome event for a little girl to see.

I like that the Ak-Vars' deaths actually represent a moment of weakness for Ursa. Previously I thought it would turn out that Ursa assassinated them. Now that they died with Ursa cowering on the ground, the event takes on new meaning. I doubt Ursa wants to relive it any more than Thara does.

After some timein the bottle, the Kandorians realize that Brainiac is only interested in observing them. The Kryptonian culture is restarted with people falling into their familiar guilds and roles. The hope is that either the Kryptonian forces (they are unaware of Krypton's destruction) or their own meager Kandorian forces will strike back at Brainiac so freedom can be won.

Things change when the Argo City survivors are added to the mix. Suddenly the hope of returning to Krypton ends.

One thing I did like was the further description and deepening of Thara's relationship with Alura and Zor-El. She was Kara's best friend. Kara is gone. She has no parents. It is not surprising that they fall into each other's arms.

While no prior scene has actually shown a loving parental nuturing relationship between Alura and Thara, I always just assumed they were more than passing acquaintances in Kandor. I am glad to see it spelled out more here.

In the meantime, we see Chris as he returns to the Phantom Zone just after the Last Son story arc ends. Immediately upon returning, he has his first growth spurt, aging about 6 years.

While Rucka doesn't say exactly why this happened, he does throw out a couple of theories. Maybe it is Chris' unique physiology. Maybe it is his exposure to the yellow sun. Maybe it is both.

Not knowing where else to go, he returns to Fort Roz where he finds an unlikely ally - Non. Non keeps him hidden and safe within the fortress; not even Zod and Ursa know that Chris has returned. Non is becoming a more complex character rather than the lobotomized brute I mostly know him as. Even in World of New Krypton, he is following Kal's orders rather than being simply a Zod sycophant.

Thara is said to have been a rather devout Kryptonian before the Brainiac incident. Now, she finds herself haunted by visions in her dreams of the Flamebird being.

As she grows, she is given the title of Head of Security by Alura and Zor-El, despite the fact that others are more worthy. But work alone cannot ease Thara's troubled soul. Zor-El tells her to go back to the church she has abandoned.

I am very happy that Thara's position as head of security was explained. It made little sense to me that a teenage girl should head the surviving Kryptonian military. At least now I know it was more nepotism than true evaluation.

The religious guild welcomes her with open arms. In the cathedral she has a true vision of the Flamebird and is claimed by the guild as one of their own. Thara is initiated within the guild, feeling that she is somehow one with the Flamebird entity.

There was a ripple of 'Dark Phoenix' here but just a sniff.

And it was intriguing to finally see within the religious guild's workings, even if it was only a peek.

While all of this is happening, Chris continues to recover in Roz. At night he roams the fortress looking for a way back to Earth. One night he stumbles into a room where Zod has kept all the Brainiac tech that he has gathered.

Without clear reason, Chris puts a Brainiac headset on his head. The technology hums to life with Brainiac tendrils burrowing into his scalp. At that moment, Thara is in deep prayer. Somehow, this confluence of events has them mind-meld for a moment. Suddenly all their memories are shared - a moment of unity. Thara knows about Chris now ... and knows she must save him.

It is not without consequence however. Chris is discovered by Zod, the headset is removed, and he is placed in irons. Thara continues to wonder if she is truly meant to be the living Flamebird and feels she must save Chris. Realizing that she cannot reach that goal as an acolyte she leaves the religious guild.

In the prior issues of Action Comics, you could get the sense of some religious fervor within Thara. This was no simple mission to round up criminals. It was somehow more so it was good to see the mystical origins of her Flamebird identity. It makes her zeal, her willingness to risk the life she has on New Krypton, easier to understand.

Once away from the religious guild, Thara retakes her title as Head of Security. Within that capacity, she has access to all the current technology that Kandor has been working on. Included in that are 'phantom zone encounter suits' with limited phantom zone projectors ... at last a way to get to Chris.

This is one of my favorite small scenes in the book. Thara enters the phantom zone, an infinite dimension in hopes of freeing Chris. But how could she find him?

When she enters the dimension, a flaming path to Roz blazes before us, another religious vision.

At first I thought Thara might simply be insane. But now, maybe there is more to this ... maybe there is something more holy.

Thara flies into the fortress and is nearly overwhelmed by Ursa until Non again shows some initiative. He uses the limited projector on Thara and Chris, freeing them from the zone. Then he destroys the projector with his bare hands. Now that was unexpected! Thara and Chris will now become the embodiments of Flamebird and Nightwing.

I thought this was a good story to help flesh out the motivations of Thara and Chris as well as get more information of how she freed him. I also like all the discussion about life on Kandor and Krypton. The religious overlay of the Nightwing/Flamebird legend on top of Thara and Chris' story is a nice wrinkle to add. By making the story more expositional, it added a feeling of mythology to the story - one of retold legend rather than exactly living through it with dialogue. Slick touch.

Add to that the layers of backstory with Thara/Alura and Zor-El as well as Chris/Non and you have a very 3-dimensional cast of characters in New Krypton. This was a good annual.

Overall grade: B/B+

Monday, June 22, 2009

Heroes Convention 2009

It's the beginning part of convention season with 2 of the bigger cons happening simultaneously t his weekend. One was Wizard World Philadelphia. The other was Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Most comic book sites had live feeds from the conventions so news was easy to come by. As usual, I tried to pick and choose the best bits to talk about here.

First off, the DC Panel at Heroes Con was covered over on Newsarama. Here is the link:
http://www.newsarama.com/comics/090620-heroes-DC-universe.html . Supergirl's own Jamal Igle was one of the panel members. Here is some of what was reported.

Moving to Supergirl, Igle said that “Guiding Day” is the next Supergirl story coming up, in which Supergirl celebrates her birthday, and must choose a Guild on New Krypton. That story will lead to the Codename:Patriot crossover which will kick off with something that happens in World of New Krypton #5.

My guess is that this is a typo and the story should be 'Guilding Day'. Knowing what we have seen in her room, my hope is that Kara will join the Artists' guild. It also would be a nice tribute to Zor-El since we learned he was one the of scientists in the Artists' guild. I hope, for once, Alura supports Supergirl's decision instead of trying to force her into choosing something else.

I also wonder if the choosing of guilds will be explained. Who would ever choose the labor guild? Or are you only given the choices of your parents?

A fan thanked Igle for adding the shorts to Supergirl’s uniform, the artist thanked her for liking them, noting how a simple pair of short under a skirt was very divisive among Supergirl fans.

I wonder if Igle ever gets tired of talking about the shorts? I know I have.

The cool thing is that question was asked by a big Supergirl fan. One of the blogs I always read is 'Adventures of Comic Book Girl' ( http://nevermore999.livejournal.com/ ) and it looks like she was the one who prompted Igle to talk about it. Better yet, she did a nice review of her day at the con and further interactions with Igle.

From her blog:

I also took the oppurtunity to assure Jamal Igle that I adored Supergirl's shorts, and he shouldn't listen to what anyone says about them. I kind of wish I hadn't now, because it became a running joke at the panel. Igle had to explain to Sattler what the deal with the shorts was. He also said he "had never seen such a divided between fans over an article of clothing." He said he'd gotten angry emails on the shorts and they were all (predictably) from guys.

I am glad that she echoed support of the shorts to Igle. I have always preferred them.

Other juicy tidbits from the con.

Supergirl will be wearing Kryptonian clothes next issue...

I look forward to seeing what styles of clothes Igle has designed.

He was very pleased when I told him his and Sterling's work had made me like Supergirl, and when I complimented how normal-weight, strong and expressive her drew her, and how he made it possible for me to relate to her and be interested in her. He said that was the best thing I could have said to him.

I hope all fans of the current direction who are at this con (or any con that Igle and Gates are attending) let them know how much the title is appreciated. I hope I have the opportunity to do it at a con sometime soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Back Issue Box: Adventure Comics #389 - 'Happy Father's Day'

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. Hope everyone slept in and then had a big pancake breakfast. This was supposed to go out this morning. Boo hoo when scheduled posts don't go out on time.

Since it is Father's Day, I thought I would dip into the back issue box again for a sweet Silver Age tale involving both Supergirl's fathers - Zor-El and Fred Danvers.

The opening story in Adventure Comics #389 was 'The Mystery Magician'. The artwork is clearly the work of Win Mortimer. In some places, Robert Kanigher is listed as the writer.

The story opens in a way that captures the wonder and grace of that period's Supergirl. First she saves the lives of some astronauts whose Mercury rocket boosters don't fire. Then as she returns to the ground level, she sees some sad kids and uses her powers to fix their bicycles. Problems big and small were all worthy of her attention. And that all happens within the first 2 pages!

Back at Stanhope University, the professor tells the co-eds that their assignment is to celebrate Father's Day by writing about their fathers and making him a present. Seems more like an assignment for elementary school but the Silver Age was a simpler time.

The students all reminisce about their fathers.

Linda thinks about both her fathers. First there is a quick recap of her origin and the ultimate fate of Zor-El, rescued from the Survival Zone and living in the bottled city of Kandor.

Obviously Linda Danvers can't write about Zor-El so instead writes about her adopted father Fred Danvers.

A fellow student named Harriet says her father is the retired magician Malcolm The Mysterious. Unfortunately he has slipped into a deep depression and hasn't performed in 10 years since his wife and stage assistant, Harriet's mother, passed away. He even refuses to come to the campus on Father's Day.

Linda feels for Harriet and decides to help out.

In a move that is a bit over the top and maybe even a bit creepy, Kara uses super-ventriloquism to have a poster of Harriet's mother speak to her father, convincing him to go to Stanhope and perform for the Father's Day party.

Ahhh ... super-ventriloquism. It is one of my favorite silly super-powers.

At the Father's Day celebration, all the dads show up to receive their presents. Linda presents Fred with a hydroelectric dam made out of toothpicks. Awwww ....

Amazingly, Malcolm The Mysterious shows up and receives his gift ... a new magic wand. He gets on stage and begins his first performance. But he hasn't done the act in 10 years and is about to royally flop when Supergirl decides to step in as Linda Danvers. She helps with a few tricks by stealthily using her super-powers ... like this one where she levitates.

Alas, there are always mean-spirited people in the world. A student named Vera, who has been belittling Harriet throughout the story, runs to the stage and says Linda is floating because she is actually Supergirl.

Interestingly enough, Vera seems more interested in seeing Malcolm fail than she is in proving Linda is Supergirl. She decides that the best way to prove Malcolm was getting super-assistance from Linda is to lock her in a lead-lined room and have him proceed with his act. Fearing her secret identity will be revealed, Linda acquiesces.

Despite Linda remaining locked up, Malcolm is able to perform two of his more difficult tricks - escaping from chains and bouncing a hundred pound metal ball.

Vera runs back to the basement she has locked Linda in only to discover Linda hasn't budged.

Realizing that "Linda can't be Supergirl", the two return to the show to see the show's ending. Linda is thrilled to see Malcolm's confidence return. He will be able to do his shows without her assistance from now on.

Does that mean that Malcolm was able to escape the chains and bounce the ball by himself?

No, it doesn't.

When she was being locked in the basement she sent a message to Zor-El using her super-ventriloquism again! Who knew that was such a handy power. And like a good dad, he runs to help out his daughter.

Indeed, it was Zor-El who unlocked the chains padlock and helped bounce the ball.

Kara wishes Zor-El a happy Father's Day as he returns to Kandor.

It really was a great Father's Day for Supergirl! She saw her two dads and helped another dad along the way.

What a sweet story!

Well, I am off to spend the day with the supergirls here. Should be a great Father's Day for me too!