Friday, June 3, 2011

Back Issue Box: Superman Family #205

With Flashpoint:Secret Seven #1 having come out this week, I figured I would finish my look back at Supergirl's interactions with the Enchantress.

Superman Family #205 continued the feud between the two that had been started in the last issue. The plot for this story is very similar to the last one with the Enchantress trying to obtain ultimate power so she can rid the world of evil. Supergirl knows that the Enchantress is too unhinged to handle such power regardless of her good intentions.

As with the last story, the creative team is writer Jack C. Harris and artist Win Mortimer.

In 'Magic over Miami', the Enchantress vows to get her revenge on Supergirl and gain the omnipotent powers that were denied her.
And she better, the magical being that gave her her powers, Dzamor, isn't happy with her failure. Dzamor is just odd enough to make me curious about him. He's basically a head with arms. Did he lift himself onto that throne?

And the Enchantress has a pretty good plot to lure Supergirl out. What better way to get revenge than to get Supergirl to unwittingly help the Enchantress gain her ultimate power.

With a spell, the Enchantress appears before Supergirl taunting her. At first Linda thinks that everyone can see the floating heads, but it's obvious that only she can see it. Good thing, the school's library is bustling.

The Enchantress says that she will be in Miami with a new plan to gain omnipotence. Supergirl better get there fast if she wants to stop the sorceress.

Last issue we saw Supergirl change into Linda Danvers in the middle of the campus grounds. Here we see her start to change into Supergirl in the middle of tha packed library! I guess she wasn't as worried about her secret identity getting discovered back then.

Anyways, it's a good thing that Linda's uptight boss Mr. Pierce speaks up or she would have changed right in front of him.
It is just too silly a moment to let slide, one of a few in this issue.

As promised, the Enchantress is in Miami, practically daring Supergirl to battle. As with the last issue, Enchantress knows an astral alignment is about to occur. And with her standing on that spot of the convergence, power will flood into her. Protected by her magical cocoon, the Enchantress can't be touched by Supergirl.

So why not use the crazy solution from last issue? After all, it worked.

One way to stop the Enchantress' plan is to wreck the 'perfect' alignment. And the easiest way to do that is to kick the moon slightly out of its orbit. That's the third moon kick in 2 issues!

But that is just what the Enchantress was hoping for! Supergirl actually kicks the moon into the right alignment for Enchantress to gain her powers. The moon now reflects light from a red star onto the sorceress, flooding her with power. With her new found power, the Enchantress encases the moon in a magical force field so Supergirl can't kick it again. And while in the  red sun beam, she is safe from Supergirl.

Now how did the Enchantress knew which direction Supergirl would nudge the moon? How could she anticipate that it would be put into the exact alignment needed? Crazy!

The new position of the moon begins to affect things on Earth. The tides begin to unravel with large water spouts arising near the coast of Miami and threatening the city's citizens.

And somehow Supergirl's powers don't work on the water. Somehow it is now 'magic water'. I don't understand that at all.  Supergirl pleads with the Enchantress to stop the spell.

Remember, the Enchantress isn't all bad. She wants the power to do good. She isn't interested in seeing the people of Miami drowned by the spout. She sends the water off towards the Bahamas.

Turnabout is fair play, so Supergirl decides to trick the Enchantress just as she was tricked. Playing on the Enchantress' good side, Supergirl tells her foe that the magic spell has unleashed chaos on the city. In fact, the city is on fire. To douse the flames, the Enchnatress fires a freeze spell to the city.

While it might be fast thinking on Supergirl's part, it does seem overly risky. The city fire is actually gas jets that Supergirl exposed behind the buildings and set ablaze. I don't know ... seems like a lot could go wrong with igniting gas lines.

But after the freeze blast is fired, the alignment suddenly ends. The red sun beam suddenly winks out, and the Enchantress is suddenly powerless.

So how did that happen?

Well, Supergirl inhaled the Enchantress' freeze blast and used it to freeze the magic water waterspout.

Again, this is a tough moment to reconcile. Through the story we have seen Supergirl weakened by magic, even being the proximity of magic. So how she could inhale a magical freeze beam without being frozen by it? Harris tries to cover the gaffe by saying it took 'great effort', but you have to be internally consistent right?

Supergirl then hurled the frozen water into space, blocking the red sun rays from striking the moon and reflecting on to the Enchantress. Just like that the astral alignment was broken. I won't comment on the shape of the ice block.

Now while it is a good plan for Supergirl, couldn't it have been done more easily. Rather than inhale a potentially lethal ice blast why not just heave a big rock between the star and moon?

It is interesting that Enchantress is a semi-hero, trying to do what's right but using powers out of her control. That part of her personality has carried forward from this story.

Supergirl figures out more of the story as well. She knows the Enchantress is June Moone.

But just as quickly as we see that, the Enchantress erases the memory from Supergirl's mind. If she can do that so effortlessly, why not fight Supergirl outright?

Well, as I said before, this story is filled with some odd moments. I don't know what is stranger: the near identity disaster in the library, kicking the moon out of orbit, the gas jet trick, or inhaling the magic blast?

Sometimes the charm of these older stories is the silliness. But this was a bit too much too quick. Still, it is kind of fun to see the moon kick.

In the context of a Supergirl collection this is of low importance. Again, it can probably be found pretty cheap in stores and at conventions.

Overall grade: C-


Anonymous said...

Latest news is B. Wood was scheduled for a new Supergirl #1, but now he's off the book. I wonder if anybody wants anything to do with this character anymore (outside of just to earn a paycheck).

This book has been damaged heavily by massive changes, heavy-handed editorial and restrictive rules, alienation of portions of the fanbase, constant fighting/bullying on message boards, etc. Taking on this character seems to be too much of a headache for most creative teams-- I don't blame them one bit.

Anonymous said...

Honestly these are some of the crudest looking action panel's I've ever seen in a DC Book. There is something about the combo of Win Mortimer and Vince Colletta that produces sheer dreck. I'm a great believer that bad artwork drags down mediocre writing, whereas good artwork elevates uninspired scripts. So you can see the downward spiral Supergirl was in during the late Bronze Age.
I do miss this costume though, even if it is completely retro in 2011, and I'm all for another go-round with the Enchantress.

John Feer

Anonymous said...

I agree with John Feer that it would be cool if Supergirl took on the Enchantress today.

I find it interesting that June Moone's blond hair turns to black when she become Enchantress while Kara takes off her brunette wig to show her blond hair as Supergirl.
Its like their alter-egos are opposite to each other.


Anj said...

I also think the Enchantress would be a nice member of Supergirl's rogues.