Friday, April 19, 2019

Amazing Heroes #91 - Special Post-Crisis Issue Part 2 - Crisis #7 Review

About a month ago I stumbled across Amazing Heroes #91, a treasure trove of information about Crisis on Infinite Earths in retrospect. I already covered the look at Supergirl's death scene as being something most everyone - creators and reviewers alike - looked at as having been done well.

Now historically, Amazing Heroes wasn't exactly sympathetic to Supergirl's character so I was interested to look more at some of the Supergirl specific commentary in this book.

One thing that caught my eye was reviewer R. A. Jones look back at the series in total. Jones does a great job here looking at each issue individually and then summing up his thoughts about that particular section of the tale.

For the most part I can remember Jones reviews as being pretty fair and a bit more in-depth than many.

And as a fan of Crisis on Infinite Earths, I dove right in.

So what did he have to say about Crisis on Infinite Earths #7?

The beginning part of the review is basically recap, I guess if you were one of the people who didn't read this series.

That opening paragraph is quite interesting thought.

Jones wonders if one of the decisions to kill off Supergirl was that her name was big enough to get the attention of the popular press. Yes, Kid Psycho isn't a big deal, even for Legion fans like me.

But you would think that the Flash would be big enough to garner that attention. After all, he ushered in the Silver Age. Why not have him 'close' the Bronze Age?

Also, was Supergirl's name big enough to warrant that attention? Was she a known commodity to the average mainstream person walking the streets? I guess her movie was recent enough to be somewhat in the popular conscience. But you'd think someone like Robin or Captain Marvel or one of the Teen Titans would have been more of a blow.

Hey, I am saying this a huge Supergirl fan. I don't know if she was a major big deal then.

I do love Jones ending though.

It is clear he is one of us, a fan of Supergirl.

He blames DC for not giving her the due she was owed. While I think 'third string writers and artists' is a rough way to describe Paul Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino, I do have to agree that the Superman Family stories were a bit ragtag.

But his words to strike a chord in me. I definitely thought her death was a mistake. I definitely thought (and still think) she has nigh limitless potential. But without the right care, she floundered. Heck, I still think that is true. Look at her current story arc!

And a nice capstone is showing how there was no true closure for the character. No Danvers grieving. She is brought to Rokyn wrapped in a body bag. She had a rough crossover where she married someone and ran out on him. Yeesh.

"The lady deserved better."

Amen R.A. Jones. Amen.


Martin Gray said...

That was a great review, I used to laugh at RA Jones' Granny rating scale. I do think the death of Supergirl was a bigger attention getter than would be the death of Captain Marvel or one of the Teen Titans.

Anonymous said...

Supergirl's death was an instance of DC trying to have it both ways: at the same time they defend their decision on Kara being impopular, they treat her like such a big deal that her sacrifice is the focus of the issue and her death is the cover's theme.

I mean, if she was so little important and nobody cared about her, why killing her off via a heroic sacrifice instead of a random death? Or why killing her instead of sending her into space and ignoring her existence afterwards? They told Kara did not matter, yet they treated her like a big deal.

I am glad to hear Mr. Jones stating. DC blamed the character instead of their own incompetence. I wholeheartedly agree.

H said...

Agreed. If I remember correctly, they used to say the same things about the Teen Titans.

Then again, I greatly prefer the original way they did Teen Titans to the New Teen Titans. Never understood why it was so popular.

DanielT said...

It was R. Fiore in The Comics Journal who had the old lady scale.

Anj said...

This is why I love this topic for Supergirl fans. So complicated?

Martin Gray said...

Thank you Daniel! My brain is full...

Professor Feetlebaum said...

Excellent review of an excellent review! It would be interesting to know what (if anything) the DC people thought of Jones's review and his comments on Supergirl. Did any of his comments even get back to DC?

"...Was Supergirl's name big enough to warrant that attention? Was she a known commodity to the average mainstream person walking the streets?"

Probably not, but Superman certainly was, and ANY big event involving Superman (and his extended family) was bound to attract attention inside and outside the comics community. Much more so than anything concerning Barry Allen or just about any other character.

As for Paul Kupperberg and Carmine Infantino, I wouldn't call them third string creators, but in 1985 they weren't SUPERSTAR creators like Wolfman and Perez were at the time. Infantino had been very popular in the early 60s, winning several Alley Awards for his work on The Flash and Adam Strange, but things had changed by the mid 80s. Jones may have had all of Supergirl's post 1970 creators in mind when he wrote that.

Now this may be totally off, but I wonder if SOME of the dislike for Supergirl through the years has come from her having started out as a "Mort Weisinger Character". When Weisinger's "style" fell out of favor, many of the concepts introduced during his tenure were now looked on as corny and childish. Did older readers look at Supergirl the same way they looked at Beppo the Super Monkey and Superbaby?

Anonymous said...

I do not think you are off the mark, Professor. The late 80's were steeped in an anti-Silver Age mindset. The Superman reboot was influenced by the Golden Age, the 40´s cartoons, the 50´s show, the Donner movies... In other words, anything but the Weisinger/Schwartz era. It is highly likely Supergirl was perceived as another "silly" element of the "stupid", "campy" Silver Age that the direct market appeared to loathe and was "saddling" the franchise.

Anonymous said...

DC in the 1980's went thru a mini-Fatwah against legacy females in general Supergirl was "crisised" out of existence, Batgirl was sidelined in a wheelchair to re-emerge as Oracle, Donna Troy became someone called "DarkStar"...Lady Blackhawk vanished, Mary Marvel (the Queen Mother of Legacy Women) was put on hiatus. Of all of them, only Supergirl rated a "for real, for good, death showy, loud and immediately retconned out of existence along with a loud invitation to her fans to get lost!
If any of you are wondering why I don't trust DC Comics and never will...:)


Professor Feetlebaum said...

Something that never made sense to me. If Kara/Supergirl was to be retconned out of existence ANYWAY, why give her a big showy death that practically guaranteed that she would be remembered? It would have made more sense to have her just quietly vanish.

According to Cary Bates, the decision to kill off Supergirl and The Flash was made about a year before the Crisis. I suspect that the decision to retcon her out of existence came later, probably when John Byrne was given the job of updating Superman. Byrne was a big advocate of Kal-El being Krypton's only survivor.