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Super-bitch? Super-ditz? Super-suck? – Adventure Comics #389

September 27, 2011

I shudder to ponder my fate if any of my exes had such a power. They were a long string of horrid succubi, in stark contrast to my embodiment of virtue and light, and would assuredly have used it without compunction.

The story that goes along with the cover is unspeakably lame, even by the standards of B-level Silver Age. Just when you think it can’t possibly push the suck-o-meter any further into the red part of the dial, it cranks it up a notch. Wow. Just wow.

The entire story (Cary Bates/Kurt Schaffenberger) centers around the premise that the Maid of Steel (and alter-ego Linda Danvers) is a vapid twat that falls for any man who treats her poorly. Yes, the focal point of this story is something that would make any feminist or multi-celled creature crimson with shame. Here’s the bastard beau (Kim — never trust a man with a girl’s name) in action (as well as Supergirl’s seldom-employed “super-suck” breath):

[Insert perverse humor here.]

Kim resists every romantic attempt by both Linda and Supergirl — Supergirl makes him a car, for crissakes — and every cruel drop of rejection makes both sides of the coin love him more. It comes as no surprise that Kim isn’t on the up and up, and that he’s actually an interstellar con in the fiendish employ of Brainiac:

Those four panels are like a vortex of dumb. Seriously, reading them the first time you’re half afraid the comic book is going to fold in on itself like the house at the end of Poltergeist. The end result is that Brainiac sends a robot duplicate of a jerky Lothario to mess with Supergirl’s empty blonde head. Yes, this ploy is intended to be the product of one of the galaxy’s greatest intellects.

The culmination of the scheme is supposed to have android-Kim finally rejecting Supergirl and blowing himself up in front of her like a self-immolating Tibetan monk, sending her into an emotional tailspin from which she’ll never recover. This all goes awry when Supergirl doesn’t do what’s expected, and instead whisks Kim (and a magically appearing space-suit) to, well, take a look:

A dragon burial ground in space. One would think that such “camouflage” would actually draw more attention, but okay. If Supergirl’s “joke” at the end, though, doesn’t make you ram your head into the nearest wall, I don’t know what will. And frankly, I’m amazed that Bates and Schaffenberger bothered to include a spacesuit and didn’t just settle for the Mariel Hemingway/Superman IV “screw it” solution.

Supergirl turns Kim to stone (a precursor to her brief time as Medusa). Brainiac appears, and all is revealed — Kim switched himself with the android, hence the fouling of green-skin’s carefully laid plans. Perhaps realizing that he really was doing things in a roundabout way, he sprays her with Kryptonite Scrubbing Bubbles and takes his leave:

After Brainiac’s departure and some help from the not fully petrified Kim, Supergirl gets back on her feet and has her own set of secrets to reveal:

She takes poor Kim to a regular old Earth prison, where one presumes she’ll make frequent conjugal visits. Oh, and Brainiac escapes.

This book reeks of deadline pressure — or something along those lines. One can envision the need to get a Supergirl story done and folks sitting around and wondering what in the name of Rao they were going to do with her this time around. And the end product is this dreck. If I were in a better mood (I’m not in a bad one, mind you), perhaps replicator-pillows and dragon-stomach cemeteries might give me a warm chuckle. The shallow portrayal of a principal heroine, however, should leave anyone cold. Mixed together it all forms a stomach-churning potion.

Super-suck breath indeed.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 28, 2011 4:05 am

    And it was about to get worse, much worse. Mike Sekowsky was given the job of editor, writer and artist effective with #397, for a whole (horrific) year. I had a very long run of Adventure going by then, including almost all of the Legion issues, and so I glumly picked up every issue.

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