Posts tagged ‘Linda Lee Danvers’

Action 367 – Supergirl trapped in Stanhope College

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Supergirl gets the cover story for Action 368 (Oct. 68), continuing her battle with Alpha and Beta, courtesy of Cary Bates and Kurt Schaffenberger.

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Supergirl uses gold kryptonite on herself, permanently removing her powers.  Changing back into Linda, she hovers around the domed campus until Alpha and Beta spot her, and bring her into the sealed Stanhope College.  Her powers would have set off a bomb, but it still seems like a really extreme move.

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At least we learn what the two women are up to.  They are not aliens, they are from the distant future, and have travelled back in time to find the man who would one day invent “noricon.”  This substance is really valuable, and their plot is to basically corner the market, by getting him to invent it earlier. Of course, the poor guy has no idea how to invent it yet, and the idea is compared to asking an 8 year old Thomas Edison to invent a lightbulb.

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As the mid-part reaches a climax, Supergirl has found the inventor boy, and is keeping him safe.  But Supergirl’s absence has drawn Superman’s attention, and he flies towards the dome, intending to smash it, unaware that this will blow up the campus (as per the cover image.)

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 361 – the Parasite returns, and Supergirl dates a Kryptonian?

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Jim Shooter and Al Plastino bring back the Parasite in Action 361 (March 1968).

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An alien geographer exploring the Earth finds an unusual cloud, which registers as a life-form.  He brings it aboard his ship, and concentrates it, which restores the Parasite back to life.  The Parasite drains the geographer, and heads down to Earth.

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The Parasite still is aware that Superman is Clark Kent.  He takes on the identity of a reporter, drawing the needed skills and abilities from Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen, even from Perry White as he hires the man for the Daily Planet.  The Parasite sticks close to Clark, but only draws his energy from him as the Parasite.

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This plan works extremely well.  The Parasite never lets his presence be known, so Superman has no idea what is weakening him.

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When the Parasite has drained Superman sufficiently, he goes on the attack.  And Superman has been weakened so much that the Parasite should have won this fight.  But the geographer recovered, and comes up form behind, trapping Parasite in the device he used to gather him as a cloud int he first place.

Surprisingly, after two great appearances the Parasite is not seen again until the mid-70s.

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Otto Binder and Kurt Schaffenberger explore the wonders of computer dating in this story.

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Linda gets matched with a boy who seems to have super-powers, speak Kryptonian, and know that she is Supergirl. She is wary enough to not reveal anything, but also intrigued.

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When she comes to his aid as Supergirl, he rudely rebuffs her, claiming to have interest only in Linda.  This really throws her.

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He finally tries to prove Linda is Supergirl, at the risk of her life.  She gets out of it, and he confesses that the he faked his Kryptonian stuff, thinking she really was Supergirl.

And we are meant to laugh as he winds up matched with an ugly girl.

But he was right.  And although he lied about who he was, Linda also lies about who she is.

I think they were better suited to each other than Linda thought.  No wonder she never gets a stable boyfriend, and is content with her dalliances with a merboy, a horse, and an alien living in the distant future.

 

Action 350 – the Caveman Superman, and Supergirl and the Heroes

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Binder and Boring solve the mystery of the stone-age Superman in Action 350 (May 1967).

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Perry White gets trapped at a cave-in at an archaeological dig.  When Superman comes to dig him out, they discover the skeletal remains of a caveman, wearing a Superman uniform.

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Superman travels back in time to investigate, and winds up in a prehistoric era, with both dinosaurs and cavemen, and even a red sun.

As far as I understand, the red giant phase is something our sun has yet to experience, not part of its distant past.  But whatever, it leaves Superman powerless.

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Superman runs afoul of a tribe, lead by Guarr, but eventually proves himself to them.  Guarr wants Superman’s costume, which retains its invulnerability. Somehow.

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One of Superman’s robots comes back in time, worried that his master has not returned.  He brings Superman back to the present, and they leave a costume for Guarr to wear and die in, and be dug up centuries later.

I have to confess, I wish it wasn’t Wayne Boring on the art.  Superman grows a beard while in the past, but Boring never makes it look like much more than some shading.

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Dorfman and Mooney pit Supergirl against some unheroic Heroes in this story.

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The Heroes are a rock band, who dress as Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern, as well as a girl dressed as Supergirl.  Linda enjoys their music, but they are really a gang of thieves, who steal from the locations they perform at, while everyone is watching their Supergirl.

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Supergirl notes the correlation between the thefts and their performances, and goes to question their Supergirl.  She has also just figured out what is going on, and wants no part of the ban anymore.  When Supergirl shows up to rehearse for their next gig, the boys are suspicious.  She seems to be much better than she had been previously, and they suspect she is the real thing.

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They lay a kryptonite trap for her, but their pans backfire badly.  It was not the real Supergirl, just their singer, pretending to be, so the kryptonite does nothing.  Supergirl calls on the Justice League of America, and Batman, Green Arrow and Green Lantern are happy to help her round up the band, while Hawkman sits, stuck on monitor duty.

 

 

Action 336 – a Phantom Zone ex-con, and Supergirl with melty face

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There is a really great story in Action 336 (April 1966), but it’s not the one on the cover.

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Superman is the titular star of this story by Hamilton, Swan, and Klein, but the real star is Ak-Var.

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As a youth, back on Krypton, Ak-Var had stolen the sun-stone as a prank.  But he was captured, and sentenced to thirty years in the Phantom Zone.  In the intervening time, Krypton exploded.  Superman comes to Kandor as Ak-Var is released, having completed his sentence.  Phantom Zone regulars Jax-Ur, General Zod, Kru-El and Professor Vakox all cameo.

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Ak-Var wants to stay on Earth, and use his powers, just like Superman.  But the rules are that anyone released from the Zone must take up residence in Kandor – although the Kandorians are none too pleased to have him around.  In fact, the story almost seems to imply that Ak-Var is one of the only people ever released.  He does run into his old gang, and his former girlfriend, all of whom have aged, while he stayed ageless in the Zone.

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This story gives a lot of detail about life in Kandor.  Van-Zee, the double of Superman, takes a liking to Ak-Var, and introduces him to his niece, Thara.

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Ak-Var former gang friends launch a crime spree, and frame Ak-Var.  Being only recently released from the Zone, no one believes him innocent, except Superman, Van-Zee and Thara.

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Together, they expose the gang members as the real criminals.  Ak-Var becomes Van-Zee’s lab assistant.

Van-Zee is not seen again for a decade, returning for a story in World’s Finest Comics.  Ak-Var and Thara have to wait even longer, coming back in the Nightwing and Flamebird series in Superman Family in the late 70s.

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Supergirl comes back to Earth with her transformed face in the concluding half of this Binder and Mooney story.  Superman tries to help restore her features, but with no success.  Comet doesn’t care about her looks (he’s a horse after all), but notices her way of thinking has changed, and doesn’t like that.

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She feels like a freak, and takes off for Bizarro World, thinking to fit in there.  Wanting to fit in on Bizarro World is a pretty dumb idea.

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Linda is stuck wearing a mask over her real face, but discovers that , somehow, her original appearance returned.  She learns that the man who caused it was so grief stricken by his actions, that he changed her back.  And so she ends, happily dancing with Dick Malverne.

An easy out.

 

Action 335 – Luthor destroys Superman’s confidence, and Supergirl enters beauty pageants

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Dorfman and Plastino conclude Luthor’s vengeance storyline in Action 335 (March 1966).

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Superman continues to be indecisive, which makes him not nearly as useful as he had been, and people begin to turn against him.  Van Benson appears as the editor of the Daily Planet, while Perry White appears as a senator. Perry became a senator in a recent issue of Superman’s Girlfriend, Lois Lane.  Through Perry, the president requests tests of Superman’s abilities.

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Superman fares no better on the tests than he has in actual situations.

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But the people running the tests are not really generals. They are Luthor and Brainiac in disguise, making the most of their psychological war on Superman.

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But they overplayed their hand.  Superman’s x-ray vision gave away how the tests were rigged, and their gloating was overheard by his super-hearing.

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Still, Superman allows them to escape.  Returning to Lexor, Luthor finds an adoring Ardora, with seemingly no memory of the criminal acts she discovered.  Brainiac figures out that Superman induced amnesia in Ardora.  We learn Superman’s rationale for this – that Ardora was too nice to learn the truth.  That’s kind of odd reasoning.  And leaves Ardora in the hands of a dangerous and unstable man.  But Superman is fine with that.

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Binder and Mooney begin a 2-part Supergirl story, which sees Linda Danvers become a beauty pageant contestant.

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Linda gets spotted by a talent scout while on a date with Dick Malverne.  She is flattered by the attention, and agrees to enter a competition.  Dick has a charmingly cute nightmare about Linda becoming successful and leaving him in the dust.

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Linda wins pageant after pageant, eventually making it into the finals of the Miss Universe competition.  She has no problem sabotaging the other contestants to ensure her victory.

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After being crowned, Linda finds herself being transported into space for the real finals of the real Miss Universe pageant – exactly as she had planned. She had discovered that the previous winners had vanished, and never returned.

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Once again she wins, although this time as Supergirl.  But the “prize” is a transformation into a hideous monster.

The story concludes in the next issue.

Action 319 – Superman finds that innocence is irrelevant, and Supergirl gets expelled

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Hamilton, Swan and Klein conclude the Death of Luthor storyline in Action 319 (Dec. 64).

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Much of this issue is a Kafkaesque trial for Superman, as nothing he says or does has any effect on the Lexorians, who are simply going through the motions before executing him.  Their preferred method turns a person into stone.

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During the trial, Superman learns that no autopsy was performed on Luthor, at his own request.  This makes Superman suspicious enough to bust out of his cell to investigate further.

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The pills make Luthor’s plan clear.  He will be in his death-like coma for the duration of the trial, and wake up after Superman has been executed for killing him.

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Superman gets Lex out of his trance, and even reveals the pills he used, but to no avial.  Oh, the charges against him are dropped, but everyone still believes in Lex.  Superman is forced to return to Earth, while Luthor stays on Lexor with Ardora.

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Donna Storm, the villain from the previous issue, returns to plague Linda Danvers, and Supergirl, in this Dorfman and Mooney story.

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Donna feels she needs to be the best at everything, but has no prblem cheating to achieve this. She gets scientists at her father’s lab to do her chemistry work, and has a mini tape recorder in her earrings, feeding her for presentations.

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Supergirl decides to outdo her, because that is the maturest way to handle the situation.  When Donna spends a lot of money on pictures for a presentation in biology, Supergirl takes the rest of the class to Atlantis for a lesson by Lori Lemaris.

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Donna is even more upset with Linda, and her friendship with Supergirl, after this.  She steals some jewels, and plants them in Linda’s room.  They are found, and Linda gets expelled.

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But Donna Storm makes her big mistake, when Linda comes to confront her.  She admits everything, bragging to Linda about it, but her words get broadcast to the entire campus.

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Supergirl had called on the Legion of Super-Heroes for help, and Shrinking Violet had re-wired her tape recorder earrings to become a broadcast device.

Linda’s expulsion is rescinded, and Donna Storm gets the boot instead.  She never appears again.

Considering the self-esteem issues that Donna clearly has, after the public humiliation of her activities being exposed, and the, likely, forthcoming criminal charges, I expect she just killed herself.

 

Action 318 – Superman kills Luthor, and Supergirl goes to university

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Much of the story in Action 318 (Nov. 64), by Hamilton, Swan and Klein, takes place on the planet Lexor, a world where Lex Luthor is hailed as a great hero, which had been introduced in the pages of Superman, and now makes its first appearance in this book.

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Luthor escapes from prison on Earth, and takes a rocket to Lexor, where he is given a parade, because, wouldn’t you?

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Lex even has a girlfriend on Lexor, Ardora, who he marries in this issue.  They both know Superman will be coming for Lex eventually, and she begs him not to kill the man.

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Lex goes out to confront Superman when arrives on Lexor.  The planet orbits a red sun, so Superman has no powers there.  As they fight, Superman knocks Lex against a pillar, which cracks his head open and kills him.

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Superman is immediately hauled away, risking an all-out lynching.  Lex Luthor’s funeral draws a huge crowd, even Brainiac shows up to attend.

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No one believes that the death was accidental, not even the lawyers appointed for Superman, who does not look happy about waiting till next issue for the resolution to the story.

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Supergirl graduates from high school, and moves away to attend Stanhope University in this Dorfman and Mooney story.  It’s kind of weird, as the last year or so of Supergirl stories have placed so much emotional weight on which parents get to raise her, and now she’s off on her own.

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Of course, the first order of business is joining a sorority.  Linda sees one, Alpha Lamba, where Donna Storm treats the pledges appallingly.  So that’s the one she intends to join.  Because.  Umm.  Ok.

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So Linda is assigned a variety of humiliating tasks, which she turns into popular triumphs.  When she is tricked into having to kiss a monkey in public, the monkey turns out to be Beppo.

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When she has to find a last minute mascot, Super-Horse steps in.  Dick Malverne does have a cameo, but we learn he is attending a different school.

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The super-pets raise Donna’s suspicions about knowing, or being, Supergirl.  She drives her car off a cliff, in an attempt to prove that Linda is the heroine, but she tricks Donna into thinking the car landed safely.  Remorseful, Donna agrees to stop tormenting the pledges, and becomes Linda’s friend.  Hoping to suck up to Supergirl, I expect.

 

 

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