Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween....a time of tricks and treats with the DC Universe Halloween Special of 2008!

All under a cover by Gene Ha, stories of Elongated Man and his wife Sue (who stretch through the whole book....), first with a story of those two by Dan Didio and Tony Shasteen, then Clark Kent facing "Deadline Halloween" in a Superman story by Mike Johnson and Matthew Clark; Green Lantern (Kyle Rayner) facing his "Fear of the Dark" by Eddie Berganza and Trevor Hairsine; Scarecrow, Batman and Com. Gordon in "The Ballad of Jonathan Crane" by Mikey Way and Mateus; Faust dealing with daddy issues (and his dad, JLA foe Felix Faust) in "The Embrace" by Harvey Richards and Federico Dalloccho; Batman facing Solomon Grundy in "One Last Halloween" by Brian Reed and Darick Roberston; Etrigan the Demon doing what he does best in "Hell Hath No Fury" by Duncan Rouleau; Two-Face facing the Joker and Mad Hatter in "Scarred and Scared" by Brad Destroyer and Riccardo Burchielli; more with Elongated Man and Sue by Mark Verheiden and Dennis Calero in "The Elongated Halloween - Part 1"; Vixen vs. Mirror Master in "Role Model" by Eric Wallace and Tony Shasteen; and wrapping up the issue with more Elongated Man and Sue by Mark Verheiden and Dennis Calero in "The Elongated Halloween - Part 2"!

Isn't that scary?

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Halloween Hijinks With Deadman And The Spectre

Deadman and Spectre face off against the statues of Easter Island in this piece by Neal Adams...

...where these two undead heroes are forced to fight together to save us all in this work from the 1977 Super DC Calendar.

The Spectre

The Spectre was cop Jim Corrigan, killed by the mob, and given the ability to return to mete out vengeance against those who do wrong first appeared in More Fun Comics #52 (February, 1940, by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily), joined the Justice Society of America, and continued to fight for justice for decades...

....and even recently appeared as Jim Corrigan in a couple of episodes of the NBC TV show, Constantine, played by Emmett J. Scanlan (and we saw hints of detective Corrigan becoming Spectre thanks to visions of John's friend, Zed, who was a psychic).


Circus aerialist Boston Brand was shot dead during a performance, but that was only the beginning of the story, with the spirit Rama Kushna reanimating Boston as Deadman, a spirit who could possess others, and searching for the man with the Hook for an arm who shot him, all starting in Strange Adventures #205 (October, 1967, by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino).

Deadman hasn't made it to television yet, but Nanda Parbat (a mystical realm in the mountains) has, as the home of Ra's Al Ghul, and the League of Assassins, including Merlyn (a foe of Green Arrow, who first appeared in Justice League of America #94 in November, 1971 by Mike Friedrich, Neal Adams and Dick Dillin, with Deadman as a guest star; played by John Barrowman), all in the CW Arrow series.

One can only hope that Constantine appearing on Arrow might lead to a later appearance by Deadman and Spectre!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Guide to Golden Age Spectre Reprints

Looking back at the Golden Age must seem like looking back at people who are long gone...but one Golden Age star started out dead!  Jim Corrigan was just a cop, until a confrontation with a mobster ended up with Jim dead, until he was approached by "the Voice", and returned from the dead to punish criminals, as the Spectre, the spirit of vengeance, starting with More Fun Comics #52 (February, 1940) by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily.

Spectre has had quite a few of his original Golden Age tales rise from the dead as well...

Starting with More Fun Comics #52 and More Fun Comics #53 (March, 1940), both by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, detailing Jim Corrigan's war against mobster Gat Benson, and how he returned to life in the first story, and saving his girlfriend, Clarice Winston, in the second, but being unable to his engagement with her, because he is now dead.  It is in the second tale that Jim fashions the costume of the Spectre.

These two stories are often reprinted together, finding their way into Secret Origins #5 (November-December, 1973) with a cover by Nick Cardy in this E. Nelson Bridwell edited series, and then in the Weird Secret Origins of 2004 (under a Jerry Ordway cover, edited by Robert Greenberger, and also containing a Dr. Fate Golden Age origin tale), and these origins were reprinted again along with other origin collections in the DC Universe: Secret Origins hardcover of 2012, and DC Universe: Secret Origins softcover of 2013.

Jim Corrigan battles another evil spirit named "Zor" in More Fun Comics #55 (May, 1940) in a tale by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, battling for the life of Clarice Winston, winning with the help of "the Voice".

This issue was reprinted in DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #6 (1971), which, under this awesome Neal Adams cover, also had a reprint of the first JLA/JSA team-up, a Golden Age Vigilante story, and a previously unpublished Golden Age Wildcat story (as well as lists of "every" DC hero's first appearance up to that time.).  Even better, DC made a replica of the World's Great Super-Heroes Super Spectacular (yes, a reprint of a collection of reprints) in May, 2004 (though the cover was slightly altered)!

More Fun Comics #57 (July, 1940) features "The Return of Zor" by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, with the Spectre having to clear Jim Corrigan's name (as Zor returns, frames Jim for murder after freeing himself from the paralysis Jim had left him under...).

Along the way, Spectre turns the real murderer into a tree, then banishes Zor into the depths of the universe (but that wouldn't stop Zor from returning eventually...).

This tale was reprinted in Superman #252 (June, 1972) under a high flying cover by Neal Adams (and a few other Golden Age stories of Dr. Fate, Starman, Hawkman and Hawkgirl and more), and later in the Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told hardcover of 1990, all under a Jerry Ordway cover with a few of the Spectre's fellow members of the Justice Society of America and All-Star Squadron.

Next up is More Fun Comics #65 (March, 1941) by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, with the Spectre facing off against the villain called the Blue Flame (really "Dr. Mephisto", a stage magician, as Jim Corrigan discovered with a little detective work).

This tale awoke again in Detective Comics #443 (October-November, 1974) under a cover done mainly by Jim Aparo (though not the Spectre, thankfully, Jim rendered the ghostly guardian for his run in Adventure Comics from #431-440), and this issue also contained a Golden Age Green Lantern tale and in the new Batman story, the end for the revived Golden Age Manhunter by Archie Goodwin and Walt Simonson (which itself has been reprinted a few times).

More Fun Comics #66 (April, 1941), by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, sees the Spectre go into "The World Within The Paintings", saving Clarice from robbers and creatures from an extra-dimensional world within paintings.

This tale found itself reprinted in the 100-Page Super-Spectacular DC-20 of September, 1973 and also includes a few other Golden Age reprints, of folks like the Black Canary, Dr. Mid-Nite, Batman's earliest fights with Two-Face and more...

...all under a cover by artist Nick Cardy, who was quite the cover sensation of the 1970s!

Spectre fought "The Vanishing Menaces" in More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941) by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, facing animals transported from Africa by Nat Rhodes, using Morton Kirk's transporting machine.

This issue was reprinted in its entirety in the Millennium Edition: More Fun Comics #73 of January, 2001, which also features the first appearance of Aquaman and Green Arrow, of Dr. Fate foe Mr. Who (with the doctor capturing the cover in his half mask that he was using at this time), as well as Johnny Quick, a ton of Golden Age goodness!

The Spectre's last Golden Age appearance was in More Fun Comics #101 (January-February, 1945) by Gardner Fox and Bernard Baily, and "The Unsafe Safe", with the Spectre helping Percival Popp (the Super-Cop) against jewel thieves, who tricked Percival into helping them.

This tale is found in the Millennium Edition: More Fun Comics #101 of November, 2000.  This issue also features Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Johnny Quick, as well as debuting a new feature...Superboy (a story of Superman, as a boy!

The Spectre didn't return until Showcase #60 (January-February, 1966) by Gardner Fox and Murphy Anderson.

But, these weren't the only Golden Age Spectre solo tales...

...the Spectre was one of many DC heroes featured in All-Star Comics #1 (Summer, 1940) in "The Tenement Fires" by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, facing off against Dr. Cragg and an arsonist, and in  All-Star Comics #2 (Fall, 1940) facing off against an evil high priest of Brztal in "The Curse of Kulak" by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily.

The first All-Star Comics story was reprinted in the Great Comic Book Heroes of 1965, and both tales found themselves (along with stories of the Golden Age Flash, Hawkman, Johnny Thunder, Hourman and more) in the All-Star Comics Archives #0 of March, 2006.

Spectre was also a founding member of the Justice Society from All-Star Comics #3 (Winter, 1940) until All-Star Comics #23 (Winter, 1944), and all those tales are reprinted in the All-Star Comics Archives.

Spectre's earliest Golden Age tales were also collected in the Golden Age Spectre Archives #1 in 2003, featuring the stories from More Fun Comics #52 to More Fun Comics #70 (August, 1941), all by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily....but would it kill DC to give us a Golden Age Spectre Archives #2 with the rest of the story?

One would hope that Emmett Scanlan, who played detective Jim Corrigan on NBC's Constantine would be dying for viewers were only teased with his becoming the Spectre in that show...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Remembering Murphy Anderson

Murphy Anderson was an artist and an inker, working primarily for DC Comics, whose work ranged from the Silver Age Hawkman, to Captain Comet, the Spectre, Adam Strange, the team-ups of Hourman and Dr. Fate and of Black Canary and Starman, and co-creating Zatanna and the Atomic Knights; as well as years of working as the main inker for Curt Swan on Superman and Action Comics.

Working primarily in DC's Silver Age (though quite a bit of work before it), Murphy's clean style was appreciated by many, he won a 1962 Alley Award for Best Inker, a 1963 Alley Award for "artist preferred on Justice League of America", 1964 Alley Awards for "Best Inking Artist" and "Best Comic Book Cover" for Detective Comics #329, 1965 Alley Awards for "Best Inking Artist", "Best Comic Book Cover" for Brave and the Bold #61 and "Best Novel" for Showcase #55.

Murphy's awards continued to stack up, being inducted into the Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1998, the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2013 into the Inkwell Awards Joe Sinnott Hall of Fame.  Murphy was born on July 9th, 1926, and passed away this month at 89.

Best to let his work speak for itself!

Captain Comet in Strange Adventures

Strange Adventures

Starman and Black Canary

Hawkman and Adam Strange

Murphy's favorite

The Atomic Knights

In Action with Curt Swan

Superman and The Flash

Murphy, we'll miss you!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giant Supergirl Coverage

Supergirl premiered as the "The Supergirl From Krypton" in Action Comics #252 (May, 1959) by writer Otto Binder and artist Al Plastino under a cover with her rocket landing by Curt Swan and Al Plastino.

Kara Zor-El burst onto the scene, changing Superman's life, by letting him know someone else survived the end of Krypton, and it happened to be his cousin!

Superman then took Kara away to an orphanage, hid her in the identity of Linda Lee (who then later got adopted, and became Linda Danvers, and had an incredible life in the pages of Action Comics and Adventure Comics, which eventually led to her own Supergirl series, then a co-feature with Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen and Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane in Superman Family, before the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl (and a whole lot more after that, including multiple Supergirls thanks to the Crisis On Infinite Earths and a lot that happened after that series....but, let's not get ahead of ourselves).

Back in the day, comics had giant-sized issues during their regular runs, which featured reprints of original stories for fans to get filled in on the history of characters, and Supergirl was the feature of 6 of these issues....and these giants also nicely sum up Supergirl's early history in Action Comics.

80 Page Giant #G-20

This issue was also Action Comics #334 (March, 1966) with cover art on the main figures by Jim Mooney, who drew many of Supergirl's early adventures, and the surrounding figures by Curt Swan.

This was the first Supergirl giant, featuring reprints of Supergirl's first appearance from Action Comics #252 and more, like the first appearance of Metallo, and an early appearance of Congorilla!

But, there was more in this issue...

"The Cave-Girl of Steel" by Otto Binder and Al Plastino from Action Comics #259 (December, 1959), "Supergirl's First Romance" by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney from Action Comics #269 (October, 1960) with the first appearance of Jerro the Mer-Boy from Lori Lemaris' Atlantis, "Supergirl's Super-Pet" (also known as Streaky the Super-Cat), who got super powers via "X-Kryptonite", in this story by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney from Action Comics #261 (February, 1960)...

...."Supergirl's Fortress of Solitude" from Action Comics #271 (December, 1960) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl settling for a place of her own in the desert (at least for a little while), Supergirl's first meeting with the Legion of Super-Heroes with "The Three Super-Heroes" from Action Comics #267 (August, 1960) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, where the Legion introduces a limit on new members (that they can't be over 18 years old), as well as Chameleon Boy, Invisible Kid and Colossal Boy, "Superboy Meets Supergirl" from Superboy #80 (April, 1960) with Supergirl going back in time to meet her cousin when he was a boy in this tale by Jerry Siegel and Curt Swan, and "The Super-Steed of Steel" from Action Comics #292 (September, 1962), the tale which introduces Comet the Super-Horse to Supergirl (though Comet appeared earlier with the Legion of Super-Pets in Adventure Comics #293).  All this along with text features of when Supergirl met Jimmy Olsen (from Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen #40), details on Supergirl's real parents (Zor-El and Allura) and adoptive parents (Fred and Edna Danvers), and even details on the revelation of Supergirl to the world (which more details are coming in later reprints).

Supergirl didn't appear on the covers of many of these early stories, but she was growing more popular by the day!

80 Page Giant #G-33

Found as Action Comics #347 (March-April, 1967), with a cover by Curt Swan and George Klein, this is "an All-Star collection featuring Supergirl's super-friends and super-foes!".

This collection starts with Action Comics #263 (April, 1960) and "Supergirl's Darkest Day" by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl working to save an alien prince, Valzorr, from the prosecutor, Zoxxo, continues with Action Comics #264 (May, 1960) and "My Father, The Cop" by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, in a story originally entitled "Supergirl Gets Adopted" with Linda Lee being briefly adopted by the Wilkins...

..."The Son of Bizarro" from Superman #140 (October, 1960) by Otto Binder and Wayne Boring which details the first Bizarro Supergirl, "Supergirl's Super-Boyfriends" from Action Comics #290 (July, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl giving super-powers to Edna Danvers, Dick Malverne and Jerro the Mer-Boy thanks to a red kryptonite statue given to her by the Legion's Phantom Girl and introduces the Supergirl Emergency Squad, and "The Secret Origin of Supergirl's Super-Horse" from Action Comics #293 (October, 1962) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, with more on Comet's history (and the mystical source of his Kryptonian like powers, and identity of Biron the centaur).  All this along with features on Supergirl's adventures with the Legion of Super-Heroes, her friends and her time-travel adventures all make this an issue full of Silver Age Supergirl goodness, though looking at the original covers for most of the issues, it looks more like a Bizarro lovefest!  

80 Page Giant G-45

This book is usually found as Action Comics #360 (March-April, 1968) with a stunning cover by Curt Swan and George Klein,  and features a major turning point in Supergirl's life (and that it collected all these in one spot, makes it an early example of modern comic tradepaperbacks...the cover even says it is "A Comic First!  A Complete Book-Length Novel!").

This collection begins with Action Comics #278 (July, 1961) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney and "The Unknown Supergirl", with Superman planning to reveal Supergirl's existence to the world, until she loses her powers, leading to Action Comics #279 (August, 1961) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney and "Supergirl's Secret Enemy", who is the Kandorian scientist, Lesla-Lar, who looks like Supergirl and secretly removed Supergirl's powers (and all the while Linda Lee gets adopted by Fred and Edna Danvers, in their first appearance), leading to Supergirl being "Trapped In Kandor" when Lesla-Lar switches places with Linda, taking over as Supergirl (convincing Superman that he should reveal Supergirl's existence), all the while with Lesla plotting with Lex Luthor to destroy Superman all in this Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney story from Action Comics #280 (September, 1961)...

...Linda got free from Kandor and got her powers back (not told in this collection in stories from Action Comics #281 and Action Comics #282) and deals with Mr. Mxyzptlk who makes her immune to Green Kryptonite, so Supergirl goes to rid Earth of Kryptonite, getting exposed to six strains of Red Kryptonite (which Mxy didn't make her immune to), and deals with three odd changes in "The Six Red 'K' Perils of Supergirl" from Action Comics #283 (December, 1961) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, and the other three Red Kryptonite changes in Action Comics #284 (January, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney in "The Strange Bodies of Supergirl" (retitled "The Super-Mermaid" and missing 8 pages from the original story) and Superman informs Supergirl of his plans to let the world know of her helping him, which happens in "The World's Greatest Heroine" from Action Comics #285 (February, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, which also has Linda tell her adopted parents her identity, and features Legion of Super-Heroes members Cosmic Boy, Saturn Girl, Lightning Lad and Brainiac 5!

All this and a feature on the milestones of Supergirl's life make this a milestone all in itself!   

Giant #G-57

The giants were getting smaller, now only 64 pages starting with the last of Supergirl's Action Comics giants, with Action Comics #373 (March-April, 1969) under this cover by Curt Swan and Neal Adams, but at least they guest-starred "the whole Superman family!!".

This reprint starts with "The Battle of the Super-Pets" from Action Comics #277 (June, 1961) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, featuring a fight between Superman's dog, Krypto, and Supergirl's cat, Streaky, Supergirl becoming "the Bride of Mr. Mxyzptlk" from Action Comics #291 (August, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, "Supergirl's Farewell To Earth" from Action Comics #258 (November, 1959) by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney with Supergirl first meeting Krypto and learning that Superman is Clark Kent...

...Action Comics #276 (May, 1961) by Robert Bernstein and Wayne Boring, with "The War Between Supergirl and the Superman Emergency Squad", and "Supergirl's Greatest Challenge" from Action Comics #287 (April, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl working with the Legion of Super-Heroes (and meeting Whizzy, a 30th Century descendant of Streaky, who also has super powers).

Supergirl was growing more popular, but her run in Action Comics came to an end with Action Comics #376 (May, 1969).

Giant #G-69

Supergirl had moved from Action Comics to Adventure Comics starting with Adventure Comics #381 (June, 1969), and her first 64 page reprint giant was in Adventure Comics #390 (March-April, 1970) with a cover by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson and an all-romance issue!

This collection starts with "Superman's Super-Courtship" from Action Comics #289 (June, 1962) by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl playing matchmaker for her cousin (in a story retitled "When Supergirl Played Cupid", and features members of the adult Legion like Saturn Woman, Triplicate Woman and Phantom Woman, as well as Supergirl look-a-like Luma Lynai), "The Secret Identity of Super-Horse" from Action Comics #301 (June, 1963) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, with Comet gaining a new mystic ability, to become human when a comet passes through Earth's atmosphere (and he assumes the identity of Bronco Bill to romance Supergirl)...

..."The Day Super-Horse Became Human" from Action Comics #311 (April, 1964) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, retitled into "Supergirl's Cowboy Hero", with Comet trying traveling back in time to confront Circe to remain human permanently, and Bronco Bill is made to look to be the masked criminal, the Hooded Demon, "The Great Supergirl Mirage" is from Action Comics #256 (September, 1959) by Otto Binder and Jim Mooney, with Linda Lee first meeting Dick Wilson (later to be Dick Malverne) at the Midvale Orphanage, and Dick taking a picture of Supergirl (which Linda must disprove, as Supergirl's existence is still a secret in this story; this is Dick's first appearance, but he returns many times in Action Comics to be Linda's boyfriend), and "Supergirl's Wedding Day" from Action Comics #307 (December, 1963) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl nearly marrying Phantom Zone escapee, Tor-An (who first disguises himself as a teacher, then as a survivor from Supergirl's Argo City).

An odd collection of stories, taken a little out of order, but a great theme issue.

Super DC Giant #S-24

Supergirl's next giant was in DC's Super DC Giant 15 issue run (oddly from issue #13 to #27), with Super DC Giant #S-24 (May-June, 1971), with the main part of the cover done by Curt Swan and Murphy Anderson, and lower vignette by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano, with 64 pages of Supergirl goodness.

This collection of Supergirl stories is chronological, featuring four tales in a row, starting with Action Comics #295 (December, 1962) and "The Girl With The X-Ray Mind" by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, featuring Lena Thorul (really Lex Luthor's sister, Lena Luthor), and her new FBI career (as well as ESP powers), leading to Action Comics #296 (January, 1963) with "The Girl Who Was Supergirl's Double" by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, with Lena wearing a Supergirl costume to a party, and Dick Malverne thinking Lena is Supergirl...

...going into "The Forbidden Weapons of Krypton" from Action Comics #297 (February, 1963) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney with Lesla-Lar taking Lena's place, freeing Phantom Zone villains, but paying the price when Kru-El disintegrates Lesla-Lar, and Action Comics #298 (March, 1963) by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, and "The Super-Powers of Lex Luthor" with Supergirl enlisting the help of Luthor against the Phantom Zone villains (until they give Lex Kryptonian powers).

All this and "new Supergirl costumes designed by YOU, the readers!" make this a truly SUPER giant!

DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #DC-10

This was an early example of DC's 96 page reprints (making 100 pages if you counted the front and back covers, and interior cover pages), and was also known as Adventure Comics #416 (March, 1972), with a cover by Bob Oksner, featuring the "World's Greatest Females", but this was during Supergirl's run in Adventure Comics (and had a few Supergirl tales), so it fits well here.

This features Supergirl stories from Action Comics #309 (February, 1964) and Action Comics #310 (March, 1964) with "The Untold Story of Argo City" and "Supergirl's Rival Parents" both by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, detailing how Supergirl and her birth parents survived in Argo City after Krypton exploded (then how Zor-El and Allura survived in the Survival Zone, similar to the Phantom Zone), as well as Action Comics #324 (May, 1965) that featured "The Black Magic of Supergirl" also by Leo Dorfman and Jim Mooney, with Supergirl turning demonic for a bit to fight Superman.

This issue also has other reprints of female heroes, such as the first appearance of the Golden Age Black Canary from Flash Comics #86 (August, 1947), Wonder Woman's Golden Age battle against Villainy Incorporated from Wonder Woman #28 (March-April, 1948), a Phantom Lady story from Police Comics #17 (March, 1943) and the last Golden Age story of Merry the Girl of 1,000 Gimmicks from Star-Spangled Comics #90 (March, 1949), along with a guide to the females on the cover of the issue (Hawkgirl, Thorn, Platinum, Zatanna, Big Barda, Beautiful Dreamer, Star Sapphire, Liberty Belle, Lilith, Wonder Girl, Merry, the Enchantress, Dumb Bunny, Phantom Lady, the Cheetah, the Harlequin, Batgirl, Black Canary and Wonder Woman!).

Supergirl then had her own 10 issue title starting in November, 1972, but it merged with Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane and Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen (continuing on with Jimmy's numbering) as Superman Family, with Superman Family #164 (April-May, 1974) having a new Jimmy Olsen story, and Jimmy, Lois and Supergirl reprints.  Supergirl's first new story in Superman Family was in Superman Family #165 (June-July, 1974), with the new/reprint format going on until Superman Family #181 (December-January, 1976/1977)...

....all new stories from Superman Family #182 (March-April, 1977) to Superman Family #222 (September , 1982), leading to Supergirl's last pre-Crisis series, the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl, which had a preview in Superman #376 (October, 1982), and then 23 issues (the last just being called Supergirl) from November, 1982 to September, 1984, keeping the Maid of Might a giant in the public eye!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Batman Meets Supergirl

With Batman surging in popularity due to Gotham and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and a new Supergirl TV show appearing on CBS, one has to wonder about meetings of the Darknight Detective and the Maid of Might!

Wonder no more, as here are a few of the more important Batman/Supergirl meetings of the Silver and Bronze Age!

Brave and the Bold

Batman regularly teamed up with many heroes in Brave and the Bold, being the regular star since Brave and the Bold #74 (October-November, 1967), and Supergirl did make one appearance in B&B (with a different co-star, in B&B #63 in 1965), but it took until Brave and the Bold #147 (February, 1979) for Batman and Supergirl to team up in B&B, with "Death-Scream From The Sky!" in a story by Cary Burkett and beautiful art by Jim Aparo, with the pair facing off against JLA foe, Dr. Light and his Children of Light.

This story proved popular enough to have the duo reteam in Brave and the Bold #160 (March, 1980) by the same creative team, with Batman and Supergirl working to save Supergirl's adopted father, Fred Danvers, from Batman foe, Colonel Sulphur, in "The Brimstone Connection".

World's Finest Comics

Superman and Batman teamed-up regularly in World's Finest Comics since World's Finest Comics #71 (July-August, 1954), and while Robin was a fixture of the early tales, it took a little while for Supergirl to show up.  Two major appearances of Supergirl were in World's Finest Comics #169 (September, 1967) in "The Supergirl-Batgirl Plot" with story by Cary Bates and art by Curt Swan, which also featured the first meeting of Supergirl and Batgirl, and in World's Finest Comics #176 (June, 1968) with "The Superman-Batman Split!" written by Cary Bates and art by Neal Adams, with Batman working with Supergirl and Superman working with Batgirl (which happened a few more times later on) with Robin and Jimmy eventually saving the day.

The later tale has been reprinted many times, including in Super-Team Family #3 (February-March, 1976), The Best of DC #16 (September, 1981), World's Finest Comics #302 (April, 1984), Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams #1 (September, 2003) and in Superman/Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told from 2007; but World's Finest Comics #169 only has been represented in black in white in Showcase Presents: Batgirl, and in World's Finest 3rd Showcase PresentsB&B #147 was reprinted in Legends of the Dark Knight: Jim Aparo Volume #2 in 2013, and B&B #160 has not been reprinted. 

Superman and Action Comics 

Supergirl was a regular feature in the back of Action Comics, and a more than occasional guest in Superman's main title, and this is where Supergirl first met Batman.  Supergirl started off as Superman's secret weapon, training to learn how to safely use her super-powers, and one of her tests involved Batman and Robin, saving them from a collapsing Batcave in Action Comics #270 (November, 1960) in "Supergirl's Busiest Day" by Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney, with the Dynamic Duo giving her a batgirl costume by the end of that day (but it seemed Supergirl had knowledge of Batman before...this was the earliest appearance of Supergirl and Batman together).  Supergirl and Batman worked together for the first time in Superman #142 (January, 1961) with the "Flame-Dragon From Krypton" by Jerry Siegel and Wayne Boring, with Supergirl and Batman working together to save Superman from getting his identity exposed to Lois Lane!

"Supergirl's Busiest Day" can also be found in Action Comics #341 (September, 1966) and in the Supergirl Archives #2 (2004), and the "Flame-Dragon From Krypton" was reprinted in color in World's Finest Comics #142 (June, 1964) and in black and white in Showcase Presents: Superman #2 from 2006...

...just letting you know so you won't have as hectic a day as Supergirl did, trying to find these stories!