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!

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