Monday, July 18, 2011

Supergirl: the Gang Returns!

When last we left Supergirl she was fighting ...

And lest you forget who they are, the Absorbascon is proud to present:


You know, if this weren't really poorly drawn, really badly written, and eight times longer than necessary, this would be a great one-page origin.

Apparently, in Chicago you can get super-powers by just studying hard, lifting weights, and staring at yourself in a mirror. You know what else you can get by studying hard, lifting weights, and staring at yourself in a mirror? Straight As and election to student council, followed by a scholarship to a good school, getting you out of a life of poverty and violence. But that's not THE GANG's style, apparently. Why do things the easy way?

At this point, the Gang has already defeated Supergirl once, entirely by way of a Jedi mind trick from Ms Mesmer, and her Hypnotic Third-Nipple.

It's ... it's nip-notic!

She runs into them a second-time at (duh duh DAH!) her own apartment building, where they attack her actor-neighbor, John Ostander, who's just an actor, for cryin' out loud...

Just shut up, John Ostrander! I'm sure you're a lovely man in real life, but I want to club your Earth-1 version to death like a baby seal.

...and where they promptly kick her butt again.
This one I'm not even going to bother making a joke about.

Um .. yeah, Supergirl. You really do.

"I need this abuse--?"
Why has Supergirl started talking like her alter kocker landlady Mrs. Berkowitz? Has her history as a continuity pinball left her a super-Zelig, instantly blending into whatever new life-of-the-month the writers give her? Just how suggestible is she?

In fact, Supergirl is
very suggestible, since in mid-fight Ms Mesmer gives her another mind-whammy. Without, it seems, even talking to her or looking into her eyes or spinning her third nipple or anything else traditionally mesmerizing.

I didn't realize mesmerism was a ranged-combat action.

She convinces Supergirl to see her greatest fear, namely:

That she's Linda Danvers.

It's okay, Supergirl; being Linda Danvers is my greatest fear, too.

Naturally, Supergirl is emotionally crippled and runs away, terror-stricken. And who can blame her? If you discovered you were Linda Danvers you'd be emotionally crippled, too. Pretty much by definition.

I guess Supergirl falling for this magically perpetrated mesmerism makes sense, character-wise. After all, she spent most of the Silver Age hypnotized into debasement and penury by Superman's repeating the phrase:
"You're my secret weapon!"

  • "You must live in a broken-down rural orphanage because you're my secret weapon!"
  • "You must wear a ratty pigtailed poop-brown wig because you're my secret weapon!"
  • "You must not use your super-powers and obey me because you're my secret weapon!"

Lord only know what else Super-perv hypnotized her into!

Stolen, by the way, from this amusing Supergirl site.

Anyway, Supergirl is now crippled with the fear that anyone who sees her knows she's Linda Danvers, so she flies off to abduct her parents from a classy restaurant, because she certainly can't show up at a classy restaurant dressed as Linda Danvers. Shudder!

I don't know what the other Top Ten Things Supergirl Should Never Say are,
but high on the list is
"Sorry about the super-speed snatch."

The Danversezes convince Supergirl she's off her rocker (who would know better?).

"I couldn't make a mistake about my street clothes, could I....?"

Well, my answer would be "yes" judging from this picture of your street clothes:

*Linda Lee's outfit by L.Ingalls of Walnut Grove, Minnesota!

Meanwhile THE GANG drags Actor John Ostrander to their high-tech headquarters on the south side of Chicago.

Bet that 'straight As/student council/scholarship' plan is sounding better all the time, huh, Gang?

Actually, beneath this windowless hovel lurks their evil den of inadequacy.

Whoa. With furniture from the Central City "Horizon-Ass" collection. I bet on winter nights, they all curl up together in that seven-foot wide orange armchair, just like puppies. And is that a coffee table or a dissection slab?

My favorite is the potted plant on the coffee table of their basement lair. Priceless.

Next time:
John Ostrander's acting skills versus
the Brain's mastery of salon-quality hair-care products.


Bryan L said...

Wow. The Gang pretty much smacks Supergirl all over Chicago, don't they? Are there panels in the book where Supergirl isn't bouncing off a brick wall at odd angles while curled into a semi-fetal position? And isn't she supposed to be, I don't know, tough? As in Kryptonian tough?

Ostrakos said...

It might be heresy, but I cannot stand Carmine Infantino's art.

Scipio said...

Me, either, Ostrakos. I have never understood the veneration of his work. Although I'm sure he was a wonderful person.

Gene Phillips said...

I love Infantino's Silver Age work and even some of the 1970s stuff, but the SUPERGIRL stuff is a mess.

Though it's still marginally better than his embarassing return to THE FLASH.

Anonymous said...

Count me in for being unimpressed with the 80s revival of Infantino art. Even as a 12-year-old I could tell crap art when I saw it.

Roel Torres said...

I don't know why, but this story feels like a bad issue of Dial H for Hero.

Imitorar said...

I agree that Infantino's Bronze Age art is horrible, but his Silver Age art really was great. I'm not sure what happened in the intervening period. Also, he's not dead. He's one of the few major creators from the Silver Age who isn't, at this point.

Marcos said...

Star Wars was the beginning of my distaste for Infantino. He gave C-3PO eyebrows, for cryin' out loud.

But mostly he just made everyone look so wide and squat and square-faced...

Anonymous said...

In low-income neighborhoods (of any ethnicity), there are almost always some people who think that succeeding by following "the establishment"'s rules means "selling out to the man."

>>>Straight As and election to student council, followed by a scholarship to a good school, getting you out of a life of poverty and violence. But that's not THE GANG's style, apparently. Why do things the easy way?

Substitute "organized crime" for "THE GANG" and suddenly it's not as far-fetched...

Scipio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scipio said...

Roel: Probably because the Gang's powers are very "H Dialish".

Bryan: You should see the 147 panels where Supergirl wrestles with her post-hypnotic phobia. For Rao's sake, just go into battle NAKED, woman!

Marcos: I think that's just so they fit in the chairs.

Anonymous: Point taken. However... since "the Man" is exactly and by name who the Gang works for, I don't think that's theirviewpoint.

SallyP said...

Well I am just hornswoggled. I never knew that Supergirl had such...kinks!

Anonymous said...

I see what you did there, with the "Dial 'H' for Hero" wardrobe credit. Man, that takes me back.

Scipio said...

Heh, well, actually, that was intended as a Katy Keene wardrobe credit.

Which takes one MUCH farther back... :-)

TotalToyz said...

In my opinion, Infantino's art works well for some characters (see Brave and the Bold #72) and not so well for others. For Supergirl, not at all.

Still pondering a set of The Gang custom HeroClix...!!

Anonymous said...

DC at its worst. Infantino at his worst.

With efforts like this, is it still reasonable to assert that "DC is about story"? Marvel was kicking DC's butt at writing at this time.