Sunday, 21 September 2014

Supergirl #9 - the Super Amazon!

Supergirl #9, the Super-Amazon, Supergirl holds Queen Hyppolyta aloft as she throws a punch at a group of  shark men
Hooray! We've reached issue #9 in my issue-by-issue investigation of Supergirl's short-lived 1970s title.

The bad news is it turns out I've already reviewed it - over two years ago - which means I'm reposting that review below, in the interests of continuity.

The good news is that, after this, there's only one issue of the mag left to go - and that it features the titanic tale of what happened when the Maid of Might met Prez.

That, of course, will have to wait until next week.

In the meantime, here's that very post I did way back in June 2012......

It's the return of the feature the internet can't get enough of, as Supergirl Sunday makes a one-off return to Steve Does Comics.

How readers thrilled to that feature back in the days when it was a regularly occurrence. And how they flooded me with emails demanding I put a stop to it I give them more.

Admittedly, today's Tuesday, so technically that makes it Tupergirl Tuesday but who cares?

Supergirl clearly doesn't. She's too busy mithering about men.

As always in a Supergirl tale, they're proving to be more trouble than they're worth. If they're not cheating on her, they're refusing to admit they need rescuing by her, or they're trying to give her a snog as a reward for her heroics.

Faced with such wanton boorishness, Supergirl does what any woman would.

She decides to become an Amazon, spending the rest of her life, cut off from the outside world, on Paradise Island.

Supergirl in a tug of war with a group of Amazons as Queen Hippolyta watches on
With her mighty powers, the Amazons readily accept her as one of their own and even give her a tiara and some silly boots, to prove it.

There's only one problem.

Injured in an attack by shark men, Hippolyta's daughter Nubia - who she rather unflatteringly insists on referring to as, “My other daughter,” - needs urgent treatment with a flower or she'll die.

But the flower can only be found on one, distant island.

No time to waste, Supergirl flies there but is promptly attacked by a trio of witch-doctors who seem to make up three-quarters of the island's population and, as seems to happen in every Supergirl story from this era, she promptly loses her powers just as they're about to kill her.

Happily, she's rescued by the other one-quarter of the island's population, a man called Fong who's in the habit of running around in a gorilla costume to frighten off the witch-doctors.

Exactly where he got a gorilla costume from, on a totally isolated island, is never explained.

How come he speaks English is never explained

How he knows who Supergirl is is never explained.

Whatever. The loss of her powers means Supergirl's going to be trapped on the island for the rest of her life.

Supergirl #9, Supergirl throws a two handed punch at a giant white gorilla as witch doctors watch
Not only that but Fong won't help her escape because, having rescued her from death, he believes it his duty to protect her from now on.

In his eyes, “protecting her,” mostly seems to involve violently twisting her arm to near breaking point while laughing triumphantly. Bizarrely, Supergirl exposits that he means well, making you wonder just what her idea of, “Not meaning well,” would be.

Happily, such things are no obstacle to the not-so-Supergirl and she quickly tricks the witch-doctors and gets her powers back.

But her short-lived imprisonment on the island's made her realise she doesn't want to be cut off from the outside world after all.

And so, having got the vital flower to Nubia, Supergirl renounces her tiara and silly boots and heads off back to San Francisco in search of a new boyfriend. Presumably one with less of a propensity for trying to tear her arms off.

For some reason this has always been my favourite of the short-lived early 1970s' Supergirl series. I don't have a clue why, as it's fairly lame and displays a casual acceptance of male-on-female violence that seemed dubious even at the time. It's also weird and frankly creepy to see Supergirl referring to the Amazon's Queen Hippolyta as, “Mother.”

It also has to be said it has a baffling lapse in continuity as we see Supergirl lift a man above her head and shake him about after she's supposed to have lost her powers.

Supergirl #9, Supergirl flies off as a male chauvinist pig pop star tries to kiss her
Perhaps my liking for it's simply down to its basic premise of Supergirl becoming an Amazon. Then again, it may be down to the oddly Gene Colan-esque shark men. It may be down to the presence of a giant white gorilla. Or it may just be the way the witch-doctors seem to spend their days hiding inside carved-out Easter Island style stone heads in case anyone tries to steal their flowers.

But I suspect that, as always, with this title, the main appeal's down to the visuals, with the pencil of Art Saaf giving us a thing that might not make much sense but at least never fails to look charming.


Kid said...

Supergirl. Mmmm, nice.

Boston Bill said...

My problem with DC of this era: everyone seems to be standing still.

Anonymous said...

Spot on, Steve; definitely the best issue of the series.

A minor quibble though - "silly boots"? Obviously proper red Supergirl boots would be ideal, but Amazon boots are still preferable to those annoying slippers.


Steve W. said...

I really really really love those slippers. I do feel that all super-heroes - especially Batman - should be forced to wear them.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I have really been enjoying the posts you've been doing on Supergirl. I must admit that I am a bit sad to see them drawing to an end.

As a bit of an experiment, I read the post, then I went to my closet to see if I could find any clothes I had from 2012, put together an outfit and then re-read to see if I could recapture the moment. Turns out it was pretty much the same. So in conclusion, your post holds up well, even after all these years.

A quick side question, I need some help. I was watching a series on Hulu a while back. It is a English series, set in the headquarters for a supermarket. The main character is a new executive secretary. Her boss is an alcoholic. She witnessed her boss in an affair which is why she's kept on. I can't remember the name.

The Prowler (I know they're sayin' that we've gone lazy to tell you the truth we've all seen better days don't need no fast buck lame duck profits for fun quick trick plans, take the money and run).

Steve W. said...

Prowler, thanks for the Supergirl appreciation.

Sadly, I have to admit I don't have a clue what the TV show is. Is it a recent one or something from the olden days?

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you posting this story done by my dad,

Steve Saaf

BTW, it was reported to me that the art for Supergirl 8 & 9 was stolen, so please keep eyes and ears tuned, thanks.

Steve W. said...

Thanks, Steve, and I hope the artwork gets recovered.

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