Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Zatanna meets the Pied Piper - Supergirl #2.

Supergirl #2, Zatanna does time travelOnly the other day, I suggested that part of the reason why Supergirl's adventures in her own 1970s comic were neither involved nor involving was because she only had part of the comic to herself and it inherently limited how complex the tales could get.

That's because, even though it was her comic, she was having to share it with that enchanting enchantress of enchantment Zatanna - not to be confused with Satanna.

Perhaps that, therefore, is my cue to take a look at what the Mistress of Magic was up to in issue #2 while Supergirl was trying to inflate Kandor.

It seems that the city Zatanna is in is being overrun by rats.

Quick as a flash, she comes up with the solution.

She'll go back in time and bring the Pied Piper to the present, so he can deal with the rats, leaving her free to do whatever it is she does when other people are doing the donkey work for her.

Supergirl #2, Zatanna meets the Pied PiperNeedless to say, no sooner has she arrived back in Hamelin than she's attacked by ergot-crazed locals who hack her to pieces and...



That doesn't happen. Instead, she finds the Pied Piper all set to dispatch the rats and steal the town's children. Our heroine makes a quick attempt to prevent their abduction, fails and promptly loses all interest in them. All she cares about is chin-wagging amiably with their abductor.

Totally unfazed by her claims to be from the future, he agrees to go back with her.

Except it doesn't work. When she gets back to the present, there's no sign of him.

But then who shows up? Why, it's the local rat-catcher. And blow me down with a feather if he isn't the spitting image of the Pied Piper. It seems fate works in mysterious ways.

Supergirl #2I'd like to say it's a masterpiece but the truth is it's pretty lame. We have to put up with Zatanna delivering half her lines backwards, which means you have to make far too much effort to find out what she's saying and, when you do, it turns out she's not said anything interesting.

There's also the issue of the stolen children. Obviously, Zatanna has to accept she can't rewrite history but she could try showing some sort of concern over their fate and at least ask the Piper just what he's done with them. Instead, she seems to forget all about them the moment she realises she can't save them.

There're no credits given for the tale but it's pretty clear it's drawn by Don Heck on one of his midling days, though I suspect I see the hand of Dick Giordano in the inking.

So, there you go. Enchanted it may have been, but magic it wasn't.

Or perhaps I should say, "T'nsaw ti cigam."

I am now going to make ten million people read this post.

Tsop siht ta kool, elpoep noillim net.


Anonymous said...

Steve - been wondering why you haven't been mentioning Zatanna in Supergirl Sunday postings.,,,(thought we might have to wait til you got to that issue where they team up).

As to Zatanna's lameness...well, yes, but don't your comments last sunday about charm apply here? I mean, obviously any right minded reader would agree with you that full length Supergirl stories would be preferable, but as back ups go the maid of might could do a lot worse than Zatanna if you ask me (not that you were, but still...)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, forgot to sign that last comment


Steve W. said...

I dunno, Sean. The Pied Piper story felt so weak that I couldn't even find myself being charmed by it.

Anonymous said...

Just found and read the story online - thought it might be a good idea to know what I'm going on about for a change - and I have to admit you seem to be right, Steve. Its like a Neil Gaiman story without the waffle. Oh well....


Steve W. said...

I do love the idea that it's like a Neil Gaiman story.