Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Classics: Action Comics #285

How I love these early Silver Age issues starring the Superman family!

They're just loaded with imagination and kindness - with a healthy dose of silliness, I'll admit - but they're just plain fun.

Take this issue of Action Comics, for example, printed in 1962. Superman's cousin, Supergirl, first arrived on Earth three years before, but her ever-protective cousin decided she should remain a secret. (I always enjoyed the idea that on Earth-2, her existence wasn't revealed for decades - she finally appeared as Power Girl.)

So after three years of keeping her hidden, the Man of Steel decides it's time to introduce her to the world - well, actually, to the universe. She is - immediately - incredibly popular, and the first 12 pages are devoted to her receiving tribute from the President, the United Nations, assorted planets, alien races and undersea allies.

The second half has her facing her first public menace - a gigantic, Godzilla-like monster - and when she struggles, everyone quickly decides she's no Superman. Not to worry. Through ingenuity and some time-traveling assistance, she succeeds and regains the faith of the world (it was the '60s - happy endings were the rule).

Perhaps the strangest part of the story is when she reveals her secret identity to her adopted parents! Yep, she had kept her powers a secret from them, too!

It's all silly, over the top and as endearing as can be.

I know, this kind of whimsy doesn't play well today - at least according to most comics companies - but I treasure these comics, both for the warm nostalgic buzz and the general goodhearted, imaginative approach to storytelling.

Grade: B+


No comments: