Saturday, January 19, 2013

365 Comics... 19: The Daring New Adventures of Super girl #9 (1983)

From the ratty old comic bin...
Pre-Crisis DCU Comics are a strange, strange place.  It's like there is a clear divide between storytelling style and artistry in that short gap between 1984 and 1986, but I often find pre-Crisis DCU to be generally clunkier to read, more old-fashioned in story structure and illustrative style.  It's not that I dislike older comics or comic book art, but its definiteIy not as readable.  I wonder if this is what the kids are going to say about pre- and post-New 52... naah

The unruly titled The Daring New Adventures of Supergirl features typically great art from the legendary Carmine Infantino and a goofy little story from workman Paul Kupperberg.  Here Kupperbeg's Doom Patrol makes a guest appearance as they battle Reactron, although the Doom Patrol seem to be in a sort of A*Team on-the-run-in-a-van mode.  Reactron seems to have no motivation (although this is the second part of the story) and the Doom Patrol seem keen on stopping him as Tempest has some personal history with him back in 'Nam.

Really the only thing worthwhile here is Infantino's art, distinctive and special as always.  I love his Kara who is attractive but not sexied up.  Her blousy top and short shorts is fantastic, simplistic, probably my favourite Supergirl look.  On the other hand Infantino did not seen to understand that Arani from the Doom Patrol is supposed to be Indian. Either that, or he didn't know how to draw an Indian woman... she looks like Liz Taylor.  Gil Kane does a little better on the cover though.

The book is divided into 2 parts: a 15-page lead story and an 8-page Lois Lane back-up, with a 2-page letter column between them (featuring this great missive:

"Dear Sirs,
  I'm sorry to have to tell you how disappointed I am in the Daring New Adventures of Supergirl.
  You have not only done the unforgivable by making her 19, but you have also made her selfish, smart-alecky, rude, arrogant, and snobby.  She is also a crybaby, a wimp and a nerd."

Gasp! 19! Gasp!
A...A NERD!? Noooooooo!

The Lois Lane story is rediculous as Lois goes into the hard-hitting field of celebrity journalism accompanying Jamie Lee Curtis analog scream queen (star of "Hallowe'en's Day") who has all the Daily Planet boys flustered then causes riots in the streets.  Lois joins her for all the Superman-related sights and a little "slap dancing".  At the end of The evening Lois gets a gun waggled in her face by a deranged hotelier and accused of being a witch.  Could be worse, the place he took her to looks like a total rape dungeon.  Yeah, it's nuts.

4 comments:

Shelly said...

I grew up reading DC from around 1960 onward and the pre-Crisis stories were very readable to me and still are, albeit quaint now. And the Supergirl of that era is the Supergirl I'll always love and prefer.

I had LoCs in a couple of those books, but fortunately, not the one you quoted. ;)

Graig Kent said...

One of my favourite things about reading old comics. particularly when it's a random issue of a series I don't have even a minor run of, is the letters column. It helps you feed into the zeitgeist as well as catch up on some of the stories and character beats that were happening around the issue in your hands.

While I'm a big fan of older artists like Infantino and Kane, I have a harder with older writers, and in general the style, involving a lot of exposition and thinking/thinking out loud. It speaks to the disconnect between writer and artist at the time, where the writer would feel the need to explain away the actions on page instead of trusting the illustrator to handle it. It's not a universal complaint, I know, but fairly true of most of the first 40 years of mainstream comics.

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

I see your point, Graig, and I agree. But for me, it's a matter of what I grew up with. I grew up with that sort of comic book storytelling, so even now, it's fine, if not always as good as modern comics writing.

I loved the letter columns, and there were few greater thrills than seeing one's letter in print. Also fun is seeing how many of those letter writers went on to become pros.

(Sure wish we could edit comments. My deleted comment is this one, but it had a glaring typo.)