Legion of Super-Heroes Re-Read – “Superman’s Super-Courtship” (Action Comics #289 – June, 1962)

We begin with Linda Danvers crying over a sad movie with her parents. The power goes out, and she swiftly changes to Supergirl and rushes to repair a broken, underground cable. What the union for the local power company thinks of the resultant lost overtime is not mentioned, but people are thrilled that Supergirl can handle high voltage lines without being harmed. For her part, Linda is thinking only about how sad it is that the hero in the movie lost the love of his life by waiting too long to propose.

She decides that her cousin Superman is in danger of being along forever, because he won’t propose to either Lois Lane or Lana Lang. Despite her parents’ objections, Linda decides to play Cupid. She first attempts to set Superman up with Helen of Troy, oblivious to the fact that, if Helen is real, then she was a big part of history, and marrying Superman would change that history. And, indeed, though Superman doesn’t take the bait, Supergirl herself nearly takes Helen’s place in history.

Next she decides that Saturn Girl, “When grown into a woman, would make a wonderful wife for Superman.” She convinces her cousin to accompany her to a Legion Christmas party, “ten years later.” Meaning, we’re to assume, that they’re visiting the Legion in the 30th Century ten years later than Superboy or Supergirl normally would. Odd, because author Jerry Siegel established just months before that 20 years displaced the current Superman from the Superboy appearing in his own series at this time.

This story represents, by the way, the first time the cousins from Krypton would visit the Legion together. It also blows out of the water the claim, when they met Supergirl, that “her” Legion is comprised of the children of Superboy’s Legion.

The cousins’ Christmas present to the Legion is a chunk of an anti-gravity meteor, which, when split up and placed in their belts, allows the Legionnaires to fly without rocket packs on their backs. Great idea. Of course, the next time we see the Legionnaires flying without jet packs, it’s the teen Legion, who hadn’t yet received the gift, and it would be the teens who later replaced these belts with flight rings, so…

This time travel business is more complicated than we thought!

Supergirl’s plot succeeds to the point that Superman kisses Saturn Woman under the mistletoe, and it’s then that we learn from a jealous Lightning Man that Saturn Woman is his wife.

And then it all just gets creepy…

Returning home, Superman kindly tells his cousin that he can’t marry, because the girl he wants to marry is Supergirl herself, and they can’t marry because Kryptonian law forbids the marriage of cousins. Okay… Superman… Dude… putting aside the fact that you’ve never lived under Kryptonian law since coming to Earth… she’s fifteen freaking years old!!!

Apparently this isn’t at all awkward for Linda, who uses the Fortress of Solitude’s “Super Computer Machine” to calculate what planet has the most likelihood of having evolved a grown woman who is her own identical twin. Superman travels to Staryl and meets Luma Lynai, Supergirl’s grown-up twin, and a super being herself. Sadly, although he proposes, the pair discover that yellow sunlight is toxic to Luma.

So Supergirl resigns from her role as Cupid, and we do not speak again of her cousin’s revealed feelings for her.

That’s probably for the best.

Firsts: Superman and Supergirl as Legion members together, Lightning Lad / Saturn Girl romance, Flying Belts

 

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