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.
At DC, Silver Age comic stories tended to be laid out differently than modern comics, in that the splash page was not a page of the story, but a representative piece of artwork and a text box that summarized what was about to happen, like jacket copy on a book. Marvel abandoned this style immediately—in the first issue of The Fantastic Four—but DC continued it up into the 1970s. The first Legion story to omit this representative splash was (I believe) in Superboy Starring the Legion of Super-Heroes #220. Part of the reason for this sort of “internal cover” was that not every story was represented on the cover, back in the days where a standard comic book contained two or three stories. Did anyone read the” jacket copy?” Good question. But it was there. Continue reading
So, wow, Jerry Siegel and Jim Mooney once again significantly expand the Legion mythos in this story, bringing them from eight members to double digits, and introducing three prospective Legionnaires to boot. One wonders if, as the editorial staff planned the story lineup for 1961, they made a conscious decision to bring the Legion up to a fighting strength where it might rightly be called a “legion.” Action #276 introduces, not one, not two, not even three but six new or potential Legionnaires! Okay, we had seen Brainiac 5 way back in Adventure #247, but he was never named. And I think it’s safe to say that the black-haired boy next to him in that issue was fellow-applicant Bouncing Boy. In Star Boy’s intro, there was an unnamed redheaded boy that I think can be safely considered to be Sun Boy and an unnamed blonde girl who, again, was probably Duo Damsel. So, as of this issue, I believe there are no more “shadow” Legionnaires (or Legion applicants) in the membership status below.
My first superhero comic. Sue me, I liked girls at a young age. We were in Rehoboth Beach in July, 1974, maybe a week or two after I had lost my comic-buying virginity to an issue of DC’s Ghosts. My Mother, eager to encourage reading, I guess, and having noticed that I was beginning to spend more and more time staring at my brother’s discarded comic books, said to me, “There’s a candy store over on the next block that sells comic books. You might want to go there.” If I’m not mistaken, I was allowed, at the age of eight, to go all the way around the block by myself—in a strange town! I think I might have been skeptical about allowing my eight-year-olds to wander Rehoboth—or any town—by themselves; but these were different times. My Mother grew up in a time and place where kids walked all over town, climbed mountains and explored caves with no adult interference. She didn’t panic if we weren’t in sight every moment. (My father was a different story, but he didn’t go to the beach with us. Being stationed in the Marianas has ruined him for Mid-Atlantic beaches.)