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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #126

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This is the one-hundred and twenty-sixth in a series of examinations of comic book urban legends and whether they are true or false. Click here for an archive of the previous one-hundred and twenty-five. Click here for a similar archive, only arranged by subject.

This week is a special theme week! ALL CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS URBAN LEGENDS!!!

Let’s begin!

COMIC URBAN LEGEND: DC chose Supergirl to be one of the deaths in Crisis because of the commercial failure of the Supergirl film.

STATUS: False

In my recent piece on the Top Five Supergirls, commenter Rex Baringer asked,

So is the real reason they killed Original Supergirl in the Crisis series because the Supergirl movie bombed a year or two earlier?

This is a tricky one, and the falsity comes really from how you look at the situation.

Marv Wolfman (and whoever else he plotted Crisis with, I presume Dick Giordano, Len Wein and George Perez had some input, but I honestly do not know how much, although I figure Giordano’s approval counted for a lot, with him being Managing Editor of DC at the time) decided to kill Supergirl.

This was done well before the Supergirl movie was released in 1984.

movie5.jpg

The decision had more to do with a desire to make Superman appear more unique than a desire to put down Supergirl.

In any event, the events were already well under way to prepare Supergirl to be killed off, including the cancellation of her title in 1984, BEFORE her film was even released (it came out late 1984 and the title ended in the Summer of 84).

2722_4_23.jpg

However, here is where it gets tricky.

DC did, in fact, have second thoughts about killing off Supergirl in the time leading up to the launch of the Supergirl film. In fact, Julie Schwartz even had a new title almost ready for release, which was to be a double-feature comic, starring Superboy and Supergirl.

Wolfman was told to hold off on killing Supergirl just yet.

Then the movie came out and was, in fact, a flop at the box office.

So they were given the go-ahead to kill off Supergirl. My buddy Paul Newell was gracious enough to share this remarkable piece of comic book history (that he scanned out of DC’s Absolute Crisis on Infinite Earths, which seems to be a must-buy for anyone interested in the crossover – it has a veritable smörgÃ¥sbord of interesting behind-the-scenes information about the story).

It is a note that Dick Giordano wrote to Jeannette Kahn asking if they could, in fact, kill off Supergirl, along with her checked off reply!!

crisis01-1_edited.JPG

Isn’t that a fascinating piece of comic history?

Anyhow, that all led up to a familiar image to comic fans of the 80s (well, due to the amount of homages to it, it is probably familiar to comic fans SINCE the 80s, as well! And that’s not even getting into the whole “Pietà” thing).

2973_4_07.jpg

So did the movie’s commercial failure tie into the death of Supergirl? It appears that way. But it was not the movie’s failure that led to her being chosen to be killed off in the FIRST PLACE, it was a desire for Superman to be, in fact, the last survivor of Krypton.

Thanks to Rex Baringer for the question, Frank Rook for some helpful information, and Paul Newell for going above and beyond the call of duty!

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78 Comments

tom fitzpatrick

October 26, 2007 at 5:19 am

Too much crisises for our own good.

Although I’ll point out the obvious–’Crisis on Infinite Earths’ was, itself, an homage to years of JLA stories involving crossing over between alternate universes, all called “Crisis on Earth-[fill in the blank]“. So it’s not a recent thing for DC.

Actually, the most curious thing to me in this entry is that they canceled Supergirl’s title *before* the movie was released. You’d think they would’ve tried to keep it limping along a bit longer just to have *something* on the stands… (though they did do a one-shot movie adaptation.)

I wonder if they just realized the movie was going to be a dud anyway, and that therefore there wasn’t much point pondering ways to tie in beyond the minimum?

Here’s an urban legend for you or at least a question for those who are good at finding answers to things.

Why is the Statue of Liberty on the Supergirl movie poster a mirror image? (left arm raised instead of the right?)

Huh, that’s an interesting question! I wonder if it was by conscious design or just a hurried movie poster guy flipping it to improve the composition?

It’d be interesting if they did it on purpose to make a slight distinction between Metropolis (which in the movies is simply New York with a different name) and our “Earth-Prime” New York.

Stephane Savoie

October 26, 2007 at 8:29 am

Here’s a totally unconnected urban legend I am starting right now:
I was reading some Don MacGregor Black Pather stuff, and was struck by a peculiar friendship between an ex-villain and one of Panther’s cast, Taku. At various points it sounds like MacGregor might be trying to depict them as being more than friends, but it’s very very obtuse…
Is tis so, or am I looking for something significant in a scene or two which are just badly written?

I agree with suedenim- Julie Schwartz’ reported idea for a co-headlining book aside, it’s kind of weird that DC wouldn’t give Supergirl a push before the movie came out. Then again, it’s not like movies have done much for Blade’s sales…

It’s nice to know that major comics companies in the 1980s made huge IP decisions via the same “messy scribbled ballot” format my friends and I used to decide which girls had cooties in third grade.

Not a legend, but anyone know why DC changed the title of the series from Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths to just Criss on Infinite Earths?

Shnitzy Pretzelpants

October 26, 2007 at 10:11 am

I think, as regards the Supergirl movie, that by the time Supergirl went into production, that Time-Warner/DC was pretty much regretting the Salkind’s take on their properties, and waiting for the day that he Salkind’s option on the characters had lapsed.

I could be wrong, but I know that on some basic level the Salkinds were viewed with disdain.

Maybe that is worth exploring as an Urban Legend – it certainly seems to be what some documentaries suggest.

Oh, and here is a more recent Urban Legend – “Was John Byrne originally considered for doing a re-vamp on The New Gods, before Jim Starlin?”

I ask because, as you probably know, Byrne, very recently locked a thread on his site, which was entirely devoted to this question. There was the initial post by the poster making the enquiry, then Byrne’s response – essentially saying “I don’t want to discuss this” – and then the thread was locked.

I for one am curious.

Wally West is the one, best example of a character replacing his mentor. It works so well, that I cringe whenever people hint at Barry’s return.

I keep meaning to pick up that issue of Back Issue but here’s a question I have:

I recall a few mentions of something called “Crisis on Captive Earth” from the back pages of Who’s Who (the part where they listed each character’s most recent or upcoming appearances). What was that going to be? Is that the same thing as “Crisis of the Soul”?

This has driven me nuts for 20+ years now.

Sounds like the New Flash that ultimately wasn’t new Flash might have still come into existence… as the new Dr. Light. She’s a character with light-based powers using another character’s name, why not?

Shnitzy, you’re right. I had forgotten some of the details of Supergirl’s tortuous path to the screen, but from the IMDb Trivia page for the movie:

“The movie was completed by copyright holder Warner Brothers. However, due to the chaos from Superman III (1983), Warners decided to drop the film and keep it on the shelf. Later, the then fledging Tri-Star Pictures decided to pick it up, and cut it down to a viewing time of 105 minutes, from 126.”

So it appears DC canceled Supergirl’s comic book at the same time Warners was pretty much washing their hands of the whole thing movie-wise. I doubt the two decisions were related, but under other circumstances, I suspect some Warner exec might have intervened to ensure that Supergirl had more presence in the comics.

Incidentally, it’s worth watching the director’s cut of Supergirl on DVD at least once. It’s still not exactly a *good* movie, but it’s at least not a terrible one, and IMO better than Superman III (and, I think everyone would agree, IV.)

Patrick Wynne said:
“I recall a few mentions of something called “Crisis on Captive Earth” from the back pages of Who’s Who (the part where they listed each character’s most recent or upcoming appearances). What was that going to be? Is that the same thing as “Crisis of the Soul”?”

I believe it is. Ordway mentions the plot involved the aliens ‘quarantining’ Earth, so it sounds like “Captive Earth” might have been an early placeholder title.

I’ve followed DC for years and I’ve seen them announce all sorts of projects that never got released, but made it through to the promotional stage, like Mike Grell’s Swamp Angel, Crisis of the Soul, the Captain Atom graphic novel by Bates & Brocerick, the Wolfman/Perez Titans graphic novel, the Len Wein/Berni Wrightson Swamp Thing: Deja Vu reunion project, John Byrne’s Shazam!, a Space Ranger mini-series drawn by Mike Vosburg, etc. It’s always so frustrating as a fan to think of the projects we could have seen but never will…

“Not a legend, but anyone know why DC changed the title of the series from Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths to just Criss on Infinite Earths?”

I wonder if one factor might be the release of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe…more commonly known as just “Marvel Universe” since it’s shorter and those were the most prominent words on the cover. Releasing a series titled “DC Universe” might have looked like they were copying them (their own version of the Handbook, “Who’s Who in the DC Universe”, made the “Who’s Who” the most prominent part of the title).

“Sounds like the New Flash that ultimately wasn’t new Flash might have still come into existence… as the new Dr. Light. She’s a character with light-based powers using another character’s name, why not?”

The new Dr. Light had something to do with it.

here is a link where marv talks about the flash that could have been

http://titanstower.com/source/libntt/crisis.html

LOL

I first read that word balloon on the Supergirl cover as “I am the future Supergirl” and thought, “Wow, that’s a pretty ugly future Supergirl. No wonder the present-day Supergirl is pissed.”

Another neat roundup of urban legends, by the way. I always look forward to it.

That other FLASH, “with powers based on light,” even had a name, McKenzie Ryan. It was mentioned by either Wolfman or Wein in a AMAZING HEROES PREVIEW SPECIAL around that time. And in a book written by one of them – may have been a TITANS, may have been a Wein BLUE BEETLE, that name was mentioned in a line of dialogue, in passing, but we never saw Mr./Ms. Ryan.

Three very strong and interesting urban legends this week. Bravo sir, bravo.

That Supergirl ballot memo is just supposed to be a joke, right, and not the actual way it was communicated.

hi guys, love the entire site. i visit it about 3 to 5 times a day. just wanted to make a comment about something that bothers me, though.

on these true or false rumor pages, which are awesome, you need to make the article in question stand out a bit more; it tends to blend in with everything else, so you lose site of where the next question is. i think you might want to reformat the presentation a bit to make it easier to distinguish between the different topics.

thanks
rick koling

I have to say, I really like that Crisis cover with all the heroes attacking the Anti-Monitor. There’s something about it that really communicates the epic quality of the fight.

Hey Ken, I totally read it the same way and thought the same thing at first.

Stephane:
“I was reading some Don MacGregor Black Pather stuff, and was struck by a peculiar friendship between an ex-villain and one of Panther’s cast, Taku. At various points it sounds like MacGregor might be trying to depict them as being more than friends, but it’s very very obtuse…”

MacGregor was a bit ahead of the curve when it came to including gay and lesbian couples in his work (see Sabre and Detectives Inc.) So I’d say it’s entirely possible.

[quote]Oh, and here is a more recent Urban Legend – “Was John Byrne originally considered for doing a re-vamp on The New Gods, before Jim Starlin?”

I ask because, as you probably know, Byrne, very recently locked a thread on his site, which was entirely devoted to this question. There was the initial post by the poster making the enquiry, then Byrne’s response – essentially saying “I don’t want to discuss this” – and then the thread was locked.[/quote]

Always a possibility, I suppose, but I don’t think so. Mainly because Byrne _did_ revamp the Fourth World a few years ago. Odds are that he’s just upset because he was _not_ invited to take the elm of this new project. And, quite possibly, Starlin’s comments that most uses of the New Gods cause damage to the characters to the point that Death of New Gods is something of a “mercy killing” didn’t look too palatable to Byrne (who, after all, did much of said damage).

…Actually, I’m strongly dubious about Marv’s recollections of this particular character death, and here’s why: back around the time the Supergirl movie came out, I was working for the local college rag, and because of my vast knowledge of comic books I got drafted to go review the film. I wound up being only one of about 10 people in the theater on the opening night, and one of them was a colleague who wrote movie reviews for the local professional birdcage liner. We spent that evening getting drunk off the booze we’d smuggled in to mix with our overpriced sodas – he brought rum, I brought vodka, and we shared just to make sure we could make it through what, according to all rumors, was going to be the biggest flop of the year.

…Right about the time Crisis was announced, and the leak came out that Supergirl was going to take the long dirt nap, I got a call from that fellow reporter, who’d let me in on a conversation he’d had with Bob Wayne, who confirmed not an hour earlier that the sole reason she was getting killed off was that the movie proved she sucked as a character. Prior to that, they were ready for a major push on the character, giving her a new solo title, and promoting the hell out of her in hopes of making her a major player in the DCU once and for all. But the movie proved that she wasn’t worth the effort, so they simply killed her off.

…So, if they were going to kill her off all along, why the plans to give her a new push?

“That Supergirl ballot memo is just supposed to be a joke, right, and not the actual way it was communicated. ”

I’m pretty sure it’s real.

The Absoulte CoIE really is worth getting. Every bit of info you could ever want about the evolution of the story is in there.

…So, if they were going to kill her off all along, why the plans to give her a new push?

But the piece explains that. They decided to kill her – then the movie was going to be released – they give her a second chance (even planning a new title) – the movie flops – they say, “Okay, you can kill her again”

Supergirl’s death didn’t surprise me so much as the idea that “Superman HAD to be last Son of Krypton.” Heroes die in the comics but usually come back years later, Phoenix proved that. That Supergirl was still relatively popular was obvious for many years; not long after the New Superman was introduced, we got the Android Supergirl. And Kara herself kept popping up in the oddest places, like the Deadman Christmas Special and the Superman versus Aliens limited series.

Even after Byrne had left the series, however, DC kept leaping through hoops to insist that Superman was the last Kryptonian and had to continue being so. But honestly, was that SO important to us the fans? Getting rid of say, Beppo the Supermonkey I can understand, but Kara still had fans (and was -and still is- better known than most other superheroines, short of Wonder Woman. Ask any non-comics reading person and you’ll see.)

Regarding Barry Allen :

Quasar #17 (I think) Featured a race among Marvel’s superspeedsters to the moon as well as a blonde haired guy in a tattered red and yellow outfit who ended up calling himself “Buried Alien”

Sound familiar?

Sijo, you speak blasphemy! I would easily buy a “Beppo the Super Monkey” series well before I’d ever buy a single issue of “Supergirl”.

> Anyhow, that all led up to a familiar image to comic fans of the 80s (well, due to the amount of homages to it, it is probably familiar to comic fans SINCE the 80s, as well! And that’s not even getting into the whole “Pietà” thing).

Go look at the cover to Uncanny X-Men #136, from several years before…

Go look at the cover to Uncanny X-Men #136, from several years before…

Which would be “getting into the “Pietà” thing,” no?

“Go look at the cover to Uncanny X-Men #136, from several years before… ”

I once read an interview with George Perez in which that cover was brought up, and also an even earlier issue of Thor with Odin holding his son’s body. Perez said he was shocked to see just how similar the covers were, and that he hadn’t consciously intended it. Given that he has, out of his own pocket, sent checks to artists when he has deliberately homaged their work, I take him at his word that he wasn’t trying to rip of that X-Men cover. It’s not like a figure holding a fallen comrade is that original an idea anyway.

R.G., I’ve got a couple of scans from that Quasar book on my Buried Alien write-up. There’s also a follow-up story in Quasar #58, in which “Buried” still doesn’t remember anything, but has taken on the name Fast-Forward while training for the galactic marathon. I’ve got a picture from that one, too — of Fast-Forward beating up a stand-in for the Energizer Bunny. (No, really!)

Stephane, that’s Venomm you’re talking about, right? (Not to be confused with the later Venom) Killmonger’s nasty agent who got captured and imprisoned by the Wakandans. I remember him and Taku sitting on either side of the bars and having long talks about philosophy and stuff. Then when he was free and had a chance, he what? he saved Taku’s life or T’challa’s or something.

My battered old Jungle Actions are in a back trunk in the back bedroom, under a bunch of my wife’s stuff… You make me just about motivated enough to get in there and dig them out. Seems to me you’re right, there definitely was SOME sort of deep personal connection between Taku and Venomm.
And if it was actually romantic in nature, then all I can say is that good looks clearly weren’t a key factor for Taku.

Loved the column as I always do. I just wish DC had never started this killing/reboot/killing/reboot thing to begin with. Now it seems like almost all their comics are the same thing. Seriously reading this column I am struck by how repetitive the whole thing is.

As for the famous Supergirl’s dead cover, my favorite homage is the one of Mighty Mouse.

BTW, is that right that Butch Guice did the first Wally West as Flash , Flash comic? I love that guy’s work (he’s also supernice) and am always surprised to see his name pop up so far back when I didn’t notice him until “Ruse” with Waid.

With regards to the death of Flash and replacement…

In Alan Moore’s ‘Twilight’ proposal, he makes reference to a female Flash possibly named ‘Joannie Quick.’
Was that supposed to be the light-powered Flash? (this would have been 1987-88)

Man, DC comics mulitverse confuses me. I don’t know who’s what and WHat’s who’s universe.

There is something disturbing that even back then DC could be so freaking casual about killing off a major character. Supergirls fate was decided with check boxes on a post-it note?

Man, that almost as bad as Lein Wein telling Alan Moore “Yeah, cripple the bitch.”

DC’s current deathlist they rely on for their bloated events is probably scrawled on the back of a bar napkin or toilet paper from the mens room.

Not a legend, but anyone know why DC changed the title of the series from Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths to just Criss on Infinite Earths?

The series actually went through several name changes. When it was first announced, in Dick Giordano’s “Meanwhile…” column (February 83), it was originally going to be called “The History of the DC Universe”.

In a later column, it was still under that name. Not long after, with the story taking shape, it was realised that the history aspect was only part of the story. The original overview had the Anti-Monitor being defeated in issue #11 and the cosmic tuning forks being created to remove the “vibrational differences”, merging th multiverse into a single universe. The final issue would be a 48 page retelling of DC history. With this overview, the name of the series was changed to “DC Universe: Crisis”.

House ads were prepared and the logo debuted in DC Sampler #3, (Summer 1984). George Perez noted, soon after, that the title should resemble those from the JLA/JSA team ups, which originally explored the multiverse, so the name was lengthened to “DC Universe: Crisis on Infinite Earths”.

As to dropping the “DC Universe” bit, all I can find is that it was just being called “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in the internal memo’s…Presumably to save time. Apart from that, no other indication is given why they dropped the first part… I can only presume it was felt that the title was too long and unwieldy.

A second overview was produced entitled “Crisis on Infinite Earth” and that’s it. Now the Anti-Monitor would be defeated in issue #10, with the last two issues exploring the history of the DCU. Originally everyone would forget the Pre-Crisis history, but Marv Wolfman was outvoted, by the other DC editors, who felt that it invalidated the story if none of the characters remembered it. He rewrote the ending, adding the whole bit with the heroes at the dawn of time, the heroes remembering their Pre-Crisis existence and the original ending moving to issue #12. The History aspect ended up becoming the 2 issue mini produced in 87.

Also, for anyone interested, here’s a couple of those death lists that did the rounds:

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e383/paulnewell/CBR/deathlist.gif

Frank Balkin is right. The line of dialogue was Dr. Klyburn of STAR talking to Mr. Ryan on the phone in one of the Barretto issues of New Teen Titans — made it sound like the supposed new Flash was the good doctor’s boyfriend… even asked him to kiss his daughter for her.

Venomm and Taku were definitely intimate on some level during the 1970s “Jungle Run” issues, but I don’t get the vibe that it was meant to be an homosexual attraction. Or, if it was, I have a hard time believing they ever raised it to the physical level, since they rarely had any privacy at all.

But even without that, their subject matters were always quite phylosophical, involving things such as the role of man in his own life’s destiny. Both seemed to me to be asking how come people end up killing and suffering so much, not longing to each other’s embrace. Besides, their confrontations often turned dangerous, with Taku putting himself between Venomm’s snakes and an unconscious Black Panther and the like. I feel that they would have a different dialogue if they wanted to be with each other.

Although I guess they could just never have fully realized it, but that’s a bit too arguable for my taste.

Incidentally, let me plug Snood’s fine profile on Venomm:

http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/venomm.htm

Question 38, by Michael:

“BTW, is that right that Butch Guice did the first Wally West as Flash , Flash comic?”

Yes, Butch Guice was the first regular penciler of the Wally West Flash. He even worked on the first Annual and the Millenium crossover issue.

Joannie Quick was actually a one-shot (and rather misogynistic) character from a 1940s Jonny Quick story. She was a female acquaintance of Jonny Chambers/Quick who got hold of his speed formula and tried to become a distaff sidekick; he hated the idea of one o’ them dumb girls trying to do his manly-man work and made sure to destroy her heroic career and wipe her knowledge of the speed formula he uses.

That’s almost certainly what Moore is referencing, especially as the “Quick” name makes no sense for a light-powered character…while “Flash” could.

Supergirl the Movie had a good cast and a brilliant find in Helen Slater — who epitomized Supergirl even morese that Christopher Reeves epitomized Superman.

Unfortunately, the non-sensical script and camp elements of the film (apparently fairly low-budget for a film featuring a flying character)secured the film’s failure.

Still, as a Supergirl fan, I do have affection for that film — but it’s almost all because of Helen Slater.

The Supergirl series of the time by Paul Kupperberg and past-his-prime Carmine Infantino was one of the few turkeys DC was producing in the time of Wolman/Perez Titans, Levitz/Giffen Legion and Moore/Bisette/Totleben Swamp Thing.

Brian from Canada

October 27, 2007 at 7:22 pm

While we’re on the subject of Kara…

In there any truth to the rumor that Silver Age Kara was NOT supposed be sent back to the ether at the end of the last Supergirl series? I seem to recall Peter David saying something about a new Supergirls series that was to spring out of it that starred Kara, Linda and Power Girl — but DC has forced him to switch Kara out in favour of the new “Clark and Lois’ daughter” Supergirl appearing in the Superman titles, which she didn’t stick around for.

And while we’re on the subject of Linda Danvers (the angelic Supergirl), was she or wasn’t she DC’s Fallen Angel? I don’t recall David saying specifically one way or another.

Brian from Canada

October 27, 2007 at 7:39 pm

Shnitzy wrote:
I think, as regards the Supergirl movie, that by the time Supergirl went into production, that Time-Warner/DC was pretty much regretting the Salkind’s take on their properties, and waiting for the day that he Salkind’s option on the characters had lapsed.

That’s an urban myth that spins out of fan reaction to Tim Burton’s Batman. Truth was that DC absolutely HATED the Burton Batman, and threatened Warner’s with killing the character Bruce Wayne in direct response to the film (Burton went against a lot of the rulebook established in the aftermath of Crisis).

Warner’s — they didn’t merge with Time until after the Salkind deal — was clearly happy enough with the Salkinds to let them have one more go at it in 1987 with Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. And, even with THAT failure, they let them go with the company’s first direct syndication series, Superboy, which lasted three full seasons despite a constantly rotating cast. DC published a spin-off comic for the series as well.

Plus there’s the added fact that Warner’s today has done two major DVD releases for the film — the first accompanying the first film’s deluxe edition, and a second with Superman II/Superman Returns — as well as putting out Supergirl in a deluxe DVD, and putting out Superboy season one.

Warner’s — they didn’t merge with Time until after the Salkind deal — was clearly happy enough with the Salkinds to let them have one more go at it in 1987 with Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

Slight correction here – the Salkinds didn’t make Superman IV. That dubious honour went to Cannon Films (hence quite a lot of the suckiness, apparently).

The uniqueness aspect was some bug DC had up its butt at the time: Remember, they also wiped out the Green Lantern Corps at the time because if Hal was one of 3600 that made him uninteresting and unheroic. They also planned to wipe out all US Soldiers but Sgt. Rock for the same reason (just kidding, but that expresses my view of their logic)

They didn’t wipe out the Corps until they wiped out Hal with it, but, yeah, DC does seem to have a thing about “uniqueness” that crops up from time to time. Keeping the DC Universe “tidy,” so to speak. A recent example was how DiDio originally wanted to kill off Nightwing in Infinite Crisis, because he saw Dick Grayson as “redundant.”

The Superman situation was a little more complicated (and more justifiable, IMO.) By the ’80s, there were so *many* Kryptonians running around, including a whole city of them in Kandor, that a common joke was that only two people actually *were* killed when Krypton exploded: Lara and Jor-El….

Superman’s “Last Son of Krypton” status is weakened if there are all these *other* sons and daughters wandering in and out.

But as Kurt Busiek noted in a recent interview, these things can be cyclical. We’ve played with a Superman who’s a literal “sole survivor” of Krypton for a long time, now it’s more fun and interesting to play with him in relation to other Kryptonians – it’s actually “fresh” now.

But in 1985, the idea of streamlining Superman’s Weisinger-derived cast of characters had a lot of appeal… and Supergirl didn’t.

@Omar, that would actually be Joanie Swift, Queen of Speed. Other than the name, exactly as you describe.

Interestingly, there were a couple of other stories up through the 1970s in which a female speedster showed up, but her powers always turned out to be unstable. It took a long time before DC treated a female speedster seriously.

@Brian from Canada: Peter David’s post, If Supergirl Had Continued, explains where he was planning to go with Kara. DC let him have her for the story, and he hoped he could change their minds and let him keep her on past the end and set up a Birds of Prey-style book with both Supergirls and Power Girl.

As for Fallen Angel, he goes into that in the intro to the first IDW trade. Basically, he had some ideas of where to take Linda after that same storyline, and he used those for the new series, but kept Lee’s origin ambiguous. He also had a “backup” origin in case DC picked up Supergirl again, and when the series moved to IDW, he made that one the official origin. In issues #14-16 of the IDW series, though, he brought in a character called “Lin” as the Fallen Angel’s predecessor — clearly intended to be Linda in everything but name.

[quote]Oh, and here is a more recent Urban Legend – “Was John Byrne originally considered for doing a re-vamp on The New Gods, before Jim Starlin?”

I ask because, as you probably know, Byrne, very recently locked a thread on his site, which was entirely devoted to this question. There was the initial post by the poster making the enquiry, then Byrne’s response – essentially saying “I don’t want to discuss this” – and then the thread was locked.

I for one am curious. [/quote]

Probably not. Byrne’s not too keen on killing off characters. And since he really likes the New God I doubt he’s want to take part in killing them or discuss such a storyline on his board.

But as Kurt Busiek noted in a recent interview, these things can be cyclical. We’ve played with a Superman who’s a literal “sole survivor” of Krypton for a long time, now it’s more fun and interesting to play with him in relation to other Kryptonians – it’s actually “fresh” now.

In the 1970s there was quite a lot of fun to be had by playing with the Kryptonian toys in the table. Having read and enjoyed those days, I wonder how can anyone ever think that reducing Superman to the sole Kryptonian alive can be a desirable thing. I suppose it does open a few specific dramatic possibilities, but not too many.

Me, I like Fraser’s Sgt. Rock comparison just fine.

“And while we’re on the subject of Linda Danvers (the angelic Supergirl), was she or wasn’t she DC’s Fallen Angel? I don’t recall David saying specifically one way or another.”

At the start of the IDW relaunch, David gave the character a very specific backstory which put to rest the whole “is she Supergirl?” question.

And to make the whole situation more confusing, he later introduced a new character into the series who clearly IS intended to be Linda Danvers.

“In there any truth to the rumor that Silver Age Kara was NOT supposed be sent back to the ether at the end of the last Supergirl series? I seem to recall Peter David saying something about a new Supergirls series that was to spring out of it that starred Kara, Linda and Power Girl — but DC has forced him to switch Kara out in favour of the new “Clark and Lois’ daughter” Supergirl appearing in the Superman titles, which she didn’t stick around for.”

Peter David wrote in his blog that he intended to keep silver age Kara and team her up with Linda and Power Girl in a book called “Blonde Justice”.

“And while we’re on the subject of Linda Danvers (the angelic Supergirl), was she or wasn’t she DC’s Fallen Angel? I don’t recall David saying specifically one way or another.”

David deliberately played on this, often slipping in hints that suggested a connection. Whether he was originally writing her as the same character in his head or simply doing it to generate fan interest, only he could say.

>>> I once read an interview with George Perez in which that cover was brought up, and also an even earlier issue of Thor with Odin holding his son’s body. Perez said he was shocked to see just how similar the covers were, and that he hadn’t consciously intended it. Given that he has, out of his own pocket, sent checks to artists when he has deliberately homaged their work, I take him at his word that he wasn’t trying to rip of that X-Men cover. It’s not like a figure holding a fallen comrade is that original an idea anyway.

>>> They didn’t wipe out the Corps until they wiped out Hal with it, but, yeah, DC does seem to have a thing about “uniqueness” that crops up from time to time. Keeping the DC Universe “tidy,” so to speak. A recent example was how DiDio originally wanted to kill off Nightwing in Infinite Crisis, because he saw Dick Grayson as “redundan

Not to doubt Jerry Ordway, but could he mean the Controllers? There hasn’t been a group called the Corruptors associated with the Legion.

There have been several stories about the Piata homage but if you look at 1954′s Space Adventures #24

from
http://www.comicvine.com/homage-covers/43734/

Hmmmm… the idea that aliens quarantine Earth was later used in the Marvel crossover “Maximum Security,” the main issues of which were drawn by none other than Jerry Ordway. Wonder if that’s just an amazing coincidence.

Just 3 bit of information on Supergirl from those days..

1. While Helen Slater was in fact a good choice for the role, originally, the producers wanted Broke Shields, but she went with Blue Lagoon.

2. When Byrne introduced his version of “Supergirl”, he had plans to develop that version more, but he left the Superman books before that. No one continue the development of the character.

3. DC in general didn’t like the idea of having Supergirl as an artificial creature. PAD solved the problem in the first issue of his series (it would have been better if the toilet were used ..)

Source of info.. interviews around the web around.. several years, sorry, don’t have the original links or material for you to see..

Or if not the Controllers, maybe the Dominators? In which case “Crisis of the Soul” and quarantining the Earth starts to sound like what became Invasion!

Concerning the idea that Supergirl was killed off because in John Byrne’s reboot, Superman had to be the last son of Krypton: Byrne had repeatedly been (reported as) promising that he was going to get rid of a lot of the deadwood that had grown up around Supes, but in very short order he gave us Jimmy Olsen’s signal watch, Bizarro, Titano and Lori Lemaris, while over in ADVENTURES… Marv Wolfman gave us the Phantom Zone villains, which, given the creative freedom John had been given, he must have approved. In fact, the mermaid SHOULD have been a Crisis retroactively–wiped–out–of–existence victim, because of the problematical co–existence of Aquaman’s fully–humanoid Atlanteans, which were much more mainstream continuity.

And a note to suedenim: I find SUPERMAN IV to be the best of the three sequels, and I know I’m not alone. I could cite a couple of friends whose names would presumably mean nothing to you, and Gahan Wilson’s review in an issue of ROD SERLING’S THE TWILIGHT ZONE MAGAZINE at the time—yes, the same one known for ghoulish cartoons; he was their resident film critic.

Oops! I have been without internet access for ten days, as viruses were removed by a professional. Forgot to re–sign in before posting the above. Sorry.

[...] After the recent Urban Legends installment that featured a bit on Supergirl, a reader asked about Peter David’s Supergirl, and whether it was true that he was going to make the book “Supergirls.” [...]

Byrneout said …

Sijo, you speak blasphemy! I would easily buy a “Beppo the Super Monkey” series well before I’d ever buy a single issue of “Supergirl”.

Or Superman, for that matter… Just kiddin´.

Just a necro-addendum:

The new Flash character was introduced in Teen Titans.

And for those who have forgotten, Wally West had terminal cancer at the time.

LOL I also used the “Flash as a light being” concept in my own Tangent Justice League “DC Heroes” campaign… without ever having read about the DC Tangent line of characters or Marv Wolfman’s idea for a new Flash. Some ideas rain a lot, as Prattchet says…

Christopher Stansfield

September 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

The problem with having more Kryptonians than just Superman as “sole survivor” (and yes, I DO think that is a major element of Superman’s character- I don’t quite understand why people are dismissing it) isn’t JUST the “redundancy,” though that is the reason most often cited. It also, frankly, causes inconsistency when it comes to other characters’ supposed reactions to the “idea” os Superman is a shared continuity. To wit, since DC bagan integrating a true “universe” concept, Superman has always been treated as “the greatest.” If there’s someone (a female) running around who not only shares all of Superman’s powers, but also his basic sense of ethics and personality, there is no reason why he should be considered “the greatest,” except for pure sexism. The Pre-Crisis Supergirl could have done anything the Pre-Crisis Superman could, but she never fought any real battles that demonstrated it, and ultimately, whenever there was heavy lifting to be done, Superman did it. Supergirl simply didn’t make ‘sense” the way she was characterized- as being adored but basically inconsequential.
As much as I prefer Byrne’s sole-survivor concept, (and as offensively bad as I think the current Superslutty Supergirl series is) I do at least have to give the people involved with the Post-Crisis Kara’s development credit for differentiating her, personality-wise, from Superman. It goes a little way to justifying the character’s existence.

“Right about the time Crisis was announced, and the leak came out that Supergirl was going to take the long dirt nap, I got a call from that fellow reporter, who’d let me in on a conversation he’d had with Bob Wayne, who confirmed not an hour earlier that the sole reason she was getting killed off was that the movie proved she sucked as a character.”

This is a couple of years late, but nobody has challenged it, so here I go.

A statement from Bob Wayne at that particular point in time could not have confirmed anything, as he was still “just” a guy who owned a comic shop. He didn’t get hired at DC until mid-1987. Anything he said at the time Om was referencing was — whether it was accurate or not — at best hearsay, and at worst speculation on his part.

(By the way, just so there’s no confusion, I don’t mean any slight to Bob with that comment. Just pointing out that he couldn’t have been acting as any sort of official source at that time.)

I distinctly remember the proposed double-sized title featuring full-length Superboy and Supergirl stories every month being mentioned somewhere in the fan press. Maybe Amazing Heroes, maybe Mile High Comics News. It was 27 years ago, so I have forgotten the specific source. It was so close to happening, DC had apparently put it in a press release. But within a couple of years, Supergirl was dead and Superboy never existed.

[...] Justice League/Justice Society team-ups, most of which had “Crisis” in their titles. In fact, the follow-up to COIE was originally going to be titled Crisis Of The Soul (and perhaps Crisis On Captive Earth, a title I remember seeing in various 1986 editorials), but it [...]

I remember a editors comment in the DC comics back in the day where the follow-up to “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was to be called “Crisis on a Captive Earth”. The “Legends” was released a few months later and I always thought it was just renamed, but now I wonder if “Captive Earth” was the same as “Crisis of the Soul”?

Yes, the cover to Crisis 7 is very similar to X-Men 136, but I found an earlier example. The Feb. 1979 issue of “The Human Fly” (#18) has the exact same pose. I can’t remember seeing it on a Thor cover, like one reader mentioned, but that’s the first time I ever saw it.

[...] Flash Companion has an article about “The Unused Flash.” Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #126 points out similarities between Mackenzie Ryan’s powers and those of the Tangent Flash. [...]

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