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CSBG Archive

When We First Met #26

Each day in June you’ll get an entry showing you the first appearance of seemingly minor characters, phrases, objects or events that later became notable parts of comic book lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!'” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of what I’ve featured so far.

Today is a day of DC superhero wives!


First Appearance of Sue Dibny

Interestingly enough, we first met Sue AFTER she married Ralph “The Elongated Man” Dibny. Here she is in 1961’s Flash #119…


First Appearance of Jean Loring

Jean Loring takes her first bow in the first appearance of Ray “The Atom” Palmer in 1961’s Showcase #34…

It is impressive how well formed she was as a character right as she debuted – she had a MUCH better initial hook than, say, Iris West (which is why I featured her over Iris, whose intro was pretty bland, honestly – we don’t even learn Iris’ job right away! She’s just Barry Allen’s date).

First Appearance of Big Barda

Barda had quite an intro in 1971’s Mister Miracle #4, as she shows up out of nowhere at Mister Miracle and Oberon’s place (while Scott is away)….

I like their reunion, as Kirby quickly explains how they know each other…

Then, after the battle is won…

Talk about making an impression!

Feel free to send in ideas for future debuts I should feature here to bcronin@comicbookresources.com!


“I’m determined to prove I can be a success as a lawyer, before I give up my career and settle down!”

Oh, 60s…

The coloring looks great on those Flash pages.

Oh Barda. I miss you so.

Wait, was Ralph’s identity public at the time he married Sue? (he’s still wearing the mask.) Because if it wasn’t, why publicize his wedding? Isn’t that just making HER a target for criminals? (Similarly: did the Dibnys know that Flash was Barry? I suppose not otherwise she would just have phoned him directly.) Sending him messages via Barry was a very good clue in any case, like Peter Parker being the only photographer who ever got Spider-Man pictures.

Re: Jean Loring- Man, talk about overachievers (both Jean and Ray). And why can’t she marry AND have a career? Ah, the 50’s. :D

I had actually seen that Mr. Miracle story way back in the day but barely remembered it. Also it was in Spanish and the translation was rather poor (due to having less room for words in the word balloons after the art got shrunk) and it left me confused about details such as the fact that it was the Mega-Rod that teleported her. (Funny how almost nobody remembers that either today, everybody just uses Boom Tubes in the stories but then a lot of the details of Kirby’s vision for the Fourth World Saga have gotten lost over the years.)

I like the banner in the first page. I guess “It Makes More Sense To Sell At Ten Cents!!!” was out of the question.

Good Lord, Barda’s a high risk/high reward case.

I love how Barda thinks Scott’s costume is freaky-looking. And, you know, she comes from Apokolips, so that’s saying something.

Even with the mask, Ralph never kept his identity secret, telling it to the Flash in his first appearance.

Oh, 60s…

Re: Jean Loring- Man, talk about overachievers (both Jean and Ray). And why can’t she marry AND have a career? Ah, the 50?s. :D

Not only is that kind of accurate a mindset, it’s still relevant today. In fact I think it’s more realistic than the PC depictions of today. There is a growing phenomenon among Ivy league successfully employed women to do really well in their professions only to decide to give it all up to become stay at home moms. Feminists really hate these women because they feel they undermine the “women can have it all” message that they want to promote. But there is a lot of truth to it. Read below for example:


Oh the 50s…60s…and the 2010s, how silly you are.

Oops, last comment was me. Also, read the article below or google the term “mommy wars” and read those links:


I feel bad that people always criticize these old stories for being sexist and patronizing when I actually think they’re more realistic than today in some ways.

Aw … the casual sexism (with citations!) of anonymous comic site commenters … Anyway these last few postings seem to be getting away from the spirit of this feature, no? E.g. hard to say that the first appearance of a characters wife is that of a minor character who latter became important and Barda while out of no where seems like she’ll be a fixture from the start … Guess something like Betsy Braddocks first appearance in the Marvel UK comics or first mention of a spider tracer seems more appropriate … Sorry for the criticism Brian — still looking forward to the final week of this feature

Alfred Pennyworth is mentioned in the opening paragraph, and none of these characters are as famous as Alfred, so this is very much in keeping with the spirit of the feature. Now if they WERE more famous than Alfred, then yes, it would not be in the spirit of the feature. Consider Alfred the barometer for “the spirit of the feature.” More famous than him, not appropriate for this – less famous than him or as famous as him, appropriate for this.

Cool – thanks for explaining … Guess it was the “later became important” bit that I was questioning since Sue at least is introduced as important

Travis Pelkie

June 25, 2011 at 4:33 pm

So, we didn’t meet Sue until after she’d already married Ralph? Dang! Given this and the Aquababy bit, DC sure liked to get things moving in their comics!

So was that bit in (shudder!) Identity Crisis, where Sue meets Ralph at a debutante ball, ever depicted before IdC? That’s maybe one of the few bits in IdC that Meltzer didn’t totally blow.

Because, as we see from the Jean Loring bit, Ray was more obsessed with being with Jean than Jean was with Ray. *AHEM*

Unfortunately, by getting through law school in only 2 years, she missed the course on “firethrower handling”.

I get the feeling from that conversation (and Palmer’s thoughts) that in addition to her settling down and quitting active legal work, she’d also expect him to stop messing around with his own private experiments and get a paying job somewhere as working as a scientist. full time (instead of the at-best part-time. contract or freelance stuff he seemed to do). Of course, not many scientists of Ray’s caliber (or a more real-world equivalent) would want to give up working on their own ideas, to make better pay working on OTHERS’ ideas.

interesting always wondered when ralph and sue were officially married. jean hard to believe she started out so nice and challenge to atom only to turn into a pycho witch. barda love obertron comment about her being like a jungle cat.

I think Ralph’s gonna find that stretching out to 40 feet long makes swimming harder, not easier.

Wow, that anonymous comment was actually T ?!? I’d a never have guessed…

T. there are no “accurate” or “inaccurate” mindsets when it comes to this decision. Women (or men, for that matter) should be free to pursue whatever career they want, including stay-at-home parent, exclusively or not. Ideally without societal pressure in any direction.

Feminists don’t hate women who decide to give it all up to stay at home. What they truly hate is people pointing to those women as an example to be followed, as the “right and proper” place for women. It was the proper place for those specific individual women.

It’s the reason number 5467 why I will never be a social conservative. All individuals in a just society should be able to choose their own proper place in life.

Ralph’s first meeting with Sue was depicted in a Secret Origins of the 1990s. Darn good one, too.
Jean’s attitude was quite radical for the day. I don’t know that she wanted Ray to quit his research and get a steady job–IIRC, he was already a professor at Ivytown U–but she was probably figuring family and parenthood wouldn’t leave him as much time to try research on his own.

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