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CSBG Archive

Five Goofiest Moments in the First Five Issues of Adventure Comics Starring Supergirl

Every week, I’ll examine the five goofiest moments from a five-issue stretch of a particular comic book series. Here is a list of the moments featured so far.

This week, we look at Adventure Comics #381-385, the first five issues to star Supergirl. They were written by Cary Bates (#381-382 and the lead story from #384), Robert Kanigher (#385, lead story in #383 and back-up story in #384) and E. Nelson Bridwell (the back-up in #383) and drawn by Win Mortimer (pencils for #381, the lead stories #383-384 and the back-up in #385), Kurt Schaffenberger (pencils and inks for #382, the back-up stories in #383-384 and the lead story in #385), Jack Abel (inks on #381 and the lead story in #384 and the back-up story in #385) and Murphy Anderson (inks on the lead story in #383).

As always, this is all in good fun. I don’t mean any of this as a serious criticism of the comics in question. Not only were these writers certainly never imagining people still reading these comics decades after they were written, great comics often have goofy moments (Kirby/Lee’s Fantastic Four is one of the best comic book runs of all-time and there were TONS of goofy stuff in those 100 plus issues!).

NOTE: The lead story from Adventure Comics #384 was already featured in this week’s I Love Ya But You’re Strange (you can read it here), so it won’t be listed here.


I get the concept of how Superman and Supergirl can shout really loud, but when they do so, it is typically to break things (like Superman once broke diamond with his super shout), so I don’t know what she was thinking when she tried her super shout on a train!

Just so you know, the fact that the bad guys have a nuclear reactor is only a part of the story to explain why the school is lined with lead. That’s the only reason that this is part of the plot. Awesome.

Hiding robots in trees has long been a Super-staple, but it is still pretty funny to think of Supergirl stashing robots all over campus. Especially since it seems pretty simple to find them…

Too much information, Supergirl! Too much information!!!

I like the idea of Supergirl trying to help out everyone, but seriously, maybe the astronauts are a more pressing plight than a speck in the eye of a little girl…

This is a nice mixture between…

A. A villain spending a lot of money and technology to make a small gain

B. A villain overexplaining herself


C. A bizarre way of Supergirl figuring out her plot

I am cool with Supergirl using her super speed to go through Batman’s card files…

but that’s a weird usage of her vision powers (I especially like how she didn’t remember to read the whole card the first time)…

Supergirl is caught in an explosion and she thinks she might be dead, but then she comes across all sort of weird situations. I love how it is all explained in the end…

Uhhhh….okay, sure, that makes perfect sense, Supergirl.

5. It’s like rain on your wedding day…

First off, how messed up is it of Superman to rub this in Lois’ face?

Supergirl finds her own super guy…

His powers come from a serum, so some bad guys try to capture Supergirl to force him to give up the serum…


I love that he won’t even let her logical explanation move him at all.

4. Some trust, huh?

One of the funniest things about the Silver Age was how quick every superhero was to believe that their fellow superheroes would betray them for little to no reason. Some mysterious being shows up to tell Supergirl not to be Supergirl anymore, and she automatically thinks it is Superman!

Have a little faith, Supergirl!

3. Super-hunch

Lordy, super intuition? For serious?

2. Super-mentally imbalanced

I love how much this seems like they just pulled the plot device of the story out of thin air…

Someone at the camp keeps hinting that they know Supergirl’s identity, until finally…

So who could it be? Why, it is Supergirl herself! Didn’t you notice the red kryptonite that wasn’t even vaguely there before?

1. Yeah, this makes perfect sense

So like I mentioned before, some mysterious being was trying to get Supergirl to quit being a hero. She thinks it might be Mr. Mxyzptlk….

Instead…well, just check it out…


Goofy as heck, but still awesome!


Laurence J Sinclair

February 12, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Has Pandor-9 shown up since? Comics need more Destructo-Domes!

god i hated silver age superman stories and these are just like them

Didn’t that robot also brainwash a girl into being Superboy’s girlfriend. with whom he lost his virginity?

Superman said that if Supergirl almost revealed their identities again, he’d lock her in the Fortress of Solitude for her own safety.

Not the safety of their friends and associates, but her own safety?

Kind of sounds like Clark plans to lock her up to stop himself from beating her up instead…

I’d like to know more about Pandor-9 and his Destructo-Dome…

Does anyone else get the imrpression that Superboy was just humoring the teacher-bot, in hopes of getting it to leave quicker?

When Lois first says “Vee-Raa and I”, I assumed that she was just saying Vera really sarcastically. To be honest, I think I prefer my version.

The fact that this robot goes around randomly interfering in the lives of others is pretty awesome. So the only survivors of Krypton were a boy, his dog, and his cousin. Oh yeah, and a really pushy robot. Everything adds up.

When Lois first says “Vee-Raa and I”, I assumed that she was just saying Vera really sarcastically. To be honest, I think I prefer my version.

Lots of the names used were just normal names with dashes thrown in. Fe-Lix, stuff like that.

have to admit that even super girl did not avoid having some goofy storylines back then including the robot teacher not thinking even after learning about supergirl being from krypton that she would have the same powers as superman. plus surely supergirls would be able to control her super speed to read the full file card. plus the fact super girl sure got exposed to red k a lot.

“You didn’t fly! Yet if you were as super as you claimed, you wouldn’t even have needed a rocket to reach Earth.”

Fricking seriously? That’s Supergirl’s deductive reasoning? So… Kara, how did you get to Earth?

You can’t see the red kryptonite? It’s right there in plain sight, on the flag’s red stripes.

I think Silver Age Superman stories are for the most part atrocious, but man did they get some great artists. Win Mortimer and Shaffenberger really killed it on the art here. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.

You could write a book, and a thick one at that, at all of the silliness of the Silver Age Superman family.

Is it Jim Mooney pencilling these pages? Man, the art is great. Clean and dynamic.
The look like those ads at the end of Marvel comic books for Twinks or something else.

I wonder how many real life criminals have been caught by being overheard (or even taped) explaining their criminal plans To Themselves, Outloud? It makes perfect sense that just because she thinks Supergirl is gone and out of earshot, that she would talk to herself, not only confessing the crime, but explaining exactly how she did it To Herself.

I didn’t know that Supergirl dated the Sentry! And why is she in a bikini in that net?

“Daddy, build me a fully-automated rocket! Daddy, buy me a pair of fuchsia boots! Daddy, is this all the coal we have?!” That girl is damn lucky her first flight didn’t “accidentally” dive straight into the heart of the sun.

Superman’s hanging out with Susanna Hoffs? Well, you just knew the job had to have SOME perks.

“Hey, I’m gonna do a Supergirl story that establishes an entire subterranean civilization with technology more advanced than on the surface. Is that going to be a problem for continuity?” “Advanced technology? Then you’d better be sure they’re all wearing leotards. That’s pretty much our only rule around here.”

“She-sleuth”. Cripes, someone at DC must be a whiz at Scrabble.

You know what you get when you bury a box full of frogs, mice, and worms? Some very fat, asphyxiated mice.

“Were you exposed to anything red in the past 72 hours?” would be a GREAT title for a book about McCarthyism.

Topar is EXACTLY how I always picture Marvin the Paranoid Android.

“Were you exposed to anything red in the past 72 hours?” would be a GREAT title for a book about McCarthyism.


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