Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Superman is a selfish jerk -Action Comics #252

You would think that being Superman's only surviving relative would be a sweet deal. Not So. Poor Supergirl-last survivor of Krypton's Argo City- is not greeted with the warm welcome you'd expect.

Let's back up a minute here. This all starts when Superman (using his Telescopic Vision) spots a rocket crashing to Earth outside of Metropolis. Upon arriving to investigate, he finds that the rocket was carrying a lone passenger: a girl in a dress that looks like his Superman costume. The girl explains that she is Kara, Daughter of Superman's uncle Zor-El. She was born in Argo City, a Kryptonian city that was hurled, intact, into space when Krypton exploded. Unfortunately, the chunk of Krypton Argo City sat on began to turn into the poisonous element Kryptonite.

To ensure his daughter's safety, Zor-El built a small rocketship and sent her to the primitive planet, Earth, which he had been observing through his "Super-Space Telescope". Having seen Superman and overheard radio broadcasts stating that he had come from Krypton, Zor-El decided the best course of action was to dress his daughter up like he would know she came from Krypton...

So, once Supergirl explains this to Superman they figure out that they're actually first cousins. Does Supes take her in?? Of course not! That might somehow jeopardize his all-important secret identity. So he slaps a wig on her and sends her to an orphanage.

Yeah, 'cause no brunette girl could possibly be from outer space!

Superman insists that Kara refrain from being Supergirl publicly, asking her to wait in reserve as a "secret weapon". In an orphanage. Way to go, Superman. Good lookin' out there.

I have to say that Clark Kent adopting his orphaned cousin would not be a big clue that he was Superman. Even if he allowed Supergirl to go public (which, remember, he's not going to do) , Lois Lane is not that bright. I mean, if a pair of glasses keeps her from recognizing Clark Kent as the love of her life, a wig ought to make recognition downright impossible.

Also, Superman has a whole friggin' secret Kryptonian hideout at the North pole, the Fortress of Solitude (see Silver Age Man-Caves). Why can't Supergirl stay there? Why does she have to be all sad and lonely in an orphanage??

Despite his public image as a selfless hero, in his personal life, Superman looks out for Superman first.


  1. Aaron: Great post! But some sympathy must be felt for the big guy here. I mean, sure, he pressed the panic button when she asked to live with him. "Hmmm – No (exclamation point)! That wouldn't work out." But he does give her a brand new wig and finds her a nice orphanage where she can live under a false name. That's sort of acting like a big brother, right?

    OK, Supe simply panicked, choked like us mortal male weaklings in the face of a female roommate. It turns out he has two weaknesses: Kryptonite and Kommitment.

    I loved the hell out of this post. More please. -- Mykal

  2. Mykal: Thanks for the enthusiastic response. Silver Age Superman comics are a goldmine of socially questionable behavior. And that's not even mentioning Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen comics. You might also enjoy the previous post "Superman's New Friend may be Rude..." from September. Keep up the good work on the Gold Key blog!

  3. I think Superman was simply being cautious. He's put a lot of emotional energy into embracing supposed survivors of Krypton thru his life. Over and over again, they've turned out to be Daxamites or slippery creeps from the Phantom Zone or amazing human con artists or...

    (thought bubble) "She's from Krypton AND she's my cousin? Well, she'd be the first 'cousin' to show up. Usually they're direct siblings or my parents. Otherwise that makes the 74th claimant to be an actual family member surviving the explosion. Let's just tuck her away out of sight until I find out her real game..."

    Of course, once she established her bona fides, one hopes Superman took Kara out for a nice evening of pizza and minigolf or something by way of welcoming her to Earth.

  4. Blaze: But she's wearing a Superman-like costume! SURELY that's proof enough.

    Also, I hear Brainiac has a VERY impressive minigolf course.

  5. Aaron: forgot to mention - I've added you to my links at both Big Blog of Kids' Comics and Gold Key Comics! -- Mykal

  6. What a selfish jerk asshole Superman is!
    All that story has made feel like kicking Superman's butt.
    anyway, Supergirl is so damn pretty!

  7. This character is so pathetic, I mean, everybody love him, but he really doesn't have powers... okay he flies, but that's all he does.