In eighty years, Superman has made a lot of friends and met a lot of hangers-on, and more than a few of them chose to put on his shield. And most of them weren’t even his cousin! Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Super Girls!
Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and the mere nineteen Kryptonians who actually perished in the destruction of Krypton, Presents:
TEN THINGS: TEN SUPER GIRLS!
10) SUPER GIRL
Accidentally materializing when Jimmy Olsen channeled the magic of a Native American totem, the Super-Girl appeared about a year before Kara Zor-El’s pod crashed on Earth-One. What you may not realize about this much-reprinted tale is that her orange-and-green costume (seen in the lower image) is NOT the one that initially appeared in Superman #123 back in ’58. Instead, that story featured her in a blue costume nearly identical to Kara’s and even closer to that worn by Matrix of Earth-Twenty-Three! I’m weirdly a fan of the recolored Super-Girl suit, if only because so few heroes wear orange anymore.
Super-Sister burst onto the Smallville scene in the winter of 1959, a few months after Kara/Supergirl landed on Earth, dubbing herself Super-Sister and swapping planets with her brother, Superboy. Even Lana Lang joins in the fun, trying to prove that Super-Sister is, in fact, Claire, allowing the Lass of Steel to slide right into Superboy’s life. Of course, the upshot of the whole story is that Claire and Clark are a lot closer than they seem to be, thanks to an alien’s magical ring, but nonetheless, her brief adventure feels as much like a trial balloon for ongoing adventures as our #10.
Sadly, she never appeared again.
8) SUPER TOT
Another 1959 member of the extended Super-Fam, Candy encountered Kara Zor-El while she was still Superman’s undercover “secret weapon.” Super-Tot exhibited the full range of Kryptonian powers, making Supergirl think that she might be a refugee from Kandor or Argo City. Instead, she was the child of African explorers who discovered a lost food container from Kara’s rocket. By eating Kryptonian food, Candy gained temporary super-powers, Once her powers faded out, Candy was reunited with her loving parents.
Originally presented as an Imaginary Story, the events that led to Superman’s daughter Joan Kent becoming Supergirl were later revealed to be canon on Earth-34. In this reality, Lois Lane married Lex Luthor, had a son Larry who went evil. As Black Luthor, he opposed Joan as Supergirl, only for them to fall in love. Eventually, Supergirl convinces Black Luthor (BAMALAM!) to give up his wicked ways and get married, much to the relief of her mother, Lois.
Hailing from the 5020th Century, Louise-L switched places with modern Supergirl for a short time during her run as a soap opera actress on Earth-1. Her tenure was brief, lasting two issues of Superman Family, but somehow managed to presage Supergirl’s 2019 television costume almost perfectly.
So, she’s got that goin’ for her… which is nice.
In an artificial reality captured/created by The Time Trapper, Superboy died as a teenager and never grew into Superman. The resulting world was devastated by Kryptonian criminals, with only Lex Luthor defending the world, along with an artificial shape-shifting life form called Matrix. Though this Pocket Universe, later dubbed Earth-23, barely survived, Matrix traveled back to the New Earth reality, where she once again took on the role of Supergirl. Since Kara Zor-El was erased by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was in the strictest sense, the first Supergirl in that world.
She would NOT be the last.
Initially a normal Earth-woman, Sylvia DeWitt fell in love with Van-Zee of the Bottle City of Kandor. Unfortunately for her, he was on the rebound from Lois Lane, whom Sylvia strongly resembled, On the plus side, she got super-powers, which allowed her to accidentally see Superman, who looked just like her husband, macking on the real Lois, which led to some wacky mishaps. Van and Sylvia had a place on planet Venus, but moved to Kandor, which was enlarged on planet Rokyn. In short, she hasn’t been seen since Crisis on Infinite Earths.
3) SUPERBOY’S SISTER
Through a convoluted series of events, Lana Lang ended up being adopted by the Kent family. Then, a group of criminals somehow mistake Lana for Superboy, leading Lana to put on the Boy of Steel’s uniform, thus forcing him to continuously bail her out to keep the snoopy teen from discovering his secret. It’s a silly Silver Age nonsense tale, but this 1962 story bears a striking resemblance to a 1954 Superboy tale, including the silly shower cap!
Bill Finger wrote the second take, while the first may have been the work of Bill Woolfolk, but it’s clear that there was an intention to recreate the story as closely as possible.
The Queen of Borgonia, a South American country about which little is explained, Lucy fled to America and ended up assisting Superboy with her superb athletic skills. The press fell in love with the young ruler, causing her to debut as Supergirl, which in turn made her a target for a kidnapping and an attempted coup. After returning home to find her people in disarray, Lucy gave up her fur-lined costume and settled into her new job as queen.
I gotta say, not everybody could make orange and purple work with ermine trim, but she is PULLING. IT. OFF.
1) SUPER MYRTLE
An average all-American girl who first appeared in the Superman comic strip circa1957, Myrtle Pepper (which is also a name for what we call Allspice) received Kryptonian powers from an emergency transfusion of Superman’s blood. (Yes, that IS She-Hulk’s origin, albeit twenty years earlier.) For most of the summer of ’57, little Miss Pepper tried and failed to make her super-identity work out. She even managed to put out a massive fire before it spreads and destroys the city, only to have her costume burned off her invulnerable body, leaving her starkers when The Man of Steel arrives to help.
The story’s 1957 timing also makes me wonder if it had any influence on Superman #123, the first appearance of Super-Girl, which led to Supergirl, which led to… Wait, no. That’ll just have us going in circles forever.
Once again, this week’s topic, Ten Super Girls, is all me, but feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra to suggest a topic of your own! There’s always more Ten Things madness on my Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because Lois Lane’s book ran over 100 issues and half of them had her or someone else wearing a cape. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!