Thursday, July 30, 2015

Adventure Comics #397

Adventure Comics #397  (On Sale: July 30, 1970) has a cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano featuring Supergirl.

I gotta tell ya, I admired Mike Sekowsky a lot. He was an idea man that for a while, during these few years of the Silver Age, at least got a chance to put forth his ideas and let the public decide. With this issue Sekowsky is given the reigns of Supergirl, to do with what he will. He definitely had a few ideas regarding this character.

Right off this cover says he is trying to appeal to female readers, with its paper doll convention of possible new costumes. This cover is not aimed at males. I have to tell you though that I was fascinated by all this. Not the new costume, but Sekowsky transforming Supergirl.  I had seen his Wonder Woman, his Jason's Quest and his Manhunter 2070, so I knew I was in for action and adventure (sounds like good names for two comic books!).

I thought of Mike Sekowsky books like a good ride. I get in, I hang on tight and I see where he takes me. I may not be thrilled in the end, but I will have a good time along the way as he takes me someplace no one else would have. So for me, Mike Sekowsky being handed the reigns of Supergirl was a treat.

We begin the Mike Sekowsky era of Supergirl with "Now... Comes Zond." This 14-pager was written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Jack Abel and from the very first page you can tell that this is not Mort Weisinger's Supergirl.  When a girl is found in a zombie-like state on the Stanhope campus, Supergirl goes into a trance and probes her memories. She learns that she was terrified into catatonia by a being named Zond whom she met at a witches' coven.

Supergirl tracks down the coven and confronts Zond, but his magic powers defeat her and shred her costume somewhat. Supergirl consults with Diana Prince, the former Wonder Woman, and has her ask her old foe Morgana the Witch for help. Since Zond is a common enemy, and her mother's former stable-boy, Morgana agrees.

Supergirl gets a new uniform from Wonder Woman's boutique before she goes with the other women to the next coven meeting. Morganna takes care of Zond's magic, and Supergirl kicks him around the block. Morganna leaves with Zond, but not before releasing his victim from her fear-trance.

Our back-up story is "Supergirl Meets Nasty" is also written and penciled by Mike Sekowsky and inked by Jack Abel and is the first appearance of Lex Luthor's niece, Nasthalthia, or Nasty for short. Lex wants his niece to terrorize Stanhope with her motorcycle gang, Nasty's Nasties. Their objective: flush out Supergirl and discover her secret identity.

It backfires, as Supergirl tracks down Luthor and imprisons him again. Then she takes Nasty and her gang on a harrowing series of carnival rides, hyped by her super-powers. She warns the gang sternly not to try their terror tactics again, but Nasty later promises to strike again in the future.

Edited by Mike Sekowsky.

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