Thursday, June 04, 2015

Trouble with retconnned Supergirl Thursday

Since Today is a holiday ( Fronleichnam or how it is called in America " Happy Cadaver Day " or " Zombie Apocalypse " ) I just wanted to do a short post after my last very long post about my hero Andy Sidaris.

The plan was to finally post those pages for the TEAM GERMANY comic that never came to pass but I spent last night with all the GIFs I found.

The thing is that now that I can use animated GIFs on the blog I´m trying to put the best ones on my blog but it takes a lot of time - the I can´t use to write posts - to make them. So any time I find some of them on the internet saves me time. And some of them I couldn´t make because I don´t have the necessary footage or I don´t know the hot sexbombs on them. And in some cases they are of a much better quality than I could provide because of the restrictions of the website I use to make them.

The only downside to that is that I have so many and Yesterday I had to sort all the ones I already had into two categories : one for later, which is where I put the ones of lesser quality or for a special occassion or where there are really a lot. And one for immediate use which are all of good quality or where I would forget about them. So now I can download the new GIFs but I didn´t get much sleep and after the obligatory tequila flavored beer I´m drunk enough to make a new post. But I´m not in the mood for a post about squandered opportunities of the past and since I´m on a roll with all the Superman stuff from the 80s and 90s ( I even made the grueling trek to my comicshop to buy two new trades ) let us continue where we left : the repercussions of John Byrne´s Superman retcon on the DC universe, the Legion of Super - Heroes and Supergirl in particular.

So we had Superman and his cousin Supergirl and even his dog Krypto who had all survived the destruction of the planet Krypton but that was it.

Well, apart from all the kryptonian criminals that were still alive in the Phantom Zone. And of course all the citizens of the city Kandor which was shrunk into a bottle by Brainiac. They were all tiny but they still had super powers and Superman always found a way to give them regular size for the duration of the story when he needed someone to pich hit for him ( thankfully all Kandorians looked almost exactly like Superman ) as we all know what happens when the Kandorians are changed to their normal size : they try to take over earth. No wonder Superman was never in a hurry to get them out of their predicament and kept the bottle city in plain sight.

So we had Superman, his cousin Supergirl, his dog Krypto, the kryptonian criminals in the Phantom Zone and all the citizens of the city of Kandor.

Did I mention that Superman also had a contraption that could travel back in time and visit his parents on Krypton before it was destroyed ? So all things considered this Last Son of Krypton was just one among many survivors. When John Byrne took over the Superman books he decided to make him once again the only survivor of Krypton which meant no more Krypto, no Phantom Zone, no Kandor and sure as heck no time travels back to Krypton´s past. This also meant that there was no Supergirl.

Now you might ask how you can have a SUPERGIRL SAGA without Supergirl but let´s wait with that for a moment. Another thing that had been erased form Superman´s history was Superboy. There had never been a Superboy because in the new history of the DC universe Superman only got his super powers as an adult. Which lead to one huge problem with the Legion of Super - Heroes because the legend about the exploits of Superboy originally inspired the three founding members to form the Legion. But now the Legion was gone and DC had to come up with a way of getting around that. First John Byrne came up with the idea of the Time Trapper creating a pocket dimension when he first saw Superboy and instead of traveling to the future he went into the pocket dimension where he had the adventures with the Legion which were still in canon.  

So everything was all right again, at least until ZERO HOUR during which Mon El killed the Timetrapper and the Legion timeline reset itself again.

But someone had to take the place of the timetrapper as the Legion´s main antagonists, so Glorith of Balduur, a minor villain who made one appearance in the 1960s became an almost godlike powerful sorceress.

This should have solved the continuity problem but now that there was no Timetrapper there also was no pocket universe without which the Legion of Super - Heroes never met Superboy who inspired their formation.

So Mon El - who had started this whole mess by killing the Timetrapper - had to fill the role of Superboy and instead of Superboy´s many super feats throughout the centuries he became a legendary figure who seeded life on countless planets. Now I have no idea if that really means what it sounds like or if that was a metaphor for something else since this part of the Legion is a bit blurry for me. I have never read the Giffen Legion which seems to fall into this period and so far there are no trades from what is supposed to be on of the best runs in Legion lore. I have no idea why DC doesn´t put it out in trades if it is really that good but so far I haven´t been able to find more than a handful of issues from this period.

What I do know is that Mon El went by the name VALOR at that time and I have an almost complete run of the series because Mark D. Bright ( who was the artist on IRON MAN when I started reading the book ) did the art.

Now we had Mon El who filled in for Superboy but what of his cousin Supergirl who also had been a member much to Brainiac 5´s delight ?

Since they replaced Superboy with Mon El who was now named Valor or Lar Gand they replaced Superman´s cousin Supergirl with a distantt cousin of Valor named Laurel Gand who became a Legion member as Andromeda.

But Laurel Gand was not entirely a new character, she was partially based on Laurel Kent who was a candidate for membership in the Legion and a distant relative of Superman ( in terms of time ), as the name implies.

Man, those Legion tryouts sure can get rough. Anyway, I haven´t read many comics with her but apparently she never made it into the Legion proper and she´s best known for her - let´s say interesting - costumes.

And that´s a modest one because you know she´s totally going commando under the cape with this one. In the 25th century underwear IS optional.

She got a costume later on that covered her up a bit more than that.

But before you say I made the whole " wearing nothing but a cape " thing up let me tell you that Commando Laurel Kent got her own action figure.

I don´t think there existed a Laurel Kent after ZERO HOUR and the last that was seen of her was that she turned out to be a Manhunter android from the 20th century, who had survived for a thousand years. Her powers included flight and heat - vision ( before this she was only invulnerable ). When her Manhunter programming was accidentally activated, she flew off to the Manhunter base in the Himalayas and self - destructed.

So now that we had Laurel Gand and Lar Gand playing the parts of Supergirl and Superboy everything was all right with the Legion. Right ?

Not yet. You see, now that Mon El had to fill the big boots of Superboy as the main inspiration for founding the Legion somebody had to do the same for Mon El. Because there were many adventures - like THE GREAT DARKNESS SAGA - where Superboy and Mon El fought side by side. So to fill this void another character was created called Kent Shakespeare.

Thankfully he was not based on any pre - existing characters and his only ties to other heroes is that he was also codenamed Impulse for a time.

And that´s why the history of the Legion of Super - Heroes can be a teensy bit complicated at times. This is our end for Today as I have to go to physio Tomorrow and I have to catch up on my sleep and beer drinking until then. When we will continue in what is hopefully The Supergirl Saga, there will be less Legion, more Supergirl and more pocket universe.

I can finally post more Superman videos starting with another COMIC MISCONCEPTION : Why can´t people tell Clark Kent is Superman ? which ties in with John Byrne´s Superman relaunch in which he had a brilliant explanation for it. But I´m not going to spoiler it. Watch the video.

More basic Superman knowledge 101 : The Science of Superman.

We can´t have a post without a cartoon video and this one is about one of the many more successful adaptions : The Super Friends cartoon.

Speaking about adaptions and cartoons : I posted some videos of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES in my last post and since then I have gone and re - watched the original 1990 Turtles movie. And I have to say, it´s much better than I remembered. April O´Neil looks much more like the character in the comics, their Casey Jones kicks ass, their Shredder is menacing and the creatures were by Jim Henson for crying out loud ! 

I also had the chance to see the movie in the original version and I have to say : without the german dubbing, where they injected stupid sounding sound effects whenever the Turtles punch somebody ( probably because it´s a comic movie and comics are for kids and kids need that silly stuff ) and with the missing final fight between shredder and Splinter it´s a really great movie. Too bad that the sequels weren´t up to that quality.

Without realizing I have put Yaya Han videos in my last two posts so I don´t intend to break the streak. You can´t have too much Yaya Han !!!

But I also don´t want to repeat myself so to keep it from becoming boring for my readers I chose a video where Yaya is wearing something else than Chun Li or Power Girl and picked another costume from my Top Ten list.

New to the blog ? Everything you need to know about TALES FROM THE KRYPTONIAN : top ten posts / more posts of interest / best of the best

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