The verdict’s in!

§ June 3rd, 2024 § Filed under supergirl, superman § 3 Comments

I did get around to rereading this “Supergirl’s Secret Husband” issue of Superman, which I remembered as bad

…but it turned out to be…okay-ish? Not as bad as I’d remembered, given I probably haven’t read it since around the time it was released. I still have my copy of it, bought new off the stands, and still in nice shape, which sort of surprised me, but then again I only read it once or twice so it’s not like it experienced a lot of wear.

This is marked on the cover as Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, and…well, it’s more of one than some other similarly-marked books from the time. In this ish, we find out that, during a bout of amnesia and being stranding on an alien world, Supergirl met and fell in love with a resident there, Salkor. You can see Salkor below:

I’m not going into every detail here, but in short Supergirl regains her memories and returns to Earth, and…well, I’ll let here tell it via post-death hologram message:

So anyway, this “Hokku” she’s talking about is a device that she’d kept with her, one that retained her memories and such and Salkor wanted it back. But Superman was all “she’s my cousin, I’m keeping it” and thus the conflict proceeded until a giant robot thing shows up and they must unite to…well, you know.

Then at the end the Hokku displays a hologram of Supergirl as per the above scan and sets everything right, except the fact that she didn’t try to get back to Salkor after regaining her memory or even asking Supes “hey, turns out I’m married, help me contact my husband, right?”

But as egregious additions to the Superman mythos go, it’s not as bad as some things. Given the proximity to the eventual slate-cleaning by John Byrne ‘n’ pals with the Superman reboot, there’s not much opportunity to refer to this marriage or to even bring back Salkor for a guest spot (“Appearing in this issue: Supergirl’s Widower!”), so the impact is relatively nil. It’s almost…Silver Age-y in its presentation, outside the more modern Big Event Tie-in elements, which is sort of fitting given that Crisis, and the Byrne reboot, put a pretty solid cap on that era’s influence on Superman. Not that Silver Age stuff doesn’t get reinserted into newer stories, but it’s usually more a nostalgic reworking than just a natural expression of Superman comics’ DNA.

So this comic is fine, when all is said and done. Not a prime example of Superman comicking, but certainly a passable example of the end-of-days weirdness for the Super-books prior to their relaunch.

But the previous issue, #414, which is another Crisis tie-in…well, I may have been remembering the wrong Superman comic as the “bad” one all these years. But I’ll get to that next time.

3 Responses to “The verdict’s in!”

  • Oliver says:

    It would’ve been less creepy and more touching simply to allude (in a Comics Code-friendly way) to Kara consummating her relationship with Phil Decker. (Did he ever appear again, post-Crisis?) Would’ve been a better send-off to see Linda Lee’s friends from her own hastily-cancelled comic mourn her as well.

  • Aaron says:

    That sounds to me like a good The Last Story of Our Hero, but I will say that what did happen fits under “wild, out-there storylines.” Obviously, “Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?” should count as both.

    If I recall correctly, the Absolute Edition of COIE documents when some of the decisions of who gets rebooted occurred so one might tell when decisions were made. My copy is a few states away, so all I can offer is that Roy Thomas seemed convinced he could make DC management change its mind months after they first let him know Earth-2 was on borrowed time.

  • Hal Shipman says:

    In spite of the weaknesses of these two stories, it bugs me that they are not included in any of the 3 Crisis tie-in volumes.

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