Tuesday, February 19, 2008

George Rears - 1974

sg George Rears I met her right after finishing first grade. An older woman. blonde, beautiful, smart, and strong. Very strong. So what if she had eight years on me. I was only seven, anyway. I had a crush.

I discovered comics the summer I moved into a new neighborhood. Since we moved in May, I had finished school while the kids in my new school-to-be were still wrapping up their school year. This made for a lot of time just hanging out, reading. That's when I met her.

When I went to the book store to buy comics, I bought the 20 cent books. I left the exotic 100 page super spectaculars for those rich kids--or at least the older kids who had an allowance. After I was done reading my Flash, Action, Superman, Legion, and other comics, my brother would let me (at least I think he let me--perhaps I snuck in his room?) read his books. The expensive ones--100 pages for only 60 cents! Batman and Detective were nice. Brave and the Bold--that was whacked (in a good way).

Justice League rocked--and when it went down to a quarter a few months later, I was all over that. Then there was Superman Family. My first thought was what a goofball name for a book. I want to read about Superman. Not his family! Then I read the book. It was there that I met her: Kara.

Now Kara had a few years on me. She had just finished college, and was doing some kind of guidance counselor thing. She definitely knew right from wrong. So I guess the job fit. She seemed to have a lot of friends. I don't think I could have picked a better girl to have a crush on.

As time went on, we grew apart. As I hit my teens I discovered other books, and Superman Family didn't keep me interested any more. I picked up her books occasionally, just to keep in touch. The she started to change. She moved to Chicago. She changed careers. She changed her outfits. She picked up an Olivia Newton John aerobics headband. I could see that she was headed down a downward spiral, but I was helpless to stop her.

By my senior year in high school, I had pretty much moved on. I wasn't buying any of her books. They actually ended up canceling her title. By the summer, I was thinking of graduation and the next phase in my life. Then the news hit. Kara had left us. I couldn't help but wonder: If I had bought her magazine would she still be with us?

The picture included here is from a stick-on set released in 1973. To me, this will always be the iconic image of Supergirl. To be honest, though, all the images in this set represent the iconic image of the DC characters to me. I never had a set of these until recently, but seeing the ads for these while growing up burnt the images in my mind.

As I get older and I re-read some of those stories from the 70's I understand why I fell in love with her. As a young kid, the short done-in-one stories got right to the point. There were always guest stars: Sometimes Superman, sometimes Batgirl--one issue had the whole JLA possessed by Cleopatra! Even the artwork--looking back on it--was kid friendly--not too detailed, minimalist backgrounds.

Then again, maybe it was the hot pants.


Anonymous said...

Haha...my superhero crush was She-Hulk...something about her fighting the bad guys wearing nothing but a torn up slip did it for me.

Grears said...

I was always am more "Sensational" She-Hulk person than a "Savage" She-Hulk guy. Either way, we both liked strong women!

Anonymous said...

For me, no one was cuter than Tula aka Aquagirl as drawn by Nick Cardy. Although Rima, The Jungle Girl definitely made an impression on little Vinnie.

That's me as a little kid not ... y'know ...

Moving on ...!