Coded green.

Tuesday 11 March 2003

Comic book

Pic of the day: Supergirl 79, April 03.


This entry starts out with comic books, but take heart; it becomes "blurred" soon.

I was shocked to see that my local comic shop keeper did not recognize the cover of the latest issue of Supergirl. (Well, the latest issue to have arrived in Norway yet.) It is a homage to one of the most famous pictures in DC comics history, the shocking conclusion to Crisis on Infinite Earth. In the original picture, it was a crying Superman holding the dead Supergirl in his arms. Crisis was one of the major defining events in the history of comic books; one of the major comic universes was drastically pruned, and two of the most well known heroes were killed. Back then, it was not yet common to resurrect superheroes and supervillains, which is now done regularly. Barry Allen, the silver age Flash, and Kara Zor-El, Supergirl, remained dead. Those were household names on a similar level as Batman and Wonder Woman, and killing them was a very bold move indeed.

After John Byrne's reboot of Superman, a synthetic Supergirl from a pocket universe was brought into the world. She did not have exactly the same powers, and was definitely not Superman's cousin. She wasn't even really human. Over time, this character faded or merged with another, becoming the staying Supergirl of the last few years, the Earth Angel Supergirl. But now, a few months ago, Kara returned. DC has largely reversed its policy of no parallel universes, and so Kara by some cosmic mistake came here instead of to the reality in which she lived and died. Still confused? Not after this issue ...

The cover is utterly misleading. It indicates that Kara survives while Earth Angel Supergirl dies. No such thing happens in this issue, and it is strongly hinted that Kara is to die (again). The question is whether Earth Angel Supergirl survives the next and final issue of Supergirl.

What did happen, however, was something many of us had waited for. As Kara and Linda (Earth Angel) swapped places, Linda (who is not Superman's cousin) went to the parallel world, and Superman ditched Lois Lane (who in that world was never married to him) and married Supergirl instead. They had a baby girl, whom her mother describes as "one in a million"... presumably the future Supergirl.


Larry Niven once wrote an entertaining essay called "Man of steel, woman of Kleenex". Here he argued that Superman, if making love to a human woman, would kill her on the spot. Even if he were able to restrain himself from squeezing her to a bloody pulp, his superpowered sperm would make a sieve of her and then fly off to impregnate all ovulating women in the Metropolis area, wreaking massive damage in the process. This was based on the silver age Superman, and the Byrne reboot makes Superman more human; supersperm is no longer a likely part of canon. Still, the poor guy would always have to hold back, even in the most intimate moments.

I know how he feels. That's why I am all for Superman + Supergirl. Or at least Power Girl or Wonder Woman.


Now, the faithful reader will know that I am not famous for my physical strength. Carrying a computer is pretty much as far as it goes, and even that is tiring after a kilometer or so. When I talk about holding back, I mean the mind rather than the body.

This is one of my favorite sayings: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." (There are some pretty funny variations of these, my favorite being this one heard on Dark Age of Camelot: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips really hurt.") Anyway, the sad fact is that words CAN hurt most people, and gravely so. When I was younger, I did not think of this; I thought others were as resistant as I was. But in my later years, I am always on guard. Always holding back, even with those closest to me. Of course, this does not exactly promote more closeness.

And there is no one I can talk with about everything. Always hold back, always be careful. Not mention thoughts that chip at the edge of consensus reality, but not dumb down entirely. Not display emotions that seem too strong for the occasion, but not hide them completely either. Like the famous joke: "How do porcupines make love?" "Carefully. Very carefully." I guess it is no wonder I dreamed that I was stuck as a were-porcupine. It has become my mantra, so to speak: Carefully, carefully.

So yes, in that respect I am "afraid". Afraid of hurting people if I get too close, if I open up too much. But it's not a big thing ... I don't have much to do with people on such a close level anyway. Mostly they just need me to fix computer things. It is OK, I am used to it. And I am blessed with an introvert personality, so I enjoy my solitude. But there are times when even I wouldn't mind a supergirl. Like ... days. Or nights.

Yesterday <-- This month --> Tomorrow?
One year ago: Barely ecchi teenz
Two years ago: A brief history of sin
Three years ago: More Mr Nice Guy
Four years ago: Ready to go

Visit the Diary Farm for the older diaries I've put out to pasture.

I welcome e-mail:
Back to my home page.