Picked up a bargain in my local TK Maxx, this week. Three DC Showcase editions for just £3.99 each, which means I'm now feasting up 1500+ pages of vintage DC brilliance. And the first, DC Showcase Presents: Supergirl is an absoloute peach of a purchase.
Now I don't know about you, but I've never actually sat down and read the early DC material. I'm familiar with it, obviously. Heck, everyone is familar with this stuff. Or at least, they think they are. Everyone knows it's a bit hokey, right? But sitting here, on page 134 of this magnificent compilation, I've gotta tell you, this stuff goes all the way down Hokey Street and beyond. It's so mired in its 50's philosophies it leaves you aghast and agog and the sheer audacity of it all. Coincidence and happenstance abounds left, right and centre. Supergirl performs the most outrageous fantasy feats and manouevres in a heartbeat - stuff that leaves the mind boggling at its ridiculousness. And best of all, she's performing most of her super-miracles merely to allow her alter ego - Linda Lee - to fit in to Middle Americas's desire for domestic servitude, or to save the kiddies blushes at her orphanage hideaway.
Here's my favourite, thus far: Supergirl wants to stay at her orphanage to maintain her secret identity, so she figures if she burns a roast with her x-ray vision it will stop a pair of prospective parents from adopting her - after all, no good parent will want to adopt a young girl who can't cook properly!
Aint it a doozy? - Oh, you could go on all day about this one. In those first one hundred pages, Supergirl has tossed horses around like salads, she's turned herself into as Super Fairy Godmother, and helped a lad get adopted. She travelled back in time and tamed a fire-breathing serpent. She's tasted from the Fountain of Youth and visited an Interplanetry Orphanage of the future. Linda Lee's feats have been spectacularly daft, and they all been done to allow her to fit in to this cockeyed vision of 50's society. There isn't a super-villain in sight.
These strips frequently leave you laughing out loud at the utter stupidity of it all. But they're also brilliant. I'm so thrilled at having finally caught up with this stuff in such an affordable and accessible away. So thank you DC. Thank you for this great 500+ page slab of archival wonders. I've got Teen Titans and Justice League editions to tuck into next, and I'm sure they'll bring their own unique flavours to the comic table for me to savour. One things for sure, though, I'm hooked on this whole Showcase mularky. I want more. I want a library of these volumes lined up here in my Elgin attic, to dip into as I please. Oh, I reckon I'll be visiting TK Maxx a whole lot more over the coming months...