Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reign of the Supermen #414: Kal-El the Praisesinger

Source: Supergirl vol.5 #6-8 (2006)
Type: Alternate Earth/VillainHow about some confusion continuity this fine Saturday morning? Take the Earth-3 Ultraman, returned for a tiny while during Infinite Crisis. As the universe is reshaped, land him first in the Phantom Zone and then in the bottled city of Kandor. Advance the timeline to One Year Later, and we find Supergirl and Power Girl in that version of Kandor, playing the roles of Flamebird and Nightwing, masked rebels fighting the fascist Church of the Praisesingers, of which Kal-El (actually Ultraman posing as the Messiah Hero returned) is the public head. The Church preaches (and enforces) that he is God on Kandor, and that Kryptonians are the Children of God and above all other races, so the latter better damn well do what they're told if they don't want to end up on the wrong end of some heat vision.

But what you DON'T know, is that the power behind the throne is Saturn Queen, the villainess from the Legion of Super-Heroes' future, who claims Ultra/Kal-El is her son (and says it so often, you have to wonder if continuity has been rearranged more than you thought). She's controlling him, of course, though readers will hardly notice a difference with all the hyper-violence involved. Oh, and there's a vile scene in which Saturn Queen takes control of Supergirl and makes her kiss her alternate universe cousin (jury's out whether they share a genetic bond). They're to be married and "Kal-El" can't wait to have sex with his underage cousin-bride. Brrrr.

But those were the too-long days when Supergirl was artist Ian Churchill's sex object and was drawn naked a couple times in each issue. This storyline, "Candor" (haha), also features Power Girl getting shot in the chest and burning off her costume to reveal boobage. But don't worry, Ultraman strips down too. You know, for the ladies who are reading this drek:
In the end, just as revolution's about to happen, there's a change of writers after the first issue (Rucka to Kelly) and Kara and PG are back on Earth after the cocktail napkin notes run out and Kandor left to its own devices. No closure, no heroes winning the day, not real consequences. Just how Supergirl's mismanagement team rolled for a number of years.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe this Ultraman was actually the pre COIE or the 'Earth 3' version and not the one who was from Grant Morrison's excellent Earth-2 book, or rather the antimatter version of Ultraman. The Morrison version was powered by anti-k IIRC and was the astronaut from Earth.

The Earth-3 version was powered by the sun just like regular Superman, and Kryptonite would increase his powers instead of weakening him. He was briefly seen with some of the other members of the Crime Syndicate during Infinite Crisis when Alexander brought the multiverse back.

Siskoid said...

Like I said, who can keep it straight.

I've changed the text to reflect your kind correction.

Carl Walker said...

Wow, that was Rucka? Yikes...

Siskoid said...

He started it, but he didn't finish it. I don't know if Kelly was working off his notes, or the other way around. That book was a MESS.

Delta said...

So clever where the largest light-screen had to get placed in that last pic.

Matthew Turnage said...

Ugh. I read it at the time, and while I still have those issues that storyline went straight to my mental delete bin. Horrible. But thanks for the reminder. ;)

Siskoid said...

I live to serve... the devil.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

At some point in a future issue, I recall Power Girl being pi$$ed off at Supergirl for leaving Kandor, implying PG was there at least a few days (Minutes? hours?) longer.

In a lot of ways, 1YL in retrospect is like the nu52, only everyone kept their same costumes. Ironically, the only 1YL comic I felt worked well was Catwoman.