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Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 23,609
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Commander Benson

Member Since: Fri Oct 03, 2008
Posts: 1,021
Subj: Re: One for the Birds
Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2020 at 10:55:14 am EDT (Viewed 44 times)
Reply Subj: One for the Birds
Posted: Sat Jun 13, 2020 at 11:12:24 am EDT (Viewed 44 times)

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YOU'RE RECALLING THE lead story from Action Comics # 395 (Dec., 1970). The title of the story is actually "The Secrets of Superman's Fortress". The "A Girl Mightier Than Superman?" comes from a blurb on the cover that was artistically rendered into the cover scene.

The story is primarily a flashback taken from Superman reminiscing during a visit to a private room in his Fortress of Solitude.

The flashback tells of an incident during the Man of Steel's return to Earth from a space mission. As he passes a jungle world, he observes the primitive natives of that world being enslaved by a faction of warrior women from the planet Vrandar. The females are led by Captain Althera.

Superman prevents the Vrandarians from capturing the local folk, but the story takes a sappy turn, as Althera finds herself falling in love with the Caped Kryptonian. And vice versa, despite the fact that she is attempting to make slaves of an innocent people.

It's basically Hollywood romance. The more they conflict, the more Superman and Althera are drawn to each other. (There is no direct combat between the two; the blurb "A Girl Mightier Than Superman is a clear come-on to the reader. Althera's tougher than your average Earth girl, but she's nowhere near a match for the Man of Steel. One scene shows her barely able to hold up a boulder to keep it from smooshing her.)

Eventually, the two give in to their ardour, and Superman plants a super-kiss on Althera, causing her to swoon. And when she does, her helmet falls off, revealing her to have a full head of flowing---feathers! You see, Althera's people are descended from avian life.

Superman tells her that he just can't take up with a bird-girl, and they part tearfully.

Writer Leo Dorfman sets Althera up as the Great Lost Love of Superman's life. But it just doesn't wash. The story needed more space, more time, to develop such a thing believably. Furthermore, it's difficult to accept yet another Great Lost Love for Superman, after Lori Lemaris and Lyla Lerrol and Luma Lynai and Sally Selwyn.

Hope this helps.

Thanks! Boy, Superman seemed to have quite the love life back then!

Do you remember the story about Superman meeting sentient dogs?

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