Getting Hooked Part 4: Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice...
The book: Super Friends #37
Bought at: Fairmount Market, Bangor, ME
As I've said, I was occasionally confused that the comics I had as a kid never quite resembled the movies and TV shows that were my first exposure to the characters. It was never enough to dissuade me, but still, there was a fair bit of headscratching involved just the same.
So finding a comic book that exactly resembled one of my favorite shows kind of blew my mind.
Yup, all of the core members of the Super Friends were represented here, even the Wonder Twins, and though there were a few minor cosmetic differences - Wonder Woman lacks her Alex Toth hair helmet, for instance - everything fit. It was the cartoon on paper, Saturday morning any time of the week you liked. What kid wouldn't dig that?
As you can guess from the cover, the story deals with hotpants-ed Supergirl feeling jealous over the Super Friends. See, she's chaperoning some kids in her identity of Linda Danvers, and they're all just wild about the Action for Children's Television-approved reworking of the JLA. And fittingly, each member of the group has a particular favorite Super Friend (though the Wonder Twins have to share a fan), so they all get a little individual face time with their idols while Supergirl fumes.
I don't remember much more than that, but the Weather Wizard shows up, and I'm reasonably positive that the kids eventually confirm they love Supergirl, too, but that since she's from their hometown, they get to see her every day, whereas the seeing Super Friends is like a treat. That's how they would've handled it on the show, anyway, just before a PSA where Wonder Woman gives us homework tips and a bit where the Wonder Twins answer a Teen TroubAlert call about kids joyriding or something.
Looking back, I think this is the first Supergirl story I ever read, though I'm pretty sure I was aware of her before this. It certainly set the stage for nearly every other story starring the Pre-Crisis Supergirl, though - not very good, but still kind of fun, and with cute art. I'm sure Ramona Fradon's frankly adorable depiction of the Girl of Steel here is what led to my eventual appreciation of Bob Oksner's version in later years. This probably also taught me to appreciate women in tiny shorts, too (Hello people finding this through Google!), though I can probably chalk that up to Daisy Duke and Joy from The Bugaloos as well.
Quasi-interesting side note: This issue features a back-up story with Irish superhero Jack O'Lantern. I absolutely loved this story, because I remember my mom reading this with me and her telling me that my family was from Ireland, and that I should be proud to have my ancestry honored with my very own superhero. Never mind that he wasn't a particularly *good* superhero - the whole set-up is Darby O'Gill meets Green Lantern, kind of - but still, it was something.