Action Comics #262: "Supergirl's Greatest Victory!"

Action Comics #262
"Supergirl's Greatest Victory!"
March, 1960

Story: Otto Binder
Art: Jim Mooney

The Girl of Steel is impervious to harm, but she shares with her cousin
one weakness... Kryptonite. The Man of Steel has never found a cure for
this radioactive threat. The day comes when his cousin appears to have
come up with a solution to their problem in "Supergirl's Greatest

It's recess at Midvale Orphanage, with the kids eager to fly their kites,
but there's no wind at all. Linda Lee uses a gust of super-breath to
guide the kites to upper air currents, where they'll stay up by
themselves. Two girls are roller-skating, but neither one notices the
crack in the sidewalk from last night. Linda uses her x-ray vision to
fuse the crack shut, and the two skate safely over it now. The
headmaster and his assistant have come outside, see their happy charges,
and feel as though someone is watching over them.

THUD! Linda's super-hearing picks up the sound of a Kryptonite meteor
falling near two forest rangers. The rangers plan on getting rid of it
after their fire patrol is over. They'll also send a message to the Man
of Steel, too. After receiving the message, Superman heads for the
Fortress of Solitude. The evening finds Linda Lee writing in her diary,
and remembering how her home planet of Krypton blew up years ago. Each
of the planet's fragments was turned into Green Kryptonite. She learned
from her cousin how he escaped Krypton's destruction as a baby in a
rocket. He was thought to be the sole survivor, but a quake caused a
chunk carrying a town to be sent into space. A huge air bubble
surrounded it, and kept the citizens alive.

Although they had air to breathe, the ground beneath them had turned to
Green Kryptonite, and the radiations would poison them in time. Zor-El
had the people cover the bare ground with some lead foil he had been
using for radiation experiments. Life had resumed for the refugees from
Krypton, and a baby daughter was born to Zor-El and his wife. By this
time, Superboy was already in Smallville, and this is why Kara is younger
than her cousin. When she became a teenager, a meteor swarm fell and
smashed through the lead shield, causing the Kryptonite radiation to be
released. Zor-El builds a space rocket and Allura uses a space telescope
to search for a suitable world for their daughter to travel to.

By using the hyper-radio, Kara and her mother learned the language, as
well as gleaning information about Earth's greatest hero. When the
Kryptonite radiation proved too much, Kara's rocket was launched, and she
thought her parents perished with the others. Now on Earth, the Man of
Steel spotted her arrival, and met his cousin from Krypton. She wonders
why the Kryptonians weren't super-strong away from Krypton's heavy
gravity. It turns out that their powers come from lighter gravity and
ultra solar rays which strike Earth both night and day. The rays only
affect people from other solar systems. Only yellow stars like Earth's
sun emit those rays. On worlds without yellow suns, they would not have
super-powers, even when under lighter gravity. Since Krypton's sun was
red, the people who lived with Kara did not gain super powers. She then
asks why Kryptonite is deadly to them. The rays can penetrate even their
skin, turning red corpuscles to green, and this blood poisoning causes
Kryptonite fever.

Closing her diary, Supergirl now has an idea for overcoming Kryptonite.
At the Fortress of Solitude, the Man of Steel sees that his cousin is
excited about something. She figures that just as people can take many
doses of the Polio vaccine and become immune to Polio, the same could be
done with Kryptonite. Superman had tried it, but it didn't work. The
Girl of Steel figures that since she's younger, it should work for her.
Her cousin insists that it's too dangerous, then shows her his latest
space trophy kept inside a black box. It is a space flower which must be
kept from light or else it will wither. She is told to use her x-ray
vision at full power since the box is very thick. KRACK! Supergirl sees
how the beautiful flower makes its own rainbow colors. The Man of Steel
now shows her the latest creatures from his interplanetary zoo. The
specimens come from a low-gravity solar system where insects are gigantic
and dinosaurs are small.

The Metal-Eaters enjoy iron nails for lunch, but one of them's missing.
Supergirl notices how her x-ray vision must have gone through the black
box, and cracked the glass cage. Superman brings a lead box containing
some Green Kryptonite, and uses it to lure the Metal-Eater back from the
steel foundation. When it emerges, the Metal-Eater heads for the
Kryptonite thrown by the Man of Steel into the glass cage. The Man of
Steel rivets a metal plate in the floor, while the Girl of Steel fuses
the hole in the glass cage with her x-ray vision. After leaving the
Fortress of Solitude, Supergirl decides to carry out her plan for
Kryptonite immunity, and will wait for the half-term recess week to
begin. During recess week, Linda uses her telescopic-vision to see that
the Kryptonite meteor has not been moved by the rangers.

Supergirl heads for the forest, where she plans to conduct her experiment
in secret, and somehow manage to get the meteor into a nearby cave. The
Maid of Might lifts up a section of grassy sod to create a slope, and
rolls the Kryptonite meteor into the cave. She enters the cave and sees
that the meteor is at the far side of the cavern. On the outer fringe of
the radiation, the Girl of Steel bears it for as long as she can. A
stalactite is used to mark the spot where she first felt weak, and the
following day, Supergirl finds that she is able to get closer. Her
cousin checks in on her progress with his telescopic-vision, and sees how
the Girl of Steel is able to approach the meteor.

Days pass, with Supergirl halfway to her goal, and with enough
super-strength to smash a stalagmite. At three-quarters of the way, her
super-breath is able to blow away the surrounding boulders. Superman
sees that his cousin's x-ray vision has not been affected by the meteor.
At the Fortress, the Man of Steel sees that the second Metal-Eater is
sad, and he tries to cheer her up by feeding her some gold. Later, when
Superman super-bores underground for some ancient fossils, he comes
across a tunnel which he doesn't recall making. He meets with another
Kryptonite meteor in the cavern and becomes weak.

The rock walls prevent him from using his super-breath to blow the meteor
away, and his x-ray vision is now too weak to melt it. His super-powers
are gone. The Girl of Steel is now able to touch the meteor, and feel
only the slightest pain. Using her x-ray vision, she sees her cousin's
predicament, and flies for his location. Since Kryptonite radiation
cannot harm her, it should be a simple matter for Supergirl to save him.
Now in the cavern, she becomes weak, and loses her super-powers.
Superman now knows what must have happened.

He tells his cousin to train her x-ray vision with his on a vein of gold.
She wonders how doing this will save them from the radiation. The Man
of Steel knows that Gold is number 79 in the atomic table of elements,
and Lead is number 82. Since their atomic structure is similar, his plan
should work. Their dual x-ray vision has worked as an atomic ray, and
turned the gold atoms into lead atoms to stop the Kryptonite radiation.
Now free from their trap, Superman is about to explain to his cousin what
had happened with her experiment. At the cave, the Girl of Steel is able
to touch the meteor, but she is told to use her x-ray vision. Within the
thin shell of Kryptonite, there is a Metal-Eater, and he must have bored
his way in from the rear.

When the Man of Steel came across the tunnel, his x-ray vision saw the
veins of metal ore along the way. The Metal-Eater had made his way
through the ores, and found the Kryptonite meteor. As it nibbled its way
into the meteor, the less radiation was emitted, and this was how
Supergirl was able to get closer to it. Since there's only two
Metal-Eaters in the glass cage, the Girl of Steel wonders where this one
came from. At the Fortress of Solitude, Superman reunites the
Metal-Eater with its parents, and tells his cousin how the female must
have laid an egg while it was away from its cage. That evening at
Midvale Orphanage, Linda finishes her diary entry about the Kryptonite
immunity plan which laid an egg.

This story was reprinted in Superman Family #167 (October - November,

At Midvale Orphanage, Linda Lee aids her fellow orphans with their
kite-flying and their roller skating.

In this retelling of Krypton's destruction, Kal-El's rocket has got a
window for the baby to see what happened to his planet, and the unnamed
Argo City looks something like the Astrodome of Space.

Leave it to Zor-El to foil the Kryptonite from grounding their future.

It's strange that Superman didn't use his x-ray vision to follow the
cross tunnel at a safe distance, and avoid the Green Kryptonite trap.

Only the Man of Steel and the Girl of Steel can turn gold into lead.

The Metal-Eater is an orange reptile and looks like a turtle without its

Steve Chung
"Supergirl's Greatest Review!"