Action Comics #296: "The Girl Who Was Supergirl's Double!"

Action Comics #296
"The Girl Who Was Supergirl's Double!"
January, 1963

Script: Leo Dorfman
Art: Jim Mooney

Black Canary!  Phantom Girl!  Saturn Girl!  Wonder Woman!  You've read
about these heroines, but the one who is involved in this story is the
Maid of Might herself.  Along with her cousin, Supergirl fights a
never-ending battle.  She is a super-heroine, but there is another with
incredible powers of her own.  Find out who she is in... "The Girl Who
Was Supergirl's Double!"  Linda Lee Danvers and her foster-mother are
shopping for a costume for Linda to wear at the Midvale Charity Ball.
For the "Come as your favorite hero or heroine party," Mrs. Danvers
recommends that her foster-daughter go dressed as Pocahontas.  Since she
is the Maid of Might, Linda sees sense in not wearing a flashy costume.
Outside, they meet with Lena Thorul, who has already bought her own
costume, and wants to surprise them as to what it is.

Lena suddenly senses that something bad is about to happen around the
corner, and Linda tells her foster-mother about her friend's extrasensory
powers.  She manages to reach a blind man who was about to walk in front
of a bus, and unbeknownst to her, Linda uses her super-breath to slow
down the bus for the save.  After leading the blind man across the
street, the two young women talk about Lena's application with the
Federal Bureau of Investigation.  She will keep her job with the Midvale
Library until she hears back from the agency.  In the upper-class area of
Midvale, another girl is trying on a expensive Cleopatra costume, and
asks her father for his opinion.  He tells his daughter that she looks
like a queen, and that the rented jewelry from Cartier's will arrive
shortly.  The Giltedge's butler announces the arrival of the messenger
from Cartier's.  As the father and daughter open the jewel case, they are
unaware that the butler is phoning a crooked crony of his with the news.

The evening finds Linda Lee Danvers being escorted to the costume ball by
Dick Malverne.  Dick is wearing the costume of the world's greatest hero,
and he tells his date that a Superman costume is most appropriate.  The
Man of Steel is her hero, but Linda knows that Dick is trying to get her
to admit that she's Supergirl.  The costume contest begins, with Clarissa
Giltedge being carried into the ball by a pair of bearers, and two armed
guards watching over the jewels.  The next contestant to step forward is
Lena Thorul in a Supergirl costume.  Both Linda and Dick notice the
resemblance between her and the real Maid of Might.  The prizes are
awarded to Dick Malverne and Lena Thorul for their super choice of
costumes, while Clarissa seethes with jealousy over the outcome.  A local
news photographer asks them to pose for a special picture.

Now on steel wires, both Dick and Lena looks like they're flying, while
Linda feels left out of the picture.  Two men dressed as astronauts enter
through the ballroom entrance, with Lena getting a sense of their evil
nature.  Blackie throws some knock-out pellets, which causes the
partygoers to lose consciousness.  Only Linda is invulnerable to the
attack, and she pretends to pass out from the attack.  The astronauts
find the Giltedge girl and are about to remove the jewelry.  Changing to
Supergirl at super-speed, she cracks open their helmets, and causes the
jewel thieves to inhale the knock-out gas themselves.

As she changes back to her Pocahontas costume, Linda sees that the gas is
evaporating, and the thieves should be ready to be put into custody.
Lena Thorul is the first to revive, and uses the guard's belts to bind
the astronauts hands behind their backs.  The others recover to hear Lena
explain what's happened, and one of the astronauts blurts out that the
Giltedge's butler had betrayed them into a trap.  The police plan to take
him in, too, and one of the officers compliments Lena by calling her
"Supergirl".  She accepts the compliment, but insists that the costume is
only a rental.  Dick thinks that Lena is the real thing, and whispers to
Linda that she probably used her x-ray vision to pierce the astronauts'
disguises.  Now that it looks like Lena is the Maid of Might, Dick
decides to ask her out for a dance.  Linda hopes that her friend will
straighten Dick out.

Dick and Lena share many dances during the course of the evening.  Linda
should be pleased that he no longer thinks that she's Supergirl, but
she's not.  As he drops Linda off at her house, Dick is in a hurry to
drive Lena home, and Linda misses out on a goodnight kiss.  She uses her
telescopic-vision to see what they're up to, and sees Dick saying
goodnight to Supergirl -- errr... Lena.  Her boyfriend and her best
friend have found one another.  The following day finds Doctor Malverne
getting ready for a geological field trip, with Dick promising his father
to take care of his mineral collection.  The teen is handling a green
rock, which his father tells him is none other than a Kryptonite meteor.
He is to keep it in a lead container until Doctor Malverne can give it to
Superman or Supergirl.  Dick wonders what his father would say if he knew
that Supergirl was going to visit him today.  Lena arrives at the
Malverne home with some chemistry books from the library.  Dick invites
her in, telling her that he's just finishing up an experiment in his lab,
and not suspecting that the teen is planning a fake explosion to have the
Maid of Might come to his rescue.

Lena notices the cute parakeet, which the Malvernes call "Chipper", and
she can play with him until Dick is done with his "experiment".  Chipper
is accidentally freed from his cage by Lena, who chases after the
parakeet, and knocks over the loving cup on the table.  POP!  Unbeknownst
to the young girl, a knock-out pellet had rolled into the cup during last
night's robbery, and Lena is overcome by the fumes.  THUMP!  BANG!
Opening the door, Dick sees that his friend must have accidentally
exposed herself to the Kryptonite meteor, and it's knocked her out.

After putting the green rock back in the lead container, Dick revives
Lena, and hears her story about the fumes.  Even if she's not Supergirl,
he insists that she get rid of the Kryptonite, and Lena promises to give
it to the Maid of Might as soon as possible.  Dick watches her leave, and
wonders when she'll admit to her dual identity.  Lena plans to bury the
box containing the Kryptonite in the ground, and asks Linda if she'd like
to see it.  She declines the offer, of course.  The following days find
Dick inviting Lena to the Rod Kelly Disc-Jockey Show, with Linda knowing
that she would have been the one invited.  As they drive home, Linda
weeps, and watches as they cuddle together in the front seat.

Up in the sky, a plane is on fire, and a pilot is bailing out.  Dick sees
that the chute has failed to open, and he begs for Lena to use her
super-powers to save him.  As she insists that she doesn't have any such
powers, Linda uses her super-breath to open the pilot's chute.  Back on
the ground, Lena is the recipient of a grateful kiss from Dick Malverne,
and Linda sees that her good deed has been rewarded to someone else.
That evening in the Danvers's home, Linda sees Lena and Dick dancing on
the Rod Kelly Show.  She wonders what would happen if she told her
boyfriend that Lena is the sister of Lex Luthor.

In reality, Linda would never do such a thing, and insists that she wants
Dick to love her for herself.  A news bulletin summons Supergirl to the
Metropolis Penitentiary.  Once there, the Maid of Might meets with Lex
Luthor in his "solitary cell".  Since his sister's birthday is tomorrow,
Lex would like to give her a gift to ease her financial hardships.  What
gift could a criminal in solitary confinement possibly give?  In years
past, Lex created a method for creating diamonds by using the heat and
energy of a lighting storm on lumps of coal.  Before the process could be
perfected, Luthor was taken into custody, and he had planned to use the
chest of diamonds to finance his future criminal endeavors.

The diamonds are legally his, but he wants to make a deal with Supergirl.
If Lex tells her where the diamonds are, she can give them to charity,
and give some to Lena as a birthday present.  Since it's for charity, the
Maid of Might agrees to help Luthor.  After tearing up the stone floor of
Lex's deserted lab, she finds the diamonds to give to the orphan's fund,
and some for Lena Thorul.  Supergirl gives Lena the diamonds, and tells
her that they're from an unknown friend whose identity must remain
secret.  As she leaves, Supergirl sees Dick Malverne driving up for a
visit to Lena's.  She is placing the diamonds on the mantelpiece of her
fireplace when the doorbell rings.  One of the diamonds falls into the
coal scuttle, and as she is about to pick it up, Dick enters the house.

He had come for the interesting specimen she had promised him for his
father's mineral collection.  Lena promises to give it to him, just as
soon as she takes out the diamond from the coal scuttle.  In the mind of
Dick Malverne, this can only mean that it's a diamond that Lena has
formed out of coal by using her super-strength.  She insists that he's
wrong, and shows him a piece of coral she had found at the seashore on
her last vacation.  Dick insists that Lena used her super-strength to
turn coal into a diamond, and he wants her to admit it.  She sighs and
admits that she's Supergirl.  Lena's "confession" has just been overheard
by the real Maid of Might via her super-hearing, and she wonders why Lena
would deliberately lie like that.  Is she becoming a criminal like her

This story was reprinted in Super DC Giant #S-24 (May-June, 1971).

Since Bill Henley reviewed Action Comics #295, I figured that I'd review
the next part of the story, and it just happened to be reprinted in a
comic book I have.

On the splash page, Dick Malverne rushes to Lena Thorul's aid, and sees
how the Green Kryptonite has weakened her.

I remember reviewing "The Girl Who Was Lucy Lane's Double" in an issue of
Jimmy Olsen.

Looks like everything goes double in a Silver Age Mort Weisinger D.C.
Comic book, doesn't it?

Black Canary and Wonder Woman are the senior super-heroines, while the
rest are teenaged Legionnaires in the 30th Century.

I wonder what happened to Fred Danvers in the story.  Was he working out
or what?

In saving a blind man from being run over by a truck, Matt Murdock was
struck by a radioactive isotope, and later became Daredevil.

Another heroine who worked at a library was Barbara Gordon, a.k.a.

A hero who worked at a library was Adam Blake, AKA Captain Comet.

Lena Thorul is quite a sight in her Supergirl costume, and by using a
slightly different hairstyle, Jim Mooney is able to emphasize the
resemblance between her and Kara.

The Far-Out Space Nuts get their collective lights punched out by the
Maid of Might.

Dick Malverne has got some super-nerve in trying to uncover Supergirl's
secret identity by dating Lena Thorul.

We meet Doctor Malverne and wonder whatever happened to Mrs. Malverne.

Did one of Dick's fake explosions prove to be more realistic than

No wonder Chipper was eager to flee his cage.  The parakeet must be a
stool pigeon in disguise.

Victor Von Doom was a young scientist who got caught in an lab explosion
during one of his experiments.

Just as the knock-out gas pellet found its way into the loving cup, Linda
Lee Danvers found herself fuming over the developments between Dick and

Look!  Up in the sky!  It's a bird (Chipper)!  It's a burning plane!
It's Supergirl!  (Lena Thorul)?

Her super-breath may have saved a pilot, but Dick and Lena's relationship
took Linda's breath away.

I wonder what surname you could come up with to respell Malverne.

Diamonds are a brother's best friend, but Lena is getting the coal
shoulder from Dick by the end of the story.

It's up to Supergirl to scuttle this relationship before the couple get
hurt, and Linda gets dumped.

Steve Chung
"The Girl Who Was Supergirl's Review!"