Action Comics #304 Sept. 1963 :: The Maid of Menace!

Supergirl gets a new arch-nemesis, one of her own relatives!

This issue begins with the introduction of Black Flame, a super-villain with powers similar to Kryptonians. Supergirl then learns, from Black Flame herself, BF’s origin story. Black Flame is actually Supergirl’s descendant from the year 4,000! In that era Black Flame is the feared leader of a gang of space pirates. She was deposed by some of her lackeys and is hiding out in the past.

Supergirl is distraught by the news that one of her descendants turns to the dark side and looks for consolation in the company of her foster-mother. Mrs. Danvers gives her some damn-good, and sprocking obvious, advice: travel to the future and check up on Black Flame’s story. Wait, you mean an evil person might lie to their enemy? Supergirl takes Mrs. Danvers’ advice and finds no evidence to support Black Flame’s story (surprise). She then travels to the bottle city of Kandor to see if BF might be a un-shrunken Kandorian. Supergirl goes to speak to the Kandorian census officer who just so happens to be at the dentist’s office. Since Kandorians don’t have super-powers while in the bottle they are susceptible to dental problems much like humans are (hint, hint, HINT). Mr. Sweet Tooth informs Supergirl that all Kandorians are accounted for, even Zora, a brilliant scientist and BFF of Supergirl’s recently vaporized super-villain Lesla-Lar (hint, hint, HINT, HINT).

Supergirl decides to sacrifice her own superpowers, by exposing herself to gold Kryptonite, so that she won’t pass them on to future super-villainous generations. There’s at least two problems with Supergirl’s logic: 1) Just because gold-K takes away her super-powers doesn’t mean she still won’t pass them on to her offspring. She could decide not to have any children which would negate her need to use the gold-K in the first place (unless she thinks having kids is innevitable … this was written in the 60s). 2) What if she is erasing from history hundreds of generations of good super-powered descendants? That could seriously screw with the time line! Supergirl uses the gold-K but Black Flame’s powers don’t go away because she is really Zora of Kandor. The ‘Zora’ that Supergirl and the census officer saw was an android. She used a red Kryptonite cloud to make her ‘full-sized’.

The effect of red Kryptonite wears off and Black Flame shrinks back down to Kandorian size. Just then Supergirl’s super-powers reappear! You see, Supergirl knew Black Flame was lying and she exposed herself to ‘fool’s gold-K’ instead. Supergirl then uses real gold-K to take away Black Flame’s super-powers and return her to the Kandorian authorities. But how did Supergirl realize BF was actually Zora? She noticed a tooth filling, which would be unnecessary if she had been ‘super’ her whole life. She therefore had to be a phony.

On my patented Supergirl Wink © scale this issue gets:

7 Winks!

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