Look Back: Supergirl Becomes the Lead of a Series for the First Time!

This is "Look Back," a brand-new feature that I plan to do for at least all of 2019 and possibly beyond that (and possibly forget about in a week, who knows?). The concept is that every week (I'll probably be skipping the four fifth weeks in the year, but maybe not) of a month, I will spotlight a single issue of a comic book that came out in the past and talk about that issue in terms of a larger scale (like the series overall, etc.). Each week will be a look at a comic book from a different year that came out the same month X amount of years ago. The first week of the month looks at a book that came out this month ten years ago. The second week looks at a book that came out this month 25 years ago. The third week looks at a book that came out this month 50 years ago. The fourth week looks at a book that came out this month 75 years ago.

Today, we look at Supergirl's debut as a lead feature.

It is sometimes difficult to properly judge just how bizarre the late 1960s must have been like for Mort Weisinger. When Weisinger took control of the Superman titles in the late 1940s, they were one of the most popular comic book series in the entire industry. Then the Seduction of the Innocent panic hit and comic book sales plummeted in the mid-1950s and many comic book companies went out of business. However, the Superman titles just kept selling. They weren't necessarily always literally the most popular series of titles, but Superman was often in the top two or three comic books sold throughout the 1950s and well into the 1960s. Then a couple of weird things happened. First off, the Batman TV series briefly made Batman comics more popular than, I dunno, something really popular (bubble gum? soda?) and suddenly, for the first time in his career at National Comics, Mort Weisinger wasn't the top dog. Then, when Batman's sales went back to Earth, Superman regained his spot at DC, but his overall sales were lagging a lot due to Marvel Comics' revamped superhero line of books. I recently wrote about how another title, Green Lantern, tried to adjust to this new style of comics but with the Superman titles, it was even odder since they were THE TOP OF THE INDUSTRY, so it was such an unfamiliar place for Weisinger to be, to have to suddenly explain to others what he was doing. Other DC staffers started to question his decision-making. He would be out of comics by early 1970, but not before he tried some dramatic changes to the Superman line, with one of those decision being to take Supergirl out of her back-up feature in Action Comics (which she had maintained since the late 1950s) and give her the lead feature in Adventure Comics, replacing Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes (Superboy had a second series which he continued to maintain after losing his secondary title)...

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