Did Power Girl Almost Star in the Deadman/Supergirl X-Mas Classic?

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and eleventh installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

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Power Girl was almost going to star in the Deadman/Supergirl story in DC's 1989 Christmas special.


Mostly False, with a Little Truth Mixed In There

Reader Dan Q. wrote in with today's suggestion!

One of the all-time great Christmas comic book stories of all-time is "Should Auld Acquitances Be Forgot" from Christmas with the Superheroes #2, by Alan Brennert and Dick Giordano.

The story stars Deadman, who, of course, can only be corporeal by possessing people. That's fine under normal circumstances, but on Christmas, he feels like a jerk in, effect, stealing people's holiday moments from them. So he goes back to being a ghost and he just bemoans how awful it is being a ghost on the holidays. He is talked out of it by a mysterious young woman....

Obviously, that young woman was Supergirl, who had died during Crisis on Infinite Earths and was then written out of continuity during the Man of Steel reboot (which made Superman the literal "Last Son of Krypton").

The problem is that the Superman titles were upset about a comic book story that was directly going to contradict their newly established continuity. I did a legend about how Jerry Ordway...if not threatening to quit, per se, was very upset about it. He explained to me in an old Comic Book Legends Revealed (by old, I mean over a DECADE ago!), "Even after John left the books, Carlin fought many battles on our behalf, to keep what we were doing consistent across the other books in the DCU. I have always felt strongly that a company should keep their characters consistent, as a service to readers. I think Julie Schwartz tried to keep his era's incarnation of the Man of Steel consistent in both tone and look, and we all tried to do the same. The creators working on a character need to have some power to exercise their control, so, for example, a huge Superman moment, continuity wise, appears in a Superman title, not Booster Gold, or Legion or Blue Devil."

The editor of the DC Christmas special, Mark Waid, knew that the story might prove to be controversial with the Superman office, so he explained the situation to Dick Giordano (then DC's Executive Editor) to keep the story from being squelched by the Superman office complaining. Giordano liked the story idea, so he decided to draw it himself so that no one would ask to cancel the story if their boss drew it, ya know?

So with the story definitely going to be happening, the Superman office did try one last thing.

At the same time that this story came out, Power Girl was in a coma in the pages of Justice League Europe...

So they asked if they couldn't just say that it was POWER GIRL meeting Deadman, while she was sort of connected to the spirit world during her coma.

Dick Giordano, though, told them that it was just a simple Christmas story and that they shouldn't over complicate things. So the story remained as it was.

So the story is a bit more false than anything, but there is some truth in there.

Thanks for the suggestion, Dan! And thanks to Shannon Riley (who wrote an article in Back Issue about this special), Rob Kelly (who asked Alan Brennert about the story) and Alan Brennert (who shared the story of the Power Girl suggestion by the Superman office) for the information!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Were Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie really named after George Bailey's friends, Bert and Ernie, from It's a Wonderful Life?

OK, that's it for this week!

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Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well!

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