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The Miraculous Transition of Kristen Wells From Novels to Comics

In "Follow the Path," I spotlight changes made to comic book characters that are based on outside media, as well as characters who entirely came from outside media. I’m sure you can think of other examples, so feel free to e-mail me at brianc@cbr.com if you want to suggest some other examples for future installments.

This is a bit of a belated birthday present to my pal, David, who loves comic book characters who come from outside media! Today, we look at how Kristen Wells came from the world of literature into the comic book world!

When the Superman movie came out, Warner Books did an ingenious thing. Rather than just do a novelization of the movie, they instead had Elliot S! Maggin, the acclaimed comic book writer who had been writing Superman comics since the early 1970s, do a related Superman novel but not expressly a novelization. The Last Son of Krypton had a Christopher Reeve cover and everything, but was not directly connected to the movie outside of the fact that it was, you know, a book about Superman.

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For Superman II, they did this again, with Maggin writing the iconic novel, Miracle Monday.

The book was remastered recently...

The book was about a professor, Dr. Kristen Wells, who goes back in time to discover how a holiday (Miracle Monday) was founded. She then gets caught up in a story involving a demon and Superman being his most awesome self. It's really good. Go buy a copy!

Anyhow, the book came out in 1981. Three years later, we met Kristen Wells again in DC Comics Presents Annual #2 (by Elliot S! Maggin, Keith Pollard and Mike DeCarlo), when she is teaching her class a lesson about the last secret identity that is not known to the people of the future, the hero known as Superwoman!

Some of her class noted that much of Superwoman's powers could be replicated by modern technology (well, modern for them, ya know?). They then tell Wells that she should just go back in time and investigate again. She's done before, so why not again?

So she does and gets a job with Lois Lane. There is a really fun bit where Jimmy Olsen falls for her, but Kristen seems to be into Clark Kent (he's the only one who knows who she is)...

Anyways, as you might imagine, when a bad guy attacks and incapacitates everyone, Kristen realizes that the reason she can't figure out who Superwoman was is because SHE was Superwoman!!

Fun stuff.

Superwoman popped up a few more times before Crisis on Infinite Earths rebooted everything. She actually appeared in Alan Moore's Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?

That's it for this installment of Follow the Path! If anyone else has a suggestion for a comic book character changing due to TV or movies, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

Happy belated birthday, David!

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