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Friday, 16 June 2017

Supergirl 6 - Supergirl and the street gangs, and a Melba Manton story

The cover of Supergirl 6 (Aug 73) makes it look like Drake, Saaf and Colletta are going to turn in another romance based tale, but the story doesn't play out quite that way.

The story centres on two rival street gangs, the Hustlers and the Flaming Dragons. An attempt is made to kill the leader of the Hustlers, which leads them to try to kill their rivals.

There is a romance mixed in, a West Side Story type, although in this case the boyfriend doesn't actually get killed. The Flaming Dragons deny being the ones to try to kill him.

And in the end Supergirl proves that it was the second in command of the Hustlers who actually tried to kill the leader, framing the Flaming Dragons for it. At one point Supergirl kisses the guy on the cheek, and his girlfriend freaks out, which is how the cover image relates.

Robert Kanigher, Mike Sekowsky and Frank Giacoia provide the second story in the issue, which features Melba Manton, the black reporter on the Daily Planet. Melba had been given a big introduction, and her first solo story, in the pages of Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane. Her series doesn't quite fit into this book, and I'm not sure how it wound up appearing here.

Melba gets an exclusive interview with a big Hollywood actor, and is in his limo when the driver kidnaps him and tries to kill him, or so it seems. Then the actor and driver reveal that it was all a performance with special effects. Or so they thought.

The actor's greedy manager had replaced the prop gun with a real one. Oddly, he doesn't seem to have been intending to have the actor killed, just kidnapped and ransomed. The use of a real gun with bullets would not necessarily have made that easier.

This is Melba's last solo story.

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