Review: Adventure Comics #397

Adventure Comics #397 cover
Cover by Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano

Adventure Comics #397
Published and © by DC, September 1970

Title: “Now … Comes Zond”
Synopsis: When an evil sorcerer threatens Stanhope College, Supergirl turns to Wonder Woman and Morgan LeFay’s daughter for help.

Writer: Mike Sekowsky
Penciler: Sekowsky
Inker: Frank Giacoia

Review: While dated now, there’s little question Mike Sekowsky’s take on Supergirl felt fresh at the time. Devil-worshiping cultists. Empowered superheroines. Mod fashion. This lead feature bristles with energy and captures its era well. This iteration of Supergirl is all grown up with a new direction, ready for the 1970s.


Title: “Supergirl Meets Nasty”
Synopsis: Nasthalthia “Nasty” Luthor comes to Stanhope College on a mission for her Uncle Lex:  Uncover Supergirl.

Writer: Mike Sekowsky
Penciler: Sekowsky
Inker: Uncredited

Review: Supergirl gets a new foil in Nasty Luthor. Their initial confrontation isn’t the strongest, but provides promise for future stories.

Grade: B

Second opinion: “From 397… Supergirl began her most impressive stories ever.” – Hassan Yusuf, FantaCo’s Chronicle’s Series Annual #1, 1983

Cool factor: The novelty of Supergirl changing up her look with reader-designed costumes still feels fresh decades later. 
Not-so-cool factor: Supergirl’s super-telepathy. (Wait. What?)

Notable: Supergirl gets the first of several new costumes. … First appearance of Nasthalthia “Nasty” Luthor.

Character quotable: “Thank you Diana – and thank you for my new costume!” – Supergirl, graduating from the misses department

Editor’s note: This review was written Aug. 30, 2022.

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