Supergirl #10 featuring the Prez

Supergirl #10, September-October 1974

“Death of a Prez!”

Script: Cary Bates

Art: Art Saaf and Vince Colletta

Linda Danvers is watching a TV broadcast of Prez Rickard’s speech at a supermarket where he calls for a reduction of food prices. Suddenly, Linda leaps up and takes to the sky as Supergirl. Arriving at the supermarket she disarms a man who was about to shoot Prez! As Prez thanks her, a small boy asks the teen President to fix his pocket watch—a gift from the boy’s father, who died in Vietnam. Prez—as you’ll no doubt remember from his inaugural issue—is very good with clocks, and soon gets the timepiece running.

Later, at an auction for antique clocks, Prez is again almost assassinated, this time by a bomb hidden behind a clock face. Once again Supergirl saves the day. Fearing that these attempts on his life mean that a plot is afoot, Supergirl offers to fly Prez back to the White House and he agrees.

Meanwhile, at a secret lab, some plotters are indeed plotting to do away with the President. However, everything so far has merely been bate to bring Supergirl and the President together: the fiends have devised a machine that can control the Maid of Might’s brain, and, with the aid of some magical mumbo jumbo and a voodoo doll, it does just that. As Supergirl is flying above the Empire State Building, she is overcome with a compulsion to drop Prez: “Great Krypton!” she cries, “It — It’s tearing at my brain… commanding me to — to kill you!”

As Supergirl dangles the President from the top of the mooring mast, a squadron of fighter jets are called in and start blasting away. Supergirl flies off, and instead drops Prez into a river from a great height!

The plotters gleefully rejoice at their success. Suddenly, their evil machine melts and Supergirl swoops in, knocking them all to the ground. As the police arrive, Supergirl reveals that “Prez” was merely a plastic replica—the real Prez is safe and sound in the Fortress of Solitude.

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A rare—well, unique!—guest appearance from Prez Rickard. Given that Supergirl is very definitely “in continuity” then we can infer that Prez Rickard was indeed the President of the United States in the mid-1970s DC universe, and his series can’t just be dismissed as an aberration. Well, I suppose this story can be considered the aberration, but what the heck…

It’s a short story—just 10-pages—but Cary Bates treats the character with some respect, and the art is the usual beautifully fluid fare from the pencil of Art Saaf.

This issue was intended to go on sale at the same time as Prez #4, but a paper shortage bumped it, and several other titles, off the schedule, and it finally appeared a good six months later—by which time Prez’s own title had long since ceased to be.

As far as widely-published works go, this was the last appearance of Joe Simon’s teen President. But there was one more oddity to go before the Seventies were finished with him…

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