I posed this on the JLA-JSA thread, and am giving it its own post here at the Captain's suggestion:

"I can see a reading of the "Luma Lynai" scene from another direction.  Remember, Supergirl is the one who's messing about in Superman's love life a little before he utters the fateful words.  Maybe the writer-- Binder, I think-- was implying that Supergirl was "shipping" (as they call it now) her cousin through an intermediary.  If so, then Superman's words might be a way of diplomatically letting her down.

Not that there aren't lots of other weird incest-y motifs in the Superman Family.  Can we talk about the wedding of Jimmy and Lois?  Well, maybe on another thread."

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Superman could have sent Kara to Kandor, if he really wanted to or if it occurred to him to do so. I believe that he was following the path that was the most familiar to him: child from Krypton crashes on Earth, child discovered, child placed in orphanage. He was using his experience as the template for Supergirl. That made the most sense to him and it made his life a bit easier.

I also think that Superman felt justified with the whole "Secret Weapon" phase of Kara's life. I'm willing to bet that it wasn't what Zor-El and Allura had in mind when they rocketed Kara to Earth to find Superman. (And yes, I know that they didn't know that Superman was their nephew Kal-El but still...)

Anyway, for all of Superman's powers, he had some notable chinks in his armor. One was that most people knew a lot about him and his tactics. They knew that he would always keep his word if crooks could pressure him into swearing not to stop them or something. And they thought that he was the only Super-person on Earth.

Supergirl freed him from all that. She was his insurance policy, hidden back-up and doubled his effectiveness. She, of course, obeyed him because she wanted to be worthy of his love and make him proud of her.

So putting her in Kandor would have been a waste of resources, bordering on irresponsibility.

As for birthing a Kryptonian/Terran child, I would assume that you would put the mother under an artificial red sun so the fetus cannot gain any powers in the first place. Heck you would probable continue to do so for a few years until you could teach the child self-control and restraint.

I'd have shipped her off to Kandor in a heartbeat.  No man in his right mind wants to be saddled with the responsibility for a teen-age girl who suddenly gets thrust upon him.  A regular non-super-powered one is bad enough, let alone one who could destroy a small mountain range every time she goes into a crying jag because the cute boy in math class won't give her a second look.

 

Cousin or not, I'd have zapped her into the bottled city faster than she could say "It's not fair!"

 

 

Rereading Supergirl's first appearance, it's very clear that while Zor-El knew that Superman was Kryptonian, he didn't know that he was Jor-El's son. So that puts sending his pretty teenage daughter to Earth in a sexy (for the Silver Age) version of (to Zor and Allura) the only living male of their race's costume in a whole different light.

Obviously, they were hoping Superman would take care of her but were they hoping for more? Were they looking for a mate for their daughter?

While they said that Kryptonians can't marry their cousins (and I still can't believe that it was a plot point of a Silver Age comic!!), they never said anything about age.  If they weren't related, could Superman have married a teenage Kara if he wanted to? By sending her to Earth in his outfit, were Zor-El and Allura giving their consent?

It would putting lives needlessly at risk to allow her to stay in the real world - not only not a waste of resources, but allowing someone with her power and lack of control of that power to live on Earth, that would have been irresponsible.  Superman never had a choice but to grow up among us, and in those pre-Byrne days he of course had his powers from Day One.  He's lucky he never killed anyone.  I'm reminded of something from Philip Wylie's Gladiator where Hugo Danner's usual tight control of his strength deserted him and killed someone accidentally.  That could easily have happened to Superman, but as I said with Supergirl there were other options.

Commander Benson said:

I'd have shipped her off to Kandor in a heartbeat.  No man in his right mind wants to be saddled with the responsibility for a teen-age girl who suddenly gets thrust upon him.  A regular non-super-powered one is bad enough, let alone one who could destroy a small mountain range every time she goes into a crying jag because the cute boy in math class won't give her a second look.

 

Cousin or not, I'd have zapped her into the bottled city faster than she could say "It's not fair!"

 

 

Did they ever say anything about what Kryptonians considered marriageable age?  In the USA I think it's 16 with your parents' permission. 

Philip Portelli said:

Obviously, they were hoping Superman would take care of her but were they hoping for more? Were they looking for a mate for their daughter?

While they said that Kryptonians can't marry their cousins (and I still can't believe that it was a plot point of a Silver Age comic!!), they never said anything about age.  If they weren't related, could Superman have married a teenage Kara if he wanted to? By sending her to Earth in his outfit, were Zor-El and Allura giving their consent?

I think that when we look at things like this too closely, it really takes all of the fun out of the stories.  Sure, this would be the rational thing to do, but I don't think "The Crazy Kandor Capers of Kara Zor-el" would have been much fuel for good stories--at least not in the Silver Age.

Dave Elyea said:

I hadn't realized that--if Kandor was already in place, why didn't Superman send Kara there, instead of that crappy orphanage, where her lack of knowledge of Earthly norms presented a constant threat to her secret? 

That's true, Randy....except that sometimes the stories themselves bring up these alternatives. Remember the "Baby Bizarro" story. Instead of bringing a super-powered baby to Kandor, they keep him in the Fortress with Krypto watching over him. And Superman is again influenced by his own origin on what to do!
 
Randy Jackson said:

I think that when we look at things like this too closely, it really takes all of the fun out of the stories.  Sure, this would be the rational thing to do, but I don't think "The Crazy Kandor Capers of Kara Zor-el" would have been much fuel for good stories--at least not in the Silver Age.

Dave Elyea said:

I hadn't realized that--if Kandor was already in place, why didn't Superman send Kara there, instead of that crappy orphanage, where her lack of knowledge of Earthly norms presented a constant threat to her secret? 

Yes, but Superman would be training her and, since she was older, her super-intelligence would (hopefully) prevent any chaos from happening. I believe that Superman saw Kara as, among other things, a way to expand and continue his mission. If having one super person patrolling the world is a good thing, then having two is better!
 
Jim King said:

It would putting lives needlessly at risk to allow her to stay in the real world - not only not a waste of resources, but allowing someone with her power and lack of control of that power to live on Earth, that would have been irresponsible.  Superman never had a choice but to grow up among us, and in those pre-Byrne days he of course had his powers from Day One.  He's lucky he never killed anyone.  I'm reminded of something from Philip Wylie's Gladiator where Hugo Danner's usual tight control of his strength deserted him and killed someone accidentally.  That could easily have happened to Superman, but as I said with Supergirl there were other options.

Commander Benson said:

I'd have shipped her off to Kandor in a heartbeat.  No man in his right mind wants to be saddled with the responsibility for a teen-age girl who suddenly gets thrust upon him.  A regular non-super-powered one is bad enough, let alone one who could destroy a small mountain range every time she goes into a crying jag because the cute boy in math class won't give her a second look.

 

Cousin or not, I'd have zapped her into the bottled city faster than she could say "It's not fair!"

 

 

I think it can be fun to look at these crazy old stories this way.
Randy Jackson said:

I think that when we look at things like this too closely, it really takes all of the fun out of the stories.

Superman didn't become her shadow, he wasn't always there, and she was older but she was still a teenager and bound to make stupid decisions, and even an adult (even Superman) could have a brief lapse in concentration - accidentally killing or injuring someone (not that he ever did - they certainly wouldn't have done that in the Silver Age).  I don't remember how easy it was to enter and leave Kandor - maybe he could have taken her out for training sessions, and she would have grown up among her own people instead of having to, like Superman, keep her true self a secret.  The pre-Byrne Superman was the Superman Bill refers to in Kill Bill, where his true self is Superman and not Clark Kent.  Of course, the other people of Kandor might have wondered why they couldn't all leave the bottle city and have the powers he did, so maybe that's why he wouldn't want to be entering the leaving the city too often.
Philip Portelli said:

Yes, but Superman would be training her and, since she was older, her super-intelligence would (hopefully) prevent any chaos from happening. I believe that Superman saw Kara as, among other things, a way to expand and continue his mission. If having one super person patrolling the world is a good thing, then having two is better! 

One of the problems that Supergirl always had was that, to a certain extent, Clark Kent was real--he grew up as Clark, experiencing the same culture and society that Lois Lane did, he went to regular school with regular kids, he had a real family with the Kents and their various uncles & cousins & such, while "Linda Lee" was just a name picked out of thin air.  She had no ties to anything on Earth except Superman, and only knew what her super-senses picked up about her new world.  Picture a 15-year old girl in 1959 who doesn't know Frank Sinatra from a frankfurter, or who might suddenly start speaking fluent German because after Kryptonese, all those Earth languages sound alike to her.  Kal-El only spent a brief time in the orphanage before the Kents adopted him, but expecting "Linda" to somehow blend in while being theoretically stuck in one until she turned 18 (which in comic book time, could have been decades!) always seemed cruel to me.  While it's true that "Kara in Kandor" would have had limited story possibilities, she still would have been better off living in the Fortress, where she could use the monitors to learn more about Earth, and the gym to practice her powers, so that she'd be a more effective secret weapon, and a better eventual super-heroine.  What did spending time as Linda ever give her (or the readers) besides stories in which she had to jump thru hoops to protect a secret identity that she really never had any attachment to?

I haven't read a lot of the early Supoergirl stories, but how many times was she used as a "secret weapon"?

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