Supergirl in latest chapter in a lifelong passion,

The latest superhero program begins Monday on television. It is called Supergirl, and if it hews close to the comic books I grew up with, it deals with Superman’s young cousin, who has all his powers and abilities in a much prettier package.

From the previews I’ve seen, however, TV might have gone too far. Super­girl is played by an actress I’ve never seen, she isn’t a blonde like good Krypto­nian young ladies should be and, to be truthful, she’s a bit mousy.

In the comics, Superman stashed her away in an orphanage until it was her time to shine; I’m not sure where she’s been all this time in the TV series.

But she’s here, and I give her a chance because I grew up with all things Super­man. The comics were my favorites: Superman, Action and Adventure, and the characters: Batman, Bizarro, Aquaman, Green Lantern and Hornet, and J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.

I learned to spell Mister Mxyzptlk’s name forward and backward (a very important skill). I could identify Jor-El and Kal-El and Lara, and I knew Supergirl’s name on Krypton (Kara) and on Earth (Linda Lee Danvers).

Before we had our first television set, I loved the 1950s show The Adventures of Superman when we visited an uncle’s house. That show still registers with me, and when Jack Larson died recently I recognized his name as the young man who played Jimmy Olsen.

As a kid, I wore a towel as my Superman cape, and the hayloft of the barn would have been my first step to flight had my mother not caught me in the act and grounded me – literally.

I remember sending off Kel­logg’s cereal box tops for a plastic model Superman whose cape was shaped like a delta wing. I would launch him with the rubber band device included and make Superman leap tall buildings at a single bound.

On a recent Halloween, I went to work posing as a conflicted Superman. I wore a Superman T-shirt over my white dress shirt and tie, a red cape, dress slacks instead of tights, and eyeglasses – representing a dazed and confused Clark Kent. You see, long ago I had become a mild-mannered reporter without realizing it, and that disguise just seemed like the next step.

In recent years, I have worn out Superman T-shirts while playing with grandchildren who went through the superhero phase before moving on to wrestling, baseball, toy ponies and the like. I have stayed in that phase long enough to have several blue T-shirts with a big “S” on them.

One of those grandkids used the word “invulnerable” recently when we were talking about her schoolwork, and it took me back. The first time I had encountered that word was in the comics because Super­man was – invulnerable, that is.

Let’s hope Supergirl leaves a new generation of fans with so many good memories for life.

Reach Glynn Moore at glynn.moore@augustachronicle.com.

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