Superwoman was introduced in DC Comics Presents Annual #2. A history professor from the year 2862, Kristin Wells travelled back to the past in order to discover the true identity of the mysterious heroine known as Superwoman — only to discover that she was Superwoman! Though she only appeared a couple of times, Kristin is well-remembered by long-time fans.
|Real Name: Kristin Wells|
|Occupation: History Professor, Columbia University (Metropolis Campus circa 2862)|
|Base of Operations: Metropolis|
|Marital Status: Single|
|Advantages: Acting Ability, Ally (Superman), Attractive Appearance, Courage, Gifted in Learning, Photographic Memory|
|Disadvantages: Employed, Enemy (King Kosmos)|
|Acrobatics 6D, brawling 4D, dodge 5D|
|Catch 4D, marksmanship 4D|
|Knowledge: 3D (7D with amulet)|
|Computer operations: 7D (11D with amulet), research: 6D (10D with amulet), scholar 6D (+3D Early American History, use of Amulet boosts an additional + 4D)|
|Repair 4D (+1D to repair Opal Amulet)|
|Charm 5D, Willpower 5D|
|Unarmed BDV: 3D|
|P/l Bonus: +2|
|Hero Points: 4||Body Points: 30|
|Character Points: 23|| Equipment: All of Superwoman’s powers come from the futuristic equipment she uses.
The story of Superwoman actually begins during Elliot S! Maggin’s tenure as a Superman writer in the late 1970s when he wrote a story entitled “The Miracle of Thirsty Thursday.” It featured a time-traveling college history student named Joanne Jaime and later served as the basis of Maggin’s 1981 Superman novel “Miracle Monday.”
In the novel, the student’s name was changed to Kristin Wells and she traveled from the 29th Century to learn to origins of the “interplanetary holiday” Miracle Monday (celebrated the third Monday in May).
Superman editor Julius Schwartz apparently enjoyed the book, so Maggin pitched a story bringing Wells, now a young professor at Columbia University-Metropolis, into comic book continuity.
DC COMICS PRESENTS ANNUAL #2 (by Maggin, Keith Pollard and Mike DeCarlo) opens in September 2862 and shows Wells, an attractive, freckle-faced red-head, teaching class (you know it’s the future because she wears a leotard and knee boots to class). She and her students are discussing Superwoman, “quite possibly the greatest heroine of the 20th Century” and the only super-hero whose secret identity has never been unearthed.
Students offer suggestions about how Superwoman performed her feats and a handy chart is displayed showing her powers and the 29th Century tech that could duplicate them. One proposes Wells travel back to the day Superwoman first appeared and learn her identity.
Back in 1983, Wells takes a job as a typist working on Lois Lane’s new book (she took the liberty of typing it before she left the future) and gets hit on by Jimmy Olsen.
She discovers Superwoman’s costume in a closet. It is red and blue with the familiar S-shield, blue gloves and boots, a blue cap and a blue hood. Wells first suspects Lois, then Lana Lang of being Superwoman, then learns the outfit is for Clark Kent’s cousin, Linda (Supergirl) Danvers to wear to Morgan Edge’s costume party. Wells decides Linda will become Superwoman.
Meanwhile, King Kosmos, a time and space-faring tyrant from an alternative future, arrives and threats to conquer Earth. Knowing that Superwoman is supposed to aid Superman against Kosmos, Wells tries and fails to enlist the aid of her candidates (Linda, in an effort to see how the other half lives, is flying to Metropolis from Chicago via jet and is unreachable). Kosmos blasts Superman back to the 6th Century, then withdraws to make new plans. Superman flies back to the present under his own power in time for the party.
At the party, Wells is shocked that Linda chose to wear something that did not conceal her face instead of the Superwoman garb. Kosmos attacks again, incapacitating Superman and the Justice League and leaving Wells no choice but to don the Superwoman costume herself.
Joined by a recovering Superman, Superwoman takes her battle against Kosmos to present-day Dallas, then to Washington, D.C., April 14, 1865, and finally to the timestream. There, Superwoman blasts Kosmos’ navigational controller from his hand and when he tries to evade Superman, he tumbles “out of control, in and out of the folds in time and space.” He will return, however, Superwoman warns.
Her task completed, Wells returns to the future to reveal that she was Superwoman. First, however, she discourages Jimmy once and for all by kissing Clark. After all, it wouldn’t do for him to fall for the great-great- granddaughter of Jimmy Olsen IV.
In DC COMICS PRESENTS ANNUAL #4, three years have passed in the 29th Century. Wells has gained a beau in fellow professor Barry Elkin and a second career as a beloved interplanetary super-hero. Again her civvies remind us that this is the future; she dresses like an extra from a Billy Idol video.
In this story, by Maggin, Barreto and Ordway, Wells attempts to travel back to 1985, but is caught in a “chrono-synclastic infundibulum” which means her body makes it back to the past, but most of her memories are stuck in the time vortex, only slowly trickling back to her. During the course of the tale, she remembers only her name, that she is Superwoman and that she is from some time in the future.
Confused, Wells is accosted by a boy handing out flyers for Luthorcon III, “a celebration of villainy and the absurd.” His irresistible pitch: “Hey, lady, you look flaky… weird. You should be going to Luthorcon” is all it takes. She dons her Superwoman costume and heads to the convention center.
Meanwhile, Superman rescues actor Gregory Reed from a car accident. Reed suffers a mild concussion, meaning he can’t appear as Superman at Luthorcon. Superman decides to take his place. Of course, Lex Luthor has prepared for this and is on hand disguised as a food vendor. He substitutes a chunk of green Kryptonite for the prop the organizers plan to use in a scene with Reed.
When the time comes to play his part, Superman is overcome by the green K, but no one realizes he isn’t acting. Spotting Superwoman and recognizing her as the real McCoy, he telepathically begs for help. Remembering she is a hero, Superwoman saves Superman, only to learn that Luthor isn’t finished yet.
The bald baddie orders Superman to voluntarily expose himself to Kryptonite or he will teleport Metropolis to “a hostile dimension.” However, when Luthor throws the switch, Superwoman shifts the dimensional door so that instead of swallowing the city, it pulls in only Luthor and his hideout.
After that, we learn that Superwoman would spend several years in the 20th Century, fighting next to Superman and the Green Lantern Corps and earning a medal from President Reagan. Finally, she remembers how to get home and returns there, years after her departure, to find Elkin still waiting.
To date, none of the amazing adventures Superwoman was to take part in have seen print – and it seems unlikely they ever will. Even as Kristin Wells was establishing herself in the modern DC Universe, that universe was being forever altered by the Crisis. Curiously, “the greatest heroine of the 20th Century” took no part in battling the greatest threat to the universe, unless Perez slipped her into the background somewhere.
Return to the Writeups Page