Action Comics #279 (June 1961) continues the multi-issue Supergirl story arc started last month, where we learn that Supergirl lost her powers due to an evil, jealous, genius inventor named Lesla-Lar who lives inside the bottled city of Kandor and happens to look exactly like Supergirl.
Meanwhile, a de-powered Linda Lee tries to make the best of it, and decides to seek adoption at the next opportunity when Mr. and Mrs. Fred Danvers show up at Midvale Orphanage. Mr. Danvers, a rocket scientist, even decides his new daughter shouldn’t be wearing pigtails, so the character gets an upgrade to her brown wig.
But that’s not all. Not satisfied with simply de-powering Kara/Linda, Lesla-Lar plans go much deeper. She swaps Kara into Kandor while she sleeps, hypnotizing her into thinking she is Lesla-Lar, scientist, while the real Lesla-Lar plans to impersonate Supergirl. Confused yet?
The real Supergirl watches from Kandor in horror as Lesla-Lar busts Lex Luthor out of jail and commits some clever crimes with him. But before too much damage is done by Lesla-Lar, Kara goes to tell authorities. In order to avoid getting caught, Lesla-Lar switches herself back with Kara, undoing the hypnotism.
We’ve seen a couple multi-issue story arcs in the past, but this seems to be DC’s first serious attempt at an ongoing serialized drama, much like a soap opera, with major events having consequences well beyond the issue in which they happen. It’s makes sense that an experiment like this would be attempted in a super-popular backup feature with a guaranteed regular readership base like Action Comics.