FOREVER PEOPLE #1  /  Mar’71 – “IN SEARCH OF A DREAM!

When Jack Kirby went to DC in late 1971, the first thing he did were the first issues of FOREVER PEOPLE, NEW GODS, and MISTER MIRACLE.  However, in order to get a quicker return on their “investment”, the higher-ups at DC insisted that he take over some established book, and they apparently didn’t care which one.  They gave him his choice of any one he wanted.  He looked over them all, and felt none were right for him.  (CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN, which he had started himself, was about to be cancelled, and apparently was out of the running.)  Kirby asked for whichever book didn’t have a regular team, and as JIMMY OLSEN was in the midst of switching creative teams, JIMMY OLSEN it was.  Also, several people apparently suggested Jack revive his NEWBOY LEGION, and since Jimmy was already a “newsboy”, it seemed to make sense to somebody.  Anyway, this is how Jack got on JO, and how his 1st JO arrived 4 MONTHS before any of this other brand-new series.


Jack had a long tradition of creating “group” books, going back to “kid gangs”.  In the tradition of the “Dead End Kids” (who themselves eveolved into the East Side Kids and then The Bowery Boys), Jack, together with Joe Simon, had done The Young Allies, The Newsboy Legion, Boy Commandos, Boy Explorers, Boys’ Ranch, and finally the more grown-up CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN.  With Stan Lee, he did FANTASTIC FOUR (who only acted liked kids), THE AVENGERS, X-MEN (definitely a return to “young” heroes with an adult mentor).  And so it was, when he returned to DC, the very first thing he did (apparently) was a new “kid gang”, but one geared toward the modern-day of the late-60’s youth and counter-culture movement.  THE FOREVER PEOPLE were not quite hippies, not quite bikers, and not quite super-heroes either.  More like a little bit of each.  I always had the most restrictive, conservative upbringing anyone could imagine, and yet, in the late 60’s, while I admit I probably shook my head in dismay at some of TV’s depictions of “hippies”, there was something about the attitude, the philsophy, and the design and dress sense that I found appealing... and still do.


The cover of FP #1 shows the group racing toward the readers in their “Super-Cycle”.  Between the characters and the bike, the colors are as wild and glaring as you could get.  Probably for commercial reasons, Superman is a guest-star this issue (in a similar way that Spider-Man kept turning up early in the runs of new Marvel Comics).  If ever a costumed hero’s whole personal screamed “conservative”, by the late 60’s, Superman was it.  So how curious to see he’s racing after the young heroes of the book, apparently desperately in NEED of help only they can give him!  Like so many DC Comics of the 60’s (never mind that this probably came out right at the end of 1970), here was an image sure to pique any potential reader’s curiosity.


If you look close, it’s also very obvious the cover was inked by Frank Giacoia.  I always thought Frank did more work for Marvel than DC (in fact, I was somehow under the impression he worked exclusively for Marvel), so it was a surprise to realize he’d done this.  Apparently, he only did it because the cover was the very 1st piece of art Kirby turned in—and Vince Colletta hadn’t worked his back-office deal to ink ALL of Kirby’s books.  (Jack was FAST—so was Vince.  I guess SOMEBODY must have thought having them together was a good idea.  Oy.)


The book opens with 3 consecutive panels which show—SOMETHING—appearing from nowhere.  A glowing light, radiant energy, a cylinder-shape, accompanied by a steadily-increasing high-pitched noise.  And then—“RRRABOOOOM”—a strange, multi-colored multi-wheeled “bike” (it’s got handlebars, what the heck else would one call it?), with 4 equally-colorful teenagers (presumably) riding the thing, roaring out of the energy cylinder and into our reality.  The title reads, “In Search of A Dream!”, which suggests a combination of 2 different Moody Blues album titles, “In Search Of The Lost Chord” and “On The Threshold Of A Dream” (1968 & 1969, respectively).  “Biker” movies were a big fad in the late 60’s, the most famous and successful perhaps being EASY RIDER.  If that film had Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild’ as its theme song / anthem, looking over these first 4 pages, The Moodies’ “Departure” and “Ride My See-Saw” come to mind.  I can easily picture them being used over the opening credits of a possible FP feature film, as they seem to perfectly reflect the style, the attitude, and even the philsophy of the comic.


Teenagers will be teenragers (wherever they might come from), and sure enough, no sooner does this wild bunch arrive on Earth than they almost cause a traffic accident.  But here they display some amazing talents, first by shifting their atoms to avoid a head-on collision (Barry Allen’s FLASH would be proud), but then to catch a plunging car in mid-air after it’s soared off a cliff.  Whoever these guys are, they’re definitely not baddies.


The large group shot on page 6 for some reason makes me think of the cast of THOR, as filtered thru an entirely different generation.  Something in their various appearances and personalities remind me of Hogun (Vykin), Thor (Mark Moonrider, the obvious leader), Volstagg (Big Bear) and Fandral (Serifan).  As if, if those guys had kids, this might be what they’d look like.  (I’m reminded that right around this time, Hanna-Barbera had a short-lived series on Saturday mornings, PEBBLES AND BAMM BAMM.)  By luck, the 2 people they saved after running them off the road are friends of JIMMY OLSEN (small world?) and intent to pass on their story, with pictures.


With the introductions out of the way, we’re plunged right into the drama, as Serifan collapses, exhibiting psychic power which clues him in on ther location of their missing friend, “Beautiful Dreamer”.  And while this is going on, they’re being watched by some underworld types, members of a group called “Inter-Gang”, who in turn are working for some nasty-looking character called “Darkseid” (nothing subtle about some of these names, is there?).


Meanwhile, in Metropolis, Clark Kent has just finished interviewing a fighter named “Rocky” (who doesn’t look like Sylvester Stallone—heh).  Rocky’s upset, because despite his fame and success, he points out how, with someone around like Superman, the whole “fight game is a farce”.  After he leaves, Clark (who, of course, IS Superman) finds himself pondering, does the general public fear, resent, or even hate Superman?  And after 30 years of comic-book stories, he suddenly begins to feel alone in the world.


Just then, Jimmy pops in with news and a photo of the “Boom Tube”, and, incredibly, his microscopic vision actually allows him to see something in the photo invisible to any other eyes—the sight of a CITY in the far, far distance, at the other end of the dimensional tunnel.  He’s suddenly overcome with the desire to find this “Supertown”, where, he hopes, he might find others like himself.  (I guess his buddies in the JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA wouldn’t be too flattered by his attitude here.)


Things happen fast for the rest of the story.  Supes is shot out of the sky by a helicopter that’s trailing the teenagers, who, after seeing him take out the copter, mistake him for being someone from the same place they come from!  As famous as Supes is, this clearly demonstrates they’ve never been to Earth before.  Then, attacked by a group of monsters, Supes seems helpless—until the kids gather as one around their “Mother Box” (apparently a sentient, living computer), and shouting a certain word—“TARRU!”—disappear, and are replaced by a super-hero type called “The Infinity Man”.  He makes short work of the critter, when suddenly, Darkseid appears in person.  He reveals he was after the girl, Beautiful Dreamer, because he believes she’s one of the few can fathom “The Anti-Life Equation”.  However, her mind somehow refuses to “interpret” it, making her useless to Darkseid, who nonetheless reveals there aree “others” who can—“and when the secret is MINE, I shall TEST it here!  --snuff out ALL life on Earth—with a WORD!”  With that, he vanishes.  WHOA.  Heavy stuff!


That’s when they notice Dreamer is laying atop some bombs which will detonate if she’s moved.  Supes quickly figures out the only way to save her is to move SO fast he can OUT-RUN the blast—and he DOES, taking her and Infinity Man with him to safety.  The hero vanishes, replaced by the kids, who offer to help him find “Supertown”, while telling him the fight is HERE, and he’s needed HERE as much as they are.  As Big Bear puts it, “You’ve earned the trip!  But I hope you can LIVE with your CONSCIENCE—LATER!”  He flies into the re-materialized Boom Tube, and almost makes it thru, before he realizes whatever is going on behind him is too important to put aside for personal reasons.


This is one WILD comic-book.  Kirby creates a non-stop thrill ride, and Vince Colletta doesn’t do all that badly (though I thought he did MUCH better work on the JIMMY OLSEN series).  There’s a few problems, though, and most of them center on Superman—and Jimmy.  For the most part, I didn’t mind when Murphy Anderson re-drew Supes & Jimmy in JO, as he’s just so good, and somehow the difference between him and Kirby isn’t as glaring as it might be.  But Al Plastino, who did the redraws on the first 2 JO issues, also did this one, and Supes is in SO much of this book (the teens are almost reduced to guest-stars in their own mag), it’s really glaring, especially as Plastino did both pencils AND inks with no regard to how the rest of the book looked.


Also, when Jimmy walked into Clark’s office—all smiles and wearing his BOW-TIE, I suddenly realized, THIS issue MUST take place before the story in JIMMY OLSEN #133-138.  Has to!  Aside from anything else, there’s no mention of Morgan Edge, who, presumably, took over the Daily Planet JUST before the events in JO #133.  Also, Supes & Jimmy do not leave “The Project” until JO #139, and there’s NO obvious break between issues or during the issue wherehis other appearances should take place.  (Having no knowledge of Supes’ OTHER books, I’m not even gonna try to figure out the continuity between Jack’s stories and the rest of them.)


This may seem odd, considering how slowly, subtly, Darkseid is introduced and built up, a bit at a time, over those JO issues, while HERE, he gets a full-blown personal appearance, and actually SPELLS OUT what his goal is.  I know this was done FIRST, but I imagined the JO issue (since they came out first) were designed as a “prologue”.  Now, I feel THIS is the prologue, and the JO issues are the first act, though in the beginning, it’s not apparent to everyone involved.


The funny thing about that is, in the JO story, Supes repeatedly shows no care for the fact that he’s up-staging everybody (Jimmy, The Newsboys, etc.), and that becomes a deep concern of his here.  Also, in this issue, Darkseid talks about “the war”, and the “Anti-Life Equation”, and the fact that there are “others” he will find who can put it into effect for him.  Which of course, makes this story serve as a direct lead-in to NEW GODS #1, which came out a couple weeks after this comic did!  In effect, FOREVER PEOPLE #1 can be seen as a direct lead-in to JIMMY OLSEN #133, NEW GODS #1, and of course, FOREVER PEOPLE #2.  Take yer pick!


Before I finish, I’d just like to mention two things that struck me re-reading this time.  One, the way the Forever People say “TARRU!”, disappear and are replaced by The Infinity Man (and vice-versa), seems like nothing less than a modern-day (1970) version of the Billy Batson-Captain Marvel transformation!  In current comics, writers have completely re-interpreted “Captain Marvel” as being Billy himself, in a grown-up body (but still with the mind of a child).  Apparently, for the characters’ entire existence at Fawcett Comics, this was NEVER the case.  Secondly, when I look at Beautiful Dreamer, especially when she’s sleeping, she reminds me a young Shelly Winters.  So there!
    (6-17-2011)

Oh yes.  And one more thing.  As far as I can recall, FP #1 is the ONLY time Darkseid is wearing a CAPE. You know, WITH the cape, all of a sudden those boots make me think of something out of some tiny European country from the middle ages. Not sure I ever noticed that before. Sort of like in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA. As far as I know, he was NEVER seen with a cape again... until Kenner gave him one with their SUPER POWERS line action figure!  (It still butg me how those IDIOTS packaged those things.  In a crate, they'd have like 10 SUPERMANs, 10 DARKSEIDs, and 1 of each of all the others.  And specialty dealers who were pals with the guys who worked at the toy stores would have access to them FIRST, so a lot of the figures NEVER even got on the shelves.  Is it any wonder they wound up going for SO MUCH per figure at conventions?)

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SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #1  /  Jul’76 – “ATTEND  --OR DIE!

We follow a number of mostly well-known DC villains commiting crimes and escaping the law, then receiving invitations to join something called the “Secret Society”.  They meet at a place referred to as the “Sinister Citadel” or the “Citadel Sinister” (somebody’s not being consistent), which is in the top floors of a 100-story tower in San Francisco.  A cross-section diagram details various rooms, in the fashion of several similar views of “The Baxter Building” seen over the years.  The lobby itself appears to be the one from the Hyatt Embarcadero on Drumm, as seen in both THE TOWERING INFERNO and HIGH ANXIETY.

As the baddies meet, they’re attacked by members of the Justice League!  No, it’s not a trap, but rather a test, as the heroes turn out to be only be robot replicas, which are easily defeated.  The meeting is then presided over by Manhunter (the Archie Goodwin-Walt Simonson version), who then sends several of them on another “test”, to steal a sphere of solid plutonium from a scientific outpost housed in a remote lighthouse.  During a scuffle with secuirity guards, Copperhead accidentally drops the sphere in the water offshore, and is left behind by his escaping comrades.

The 70’s were certainly a strange time for comics, and entertainment media in general.  A certain downbeat aura seemed to overshadow most things, as movies had bad endings, characters’ lives seemed to be forever falling apart, “disaster” movies were a huge, successful fad, and comics flirted with several series that focused on villains, rather than heroes.  While Marvel had SUPER-VILLAIN TEAM-UP, DC had SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS.  In charge (at least at the beginning) was Gerry Conway (you can tell it’s him, the book has zero sense of humor, and the narration often describes in overly-serious tones what you’re already seeing in the visuals).  The art on the 1st issue was by Pablo Marcos and Bob Smith.  It’s not particularly “bad” – but nothing really stands out as excessively “good” either.

Most of the baddies here I’ve seen or heard of, including Mirror and Master, Captain Cold and Gorilla Grodd (all FLASH baddies), Sinestro and Star Saphire (both GREEN LANTERN villains, although Star Saphire is not the original but a new “replacement” version), The Shadow Thief (longtime HAWKMAN villain), The Wizard (Earth-2 JSA villain--what's HE doing here?) and Copperhead (originally a Batman BRAVE & THE BOLD villain—I guess this would be scraping the bottom of the barrel).  Oddly enough, Catwoman is mentioned in one narration box, but does not appear in that panel, or on that page, or anywhere in the comic at all.  Looks to me like Gerry Coinway needed an editor.  It was later revealed that the Paul Kirk Manhunter was not the one who died at the end of the Goodwin-Simonson story, but a clone.  That makes at least 2 characters in this story who are new versions of earlier characters, a recurring theme in many Gerry Conway stories in the 70’s.

It strikes me that the SECRET SOCIETY may have been one of the inspirations for THE LEGION OF DOOM on the 1978-79 episodes of CHALLENGE OF THE SUPER-FRIENDS.

Ernie Chua (who later changed his name to Ernie Chan) provides one of the sloppiest covers I’ve ever seen from him.  He did a ton of DC covers around this time, but before long would move over to Marvel to become a long-running “finisher” on CONAN THE BARBARIAN.
    (11-22-2012)

BRAVE & THE BOLD #128  /  Jul’76 – “DEATH BY THE OUNCE

Gotham’s finest are sweeping for crime, intent on making the streets safe for the visiting Shah of Karkan, scheduled to sign an important oil treaty with the Feds.  Batman investigates the condemned sports stadium, rumored to be “haunted” and finds what he thinks is someone trapped in a sack being hurled to their death.  But it’s really Mister Miracle, practicing a new escape act.  It seems he & his wife Barda have returned to Earth following their wedding, and re-teamed with Oberon to get the excape act started up again.

All this sounds fine; I never thought his leaving Earth made much sense in the first place, especially given what must be HUGE “issues” between Scott and his father, who he had not seen since he was a very young boy.  But Scott’s motivations for returning do not sound right here.  “Back here on Earth, people called me a charlatan... a cheating trickster!  I had to come back to PROVE myself!  To triumph and silence the doubters!”  This is the 2nd time Bob Haney & Jim Aparo have featured Mister Miracle in B&B, and both times I find myself wondering if Haney ever even bothered to read any of Jack Kirby’s stories.

Batman has concocted an elaborate ruse to get the Shah from the airport to his hotel, by substituting an imposter in the heavily-guarded limo, while the real Shah hides in a laundry truck Batman drives himself.  Yet on arrival, the Shah has vanished, kidnapped while Batman was only a few feet away.  “OOPS!!!”  To prevent an international panic, and keep the kidnappers off-guard, he has Gordon lie to The President by saying the real Shah is still safe, since he found a bugging device on Jim Gordon’s telephone.

Returning to the stadium, Batman tries to convince Scott he needs his help.  “Sorry, BATMAN!  I helped you once—but now my OWN life comes first!  I must practice!  I’m almost ready for my comeback!”  Good grief, this can’t possibly be the same person who fought against totalitarianism and evil in general.  Is Bob haney just TRYING to make Jack’s character look bad?

Batman appels to Scott’s “professional pride”, proposing a duel of escape arsists.  The cover shows an very evil-looking Barda &v Oberon spraying Batman & Mister Miracle with liquid ice, as if they’d turned evil—I wonder if someone came up with this “hook” first, they had Haney write the story to justify it?  Batman winds up escaping before Scott does, using a heating device in his utility belt—how very like the sort of thing we’ve seen Scott do many times in his own book.

Batman impersonates the Shah himself this time, and in the middle of the night, he’s kidnapped—along with his bed—right out of the hotel suite via a cargo helicopter also designed for underwater action.  Inside the sunken and converted heavy cruiser “Gotham City”, he’s taken to the real Shah, and meets the person behind the kidnap—Granny Goodness.  It seems the entire plot involves Granny wanting to be young again.  She’s made a deal with “America’s rival power”, who have a sciewntist, Dr. Kiev, who’s developed a youth-giving serum, which he will give her in exchange for kidnapping the Shah and disrupting the treaty.  All of which sounds completely outside the scope of anything I would expect Granny to be involved in.

As it turns out, Scott was hidden in the base of the bed (what would he have done if they’d just taken Batman, and left the furniture behind?), and he, Batman & the Shah escape, Scott staying behind long enough to cause the sunken ship to explode, hopefully taking Granny with it.  Scott laments that he pulled off a fantastic escape for his comeback, but nobody got to see it.  Bats responds, “Maybe it was for the best!  After all, what could you do for an ENCORE?

Par for the course for Haney & Aparo.  As usual, not bad, but not great either.  I guess sometimes, especially in comics, that’s better than most.  This was the first B&B guest-appearance by one of Kirby’s new creations following his departure.  It would not be the last!
    (11-18-2012)

KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH #43 / Jul'76

This required some elaborate "fill in" down the left edge (the tiger stripes were a challenge), eliminating "glare" from the plastic case the book was on on the bottom edge, lightening up the reddish-brown on Canus' head, and, adjusting the DARK GREEN background in the logo area, which was so dark it looked BLACK.  Once I re-saturated the color, I had to fix a lot of white specks where the color dropped out.

KOBRA #3 / Jul'76

A relative "Quickie".  The biggest challenge was elminating the glare on the plastic box the book was in that ran across most of the bottom edge.

KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH #44 / Aug'76

Although I had to fill in art on all 4 edges on this one, it was still a relative quickie.  Only the lower-left edge presented any challenge.  The only lamentable thing here is, the biggest image I could find online was about 715 pixels wide, so it wasn't as "sharp" as I prefer.

I notice that Ernie Chua / Chan's linework was becoming much sharper & cleaner during this period, shortly before he switched over the Marvel to do a LONG run as "finisher" on CONAN THE BARBARIAN.

SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #2  /  Aug’76 – “NO MAN SHALL I CALL MASTER!

A now-obscure super-hero from the 1950’s, Captain Comet, returns to Earth after decades in outer spece, and promptly, on seeing Green Lantern fighting several members of the SSoSV, decides GL is using his much-greater powers to “attack” his lesser foes.  Now, I ask you—I know space is vast, but this is the DC Universe.  How is it even possible that someone like Captain Comiet could spend decades in DC Universe outer space, and have NO IDEA who the hell the Green Lantern Corps are?????

CC rescues “Jack” (formerly of The Royal Flush Gang) and Gorilla Grodd (who looks more like one of the man-apes from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY than any gorilla I ever saw), and the trio are soon at the “Citadel Sinister”.  While blanketing the entire room with a mental block to prevent CC from reading their thoughts, Grodd has read CC’s mind and relates his origin to the group.  With a skeptical Captain Cold abstaining, they vote CC as a new member of the “Secret Society”, figuring they can dupe him into helping them in their schemes.

Later that night, Manhunter confronts CC in a quiet part of town, and discovers that CC actually realizes the “Society” is composed of baddies—all except Manhunter, a clone of Paul Kirk, who was the only survivor when all the rest of Kirk’s clones were killed, and the only one who wasn’t evil!  But just as a new secret alliance is being formed, Mantis, last seen in Jack Kirby’s Fourth World books, appears, and declares that for their “treachery” they must die!  This would seem to indicate WHO was backing the SSoSV.  After all, if you’re supplying an outfit like Inter-Gang, what’s a super-villain group?  (Just in case anyone was wondering WHY I’m including this series in my “Fourth World” review series.)

Although Mantis is driven off, Manhunter decides to take the aggressive stance, and leads the members of the Society to one of many secret scientific labs spread all across the world, the work of “the true face of evil”—DARKSEID.  Just then Mantis and some underlings arrive and attack the entire group.  In the midst of the melee, he orders them, “Either SURRENDER—or DIE!

Someone online (I think) suggested that whatever direction this book was intended to go in somehow got derailed only 2 issues into its run.  The letters page reveals that there was, in fact, a different, UNPUBLISHED version of SSoSV #1, which wound up being run in the mail-order-only AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #11.  As for SSoSV #2, I can only suppose someone at DC figured that, for the sake of the Comics Code (or perhaps simply as a matter of “drama”), it wouldn’t be right to do a series that focused on a group of Super-Villains without having someone on the opposite side to balance things out.  After all, most DRACULA stories have Professor Van Helsing (or some wimpy “hero” filling in the slot), and seemingly every FU MANCHU story has Sir Dennis Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard.  Here, we have a clone of the Goodwin-Simonson MANHUNTER, and, CAPTAIN COMET.  Hmm.  Oddly enough, I mostly remember CAPTAIN COMET from the late-80’s series, L.E.G.I.O.N. which told the adventures of an interstellar police force, run by “Brainiac 2” (ancestor of “Brainiac 5” of the LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES), who was so nasty and viscious and utterly ruthless, including with his own people, that you were often hard-pressed to think of him as any kind of a “hero”.

Behind-the-scenes, on the creative side, things are ALREADY changing, which is usually not a good sign with a brand-new series just getting started.  Creator, editor & writer Gerry Conway apparently got the flu and was only able to dialogue the first half of the book.  Leaping into the breach is David Kraft, who they announce will be taking over the book with the next issues.  This is interesting, as not too long after this, when Conway briefly went to Marvel, one of the books he took over was THE DEFENDERS—and once he returned to DC, the guy who took over the book was David Kraft!

Meanwhile, it’s a funny thing.  I’ve never been a fan of Bob Smith’s inks, yet here, he seems to be almost invisible, as, if they didn’t list his name in the credits, I’d have sworn Pablo Marcos did the whole art job himself.  Apart from his usual awkward figure-work, the heavy-duty lines looks EXACTLY like solo Marcos, which I’ve seen in Marvel B&W horror & S&S mags, and in Warren horror books by the ton.

The cover for this issue is by Dick Giordano & Terry Austin (though you couldn't prove the inks by me).  Apart from the horrific amount of text and garbage clogging up the top half of the cover, I'm also bugged by the awkward composition with all those people running in the background, and the really lame coloring job which tends to make things confusing to look at.  Let me put it this way-- if Stan Goldberg had colored this piece, you can bet he'd have done some kind of "monotone"-ish effect in the background, to make the 2 foreground figures (CC & GL) stand out from everything else.  I mean-- people got PAID to do work this bad???

As an aside-- looking at the linework and the background figures in particular, it's just possible this cover may answer the question of WHO inked those pages of MISTER MIRACLE #1-4 that I thought looked so much like "later" Klaus Janson.  Since the figures HERE look identical to what I saw there, it strongly suggests those really "ugly" pages were the work of either Dick Giordano, or some assistant OTHER than Frank McLaughlin (the McLaughlin pages were more obvious than the Giordano ones)-- and, just possibly, Terry Austin!  (Unless someone finds out that Austin wasn't in comics by this point, either...) 
    (11-29-2012)

KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH #45 / Sep'76

This was a little on the fuzzy side, so there wasn't too much I could do with it, apart from cleaning up the edges.

KOBRA #4 / Sep'76

There was a heavy-duty glare off the plastic box this was encased in across the bottom edge. It just about obliterated the bottom of the blue robot, but with some tricky adjustments, I was able to get it back to the proper color down there. Admittedly, some line detail got lost in the process, but you can't have everything...

KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH #46 / Oct'76

A relative quickie.  It's pretty clear this particular copy, the page was bent over the fold too far to the right, causing the left edge to get lost under the crease, while more art than intended showed up on the right.

DC reprinted some Captain Comet Strange Adventures stories in World's Finest #204 (Au'71) and Superman #244 (N'71) and a couple in the 52-page Justice League. So some readers could have remembered him. At the same time as SSSV #2, reprints of him were featured in DC Super-Stars # 4 (Ju'76) and 6 (Au'76). 

Still, the first five issues of SSSV spotlighted villains versus villains so with heroes like Manhunter and Captain Comet and guest stars Green Lantern and Hawkman may have been enough to appease the Code.

The former Jack of Clubs/Spades was renamed Hi-Jack, not that it lasted long. :-(

Read He Who Wanders' SSoSV thread at Legion World

Read the rejected version of SSoSV #1 at the Amazing Blog Of DC Comics

AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #11  /  Apr’76 – “BEWARE THE BROTHERHOOD OF CRIME

Fresh from a successful jewel heist, a very annoyed Captain Cold is kidnapped by teleportation beam to the HQ of a group of super-villains who invite him to join.  The group discovers the brains behind their outfit is none other than Darkseid, “Prince of Apokalips”.  Following a brief run-down on his background and activities, he leads them on a raid on a military base to steal cannisters of  “Wargas 94—the deadliest nerve gas in the world”, with which they intend to “blackmail the Earth”.  After some squabbling and in-fighting to get their hands on it, Manhunter points out that Darkseid has been using them, as his real intentions are to turn all of Earth into a slave-labor camp.  No sooner has it dawned on them that his behavior in this raid has been completely out-of-character than “Darkseid” is revealed to be a robot.  It’s almost as if Gerry Conway were writing Dr. Doom instead of Darkseid when he did this.  The villains elect to stay together as a “Secret Society” to fight Darkseid’s ambitions while continuing to pursue their own criminal agendas.

According to Paul Levitz’ introduction / editorial, editor & writer Gerry Conway put this book together before finding out that publisher Carmine Infantino had other ideas in mind.  Rather than fine-tune as they went, the decision was made to completely do the entire book over from scratch.  So certain members of the group were replaced, and artists Ric Estrada & Pablo Marcos were replaced by Pablo Marcos & Bob Smith.  I find it ironic that what may be possibly one of the worst-ever depictions of Jack Kirby’s vilain, Darkseid, should get published, if only in DC’s mail-order-only magazine AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS, while genuine Kirby books were left sitting in storage, some of them never published to this day.

I wonder how they wound up with Dick Dillin doing the cover?

This entire story (along with the entire issue it appeared in) can be read online at the AMAZING BLOG OF DC COMICS blogspot!
    (11-30-12)

SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #2 / Aug'76

Published cover

FANTASY cover

 

What an odd-looking cover. It's like it's only half colored!

Henry R. Kujawa said:

AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS #11  /  Apr’76 – “BEWARE THE BROTHERHOOD OF CRIME

Fresh from a successful jewel heist, a very annoyed Captain Cold is kidnapped by teleportation beam to the HQ of a group of super-villains who invite him to join.  The group discovers the brains behind their outfit is none other than Darkseid, “Prince of Apokalips”.  Following a brief run-down on his background and activities, he leads them on a raid on a military base to steal cannisters of  “Wargas 94—the deadliest nerve gas in the world”, with which they intend to “blackmail the Earth”.  After some squabbling and in-fighting to get their hands on it, Manhunter points out that Darkseid has been using them, as his real intentions are to turn all of Earth into a slave-labor camp.  No sooner has it dawned on them that his behavior in this raid has been completely out-of-character than “Darkseid” is revealed to be a robot.  It’s almost as if Gerry Conway were writing Dr. Doom instead of Darkseid when he did this.  The villains elect to stay together as a “Secret Society” to fight Darkseid’s ambitions while continuing to pursue their own criminal agendas.

According to Paul Levitz’ introduction / editorial, editor & writer Gerry Conway put this book together before finding out that publisher Carmine Infantino had other ideas in mind.  Rather than fine-tune as they went, the decision was made to completely do the entire book over from scratch.  So certain members of the group were replaced, and artists Ric Estrada & Pablo Marcos were replaced by Pablo Marcos & Bob Smith.  I find it ironic that what may be possibly one of the worst-ever depictions of Jack Kirby’s vilain, Darkseid, should get published, if only in DC’s mail-order-only magazine AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS, while genuine Kirby books were left sitting in storage, some of them never published to this day.

I wonder how they wound up with Dick Dillin doing the cover?

This entire story (along with the entire issue it appeared in) can be read online at the AMAZING BLOG OF DC COMICS blogspot!
    (11-30-12)

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