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 #3  /  Oct’76 – “WAR FOR EARTHDEATH!”

In some unspecificed HQ, Darkseid tells Kalibak that as Inter-Gang was insufficient, he decided to finance the Secret Society.  But now some of their numbers are turning against him, and he feels Kalibak may have a chance to “redeem” himself.  As Mantis battles several SS members, Star Saphire decides to escape, and hauls Manhunter out with her.

A seemingly-unrelated flashback shows Copperhead being sprung from prison, but he’s terrified of the one doing it!

Bringing the momentum of this issue to a complete halt, we see Digger & Scudder (Captain Boomerang & Mirror Master) in civilian clothes, robbing a hamburger joint (by nature of ordering a dinner and running out on the bill).  These are some of Earth’s deadliest super-villains?  Back at the Citadel, Manhunter arrives to interrupt more in-group squabbling, to explain exactly who Darkseid is and what the future will hold if they don’t put a stop to him.  Later, Star Saphire runs into Green Lantern, and decides to tell him that the SS needs his help against a much deadlier enemy!

Finally, just as Mantis is about to recharge himself, the free SS members attack, a battle ensues, and the captive members are freed.  Watching from afar, Darkseid announces he & Kalibak shall head for Earth, to put a stop to the SS themselves.



I hate to be overly-negative, but this feels like one of the most disjointed comic-book stories I’ve read in a long time.  It doesn’t “flow”—it advances in fits and starts, as is each scene is almost completely unconnected to any other.  There’s almost a feeling of somene working with a checklist of events they need to cram into the book, and it didn’t matter how they did it.

Though still listed as editor, Gerry Conway has been replaced as writer by David A. Kraft.  Dave became one of my favorite writers at Marvel in the late 70’s, getting his start replacing Conway on THE DEFENDERS and LOGAN’S RUN.  I see he got into the habit of that here.  I’d never know this was his work—it feels too amateurish.  Perhaps he was working to some kind of blueprint laid down by Conway?  Meanwhile, Pablo Marcos continues on the art, much of his figure-work needlessly awkward, but the inks have taken an ugly down-turn.  It seems the more comics I see from the 70’s, the more instances I see of some book starting out with X-artist on it, but soon replaced by Vince Colletta.  You’d think going from Marcos-scratchy lines to Colletta-scratchy lines would be a natural, but all I can see here is a SEVERE drop in quality.  It made me really appreciate the work Vinnie (and whatever number of assistants he had working for him) did over Jack Kirby’s pencils in the early 70’s.  On just about any other book Colletta touched, all I can see is “typical Colletta”.  I mean, the splash pages aren’t bad, but the rest of the book is so “average”, you just about want to scream.

Ernie Chan, who turned out to be one very prolific cover artist for DC around this time, does another decent piece dragged down by too much “junk” crammed into the top of the logo area.  There’s what appears to be a very odd error on Kalibak’s legs, as either shadow rendering lines (seen on his right arm) or a darker color shade are notably missing.  Before long, Ernie Chua would change his name to Ernie Chan and become one of the longest-running “finishers” on Marvel’s CONAN.
    (12-3-2012)

I'm afraid that I have a different opinion, Henry. This was the first SSSV that I ever read and I loved it! I was eleven and that double page spread with all those different characters was so cool to me.

  • The capture of Grodd, Captains Comet and Cold set the bar for how dangerous Mantis was.
  • Manhunter goes to gather the troops.
  • Star Sapphire goes looking for a super-hero, i.e. someone who will fight Mantis for free!
  • The scene with Captain Boomerang and Mirror Master didn't bother me then and it still doesn't. One, they're thieves after all and two, who hasn't wished that they could walk away without paying for stuff and not get caught! Even super-villains have to eat.
  • You forgot to mention the most interesting twist: that Sinestro and the Wizard decided to hold back and see who wins.
  • It was a great fight scene with Hi-Jack and Boomerang spotlighted.
  • This issue showed the potential of the concept of the villains fighting a secret war against Darkseid but yes it was quickly left unfulfilled.
  • Even sadder was that you saw the star-quality of Manhunter. As a kid, this was my first experience with the character after the Detective 100 pagers but I never saw his death until much later. Actually the same could be said for SSSV #5 as well. I kept missing him dying so to me, he was never dead!
  • As for Captain Comet, in two years time he came in second in a readers' poll for the next JLAer. Zatanna won and joined!

I had to read the issue twice, carefully, in order to write the above review.  Somehow it just wasn't sticking in my head.  Ah well.  Looks like my biggest negatives were not so much the events in the story, but the storytelling itself-- and the inks, which start out nice on pages 1-3 before turning utterly pedestrian.  It's the sort of thing that makes me wonder exactly what was going on with Cousin Vinnie (and WHO exactly might have been inking WHICH pages).

Glad to see someone else chiming in on these.  Ever since I took a several-month break from this thread (around a year ago!!), then came back, the responses by other board members have been nearly non-existent at times.

After I posted my review, I realized that the McDonald's (NOT!!) scene reminded me of the "Hulk has a picnic in Central Park" scene from DEFENDERS #49.  Which suggests Kraft has a thing for humorous scenes involving food.

Glad to see someone else chiming in on these.  Ever since I took a several-month break from this thread (around a year ago!!), then came back, the responses by other board members have been nearly non-existent at times.

 

Sorry about that.  Comments do dry up as threads get longer, although, I personally like long threads that go along at an issue by issue pace.

 

'ETC' is a very small word, but you've made it go a long way!  I hadn't realised that this thread would include everything Jack did for DC in this phase of his career, and everything that was done with his creations, too.  Are you going to do the New Gods series that took up the numbering from where Jack left off?

 

I haven't read almost any of the post 4th World comics that you've been talking about.  Perhaps If I'd known the shape of what you were going to do, I might have made an effort to get a hold of OMAC and some of the other comics.  It's certainly a worthwhile project.

 

I must confess I got a little burnt out going into so much detail on KIrby's 4th World books that I needed a rest!  I never did get around to posting on the final New Gods comic, or the final Mister Miracle comics, although I meant to.  Just not enough hours in the day.  :-(

 

So are you going to start another thread when Jack moves back to Marvel in 1977?  That'd probably be best.  (I was this close to bringing my Kirby 70s Cap comics over to Australia last time I was at my parents house by the way.  Sorry now that I didn't.  I did bring over some Captain Victory, though, and a lot of Alan Moore's 90s stuff.)

 

I guess it's a long stretch away, but I'm looking forward to reading Super Powers when it comes up.  Do let us know in advance if really interesting runs are coming up, especially ones that we might have access to.  I don't have much chance of getting my hands on many of these less-than-stellar mid-seventies attempts to run with Jack's ideas.

Figserello:

"'ETC' is a very small word, but you've made it go a long way!  I hadn't realised that this thread would include everything Jack did for DC in this phase of his career"

I really started about 5 or 6 years back, compiling a chronological list of every Kirby story in my collection (from a wide variety of reprint sources) and trying to re-read every one of them in sequence.  At Marvel, this meant every Marvel from the 40, but with DC, only the Kirby stuff (I just have too many DCs from back then, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman).  Then came the chaos of the 50's, including FIGHTING AMERICAN, which totally blew the Lee & Romita CAP revival that inspired it out of the water.  Not to mention GREEN ARROW, CHALLENGERS, SKY MASTERS... 

It was a huge thing when I got to 60's Marvel.  So many of those I had only gotten in recent years, thanks to ESSENTIAL books and the like, but I had never read them in chronological order.  With all the emphasis on company-wide continuity, it was the first time I was ever able to actually watch all these characters-- heroes and villains-- as they developed over the years from story to story, and often, book to book. 

When Kirby left Marvel, I stayed with Marvel for awhile, and did a ton of reading and reviewing.  I actually made it all the way up about ASM #120... what a place to stop.  It was a very HATE-filled "Fourth World" thread at the MASTERWORKS board which I was invited to participate in (and totally declined) that inspired me to go ahead with the early-70's Kirby stuff.  Seriously, the "MMMS" crowd (as a couple friends of mine like to refer to them) seem to only like to "discuss" Kirby as an excuse to knock him on every level. That particular thread, within 2 pages, not only turned into a hate-fest, they were knocking Don Newton & Marshal Rogers as well!

When I started this thread, I posted my reviews at 3 different yahoo groups, LEGION WORLD and by e-mail.  When I returned to CAPTAIN COMICS and began posting the reviews here as well, I was delighted to get more and more intelligent discussion on these books than I'd seen anywhere else online!!!  (I did not post them at MASTERWORKS.  I knew if I did, the entire thread would disintegrate into Kirby-bashing.)

So I put early-70's Marvel on hold, and started this, never dreaming I'd actually be able to do "restorations" of every single Kirby cover from the era (no matter how BAD some of the "designs" were), and never dreaming, when I found an image of KAMANDI #1 that I'd continue on doing EVERY cover in that series, and all the other series that I don't have any copies of in my collections.

When I got to the final Kirby book, the question was, do I continue, or "go back" to where I left off with Marvel?  That would be the more proper thing, since I don't wanna tackle Kirby's late-70's Marvel work until after I polish off re-reading all the other early-70's Marvels I read when they first came out (and in most cases, not since).  In many ways, that was "my" era of comics, as I still had so few, and was enjoying each one so much as I got them (no matter how BAD some of them were-- heh).  But as I have far fewer Kirby-related DC books, and they're (for the most part) all filed in one place, for the moment, it's been easier for me to continue with the DC stuff.  (I did have to do some digging to get out the SSoSV issues, which were in a different box.)

"Are you going to do the New Gods series that took up the numbering from where Jack left off?"

That's been the plan, although as you can see, I've got all these SSoSV books to review, plus all those KAMANDIs, KOBRAs, etc. (that I don't have a single issue of) to do the cover images for.  Until right now, I never quite connected Darkseid's continuity in SSoSV as taking place between FIS #13 and NG #12, as I got those a few years later.

"I haven't read almost any of the post 4th World comics that you've been talking about.  Perhaps If I'd known the shape of what you were going to do, I might have made an effort to get a hold of OMAC and some of the other comics.  It's certainly a worthwhile project."

Well, you can see by my reviews (or lack thereof) which ones I have or don't.  The nice surprise has been being able to read in their entirety some of these thanks to various BLOGS, which are considered the bane of creators by some, but a blessing to me at the moment.  If I could afford to buy these things I would, but I have NEVER been in such DIRE fiancial shape as I am at this very minute.  (After job-searching every single day for the last 18 months, I finally managed to get a part-time job 2 weeks ago.  My first full paycheck did not even cover the bank overdraft.  YEAH.  That's how bad it is right now.)

Anyway, imagine my delight at being able to read 3 of the 4 issues of JUSTICE INC. (plus be reminded that I had The Avenger's appearance in THE SHADOW as well).  As much as I like Alden McWilliams' art, his single issue was CRAP compared to the the stuff Kirby did, and the best issue in the run was #4, when O'Neil finally realized he needed to keep things "simple" so Jack could have room to draw.  The real shame is Kirby wasn't doing DOC SAVAGE instead.

"So are you going to start another thread when Jack moves back to Marvel in 1977?  That'd probably be best."

Eventually.  I really do wanna get back to the early-70's Marvels first.  There was a lot of fun stuff there, along with the drek.  When I left off, I was still halfway thru Englehart's run of HERO FOR HIRE, and the very next comic to re-read was actually ASM #121 (can you imagine? --what a place to leave off).  I really don't see myself doing clean-ups of ALL those covers, though.  There's still too many from the 60's I'd prefer to tackle (like the remaining ASTONISH covers, for example-- it blows my mind that about a year ago I managed to do SO MANY of those!!!).

"I don't have much chance of getting my hands on many of these less-than-stellar mid-seventies attempts to run with Jack's ideas."

My introduction to the Fourth World was actually Englehart's MISTER MIRACLE, then Conway's NEW GODS (the 2nd issue of each, I also missed Englehart's first 2 DETECTIVE issues when they came out, his JLA was the olnly one I didn't have to get as a back-issue).  I still fondly recall both Englehart & Gerber doing terrific stuff on MM (and it's mind-boggling neither was meant to be a long-term thing).  But with my expanded appreciation for "the real thing", will they hold up?  Don't know.  I realized from the moment I read Kirby's OMAC that, as good as Starlin's work was, it was just... "WRONG".  As has every single take on the concept since.  If people wanna do something different, they should come up with their own characters.

KAMANDI, THE LAST BOY ON EARTH #47 / Nov'76

The image of this I found at Heritage Auctions was VERY dark, and a lot of detail showed right thru the paper from the inside cover. Amazingly, using "levels" on the white areas of the logo, not only did it clear up ALL the colors, including removing ALL the bleed-thru in the red areas of the logo, because the skin-tones were so dark to begin with, they did not get blanked-out as has often happened.

As a result, once the color and brightness was adjusted, "all" I had to do was cleanup some creases on the left edge, and "fill-in" on the right edge, and darken up the top edge.

Well, I can see with the Nov'76 covers, DC finally got rid of their ugly-as-hell banner design...

KOBRA #5 / Dec'76

Despite being on the really "dirty" side, the white on this cleaned up VERY nice with "levels", without blanking out the skin tones.  Some minor color adjustment and a few minor clean-ups around the edges, and this was a real "quickie".

SECRET SOCIETY OF SUPER-VILLAINS #4 / Dec'76

This was a bit of a mess.  The logo area was very much off-rotation from the rest of the cover (all 4 edges), and while I cold have rotated JUST the logo area (I've done it with some Marvel "GIANT-SIZE" books) I elected instead to just rotate the cover to match the logo.  As a result, all 4 edges required some fill-in, the upper-left and lower-right the most extensively.  In addition, the text box at the bottom didn't match the rotation of either the edges or the top logo area, which just shows what a MESS this was on the production (paste-up) side.

On top of all that, the blue-gree sky background area had a lot of dirt and creases in spots, and required a lot of copy-and-paste-into.

Finally, the RED in the logo area was not only far too "orange", but had a lot of drop-out, and was terribly off-register.  I left the outside parts of the letters alone, but fixed the insides of the letters, so it would be all red, and no slashes of yellow showing thru. So it still looks a bit "fuzzy", even though it's a MAJOR upgrade from what it looked like before.

Review coming soon!

The cover makes Kalibak look like the hero!

Is THAT who it was? Kalibak?  I couldn't tell....I was about to guess Ulik!

Since nobody else has said it... I will.  Isn't the Walt Simonson "Manhunter" costume one of the stupidest designs EVER for a superhero???  (Especially those things on his lower legs... what the hell are those things, anyway????)

At least Ernie Chan knows what Kalibak looks like.  Mike Vosburg (in 1ST ISSUE SPECIAL #13) didn't seem to have any idea at all how to draw the guy.  But then, Pablo Marcos seems to have watched "The Dawn of Man" sequence in 2001 for reference on drawing (ahem) "gorillas".  I mean--- WTF?????

I was going to be clever to show this to explain his "braces" but they're not mentioned but he does sheathe his dagger in one and I'm sure they make his spin kicks hurt a lot more. But they do break up the red and white of his outfit.

As for Gorilla Grodd, he does look like a refugee from Planet of the Apes, doesn't he? In later issues, he's portrayed more gorilla-like as well as in Super Team Family #3.

 

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